Saturday, October 10, 2009
Born on this date in 1976, Shane Doan was originally drafted by the franchise in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft with the seventh overall pick when they were still the Winnipeg Jets and he is the last remaining Coyote to have played for the Jets.
After relocating to Phoenix in time for the 1996-97 season, Doan worked to establish a regular spot in the lineup and, after a stint in the minors in 1997-98, has spent the remainder of his career exclusively with Phoenix in the NHL.
Offensively he has become a steady goal producer, having scored at least 20 goals for nine consecutive seasons, with his highest season total being 31, just last year. 2007-08 saw him reach his highest point total with 78 on 28 goals and a career high 50 assists.
Doan was named captain of the Coyotes in 2003-04 and later that season made his first NHL All-Star Game appearance. His second All-Star appearance came in 2009.
In addition to his play for the Coyotes, Doan has also made a number of appearances for Team Canada, beginning with the 1999 World Championships. Since then he has won two World Championship silver medals in 2005 and 2008 and a pair of golds in 2003 and then again in 2007 while he was team captain. During the 2007 tournament he would register a hat trick against Belarus in just 6 minutes and 25 seconds.
Doan also was a member of Team Canada in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and has the distinction of scoring the game winning goal versus Finland in the gold medal game.
Today's featured jersey is a 2006-07 Phoenix Coyotes Shane Doan jersey that features the "Decade in the Desert" patch worn to celebrate the Coyotes 10th season in Phoenix after relocating from Winnipeg.
The jerseys are much more simplified than their predecessors and have been said to have drawn their inspiration from the old Soviet National Team jerseys of 1972.
Plenty of video today. First up is a nice tribute to Shane Doan with a lot of goals and some of the rough stuff followed by another very well done tribute which covers more of his international career.
Next is a recent interview with Shane Doan from this summer covering several current topics, including the Coyotes current relocation situation and steroids.
Here is a crazy situation where the Flames have a possible goal scored, but play continues nearly two full minutes until Doan scores for Phoenix, causing the officials to have to go back and check the closest replay call we've ever seen to determine if Calgary's possible goal would negate Doan's! You won't believe how close the call is on the Calgary goal.
Last up today is the announcement of Doan being named the Coyotes captain in 2003 followed by an interview with him after being named captain of Team Canada for the 2007 World Championships.
Ok, ok. One more just because it's his birthday, a humorous TV commercial for a bank featuring Shane.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Following the success of Game ONe Japan '97, when the Vancouver Canucks and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim opened the 1997-98 NHL season with a pair of sold out games in Japan, the NHL returned to kick off the following season with Game ONe Japan '98, this time featuring the Calgary Flames facing off against the San Jose Sharks.
Once again the games were held in the Yoyogi Arena and were part of nearly a week's worth of events which led up to the games, designed to raise the Japanese public's awareness of hockey.
Attendance for the first game of the pair is listed as 8,400 and saw the Sharks strike first on the power play at 16:16 on a goal by Joe Murphy. Jason Wiemer evened the score less than 30 seconds later at 16:42.
Valeri Bure scored the only goal of the second unassisted at 7:03.
A back and forth third period saw Mike Rathje, also unassisted, tie the game a 2-2 with a goal at 6:14. Andrew Cassels put Calgary in front, with assists from Theo Fleury and Phil Housley at 9:44. Calgary would hold the lead for nearly eight minutes, but Mike Ricci would tie the game once more at 17:42 with a wrist shot over the shoulder of the Flames Ken Wregget. The Sharks Mike Vernon would preserve the tie for the Sharks with a sprawling save with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation.
Regulation play would end at 3-3 followed by a scoreless overtime with Calgary outshooting the Sharks 4-1 in the extra session. Vernon for the Sharks would register 27 saves and of the Flames Wregget would be credited with 22.
Calgary, being considered the home team for the first game wore today's featured jersey, their home whites, while the Sharks wore their new teal road jerseys, which were the previous seasons alternates.
Today's featured jersey is a CCM 1998-99 Calgary Flames Theo Fleury jersey as worn on October 9, 1998. This jersey features the NHL Game ONe '98 patch, worn by both the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks for their two-game series in Tokyo, Japan to open the 1998-99 NHL season.
