Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The History of the Spengler Cup

In addition to the ongoing World Junior Championship, this is also the time of year for the annual Spengler Cup tournament.

Spengler Cup logo, Spengler Cup logo

Founded in 1923 by Dr. Carl Spengler to promote teams from German-speaking portions of Europe who may have been ostracized in the aftermath of World War I, the Spengler Cup is hosted by HC Davos of Switzerland.

The Spengler Cup, The Spengler Cup

The tournament is an invitational tournament and the oldest such tournament in the world.

The games are held between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve with all games being held at the 7,080 seat Vaillant Arena in Davos.

Vaillant Arena, Vaillant Arena
The Vaillant Arena in Davos, home of the Spengler Cup

The invitees over the history of the tournament are a who's who of of powerful European clubs as well as an eclectic mix of unusual and unexpected teams.

The original winners of the Spengler Cup in 1923 was the Oxford University Ice Hockey Club of England, which was made up of Canadian students. Berlin SC of Germany won the second edition in 1924 before Oxford University reclaimed the cup in 1925 and Berlin SC again in 1926.

1923 Spengler Cup Canadians, 1923 Spengler Cup Canadians
The Oxford University Club, comprised of Canadian students

Hosts HC Davos took their first championship in 1927 and LTC Prague were the first Czechoslovakian winner in 1929 and again in 1930. Diavoli Rossoneri of Milan added Italy to the list of winners in 1934 and repeated in 1935.

HC Davos 1920's, HC Davos 1920's
HC Davos in the 1920's

An era of Swiss dominance arrived in 1938 when HC Davos took their 4th title. World War II kept the tournament from being played in 1939 and 1940, but Davos picked up where they left off by winning in 1941, 1942 and 1943. Zürcher SC continued the winning Swiss ways in 1944 and 1945, giving Switzerland six titles in a row and seven out of the previous eight.

HC Davos 1940, HC Davos 1940
HC Davos in 1940 during the Swiss run of dominance

LTC Prague reeled off three titles in a row from 1946 to 1948 and the tournament was not played in 1949. HC Milano Inter took back to back wins in 1953 and 1954, the last of five titles for Italian clubs. Rudá Hvēzda Brno of Czechoslovakia won in 1955 before the tournament was not held in 1956, the last time the Spengler Cup was not held and one of only four times since 1923 the cup has not been awarded in it's history.

After HC Davos added two more titles in 1957 and 1958, ACBB (Athletic Club Boulogne-Billancourt) Paris won three consecutive cups to add France to the list of winners.

Sparta Prague won in 1962 and 1963 followed by EV Füssen of Germany became the last western team to take home the cup for the next 20 years, as the Czechoslovakian and Soviet teams would dominate the competition going forward.

Dukla Jihlava would win in 1965, 1966, 1968, 1978 (when the tournament moved indoors for the first time) and 1982 and HC Slovan Bratislava would win a trio of titles in 1972, 1973 and 1974 for Czechoslovakia along with the Czechoslovak Olympic Team in 1975.

1975 Spengler Cup, 1975 Spengler Cup
1975 Spengler Cup action

Lokomotiv Moscow would become the first Soviet winner in 1967 and again in 1969 followed by SKA Leningrad in 1970, 1971 and 1977. The USSR B team won in 1976, Krylya Soveov Moscow (Soviet Wings) in 1979 followed by Spartak Moscow in both 1980 and 1981, with Dynamo Moscow's first title coming in 1983.

1966-67 Dukla Jihlava team, 1966-67 Dukla Jihlava team
Dukla Jihlava, winners of the Spengler Cup in 1966

1984 saw the debut of Team Canada at the Spengler Cup, which resulted in their first of 11 titles to date. The team representing Canada at the Spengler Cup was originally comprised of the Canadian National Team, a club which remained together for an entire season under the "Programme of Excellence", which began in 1983 to represent Canada at such tournaments as the World Championships, the Spengler Cup and prepare for the Olympics, rather than the current format of All-Star teams who only come together days before such competitions.

