Tuesday, July 20, 2010
July by the Numbers once more remains in New York State, traveling 70 miles up Interstate 81 for jersey #20.
The Syracuse Crunch began life as the Hamilton Canucks in 1992 and relocated to Syracuse, New York in 1994, with their new name the "Syracuse Crunch" selected from a choice of five names in a public vote. We'd certainly be curious to know what the other four choices were given the selection of Crunch as the winner...
Since their arrival in Syracuse, the Crunch have frankly not had the greatest success in the standings, having won a division title once in 2001-02, but they have topped 100 points twice, with 100 in 2007-08 and a team record 102 in 2005-06.
In the playoffs, the Crunch have yet to make it to the Calder Cup Finals with their best result being an appearance in the third round in 1995-96 after defeating New York rivals the Binghamton Whalers 3-1 and the Baltimore Bandits 4-1 before falling to the eventual champion Rochester Americans in five games.
In 2002 and 2008 Syracuse advanced to the second round of the playoffs but otherwise have six first round playoff exits on their resume and seven seasons of missing the playoffs.
Notable players to have skated for Syracuse consist of Adrian Aucoin, Bates Battaglia, Darby Hendrickson, Trent Klatt, Michael Rosival, Dave Scatchard and Brent Sopel, who have all played more than 500 games in the NHL.
Today's featured jersey is a 1998-99 Syracuse Crunch Marcus Gustafsson jersey. Many times minor league clubs have the desire to go out on a limb and create a crazy, unorthodox jersey to garner some attention for their small club toiling in the depths of the minor leagues without the fear of risking the massive income at stake at the NHL level if they get it wrong.
One such jersey is the Syracuse Crunch's wild purple alternate jersey used in the 1998-99 season. The Crunch already had an unconventional logo, but then put "Crunchman" in action on their alternate jersey, as he is now leaping out of the jersey with stick in hand, as the ice around him shatters through the miracle of dye-sublimation.
The jersey is finished off with one of the most bizarre and unusual choice of fonts for the name and particularly the numbers ever in any league, anywhere at any time. Images of the Flintstones immediately came to our minds.
If not busy enough, the jersey also features a sponsorship patch on the right chest and a Crunch 5th Anniversary patch on the left arm/shoulder!
These jerseys are often regulars on strangest jerseys lists that extend beyond the NHL, and once you've seen one, you won't soon forget it. While not many casual fans are even aware of these jerseys, their bizarre looks and very limited availability have made them very sought after among game worn jersey collectors.