In addition to the NHL Game ONe '98 patch, this jersey has the unique twist of the captain's "C" being the club's primary "flaming C" logo. The Flames also cleverly used the club's original "flaming A" logo from their days in Atlanta, Georgia as the assistant captain's "A". The use of the "flaming C" was discontinued after a few seasons, as they changed the "C" to the same font as the names on the back of the jerseys, while the use of the assistant's Atlanta Flames version has continued.
The 1998-99 season would be Fleury's last in Calgary, as he would be traded late in the season to the Colorado Avalanche for the final 15 games of the schedule less than ten days after setting the Flames franchise record for most points in a career with 823.
He would then move onto the New York Rangers for three seasons before finishing his NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2002-03. He attempted a comeback with the Flames during training camp of the 2009-10 season, but would not make the club's opening day roster after six seasons away from the NHL. His final NHL totals stand at 455 goals and 633 assists for 1088 points, the 61st player to reach the 1000 point mark, something many thought a player of his size (5 ft. 6 in.) would never accomplish.
He would win a Stanley Cup with Calgary in 1989 and his best season in the NHL was 1990-91 when he scored 51 goals (one of three with 40 goals or more) and 53 assists for 104 points.
In addition to his Stanley Cup, he would also earn gold medals with Team Canada at the 1988 World Juniors, the 1991 Canada Cup and the 2002 Olympics as well as silver medals in the 1991 World Championships and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey during his international career.
Here is a tribute video by the New York Rangers on the occasion of Fleury's 1000 career point.
Next is Fleury's famous goal celebration after beating the Edmonton Oilers in overtime in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Next is a candid interview with Theo on the day of his final retirement in 2009.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
On this date in 2005, Mario Lemieux suited up for the final home opener of his NHL career.
Being a part owner of the Penguins as of September 1, 1999 Lemieux realized that the Penguins greatest asset was - himself. He returned to the ice on December 27, 2000 and proceeded to score a goal and a pair of assists in his first game back. During the 43 games he played during the remainder of the 2000-01 season, Lemieux scored 76 points, the highest points-per-game average of any player that season, and led the Penguins to the conference finals.
The 2001-02 season saw Lemieux appear in only 24 games after his season was cut short due to chronic hip injuries aggravated while captaining Canada to the gold medal in the Olympics held in Salt Lake City. He would play in just a single game following the Olympics.
The following season would see Lemieux manage to play in 67 games and total 91 points, leading the scoring race for much of the year before missing most of the games near the end of the schedule and the Penguins would miss the playoffs for the second year in a row.
He would only play but ten NHL games in 2003-04, with just a single goal to his credit. That fall he would make his final appearances for Team Canada, captaining the squad that captured the championship in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He would score a goal and four assists in six games played.
After the lockout season of 2004-05, he would return to the ice for the start of the 2005-06 season and skate along side Sidney Crosby for 26 games at age 40, before finally calling it a career on January 24, 2006. He would score 22 points in 26 games that season, but felt he could no longer compete at the level he was accustomed to in the past.
Today's featured jersey is a 2005-06 Pittsburgh Penguins Mario Lemeiux jersey as worn in the home opener of his final season as an NHL player. The jersey features the NHL Cares/Katrina Relief Fund patch worn during the first period of each NHL team's first home game of the season.
The patched jerseys were then auctioned off to raise money to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans, Louisiana in August of 2005. Lemeiux's game worn jersey generated the third highest final price league-wide with a final bid of $6,710 behind rookies Crosby ($21,010) and Alexander Ovechkin ($7,929). Overall the auction of 600 jerseys raised over a half a million dollars, which was then matched by the Garth Brooks' Teammates for Kids Foundation.
Here is the beginning of Lemieux's second return from retirement on December 27, 2000 after becoming owner of the Penguins.
This video shows Mario Lemieux's final goal of his career after being high sticked earlier in the video along with a rare Ziggy Palffy sighting in a Penguins jersey, as he would retire mid-season along with Lemieux.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
On this date in 2001, the Buffalo Sabres travelled to Manhattan to take on the New York Rangers in their season opener at Madison Square Garden, the first Rangers home game following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center less than a month earlier. Further making this game unique was that both the Sabres and Rangers wore special jerseys that evening with the regular team cresting replaced with "NEW YORK" diagonally across the chest.