The Canadian "Programme of Excellence" lasted until 1998, when the NHL began shutting down to allow it's players into the Olympics every four years, at which point Team Canada at the Spengler Cup began to be comprised of Canadians playing professionally for club teams in Europe and occasionally North American minor leaugers, who were brought together as a squad to stand for Canada.

Spartak Moscow downed Canada in 1985 and the Canadians defeated Soviet clubs in 1986 and 1987 to claim three titles in four years. The United States broke through for their only victory with a "USA Selects" squad in 1988.

Spartak Moscow won the final two times for the Soviet Union in 1989 and 1990 before the political upheaval led to the breakup of the Soviet Union, which saw CSKA Moscow win under the flag of Russia in 1991.

Although Swedish clubs had long participated in Davos, Färjestad BK's wins in 1993 and 1994 were Sweden's first titles following seven runner up finishes dating back to 1950.

The Canadians reeled off four wins in a row from 1995 to 1998, which included the participation of the Rochester Americans of the AHL in 1996, the first North American professional club to take part in th competition. Kölner Haie (Cologne Sharks) then became the first German team to win since 1964 when they took home the title in 1999.

Klner Haie 1999, Klner Haie 1999
The Cologne Sharks show off their 1999 Spengler Cup

Hosts HC Davos delighted the home fans by winning the tournament for the first time since 1958, a span of 42 years, when they won in 2000 and repeated the feat in 2001.

The Canadians returned to the top in 2002 and 2003 before Davos won again in 2004 before Metallurg Magnitogorsk became the first Russian club to win the tournament in 14 years with their championship in 2005.

Canada Spengler Cup 2007, Canada Spengler Cup 2007
Curtis Joseph celebrates Canada's 2007 championship

Since then, Davos in 2006, Team Canada in 2007, Dynamo Moscow in 2008 preceded Dinamo Minsk becoming the first team from Belarus to capture the Spengler Cup in 2009, the 12th country represented  with a championship.

Dinamo Minsk Spengler Cup 2009, Dinamo Minsk Spengler Cup 2009
Dinamo Minsk becomes the first club from Belarus to win the Spengler Cup

SKA Saint Petersburg won in 2010, the fourth for the team, as they won three times in the 1970's while known as SKA Leningrad.

SKA Spengler Cup 2010, SKA Spengler Cup 2010
SKA Saint Petersburg celebrate in 2010,
the first year for the new version of the championship trophy

HC Davos defeated Dinamo Riga in 2011 to win their fifth title since 2000 after their long drought dating back to 1958.

Davos Spengler Cup 2011, Davos Spengler Cup 2011
HC Davos gathers after winning their 15th Spengler Cup in 2011

Canada regained the Spengler Cup in 2012 with a particularly loaded squad thanks to the availability of many players who would normally be occupied in the NHL if it were not for the ongoing lockout. Among the notable names on the Team Canada roster were goaltender Jonathan Bernier, forwards Matt Duchene, Jason Spezza, John Tavares, Jason Williams, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and veteran Ryan Smyth.

Tavares vs Kane, Tavares vs Kane
John Tavares battles with Patrick Kane during the 2012 Spengler Cup

Still, the other clubs benefitted from locked out NHL players, as Davos had Joe ThorntonPatrick Kane and Loui Eriksson while Fribourg had goaltender Corey Schneider, Patric HornqvistMax Talbot and Bruno Gervais on their roster.

Joe Thornton Davos, Joe Thornton Davos
Joe Thornton, wearing the flaming helmet to identify him as the leading scorer

The 2013 edition saw Genève-Servette HC defeat Russian club HC CSKA Moscow by a score of 5-3 in the final for their first ever title.

 photo Genegraveve-ServetteHCSpenglerCup2013.png
Genève-Servette celebrates after winning their first Spengler Cup in 2013

This year the participating clubs were, as always, hosts HC Davos, Team Canada, the defending champions and another Swiss team Genève-Servette HC, and three clubs from the KHL, Russian club Salavat Yulaev Ufa, Jokerit Helsinki from Finland and Medveščak Zagreb out of Croatia.

