Saturday, July 18, 2009
July by the Numbers makes it to #18 and a trip to the Rocky Mountains today.
Alex Tanguay was drafted 12th overall in 1998 by the Colorado Avalanche and played six seasons in Colorado, winning a Stanley Cup in 2001.
He scored 51 points in his rookie season and followed up with a 26 point improvement to 77 points in his sophomore season of 2000-01. He would tally an additional 21 points in the playoffs, as Colorado would capture the Stanley Cup in a classic seven games against the New Jersey Devils.
In the final Game 7, Tanguay would score the first two goals and assist on the Avalanche's third in a 3-1 victory, giving him the game winning goal and allowing Ray Bourque his one and only chance to lift the cup following a long career before riding off into the sunset. Tanguay's 21 playoff points would place him third on the Avalanche, behind Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk, and fifth overall among all players.
Tanguay would later be traded to the Calgary Flames for Jordan Leopold and a pair of second round draft picks and would set a personal best with 81 points in his first season in Calgary. He would be traded to the Montreal Canadiens at the 2008 draft, giving him the opportunity to play in his home province of Quebec.
Today's featured jersey is a CCM 2005-06 Colorado Avalanche alternate Alex Tanguay jersey. This alternate style was first introduced for the 2001-01 season and added a semi-retro look to the otherwise modern Avalanche jersey set. The classic treatment of the word "Colorado" diagonally across the chest, along with the tie-neck give the jersey a throwback feel, but the modern font for the name and numbers tie it to the current jerseys, maintaining a cohesiveness across the full set.
This jersey features the Colorado Avalanche 10th Anniversary patch, the only patch ever worn on this alternate jersey during it's five season lifespan. The patch was worn on the more traditional upper right chest on the home and road jerseys, and on the left due as seen below on the alternate.
Here are some selected video highlights of Alex Tanguay.
Friday, July 17, 2009
July by the Numbers checks in at #17 with a Turn Back the Clock jersey from north of the border today.
As part of the celebrations of the NHL's 75th anniversary in the 1991-92 season, the Original Six teams, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Montreal and Toronto, all wore a Turn Back the Clock jersey from their past at various times throughout the season.
The success of the Turn Back the Clock jerseys would inspire both the NFL and NBA, with teams in those leagues also wearing throwbacks to celebrate their 75th and 50th anniversary seasons, but credit must be given to the Chicago White Sox, who wore the first throwback jerseys during the 1990 MLB season.
The influence of the throwback jerseys is still being felt today, as the popularity of retro jerseys is still strong, while the edgy, futuristic alternates that followed in the 1995-96 season were nearly universal failures with the public, as short-lived designs from Anahem and Los Angeles were immediately panned and discarded. St. Louis' proposed alternate was so bad that it was famously rejected by coach Mike Keenan before it ever hit the ice!
Other alternate designs from Boston and Vancouver were polarizing at best. Then you add in the entirely new jersey designs from Calgary, the Islanders, St. Louis, Buffalo, Phoenix, Washington, Pittsburgh and Vancouver that were all replaced by more traditional, if not outright throwback, designs as original logos continue to make return appearances, such as on Long Island, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Vancouver you can see that the public prefers the classic old-school look. Minnesota even invents a throwback jersey that never existed to begin with, which immediately becomes the club's best selling sweater. And no matter how hard the Islanders try to come up with something new, they always seem to quickly gravitate back toward their classic jersey from their Stanley Cup dynasty in some form.
The latest trend in the throwback jerseys comes from the successful concept of the outdoor games, originated in Edmonton with the Heritage Classic, as the Oilers and Canadiens wore throwbacks to play outside, followed by the Sabres and Penguins then the Blackhawks and Red Wings going back in time for retro looks, which have proven so popular that five of the six teams have either incorporated their throwbacks from their respective outdoor games into their jersey set as an alternate or based a subsequent alternate on their designs, with only the ultra-traditional Red Wings standing pat, most likely because their basic home and road jersey already remains unchanged since 1932 and can be considered a throwback in and of itself.
Today's featured jersey is a 1991-92 Toronto Maple Leafs Turn Back the Clock Wendel Clark jersey.