The special jerseys were worn for just that one contest and auctioned off afterwards to raise money for The Twin Towers Fund to aid victims of the terrorist attacks.
The game was played after a moving pre-game ceremony that honored the men and women in uniform who died trying to save lives in the World Trade Center attack.
Eric Lindros opened the scoring at 8:13 of the first period on the power play in his first game at Madison Square Garden and J. P. Dumont evened the score a little over a minute later at 9:38.
Stu Barnes was credited with the Sabres second goal at just 1:59 of the second and Vaclav Varada stretched the Sabres lead to 3-1 at 14:46. The Rangers struck back late in the second with a pair of goals in the final minute to send the game into the third period even at 3-3 when Michal Grosek put one in at 19:12 and Andreas Johansson got the Rangers third with just a tick of the clock remaining at 19:59.
The Rangers too their first lead of the night at 3:11 of the third when Radek Dvorak beat the Sabres Bob Essensa on a breakaway but Slava Kozlov tied the game once more at 4:58 when he beat Rangers goalie Mike Richter.
Brian Leetch would win the game for the Rangers with a slapshot with 2:15 remaining in the overtime to give the Rangers a come-from-behind win in their home opener on a dramatic evening.
Today's featured jersey is a 2001-02 Buffalo Sabres "New York" Stu Barnes jersey. This jersey features Barnes' captain's "C" as well as the special "New York" cresting, which replaced the normal Sabres logo for this one game only.
The highest bids were $20,010 for Mark Messier's Rangers jersey, $15,010 each for Richter and Leetch of the Rangers, $9030 for Theo Fleury's Rangers jersey and $8030 for Lindros of the Rangers with the highest Sabres jersey being Barnes at $5885. In total, 44 jerseys were auctioned off and over $215,000 was raised.
This is one of the more unique jerseys in the ThirdStringGoalie collection. A blank Sabres CCM was first purchased. After locating the proper Sabres shoulder patches on ebay, the jersey was then sent in for customizing, with not only Barnes name and number, but the "New York" cresting recreated in the same font at the Sabres names on the back.
Here is a brawl from the October 7th, 2001 game when the Sabres and Rangers wore their special "New York" jerseys. You can see the Sabres jersey at the start before the players tie up. The 9/11 memorial ribbon patch can clearly be seen on the Rangers player's shoulder during the fight and you do get a clear look at both fighters jerseys at the end of the video when the fight is broken up and they are leaving the ice.
Plus, any day we get to post a video featuring Sabres announcer Rick Jeanneret is a good day.
Just because we can, some more Rick Jeanneret excitedly calling a few goals by Stu Barnes.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
It all started on this date in 2001 when the Michigan State Spartans hosted their rivals the Michigan Wolverines at Spartan Stadium in front of a world record crowd of 74,544 in a game dubbed "The Cold War".
The success of the event started a wave of outdoor hockey games in both the college and professional ranks. In November 2003 the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL's first outdoor game, The Heritage Classic. Both teams wore vintage throwback jerseys, starting a trend which continues with the annual Winter Classic.
The Heritage Classic was held to commemorate the Oilers 25th Anniversary of joining the NHL and the 20th Anniversary of their first Stanley Cup championship. The weekend of events also featured the MegaStars Game, an alumni game which featured past Oilers stars versus Canadiens greats which saw Wayne Gretzky and Guy Lafleur compete. Mark Messier even received permission from the New York Rangers to play in the MegaStars game, the only currently active player to compete in the contest. The Heritage Classic set an NHL record with 57,167 in attendance and the lasting image of the contest is Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore wearing a toque over the top of his goalie mask with his breath clearly visible in the 0ºF temperatures and -22º F wind chill.
The "Frozen Tundra Hockey Classic" came next for the college ranks on February 11, 2006 in a game that saw Wisconsin defeat Ohio State 4-2 in front of 40,890 at the home of the Green Bay Packers football team, Lambeau Field, in temperatures around 28º F.