Play in Group Torriani saw Genève-Servette hold on to beat Ufa 3-2 in the opening game after leading 3-0 after one period. Ufa rebounded with a 4-3 win over Jokerit before Genève-Servette won the group and gained a bye into the semifinals with a 3-1 win over Jokerit.

Meanwhile, Group Cattini began with HC Davos winning a narrow one over Team Canada 2-1. The next day Canada defeated Zagreb 3-1 before Davos sent the home fans home happy when they became the second Swiss team to win their group when they outlasted Medveščak by making a goal just 1:27 into the game hold up for a 1-0 win.

The Quarterfinals saw crossover matchups between the second and third place teams in both groups, with Salavat Yulaev advancing with a 3-0 over Zagreb, while Team Canada cruised to a 5-2 win over Jokerit.

In the Semifinals, Ufa and Davos were tied at 3-3 after regulation before the Russians advanced to the final with a win in a shootout. The other game was a wild, high scoring affair, with Genève-Servette leading 5-0 at the halfway point of the game, with the fifth one being a demoralizing shorthanded goal for Canada, before the Canadians regrouped and roared back to 5-4 just 1:39 into the third period with plenty of time left to play. The Swiss extended their lead out to 6-4 but Canada was not done yet, making it 6-5 with 9:18 left to play, but that was the end of the scoring as Genève-Servette won to return to the final to defend their championship.

Today's final between Genève-Servette and Salavat Yulaev Ufa ended scoreless after one period before Genève scored two in the second and added an insurance goal in the third to capture their second consecutive Spengler Cup with a 3-0 shutout.

Genève-Servette Spengler Cup 2014 photo Genegraveve-ServetteSpenglerCup2014.jpg
Genève-Servette celebrating after repeating as Spengler Cup winners in 2014

Today's featured jersey is a 2012 Team Canada Jason Demers jersey as worn when Team Canada won the Spengler Cup when they defeated HC Davos 7-2. Canada's championship in 2012 was the 12th for the Canadians since they began their participation in 1984

Club teams often wear special jerseys just for the Spengler Cup tournament, resplendent with numerous advertisements of tournament sponsors not normally found on their domestic league jerseys.

Team Canada Spengler Cup 2012 jersey photo TeamCanadaSpenglerCup2012Fjersey.png
 photo TeamCanadaSpenglerCup2012Bjersey.png

Bovine jersey: Today's bovine jersey is a 2013 Spengler Cup Officials Jersey as worn by the referees and linesmen during the 2013 edition of the Spengler Cup. These same jerseys were worn again for this year's edition of the tournament as well.

Taking the concept of sponsorship a step too far, the Swiss Milk sponsorship goes beyond anything previously seen in the world of ice hockey as the officials customary black and white stripes are replaced by a black and white Holstein cow pattern, compete with a picture of a cow on the front, at the cost of the officials dignity, which one would think would be paramount for them to retain the respect they deserve while officiating high level games of this magnitude.

Udderly bizarre.

Spengler Cup Referee Cow Jersey 2013 photo SpenglerRef2013.jpg
Spengler Cup Referee Cow Jersey 2013 photo SpenglerRefs2013.jpg
Note the red armbands on the referee's jerseys,
as the four officials seem to be taking in all in stride

Today's video segment begins with highlights of HC Davos winning the Spengler Cup in 2000, ending their 38 year drought. Notice the previous version of the championship trophy with the glass globe on top which was used from 1956 to 2009, which is now on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.