Toronto's choice was the style originally used in 1940 and featured a vintage style Maple Leaf logo. It proved to be so popular that the basic home and road jerseys from 1991-92 were changed for the following season to incorporate the vintage Maple Leaf logo as a secondary shoulder patch, replacing the silhouette of the modern logo, as well as adopting the throwback jerseys more simplified striping pattern. In 2000 the retro Maple Leaf logo also adorned the Maple Leafs new vintage-themed alternate jersey. It was easily the most influential of the 1991-92 Turn Back the Clock jerseys as far as future team designs were concerned.
Since we came up empty trying to find any live game action of the Maple Leafs throwbacks in action, here's a throwback interview of Maple Leafs fan Mike Meyers and Dennis Miller sporting a pair of wicked mullets in Clark's honor.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
July by the Numbers visits the AHL for jersey #16 today.
The Hartford Wolf Pack, previously known as the Binghamton Rangers (from 1990-1997) and Binghamton Whalers (1980-1990), the were originally founded as the Providence Reds way back in 1926, where they played until 1977, were founded in 1997 after the NHL Hartford Whalers relocated to Carolina.
The always competitive Wolf Pack, the top minor league affiliate of the New York Rangers, have made the playoffs every season since moving to Hartford, never finishing lower than second place in their division, save for but one season in third.
The Wolf Pack have won one regular season title in the AHL, three division championships and one conference championship, which led to their AHL Championship in 1999-00, earning them the Calder Cup, the world's second oldest continuously awarded hockey trophy.
It's hard to think of the Wolf Pack and not think of Ken Gernander. Gernander played 11 seasons with the franchise, beginning in Binghamton, and was team captain for 10 years, including the Calder Cup winning team in 2000. He is the all-time franchise record holder in games played with 599 and the AHL's all-time leading American-born scorer with 624 points. He is now the head coach of the club and the only player to have his number retired by the Wolf Pack.
Today's featured jersey is a 2003-04 Hartford Wolf Pack alternate Paul Healey jersey.
We really like this jersey, as it is one of those minor league jerseys done so close in style to the parent club, in this case the New York Rangers, that at first glance you may not realize it is not actually a Rangers jersey. Careful examination of this jersey will be rewarded with various details, such as the name "Wolf Pack" on the front, the Wolf Pack secondary shoulder logo on one side and the stylish Rangers alternate logo on the other.
Paul Healey, a winger originally from Edmonton has had a well travelled career, having played for 18 teams in 7 leagues in 5 countries! He does have 77 NHL games to his credit, divided between the Philadelphia Flyers (6), the Toronto Maple Leafs (65), the New York Rangers (4) and the Colorado Avalanche (2), with 6 goals and 14 assists for 20 points.
He has also played in the Western Hockey League in Canadian Juniors, the American Hockey League, the International Hockey League and the Swedish, Finnish and Austrian leagues.
During his one season in Hartford wearing today's featured jersey, Healey played 50 games with 11 goals and 10 assists, while his best pro season was in 2001-02 for the Hamilton Bulldogs, when he had 39 goals and 71 points.
Here is a nice video of Healey scoring his first NHL goal on a fantastic setup by Mats Sundin.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
July by the Numbers reaches midway with #15 from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Matt Niskanen was the Dallas Stars first round choice, #28 overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He played 13 games for the late Iowa Stars of the AHL at the conclusion of his second college hockey season in 2006-07.
His NHL career started in 2007-08, as he made the Stars right out of training camp and went on to appear in 78 games, ranking first in rookie defensemen with a +22.
Niskanen, a defenseman, has scored 13 goals and 48 assists in his two seasons in Dallas.
The Virginia, Minnesota native competed for the United States in the 2006 World Junior Tournament while attending the University of Minnesota Duluth for two seasons, 2005-06 and 2006-07, when he was named to the All-WCHA First Team. His final college scoring line for his two seasons playing for the Bulldogs stands at 10 goals and 35 assists in 77 games.
The jersey I am featuring today is a K1 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs Alternate Matt Niskanen jersey.
K1 jerseys are made "to be worn with pads", and therefore run a size larger than just about every other jersey manufacturer.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
July by the Numbers reaches sweater #14 with a classic from the "Second Six" of the NHL expansion in 1967.
Dave Archibald, a right winger, played four seasons in Canadian junior hockey for the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League before making his NHL debut with the Minnesota North Stars in the 1987-88 season.