Following the overwhelming interest in these contests, the NHL staged their first annual Winter Classic, held on New Year's Day in 2008 in a game that saw the Buffalo Sabres host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills football club. A new NHL record crowd of 71,217 saw Sidney Crosby win the game for Pittsburgh with the deciding goal in a shootout. The Penguins would wear baby blue throwbacks from 1968 while the Sabres would don jerseys based on their original 1970 jerseys.
The second annual Winter Classic in 2009 saw the Chicago Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings at historic Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs baseball club. Detroit would win the game by a score of 6-4 in front of 40,818. The Red Wings would go all the way back to the 1926 Detroit Cougars for the inspiration for their jerseys, worn during the first season of the franchise, while the Blackhawks would select the highly attractive jerseys worn in 1935 as their inspiration.
This season's Winter Classic is to be held at the Boston Red Sox Fenway Park with the Boston Bruins hosting the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers jerseys are inspired by their original 1967 jerseys, while the Bruins are wearing a sweater which combines different elements from their past, including their original brown and gold colors worn from 1924-1934, the original style "spoked B" logo first worn in 1949 and a lace up collar which first appeared on a Bruins jersey in 1967. Overall, the package most closely resembles a 1957 Bruins jersey.
The opening game of the 2010 IIHF World Championships between the host team Germany and the United States is scheduled to be played outdoors at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen on May 7th and would host as many as 76,00 fans. The soccer stadium has a teflon-coated fiberglass canvas retractable roof. The publicity from this event will hopefully make many more fans in North America aware of the annual World Championships, which are traditionally overlooked due to their taking place while the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing.
Today's featured jersey is a Nike 2001-02 Michigan Wolverines Michael Woodford jersey, the style the Wolverines wore during the first significant outdoor hockey game in the modern era, "The Cold War".
This particular game worn jersey features the 2002 Frozen Four patch, as the Wolverines made it to St. Paul, Minnesota as one of the last four teams competing for the championship.
Here is a highlights package from the original outdoor hockey game between host Michigan State and Michigan, known as "The Cold War".
Next up is the first NHL outdoor game, the Heritage Classic between the Oilers and Canadiens.
Here is some madness from the Frozen Tundra Hockey Classic as the Badger players take a "Lambeau Leap" into the stands after defeating Ohio State.
Next up is the shootout from the first Winter Classic in 2008 between the Sabres and Penguins.
Finally, highlights from the last Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Monday, October 5, 2009
In the first NHL games played since June 7, 2004, a gap of 16 months due to the previous season being entirely lost to the lockout, a new era in the NHL was ushered in with a bang.
Two of them.
As it was on this date in 2005 that Alexander Ovechkin arrived in the NHL, scoring twice to lead the Washington Capitals past the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets by a 3-2 score in front of 16,325 fans, 89% of capacity, although many more will claim to have been there.
Drafted first overall in 2004, Ovechkin became the first Washington Capital to score two goals in his NHL debut, with his first goal coming in the second period just 23 seconds after Columbus had scored the game's first goal. Ovechkin's second goal came on the power play 89 seconds after the Blue Jackets had taken a 2-1 lead.
He would set the league on fire and finish the season with 52 goals and 54 assists for a stellar 106 points for third place overall in the league. His accolades that year would include the NHL All-Rookie Team, NHL First Team All-Star, Offensive Player of the Month in January 2006, NHL Rookie of the Month in December 2005 and January 2006, NHL Offensive Player of the Week twice, the Kharlamov Trophy winner as the Most Outstanding Russian Player in the NHL and the Calder Memorial Trophy as Rookie of the Year.
That year he would also find time to participate in both the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy (5 points in 8 games) and the World Championships (9 points in 7 games) in Riga, Latvia.
Today's featured jersey is a special one. It's a 2005-06 Washington Capitals Alexander Ovechkin jersey as worn during the first period of Ovechkin's first ever game with the NHL Cares/Katrina patch on the right chest.
The NHL Cares/Katrina patch was worn by all players during just the first period of their first home game of the 2005-06 season. The game worn jerseys were then auctioned off for charity to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Ovechkin's jersey sold for a high bid of $6,710.
