Monday, January 2, 2012

2009-10 Philadelphia Flyers Mike Richards Jersey

Today is the sixth annual NHL Winter Classic, being held at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, home of the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball.

The first Winter Classic was hosted in 2008 by the Buffalo Sabres, who were defeated in a shootout by the Pittsburgh Penguins in front of 71,217 fans who rejoiced in the cold weather and picturesque snowfall. The Penguins would wear baby blue throwbacks from 1968 while the Sabres would don jerseys based on their original 1970 jerseys.

2008 Winter Classic,hockey jersey

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.

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The 2010 Winter Classic was held at the Boston Red Sox Fenway Park with the Boston Bruins hosting the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers scored first but the Bruins tied the game late in the third period to send the game into overtime where it was won by the Bruins' Marco Sturm to send the chilly home fans away happy.

The Bruins sweaters combined 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.

Bruins Winter Classic 2010 jersey, Bruins Winter Classic 2010 jersey

The 2011 Winter Classic was held at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins made their second appearance on New Year's Day, hosting the Washington Capitals and their star Alexander Ovechkin.

The game was memorable for several reasons, the least of which was the play on the ice. First, due to unseasonably warm and inclement weather, the starting time of the game was moved from 1 PM back to 8 PM. The rain was unavoidable however, and periodically fell during the game, creating puddles on the ice at times. The second thing the game, won by the Capitals 3-1, will be remembered for is the collision between an unsuspecting Sidney Crosby and the Capitals David Steckel late in the second period, which concussed Crosby. A second hit four nights later against Tampa Bay would end Crosby's season and continues to affect him to this day.

For the 2011 Winter Classic, the host Penguins would wear jerseys inspired by their original sweaters worn for their inaugural 1967-68 season, only with the colors reversed. Additionally, the crest used was taken from their 1968-69 sweaters, rather than the diagonal "Pittsburgh" worn in 1967. Washington wisely chose their original flash, star-spangled jerseys worn from 1974 to 1995, a welcome return for the classic Capitals style.

Penguins Capitals Winter Classic 2011 jerseys, Penguins Capitals Winter Classic 2011 jerseys

For this year's edition, the Flyers once again return to the Winter Classic, only this time as hosts. With a very limited back catalog of jerseys to select from, and having already been in the game once before, Philadelphia has chosen to create a retro inspired design not based on any actual previously worn jersey.

The orange jerseys have traditional black shoulders and vintage white striping trimmed in black. One element we would change is simply making the waist stripe match the arm stripes with black trim above and below the center white stripe.

Philadelphia Flyers 2012 Winter Classic jersey, Philadelphia Flyers 2012 Winter Classic jersey

The Rangers also created a brand new design, again using vintage white. Their arm and waist stripes also do not match, with the arms getting the "Northwestern" stripe treatment, while the waist has a pair of equal width red and blue stripes. The shoulders nicely suggest the unique and traditional Rangers shoulder striping, without being a direct copy.

The signature element of the jersey is the revival of a logo used by the club back in the 1920's, which has never actually appeared on a Rangers sweater previously, as New York has always had "Rangers" diagonally across their sweaters from 1926 to today, with few exceptions, those being an arched lettering in 1946-47, a modern version of the shield from 1976 to 1978 and "New York" diagonally down the blue road jerseys from 1978 to 1987.

New York Rangers 2012 Winter Classic jersey, New York Rangers 2012 Winter Classic jersey

Today's featured jersey is a 2009-10 Philadelphia Flyers Mike Richards jersey from the Flyers first appearance in the Winter Classic. At the time, the Flyers were suffering under the new Reebok Edge jerseys, wearing a hideous pair of home and road jerseys which had little to do with their classic look.

For the previous season the club, the club had introduced a new orange third jersey based on their 1973-74 jerseys from their Stanley Cup winning season, complete with the Flyers unique contrasting white nameplates. Back in the early 1970's, teams did not customarily wear names on the backs of their sweaters, but added them for nationally televised games, thinking that putting names on the back would harm the sales of programs in the arena. Uniquely, the Flyers had only a single set of names made for this purpose, and used them on both their home white and road orange jerseys.

With the need for a special jersey for the 2010 Winter Classic, the club opted for a white version of their orange third jersey, and kept the concept of the contrasting nameplate, opting for a black plate with white letters.

These jerseys were so well received that they became the full-time road jerseys and the orange third jersey was promoted to being the new home jersey, as the original Edge jerseys were dropped after only three seasons, a blink of an eye in the long and seldom changing history of Flyers jerseys.

Philadelphia Flyers 2009-10 WClassic jersey photo PhiladelphiaFlyers2009-10WClassicF.jpg
Philadelphia Flyers 2009-10 WClassic jersey photo PhiladelphiaFlyers2009-10WClassicB.jpg
Philadelphia Flyers 2009-10 WClassic jersey photo PhiladelphiaFlyers2009-10WClassicP.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2012 Philadelphia Flyers Winter Classic concept jersey. This fan designed jersey, created by DC Visual Arts, was based on the first NHL club to play in Philadelphia, the 1930-31 Philadelphia Quakers, a dreadful club whose 4-36-4 record and dire financial condition due to the Great Depression, led to the team suspending operations after just one season following their relocation from Pittsburgh.

2012 Winter Classic concepts, 2012 Winter Classic concepts
DC Visual Art concepts for the 2012 Winter Classic

The good news was that the design ideas were very well received, but the bad news was that the counterfitters in Asia sized upon the Flyers concept and rushed it into production in an attempt to get the jump on not only Reebok's ability to produce the new jersey, but the Flyers opportunity to officially announce their heavily anticipated Winter Classic design.

DC Visual Arts design was a terrific blend of history and style and would have been an excellent choice, but it was a victim of it's own success, as the fact the bootleggers had made the design so widely known and distributed, spoiled it's chances of ever being chosen by Philadelphia, as it would have validated the bootlegger's inventory and given it a tremendous headstart in the marketplace over the legitimately produced Reebok inventory.

Regardless of the fact it won't be worn by the Flyers anytime soon, more than a few of these bootlegs have been sold, and you can bet on seeing more than one in the stands during the game at Citizen's Bank Park.

Flyers Winter Classic knockoff, Flyers Winter Classic knockoff

In today's video section up first is the shootout from the first Winter Classic in 2008 between the Sabres and Penguins.


Next, highlights from the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago.


Here is Sturm's winner in overtime of the 2010 Winter Classic in Boston.


Finally, highlights from last year's 2011 Winter Classic between the host Penguins and Capitals.

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