He scored 27 goals and 39 assists in his first two seasons in Minnesota, before being traded to the New York Rangers early in his third season in Minnesota. He wouldn't stick in New York though, finishing the year in Flint of the now defunct International Hockey League.
He would play the next two seasons for the Canadian National Hockey Team, including representing Canada at the 1992 Winter Olympics where he would earn a silver medal. His totals with the Canadian National Hockey Team reached 39 goals and 55 assists for 94 points in those two seasons.
NHL expansion gave Archibald an opportunity to return to the NHL, as he played for the Ottawa Senators for the next four seasons, scoring 27 goals and 20 assists. He would play seven games for the New York Islanders in 1996-97, as well as 34 games for the Frankfurt Lions in the German League (DEL) in his first stint in European hockey.
Three further seasons in the IHL, split between San Antonio and Utah would be followed by a return to Europe, this time in Sweden for Linköpings HC to finish out his professional career.
His final NHL totals would stand at 57 goals and 67 assists for 124 points and 139 penalty minutes in 323 games.
Today's featured jersey is a 1989-90 Minnesota North Stars Dave Archibald jersey from his last season in Minnesota. Since Archibald had only played in 12 games before being traded, this jersey has minimal game use, having only been used in approximately six games.
While not the finest example of game use, we are still very proud to have a game worn Minnesota North Stars jersey in our collection. One of the interesting details of the old North Stars jerseys is that the numbers are actually just two layers of twill, white on yellow, with the third color of black being uniquely composed of tightly spaced black stitching attaching the white layer onto the yellow!
Also note the proper orientation of the drop shadow, so often done incorrectly on recent replica jerseys and even McFarlane figurines, as documented earlier at Third String Goalie.
Monday, July 13, 2009
July by the Numbers entry #13 takes us across the Atlantic to Ukraine.
Vasily (or Vasili or Vasyl) Bobrovnikov was born in Ukraine on November 8th, 1971 in Kiev and was a regular member of the Ukranian National Team for over a decade. He retired in 2008.
He first appeared for Ukraine five times in the World Championships C Pool before Ukraine was able to win and move up to the B Pool, which they won on their first try to reach the top level. They remained at the top level from 1999 until being relegated in 2007, Bobrovnikov's last appearance for the National Team. Ukraine have competed in the B Pool for the past two years and are hoping to reclaim their position among the World's elite.
Ukraine made their Olympic debut in Salt Lake City in 2002. One of the difficulties for Ukraine in it's first Olympics was that several Ukranian-born players, such as Alexei Zhitnik and Oleg Tverdovsky, had already played for Russia in international competitions when Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union, making them ineligible to appear for another county.
Bobrovnikov played for Sokol Kiev (or Sokil Kyiv) 18 seasons in a variety of leagues, as the organization of hockey evolved throughout the breakup of the Soviet Union. He started playing for Sokol Kiev in the Soviet Hockey League and it's various Russian successor leagues, then the Eastern European Hockey League beginning in 1997, a league made up of teams from Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine. Sokol Kiev then found themselves in the Belarus Extraliga in 2004, after the dissolution of the EEHL, and then the Vysshaya Liga, the second highest level of Russian hockey, beginning in 2007 for two seasons.
He would finish his career with 841 league games played, 206 goals and 281 assists for 487 points.
Due to the higher costs involved in playing in the Russian league, including higher participation fees for non-Russian teams and travel costs they must cover for the visiting teams, Sokol Kiev will return to the Belarus Extraliga and compete closer to home in a now 15-team league against 11 teams from Belarus, three from Latvia plus themselves, as the lone Ukranian representative, in a 56-game season.
Sokol Kiev was founded in 1963 and adopted their current name, which translates to "Kiev Falcons", in 1973. They are the first and only Ukranian team to compete in the Spengler Cup as well as the first Ukranian team to win a professional league championship, by winning the Eastern European Hockey League title in 1998 and 1999.
They are the oldest and most successful Ukranian hockey team, winning 11 out of 16 Ukranian Championships since 1992. I must confess to being unclear of the format to determine the Ukranian Championship concurrently with Sokol Kiev also competing in various other leagues during the same time period. It appears to be a case of a season within a season, not unlike how an English soccer club can compete in the Premier League at home and the Champions League in Europe at the same time. Perhaps someone can confirm or enlighten me as to how this correctly works.