Next, a linesman wearing one of the unfortunate cow uniforms while escorting a disqualified player off the ice.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

1913-14 Victoria Aristocrats Lester Patrick Jersey

Hockey icon and legend Lester Patrick was born on this date in 1883 in Dummondville, Quebec. After playing at McGill University he starred for Brandon Wheat Cities, who challenged the mighty Ottawa Senators in March of 1904 for the Stanley Cup. It was there that Patrick became acknowledged as the first defenseman to ever score a goal. After playing one season with Westmount Academy in 1905, Patrick signed on to play with the Montreal Wanderers for the 1906 season.

The Wanderers finished second to the Senators during the regular season, but prevailed in the playoffs by dominating the first game of their two-game, total goals series 9-1, and held on for dear life in still one of the most dramatic games in Stanley Cup history when they added an early goal to go up 10-1 in the series only to see Ottawa storm back with nine consecutive goals to tie the series at 10-10. Then, with just a minute and a half left to play, Patrick would score to regain the series lead for the Wanderers and then ice the series with another goal just before the end of the game to not only give the Wanderers the Stanley Cup, but end Ottawa's three year stranglehold on the cup.

1906 Montreal Wanderers team, 1906 Montreal Wanderers team
The Stanley Cup champion 1906 Montreal Wanderers

After losing the cup to the Kenora Thistles in January of 1907, the Wanderers and team captain Patrick won the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association league title, which earned them the right to a rematch with the Thistles, which they were able to win thanks to a five goal margin after their 7-2 win in Game 1 of their two game, total goals series, as second game went to Kenora 6-5.

Of note, afterwards, the Wanderers brought the cup with them to have a photo taken to commemorate their success, but forgot to take it with them when the photo session was over. The photographer's mother took a liking to her new found silver bowl and decided it would make a wonderful planter and filled it with dirt and geraniums for several months until the Wanderers remembered where they have left it and reclaimed it for its original intended purpose!

1907 Montreal Wanderers team, 1907 Montreal Wanderers team
The Stanley Cup champion 1907 Montreal Wanderers

The Wanderers also began a tradition with their 1907 victory, as they became the first team to engrave each players name into the cup to commemorate their victory, something which would not become an annual happening until 1924.

1907 Wanderers Cup Engraving, 1907 Wanderers Cup Engraving
The 1907 Wanderers roster engraving

With his father Joe Patrick moving the family west to pursue new business interests, Lester sat out the 1908 season and played sporadically in 1909. He returned to organized hockey in 1910 when industrialist Ambrose O'Brien formed the National Hockey Association and brought in the best of the best in an effort to bring the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Renfrew. O'Brien lavished extravagant contracts to Cyclone Taylor, Newsy Lalonde, Lester as well as his brother Frank Patrick, who were all only too happy to accept O'Brien's money.

Such was the amount of money, a record $5,250 to Taylor and $3,000 each for the Patricks for a two-month, 12 game season, the Creamery Kings were dubbed the "Millionaires" by the press. Alas, the club came in third behind the Wanderers and Senators and failed to reach their goal of the Stanley Cup.

1909-10 Renfrew Millionaires, 1909-10 Renfrew Millionaires
The 1909-10 Renfrew Millionaires

The Patrick brothers returned to the west, now joining the family who had moved from Nelson, British Columbia 400 miles further away to Vancouver where they put into motion their plans to form their own league, which included constructing their own arenas, some of the earliest capable of making artificial ice, thanks to their father's financing from profits from his successful lumber business.

Patrick Arena Victoria, Patrick Arena Victoria
Patrick Arena in Victoria, BC

The Pacific Coast Hockey Association was launched in 1912 with three clubs, Frank's Vancouver Millionaires, the New Westminster Royals and Lester's Victoria Senators, for whom Lester was a player, captain, coach, general manager and owner!

1912-13 Victoria Senators, 1912-13 Victoria Senators
The 1912 Victoria Senators - note the 6' 1" Patrick in the back row

Running their own league game the Patricks the freedom to institute new rules, as they were constantly thinking of new ideas to improve the game of hockey, including numbered sweaters, blue lines, penalty shots, credit for assists, changing players on the fly and allowing goaltenders to leave their feet in order to make a save among other innovations.

