Monday, October 31, 2011
Quite often in the minor leagues teams will create special one-off jerseys for various special occasions such as theme nights, tribute nights or holidays, such as Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve or today's annual observation of Halloween.
The jersey production method of dye-sublimation, which allows for all manner of intricate details to be printed onto jerseys, lends itself perfectly to they eye-catching, or occasionally eye-searing, special occasion jerseys.
Two of the best Halloween jerseys we've ever seen are the efforts by the 2009-10 Hannover Indians of the 2nd Bundesliga, the second level of German professional hockey, in 2009 and the 2008 creation of the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League.
This 2009-10 Hannover Indians Halloween jersey, as worn by American Nick Martens, is a downright spooky affair, featuring a series of skeletons, some with feathers on their heads in keeping with the team's nickname, wandering through a graveyard as a large flock of bats circles overhead at sundown. The primary skeleton even sports a hockey stick, showing some thought went into this design and it just wasn't some clip art chosen because it fit the Halloween theme.
Another well chosen element was the choice of the always creepy but fun font "Blood of Dracula" for the player's names and numbers, as well as the team name on the back and the motto on the front of the jersey reads "Indians geben niemals auf!", which translates to "Indians never give up!", which is additionally appropriate for the walking dead.
Fortunately for the jersey designer, the club's main sponsor, Kofler Energies, just happens to have the appropriate orange and black as their corporate colors!
The other favorite jersey on our list is the 2008-09 Binghamton Senators Halloween jersey, as worn by center Zack Smith, who is currently playing for the parent club, the Ottawa Senators of the NHL.
Rather than making the expected black jersey, the Senators opted for a lighter jersey which features many of the usual halloween icons, such as the jack o' lanterns on the lower sleeves, a spooky castle with circling bats and a large spider on the lower body, whose subtle web covers the majority of the jersey. The look is completed by choosing the font Ironwood, which evokes thoughts of a gothic dungeon in a spooky castle.
Even the team's main crest doesn't seem out of place, as the angry, cartoonish Senator on the front is rather scary looking and the colors aren't too far off from the color palette of the rest of the package.
While many of the top professional leagues have not embraced the use of special occasion jerseys for games, at times NHL clubs have been known to occasionally create a unique set of jerseys worn in pre-game warmups, like those worn by the San Jose Sharks in 2007 and the New York Islanders in 2009, which were later auctioned off for charity, with John Tavares' jersey raising $1,701.79.
The San Jose Sharks 2007 Halloween themed warmup jersey
The New York Islanders 2009 Halloween themed warmup jersey
The Sharks have once more created a special Halloween jersey this year, and wore it in practice. They jerseys were then auctioned off on October 27th and 30th, with one remaining one being sold through NHL Auctions.
The San Jose Sharks 2010 Halloween themed practice jersey
Even if clubs in the NHL choose not to wear special jerseys on this day, it's at least an opportunity for their ice girls to have some fun and dress up in costume.
Today's video segment features the man who did more to make the goalie mask famous than Jacques Plante, Jason Voorhees in a surreal interview with Arsenio Hall.
Next, the Florida Panthers Ice Dancers performance from Halloween 2009. Full credit must be given for doing those high kicks on ice without wiping out. Just how do they do that?
Finally, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and crew perform a Halloween favorite with the help of "The Monster", Jonas Gustavsson.