Other notable players who have appeared for Sokol Kiev include Ruslan Fedotenko, Alexander Godynyuk, Dmitri Khristich, Mikhail Tatarinov and Alexi Zhitnik, the highest player taken in the NHL draft in franchise history at #81 overall.
Today's featured jersey is a 1990-91 Sokol Kiev Vasily Bobrovnikov jersey.
While most Soviet/Russian game worn jerseys have that unmistakable "funk", this is by far the smelliest jersey I've ever owned. It's one of those types that you believe would stand up on it's own if you tried and not one to let anywhere near your spouse. Or your other jerseys for that matter - as anything hung immediately next to it will become "funkified" on contact. It's a bit of a shame to have to wash a jersey like this in order to remove the stench, as it feels like you are taking away some of the game used "aura", but a necessary step that must be taken if one is to live with such a garment and a true testament to the marvels of modern detergents to not only take on, but defeat the best the old Soviet Union had to offer.
The white sections of this jersey are a type of material much like ultrafil, while the blue parts are lighter weight mesh. All the graphics are screened on, including the incredible example of the name on the back in Cyrillic. It doesn't get any better than this one for a classic Cyrillic name on the back.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
July by the Numbers makes it an even dozen with jersey #12 from the Nation's Capital.
Peter Bondra was originally born in Ukraine in the Soviet Union where his father had moved to find work years earlier. He was still a Soviet citizen when he arrived in the United States but later obtained a Slovak passport and citizenship in 1993.
He was drafted by the Captials in the 1990-91 season in the eighth round, 156th overall. Prior to playing for Washington, Bondra played four years in the Czech league, winning the championship with Kosice in only his second season.
Bondra would lead the NHL in goal scoring during the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season with 34 goals in 47 games. In his sixth season in Washington, the 1995-96 season, he topped the 50 goal mark for the first of two times in his career, with 52 goals in just 67 games played due to a contract dispute. His low assist total of 28 would mean that he would not beat his highest one year point total of 85, set in 1992-93 when he had a more balanced 37 goals and 48 assists.
He would reach the 50 goal plateau once more in 1997-98 when he again hit 52 and this time lead the NHL in goals scored for the season. He would add seven more goals in the playoffs of that season as the Capitals would make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals for the only time in Bondra's career before being swept in four by the Detroit Red Wings.
On two other occasions Bondra would reach 40 goals, with 46 in 1996-97 and 45 as recently as 2000-01, coming close with 39 the following season.
After 14 seasons in Washington, he would be dealt to the Ottawa Senators later in the 2003-04 season. He would leave the Capitals holding team records in goals (472), points (825), power-play goals (137), game winning goals (73), short-handed goals (32) and hat tricks (19). He also represented the Capitals in five All-Star Games in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999, while winning the Fastest Skater competition at the Skills Competition in 1997 & 1999.
In 2004, he would place second in a fan vote to determine the Top 30 Players in Washington Captials History by just 20 votes to Olaf Kolzig, less than a 1% margin after each received over 2000 votes each.
He would conclude his career with stops in Atlanta, where he reached 1000 games played in his career, and Chicago, where he would score his 500th NHL goal on December 22, 2006, just the 37th player to achieve that milestone.
Bondra has played for Slovakia seven times in his career, including the 1994 Olympic qualifying tournament, the 1998 & 2006 Olympics, the 1996 World Cup of hockey (one of the jerseys on my wantlist) and the 2002 & 2003 World Championships. He would lead the 2002 World Championships with seven goals and score the game winning goal in the gold medal game to defeat Russia 4-3.
The jersey I am featuring today is a CCM 1991-92 Washington Capitals Peter Bondra road jersey featuring the NHL 75th anniversary patch, my favorite.
This replica jersey is a very nice jersey, but one notable time when the authentic jersey is head and shoulders above the replica. As I have featured earlier, the authentic jersey has each individual letter in the "Capitals" crest sewn on separately in a larger size with each letter being a separate piece of twill, while the replica has the crest embroidered onto a patch, which is then attached to the jersey.
At the conclusion of his playing days, Bondra has been named General Manager of the Slovak National Team.