Lester would play for Victoria, renamed the Aristocrats for 1913-14, for six seasons until the franchise relocated to Spokane, Washington for 1916-17 due to the Canadian military occupying their arena due to World War I. The franchise only lasted one season in Spokane, which led to Lester joining the Seattle Metropolitans for the 1917-18 season.

Lester Patrick Seattle Metropolitans, Lester Patrick Seattle Metropolitans
Lester Patrick with the Seattle Metropolitans

The Aristocrats were revived in time for the 1918-19 campaign, bringing Lester back to Victoria for four more seasons on the ice, which saw his games played dwindle from 11 to 5 to just 2 in 1921-22 before finally retiring from playing in order to concentrate on solely running the club.

With both the Millionaires and Metropolitans from the PCHA having won the Stanley Cup (Vancouver in 1915 and Seattle in 1917), 1925 finally saw Victoria rise to the top of the hockey world as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL three games to one.

1924-25 Victoria Cougars, 1924-25 Vicotria Cougars
Lester Patrick's Stanley Cup champion 1924-25 Victoria Cougars

Patrick did return to the ice for one final season in 1925-26, but then retired as a player once again. Despite the success of Victoria, by this time the PCHA was no more, as the size of the crowds were insufficient to support a professional league and the circuit had already been merged with the Western Canada Hockey League in an attempt to survive. After one additional season, the Patricks saw the writing on the wall and stuck a deal to sell their players to the NHL, which used the Cougars roster to stock the expansion NHL franchise in Detroit, which was first named the Cougars in honor of the Victoria club which had supplied them with their roster.

Lester then moved east, and took a position with the upstart New York Rangers as their coach and general manager.

No story of Patrick would be compete without mentioning the famous incident in the 1928 Stanley Cup Finals when starting Rangers goaltender Lorne Chabot took a puck to the eye and could not continue. When the Montreal Maroons refused the Rangers request to use the Senators Alex Connell as a replacement, Patrick donned the pads himself at the age of 44, making "The Silver Fox" the oldest goaltender in playoff history, a mark which still stands today. The Rangers stood tall in front of their coach, forcing the Maroons to shoot from as far away as possible. Although Lester allowed one goal, the Rangers not only won the game in overtime, but they went on to win the Stanley Cup in only their second season of play, albeit with an acceptable substitute in goal for the remainder of the series!

Lester Patrick Rangers goalie, Lester Patrick Rangers goalie
Patrick as the Rangers emergency goaltender in the 1928 Stanley Cup Finals

The Rangers won the title again in 1933, a season which also saw Patrick named club president.

1932-33 New York Rangers, 1932-33 New York Rangers
The Stanley Cup champion 1932-33 New York Rangers


Lynn, Lester and Muzz Patrick, Lynn, Lester and Muzz Patrick
Lynn, Lester and Muzz Patrick

Frank later stepped down as coach to focus on his general manager duties, overseeing another Stanley Cup championship in 1940, which saw all three Patricks have their names added to the cup, a tradition which dates back to father Lester's Wanderers.

Lester Patrick Stanley Cup 1940, Lester Patrick Stanley Cup 1940
Lester Patrick tries on the Stanley Cup for size in 1940

Following his departure from the Rangers in 1950, he returned to Victoria, where he oversaw the WHL's Victoria Cougars until his retirement in 1954.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947. In 1966 the Lester Patrick Trophy was first awarded for outstanding service to hockey in the United States and in 1974, the Patrick Division of the NHL was named in his honor.

Lester Patrick autograph, Lester Patrick autograph

Today's featured jersey is a 1913-14 Victoria Aristocrats Lester Patrick jersey. This sweater was adopted for the franchise's second season after using a barberpole style for the inaugural 1912 season.

Victoria Aristocrats 13-14 jersey, Victoria Aristocrats 13-14 jersey

Our video section today begins with a look at the Patrick family and their role in the history of hockey.


