Saturday, May 16, 2009

2005-06 Vancouver Canucks Markus Näslund Jersey

A few days before we starting publishing this blog, Markus slund announced his retirement after 15 years in the NHL with Pittsburgh, long-time home Vancouver and a final season with the New York Rangers. By retiring, the always classy slund leaves a minimum of $2 million on the table, the amount to buy out the final year of his contract. slund, along with players like Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemiuex, falls into the category of Players You Have to Admire on Teams You Hate.

slund played 12 seasons in Vancouver, seven as captain, leading the franchise in goals (346) and points (756) and won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the League's Most Outstanding Player in 2003, as voted by members of the players association. slund also won two Bronze Medals and a Silver at the World Championships playing for his native Sweden, as well as two silvers as a junior at the World Junior Championships, where he holds the record for most goals scored in a single tournament with 13 goals in 7 games played.

Today's featured jersey is a 2005-06 Vancouver Canucks Markus slund jersey with the NHL Cares/Katrina Relief Fund patch as worn by slund on October 5th, 2005 in a 3-2 win vs. the Phoenix Coyotes, a game where slund scored two goals and spoiled Wayne Gretzky's coaching debut.

The NHL Cares patch was worn by all players during just the first period of their first home game of the season. The game worn jerseys were then auctioned off for charity to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

Vancouver Canucks 06-07 F
Vancouver Canucks 06-07 B
Vancouver Canucks 06-07 P

slund was also featured on the cover of the NHL 2005 video game and some wonderful commercials for Nike.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Game 7 reactions

Dasherboard: The playoff beards will continue to grow in Detroit and Carolina after yesterday's pair of Game 7's. They certainly were more exciting than Pittsburgh's evisceration of Washington the night before.

We think they are trying to grow beards in Pittsburgh, but the jury's still out on that one...

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Anaheim certainly showed veteran calm in fighting back against the Red Wings, once more a contrast to the pre-lockout days when comebacks were as rare as penalty shots. Not the prettiest of game winning goals, but enough to get the job done as the Red Wings will now square off against the Blackhawks for the 15th time in their long rivalry, the first since 1995. The two teams met six times this year, with Detroit winning the first four, with two of those going to shootouts, and losing two in the final two games of the regular season.

On the jersey front, Detroit did take the best dressed game of the year in this season's Winter Classic back on New Year's Day.

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Meanwhile, in Boston, it was unfortunate that the #1 Eastern seeded Bruins season had to come to a premature end at the hands of someone who should not have been on the ice in the first place, as Public Enemy #1, Scott Walker scored the game winning goal in overtime.


The #6 Hurricanes will now take on the #4 Penguins, with all three division winners in the East now out after only two rounds. Meanwhile in the West it's #2 Detroit against #4 Chicago, a team back from the wilderness, having missed the playoffs 9 of the last 10 years, losing in the first round the one time they did qualify for the postseason back in 2002.

Hopefully now the NHL and Versus will figure out a way for the two possible Game 7's to not be on at the same time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Il Ne Porte Pas De Masque

Yea, we know this is supposed to be a hockey jersey blog and it's not even a week old and here we go off the tracks already, but with today being the birthday of Lorne "Gump" Worsley, we simply cannot let the occasion pass by without taking the opportunity to post our all time favorite hockey card.

It's a Topps 1971-72 card #241, and it's a thing of beauty.

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No, it's not glossy, it's not centered and it looks like it may have been cut out of the sheet of cards with a rusty scissors, but how can you look at that card and not smile? Even the curved font for team name seems to mimic his happy smile. We love this card so much we even printed it on a t-shirt.

Not all the cards in the 72-72 Topps set look quite this bad either. The 
Penguins for example, made out good, getting a festive red background with yellow type for the team name, while the Blackhawks must have had a fan on the design team, walking away with a nice light blue with red type. But not the North Stars. Oh no...

Pink.

Tough, macho hockey pink. With garishly jarring green type. Yea, the Maple Leafs also got pink, but a darker, more menacing pink with a complimentary yellow team name. But when it came time for the North Stars, the designers looked at their color chart and realized they had crossed off all the other color combinations and what was left was baby girl pink paired with forest green. Bleah. How horrible is that?

Then, just check out the photo of the happy Gumper! Does that simply rock or what? You just want to buy that guy a beer. This man is feeling no pain and has life by the tail. Perhaps it was too many shots to the head, what with Gump being one of the last holdouts to actually not wear a mask while playing goal.

Yea, for you youngsters out there, read that again slowly to make sure you comprehend what you just heard. The man played goalie in the NHL against the likes of Bobby Hull without wearing a mask. For years. 24 years in total, winning the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year on a last place team, 2 Vezina Trophies as the League's Best Goaltender, 4 Stanley Cups and eventual election into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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But here's the funny part. This seemingly fearless man who faced some of the most wicked slapshots coming off the unregulated curved sticks of the time was afraid to fly. You'd think that if he was going to have a fear, it might be the obvious one coming at his face.