Our first video is from the 2004 draft, when Ovechkin's was taken first overall by the Capitals.
Next up is Ovechkin's first NHL goal from the game on October 5th, 2005 when today's featured jersey was worn. Notice by now the NHL Cares patch is no longer on his jersey, as the patch was only worn during the first period, and his first goal comes in the second.
Finally, here are some of the amazing highlights of Ovechkin's rookie season when Alexander the Great burst onto the scene.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
With the kickoff of the NHL season in Europe now an annual event, it seems appropriate to feature a jersey worn during the first ever regular season games played outside of North America.
While there is a history of teams playing exhibition or pre-season games, primarily in Europe with one previous instance of games in Japan, for the games to actually count in the regular season standings was something entirely new.
Dubbed NHL Game ONe '97, the NHL season opened on October 3rd and 4th, 1997 with a pair of games held in Tokyo, Japan between the Vancouver Canucks and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
The sold out games were held in the Yoyogi Arena and were part of nearly a week's worth of events which led up to the games, designed to raise the Japanese public's awareness of hockey and increase their interest in the upcoming Winter Olympics, to be held just four months later in Nagano, Japan, that would feature the first wholesale participation of NHL players who were normally unavailable to compete in the Olympics which are held during the middle of the NHL season.
The first game took place on October 3rd, and was won by the Vancouver Canucks and their new captain Mark Messier by a score of 3-2. On a jersey related note, this was the first regular season game for the Canucks new jerseys which featured the Orca logo and their new color scheme featuring blue, which replaced their familiar black and yellow colors.
Scott Walker had the distinction of scoring the first regular season goal outside of North America to open the scoring in the first period, beating the Mighty Ducks goaltender Guy Herbert.
Anaheim evened the score on a goal by Scott Young before Vancouver tied the game on scores from Mark Messier and Pavel Bure. Shawn Antoski got the game winner at 17:22 of the second and the teams played a scoreless third. Kirk McLean got the win and made 32 saves in front of a crowed of 10,500. A side note, the Mighty Ducks Espen Knutsen became the first Norwegian to play in the NHL during this contest.
Anaheim, designated the home team for the second contest, took the opportunity to debut today's featured jersey, their new white alternates.
Teemu Selanne opened the scoring at 7:42 of the first, only to be equalled by Bure at 15:37.
Tomas Sandstrom would put the Mighty Ducks back in front at 5:19 on the power play but Trevor Linden would respond with a power play goal of his own at 18:01 to tie the score at 2-2 heading into the third.
The Mighty Ducks would get the game winning goal from J. J. Daigneault at 13:38 of the third from Sandstrom and Selanne, his second assist of the game to give him points on all three Anaheim goals. Mikhail Shtalenkov got the win for the Mighty Ducks with 25 saves, including holding off a late Vancouver 6-on-4 advantage, as the Canucks were given a power play and then pulled their goaltender McLean for an extra skater.
The NHL would again return to Japan to open the season with a pair of games in 1998 and 2000. The league would not venture overseas to open the season again until 2007 for a pair of games in London. Dubbed "NHL Premiere 2007", they were the first regular season games ever held in Europe.
Last season began with two games in Prague, Czech Republic and another pair in Stockholm, Sweden, while the NHL returned earlier this week to again play four games, two in Helsinki, Finland split by the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers and again for a pair in Stockholm, Sweden where the St. Louis Blues swept the Detroit Red Wings.
Today's featured jersey is a Starter 1997-98 Mighty Ducks of Anahiem alternate Teemu Selanne jersey as worn on October 4, 1997. This jersey features the NHL Game ONe '97 patch, worn by both the Mighty Ducks and Canucks for their two-game series in Tokyo, Japan to open the 1997-98 NHL season.
This was the debut for the Mighty Ducks new white home alternate, which would also be joined by a jade green version of this jersey used as a road alternate, giving them four jerseys to pick from throughout the 1997-98 season.
No chance to ever find any video of the games in Japan I'm afraid, so let's go off the board with these two commercials featuring Teemu from his native Finland for a change of pace.
Teemu says: "This is my thing. This is what I'm good at."