Next, a look at the 1933 champion New York Rangers, which includes and interview with "their famous coach" Lester Patrick.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The History of NHL Referees Jerseys

Prior to wearing the familiar black and white striped jerseys, NHL referees wore cream colored sweaters, as well as neckties, which made for a quite dapper look. The cream sweaters lasted into the early 1950's.

NHL referee 1930's jersey photo NHLreferee1930sjersey.jpg
The earliest example of an NHL referee sweater we could find,
Sylvio Mantha's from the late 1930's with it's crudely executed NHL crest
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

NHL referee 1940's jersey photo NHLreferee1940sjersey.jpg
A 1940's NHL referee's sweater with a much more accurate NHL crest

Bill Chadwick 1940s NHL referee sweater
Hockey Hall of Famer and first American referee Bill Chadwick wearing a cream colored referees sweater, complete with necktie

Following the cream colored sweaters, in order to differentiate themselves from the home player's white sweaters, NHL referees changed in March of 1953 to a bright orange style with a half zip front, which sadly meant neckties were no longer worn.

Red Storey Orange
Referee Red Dunn tries to maintain order between
Gordie Howe and Ted Kennedy in the early 1950's

1950's NHL orange referee sweater
An orange referee's sweater from the 2005 film
"The Rocket: The Legend of Maurice Richard"

Finally on this date in 1955, NHL on-ice officials wore brand new vertically striped black and white sweaters for the first time ever during a game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs, which was won by Montreal 5-2.

1950's NHL referee sweater
1950's NHL referee's sweater
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

At some point the referees began wearing orange arm bands to differentiate themselves from the linesmen, and today's NHL sweaters have remained essentially unchanged since then.

1960's NHL referee's sweater
1960's NHL referee's sweater, now displaying orange armbands
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

While the NHL referees' sweaters had now reached what would essentially be their final look, the World Hockey Association, which arrived on the scene in 1972, did so with a splash, outfitting their referees in bold, if not gaudy, red and white striped sweaters, which featured not only the officials number on the back, but their name as well. Evidence shows linesmen in the WHA still wore the traditional black and white stripes however.

1970's WHA referee's sweater
1970's WHA referee's sweater
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Sometime around 1977, NHL referees began to wear their names on their backs instead of the traditional numbers.

1980's NHL referee's sweater
1980's NHL referee's sweater with the referee's name
on the back rather than the traditional numbers
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

The use of names on the back lasted until a return to the use of numbers once again for the 1994-95 season.

1994-95 NHL referee  uniform photo 1994-95NHLrefereeuniform.jpg
Don Van Massenhoven's 1994-95 NHL referee's jersey
with numbers once again on the back
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

NHL rules stipulate that referees have to wear numbers between 2 and 49, while linesmen can choose numbers from 50 to 98, with #1 and #99 not being permitted.

2000's NHL referee's sweater
2000's NHL referee's sweater
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

There has been some tinkering of the referee's sweaters as of late, with black undersides to the sleeves, as well as an ill-fated attempt to change the orange armbands to silver for the 2007-08 season in an attempt to tie in with the new silver and black colors of the new NHL shield. With the silver armbands proving essentially invisible, this idea thankfully died a quick and quiet death.

NHL silver referee arm stripes
See if you can spot the silver referee's arm stripes

The latest tweak to the sweaters arrived at the 2009 NHL All-Star Game, when new fabrics and additional black trim were added to the sweaters, as well as extending the orange arm bands down the length of the bottom of the arms, which are visible when the referee's arm is fully raised. These sweaters were adopted full time and have been in use starting with the 2009-10 season.