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Gump Worsley tended goal for the North Stars during the first ever NHL game we attended as a kid back in early 70's in a game vs. the Los Angeles Kings, and for that reason alone he will always have a soft spot in our hearts, but being the subject matter of the greatest hockey card of all time doesn't hurt either. Not like a puck to the face.

Today's featured jersey is a 1969-70 Minnesota North Stars Gump Worsley jersey. The North Stars started out with essentially this same jersey in 1967. After a false start saw them drop the lace up collar worn at the very start of their existence, the North Stars added the white shoulder yoke in 1968-69 and would continue to wear this style through the 1974-75 season, by which time Worsley had retired.

Minnesota North Stars 69-70 jersey

Today's video section is the wonderful Legends of Hockey profile of Gump Worsley.



Dasherboard: Well that certainly sucked. Here we were expecting some edgeoftheseat non-stop action, dramatic finish, classic winner-take-all Game 7 battle between the games two brightest stars.

And instead of a full size Snickers™ bar, we got a rock.


Pulled after 4 goals on 18 shots, Simeon Varlamov came crashing back down to Earth last night and the Penguins move on to face the winner of Boston and Carolina's Game 7. Sidney Crosby certainly showed his immense skills last night on the first goal of the game, calmly collecting the puck on his skate and deftly moving it to his stick with the kind of foot skills usually only found with a European player who grew up playing soccer throughout his entire upbringing. A very impressive play and evidence that for the superstar players, the game seemingly happens in slow motion, giving them the time to calmly make plays other's can't.

The more we think about it, the more we want Detroit to beat Anaheim. We think that a Detroit/Chicago series would be much more entertaining with both teams playing pure hockey with minimal nonsense after the whistle. The renewal of an Original Six rivalry is also very appealing to us as well, rather than Anaheim trying to pound Chicago's youngsters into submission with intimidation and fear, scoring only as much as they need to once their opponent has been softened up sufficiently. Yuk.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Firewagon Hockey

We hope you caught the third period of the Blackhawks vs. Canucks game last night. It was a return to the Firewagon Hockey of the 80's, with 12 goals, 6 of them in a third period that included 3 lead changes in 10 minutes alone. The game itself had a total of five lead changes. When was the last time you saw that in a playoff game?

I'll tell you when...

Earlier the same evening after Washington forced a Game 7 back at home by defeating Pittsburgh in overtime in a game that also featured five lead changes. Wednesday night's Game 7 could be an "instant classic" as these two teams meet up one final time. Clear your calendars for that one.

It's a far cry from the Anaheim Ducks vs. Minnesota Wild pre-lockout series in 2003 where the first goal won, a four game series that featured a total of 10 goals, followed by a seven game finals between the Ducks and Devils that included no less than four shutouts.

In the meantime, we get a legitimate double header tonight as Boston visits Carolina followed by Detroit traveling out West to try to eliminate Anaheim.

One nice thing about Carolina making a playoff run is some rare national TV time for the 'Canes and an opportunity to see The Storm Squad, the classiest Ice Girls/Cheer Squad in the whole NHL.


1994-95 Minnesota Moose Dave Christian Jersey

When Norm Greed Moved the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas after the 1992-93 season the professional hockey void in the Twin Cities was filled by the arrival of the IHL Minnesota Moose, starting with the 1994-95 season.

The Moose played in the aging St. Paul Civic Center, former home of the WHA Minnesota Fighting Saints. Still stung by the loss of the North Stars, and probably carrying the attitude that minor league hockey was beneath them, the Moose were never embraced by the population as a whole.

When it was assumed that the relocating Winnipeg Jets were headed for the Target Center in Minneapolis, the Moose management figured the writing was on the wall and moved the team to Winnipeg after their second season in St. Paul, to once more fill the void of a departing NHL team, where they still play today as the Manitoba Moose.

Never the greatest success on the ice or with the fans, the greatest legacy of he Moose is undoubtedly their logo, once ranked by The Hockey News as the best in all the minors. It's featured here on a black road jersey, customized with Minnesota native, member of the Gold Medal winning 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team, and 14 year NHL veteran Dave Christian, who was born on this day in 1959. Christian led the Moose in 94-95 with 38 goals. He was also named to the 1991 NHL All-Star Game, a Captain of the Winnipeg Jets, leading them in points in 80-81 and did the same for the Washington Capitals in 85-86.

Today's featured jersey is a 1994-95 Minnesota Moose Dave Christian jersey. This Starter brand jersey features the IHL 50th Anniversary patch, worn by all the teams in the IHL that season. It might be difficult to make out, but the letters and numbers are three color, white trimmed in forest green and outlined in purple, a frankly impossible combination to see against the black background and probably only visible from the front row of the seats, and even then only when someone was plastered up against the glass!

Even on the white jerseys, where they used purple numbers trimmed in forest green and outlined in black the similar values of the green and purple blended together for the most part. A very odd choice to be certain.