NHL Referee 2009 photo NHLReferee2009.jpg
2009 NHL referee's sweater

At times officials have worn patches on their jerseys, such as the league-wide patches for the Stanley Cup Centennial, as is the case with today's featured jersey. There have also been instances of referees wearing memorial patches as well. In the 1989-90 season, officials wore the initials "J. McC." on their sweaters to memorialize John McCauley, the director of NHL officiating who passed away in June 1989. In 2005-06 NHL officials wore a #72 patch in memory of linseman Stephane Provost who passed away in May 2005 due to a motorcycle accident.

Another notable referee's jersey was worn during the 2000 NHL All-Star Game in Toronto, when the teams wore futuristic jerseys inspired by the millennium, which carried over to the referee's jerseys. They featured a vertical orange stripe down the left side of the jersey, both front and back, with the 2000 All-Star Game patch centered over the stripe on the right chest.

2000 NHL All-Star Game referee
A referee sweater from the 2000 NHL All-Star Game with a
vertical orange stripe on the body along with the traditional armbands

The cream colored sweaters were revived during the 1991-92 NHL season whenever two of the Original 6 teams played against each other while wearing their Turn Back the Clock jerseys, as well as that season's NHL All-Star Game, when both teams wore throwback jerseys in recognition of the NHL's 75th anniversary.

Ray Scampinello NHL Referee 1991-92 photo NHLReferee1991-92.jpg
Ray Scampinello wearing a 1991-92 NHL throwback referee sweater

The cream throwback sweaters were also put back into service during the first NHL outdoor event, 2003's Heritage Classic when the Montreal Canadiens legends took on a team of Edmonton Oilers legends, with both teams wearing throwback jerseys and the officials once more got into the spirit of the event with turn back the clock sweaters of their own.

2003 Heritage Classic referee
2003 Heritage Classic referee Andy Van Hellemond

The next outing for the cream colored throwbacks was an appearance at the 2004 NHL All-Star Game in St. Paul, Minnesota when the referee's joined in with the players throwback jersey look, only this time with the All-Star Game patch on the upper right chest but without the need for the toques!

2004 NHL All-Star Referee sweaters
The referee's  throwback sweaters were worn again
at the 2004 NHL All-Star Game

Unlike the clean look of referee's sweaters in the NHL, the referee's sweaters in european hockey are viewed as prime real estate for advertisements, such as the sponsorship worn by referee's at the IIHF World Championships in the 2000's.

IIHF World Championships referee
A Referee at the IIHF World Championships with sponsorship on his sweater

Not even the traditional vertical stripes of the referee's sweaters are considered sacred in european leagues!

European referee
European league referee with an unorthodox striping pattern

Today's featured jersey is a 1992-93 NHL referee Andy Van Hellemond jersey. This uniform was worn during the era of referees wearing their names on the backs of their jerseys from the late 1970's to the mid-1990's.

This jersey also features the Stanley Cup Centennial patch as worn on not only all the players jerseys in 1992-93, but also the referees' sweaters, located on the upper right arm as opposed to the upper left chest of the players jerseys.

Van Hellemond began officiating NHL games in 1969 and continued to do so until his retirement in 1996, a span of 28 years, which included 19 Stanley Cup Finals. He became the first on-ice official to wear a helmet in 1984, something which became mandatory in 2006-07.

Van Hellemond was the director of NHL officiating from 2000 to 2004 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999.

Andy Van Hellemond referee's sweater
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Bonus jersey:  Today's bonus jersey is a 1990's NHL Linesman Roy Scapinello jersey from the era of referees wearing their names on the backs of their jerseys from the late 1970's to the mid-1990's.

The only difference between the referee jerseys and those worn by the linesmen is the lack of the orange arm bands, which were introduced sometime back in the late 1950's or early 1960's.

1990's NHL linesman jersey photo 1990sNHLlinesmanjersey.jpg
photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

Our video section today pays tribute to referee's and linsemen and the risky job it can be on the ice with the array of sticks, pucks, skates and even fists they must try to avoid, sometimes unsuccessfully.




Several NHL referees and linesmen have written books about their careers from their unique point of view. To purchase one of them, please click on the links below.

  
  
 

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