Minnesota Moose 1994-95 R 27 jersey photo MinnesotaMoose1994-95R27F.jpg
Minnesota Moose 1994-95 R 27 jersey photo MinnesotaMoose1994-95R27B.jpg
Minnesota Moose 1994-95 R 27 jersey photo MinnesotaMoose1994-95R27P.jpg

In classic IHL fashion, the 95-96 Moose had seven players with over 100 penalty minutes. Check out the video below for some vintage IHL mayhem.


Dasherboard: Another night of intense playoff hockey last night. Not as exhilarating as Monday night, but both games set up Game 7's as Boston and Anaheim fight off elimination. The problem is that, once more, the games are scheduled to start just an hour apart. Isn't there some way to schedule one for 6 PM Eastern and the other for 9 PM? We'd even settle for 6 PM and 8 PM. C'mon, work with us here.

The ending of the Anaheim/Detroit game was some Old Time Hockey with practically everyone squaring off after the horn sounded. What was with Scott Niedermayer violently elbowing and then punching out Pavel Datsyuk? Doesn't he know that Datsyuk is nominated to win his fourth straight Lady Bing Memorial Trophy? What the hell? That's like picking a fight with a fluffy kitten. Or Alexander Semin.



The intensity of the next game is going to be off the charts with the fans hanging off the rafters at The Joe. Prediction - happy Red Wings fans will celebrate the launching of an octopus as Detroit does their part to give us an renewal of an Original Six rivalry with the Blackhawks for the first time since 1995.

For Boston and Carolina, based on the way this series has gone so far, expect a 4-1 win. Only we're not sure in whose favor it will be. Watch, the damn thing will now go four overtimes now that we've said that. We suspect predictions will not be a regular feature of this blog...

Monday, May 11, 2009

2005 Slovakia National Team Miroslav Satan Jersey

The Republic of Slovakia was founded on January 1, 1993 when Czechoslovakia peacefully separated into Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Slovakia were first placed, somewhat unfairly, by the IIHF in the "C" Pool, while the Czech Republic, whose players dominated the former Czechoslovakian National Team, started life by being placed immediately into in the "A" pool.

Showing they were, in fact seeded too low, the Slovaks won the "C" Pool in 1994, earning promotion to the "B" Pool, which proved no problem for them either, as they would go on to win that in their first try in 1995 as well.

It was tougher going now that they were among the world's hockey elite in the "A" Pool, placing no higher than 7th over the next four years, but comfortably in the top group, never being threatened with relegation either. A glimpse of what was to come was shown by a fine Silver Medal in 2000, losing to rivals Czech Republic 5-3 in the final in St. Petersburg, Russia. The next year was a return to their previous form, as they again finished 7th.

But it all came right in 2002. Placing second in their group. Slovakia defeated Poland and Ukraine, but lost to Finland in the Preliminary Round. In the Qualification Round, they defeated Sweden, Austria and Russia, proving they were to be reckoned with. In the Quarter Finals they eliminated Canada in regulation, coming from behind with two goals in the third, before having to go to a tense shootout to defeat Sweden to move into the Finals, again vs. Russia, where they won on a goal by the great Peter Bondra.

Today's featured jersey is a 2005 Slovakia National Team Miroslav Satan jersey. Satan was the leading scorer of the Slovak team which captured the World Championship in 2002. Today's style was used in the 2005 World Championships, where Satan captained the team. It's a Nike home white jersey, again featuring one of our custom made sponsorship patches from automaker Skoda, loyal sponsor of the IIHF World Championships.

Slovakia 2005 F
Slovakia 2005 B
Slovakia 2005 R P1 Slovakia 2005 P2 Slovakia 2005 P1

Since that time, Slovakia has not been able to sustain the success they once achieved, finishing with the Bronze in 2003, then slowly sliding down to 4th, 5th, 8th, a bump back up to 6th and then having to fight off relegation for the first time while finishing a disappointing 13th in 2008 due to a combination of the retirement of stars like Bondra and Ziggy Palffy, as well as the NHL obligations of stars such as Marian Hossa and Zedeno Chara. For comparison, the 2002 team featured recognizable NHLers such as Lubomir Visnovsky, Lubos Bartecko, Bondra, Michal Handzus, Ladislav Nagy, Vladimir Orzaugh, Palffy, Robert Petrovicky, Josef Stumpel and Satan, while the 2009 team has two NHL regulars, goaltender Jaroslav Halak from Montreal and Handzus.




Dasherboard: Speaking of the World Championships, Russia defeated Canada yesterday in a hard-fought 2-1 win with the game winning goal coming from stick-spinning former Nashville Predator Alexander Radulov.


Radulov finished the tournament with 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points in 9 games, second in team scoring only to tournament MVP Ilya Kovalchuk (9-5-14). Russia was a perfect 10-0, surrendering only a single point in the standings to Sweden in a Russian win in overtime.

Radulov is perhaps the first player in hockey history to defect from the USA to Russia. Apparently the thought of another winter in Nashville proved too much to bear, as he chose to play this season in the sunny climes of Ufa, in the heart of scenic Bashkorostan.

 

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