Saturday, November 8, 2014

Corner Gas - "Face Off" and "The Good Old Table Hockey Game"

While Canadians are probably familiar with the TV series "Corner Gas", not many Americans probably know of this very funny show about the small town of Dog River, Saskatchewan and it's quirky residents.

The show ran for six seasons from 2004 to 2009 and did run for a short period of time on WGN in the United States, where we became big fans of the show.

Two of the shows episodes in particular revolve around hockey, and we are featuring them here today.

The first one, from season one, is "Face Off", where Brent Leroy, goaltender for the Dog River River Dogs, owner of Corner Gas and the show's main character, is extended an offer to join a rival team - which includes an unlimited bar tab and a new set of tires.

Brent decides to stay, but can Dog River beat Stonewood? It won't be easy without a coach...



The second hockey themed episode from season four is a terrific spoof of the eight game 1972 Summit Series between Canada and Russia - only this time battled out on a table hockey game. In this episode, Karen Pelly, one of the town's underworked police force, challenges Brent for table hockey supremacy. See how many Summit Series references you can get...


To get your own Corner Gas DVD's, please visit the links below



  

  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Try Hockey For Free Day

Tomorrow, November 8, 2014 is the fifth annual Try Hockey For Free Day. USA Hockey and nearly 500 local associations across the US are inviting kids ages 4 to 9 to come to a participating rink and try youth hockey. To date, over 70,000 kids have participated in the event.

Storm hockey photo NickStormpractice.jpg

To find a participating rink near you, please visit this link and enter your zip code or go to TryHockeyForFree.com. Many kids will receive goodie bags, jerseys and the free use of equipment as part of the event, but arrive early! In Minnesota, there are 29 locations in the Twin Cities metro area and 70 statewide for you to choose from. Anyone living near an NHL team in the US should have several locations to pick from that are supported by their local franchise.

Youth Hockey Player
Not much thrills a kid more than the fun of being a hockey player!

There's nothing more fun that watching a swarm of Mighty Mites (boy and girls ages 4 to 8 with no previous experience), as they first get their legs under them wearing helmets double the size of their little heads! You can usually count on at least three or four times during any practice that the last child in line waiting to participate in a drill will suddenly have their feet shoot out from under them at some random moment, taking out the feet of the child in front of them, who takes down the child in front of them, who takes down the child in front of them until they entire line has done a "reverse-domino" tumble from back to front, bottom to top!

The season begins in early November and runs through February with generally three practices for each game.

Minneapolis Storm Mighty Mites
The Minneapolis Storm Mighty Mites

One unfortunate aspect of ice hockey is the cost. Fortunately, children outgrow their gear rather quickly and most anything you require can be purchased second hand at a place like Play it Again Sports, who will give you a store credit for most any useable gear you bring in in season.

Special mention must be given to the now annual equipment drive, sponsored by the Minnesota Wild, Let's Play Hockey Magazine and Minnesota Hockey, where drop off boxes are placed in arenas all over the metro area for people to donate their unwanted hockey equipment, in both youth and adult sizes, which is then distributed for free at the home of the Wild, the Xcel Energy Center, in early October. The first season 750 people were able to obtain over 2,000 pieces of gear and we're certain those totals were soundly beaten this year.

Money is also available for scholarship programs to help cover some of the cost of hockey. Don't be afraid to ask questions about financial assistance to get your child out on the ice. It can offer them years of fun, focus, direction and teach them lessons beyond the skills of playing, such as sportsmanship and leadership.

Goalie hug photo Goaliehug.jpg
Making friendships is part of the experience

After completing a successful run in Mites, your child will hopefully continue to move up the ladder to Squirts, Peewees and Bantams.

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Kids love being part of a team

Aside from having fun, youth hockey is a way to make friendships, for both kids and parents, as there are always a gallery of other parents with something in common with you, sitting in a cold arena during some of your rare weekend time off from work!

Family fun photo FamilyFun.jpg
Youth hockey provides a lot of family fun

From there the ladder system continues with High School, Junior and perhaps even college hockey, for both men and women.

Storm hockey photo NickStormgrunge.jpg

Today's featured jersey is a 2013-14 Minneapolis Storm jersey. Last year's Storm jerseys were great looking jerseys, with not only a Montreal Canadiens-like chest band, but an NHL inspired main crest and even a sublimated patch on the left chest commemorating 100 Years of Minneapolis hockey topped off with an Old Time Hockey lace up collar! Pretty sweet jerseys for a squirt team.

Minneapolis Storm 2013-14 jersey photo MinneapolisStorm2013-14Fjersey.jpg
Minneapolis Storm 2013-14 jersey photo MinneapolisStorm2013-14Bjersey.jpg

Here are the Minneapolis Storm "Little Chippers" at Mariucci Arena putting on a show between periods at a University of Minnesota game last season. It's always a great thrill for youth teams to put on a show in front of 10,000 people at Mariucci Arena or 18,000 at the Xcel Energy Center at a Wild game.


Here's a look at the fun a season of Mite hockey can offer you and your child.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

1986-87 Toronto Maple Leafs Vincent Damphousse Jersey

Vincent Damphousse played his junior hockey first with the Laval Voisins of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the 1983-84 season and made his junior debut a noteworthy one, coming up just a point shy of averaging a point per game, finishing with 29 goals and 36 assists for 65 points in 66 games. Laval won the league playoff championship that season and Damphousse contributed five goals and eight points in 12 games.

His second season with the Voisins was a large step forward for Damphousse. While he raised his goal totals from 29 to 35, he nearly doubled his assists from 36 to 68. As a result, his overall points went from 65 to 103.

The Laval club would change its name from the Voisins to the Titan for the 1985-86 season and Damphousse would again take another quantum leap in his game. 45 goals and 110 assists gave Damphousse fifth place in the league scoring race with 155 points in 69 games.

That performance would leave Damphousse squarely in the sights of the scouts and the Montreal native was drafted 6th overall in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His NHL career began on October 9, 1986 against his hometown Canadiens with a 7-4 win. The Maple Leafs got off to a strong start that season and went into their 13th game with a 7-2-3 record. They travelled to Minnesota and Damphousse would score his first NHL goal on this date in 1986 as the Maple Leafs fell to the Minnesota North Stars by a score of 4-1.

Vincent Damphousse Maple Leafs

Damphousse would play in all 80 games that season and finish with 21 goals and 46 points. The following season he would miss five games, yet score two more points overall.

Over the course of the next three seasons he would play in 239 of a possible 240 games. 1988-89 saw his point total raise to 68 and in 1989-90 Damphousse set personal highs in goals, assists and points with his first 30 goal season, totaling 33. His 61 assists pushed his point total to 94, one shy of the team lead.

His successful season contributed to his being selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game the following season in which he was named the MVP of the game after tying a record by scoring four goals.

Vincent Damphousse All-Star

The Maple Leafs would take a big drop in the standings the next season, which affected everyone's point totals, and although Damphousse's total dropped from 94 to 73, it was enough for him to lead the team in scoring for the first time.

Looking to revamp their lineup after finishing 20th out of 21 clubs, the Maple Leafs sent Damphousse, goaltender Peter Ing, Scott Thornton, Luke Richardson and cash (something the Maple Leafs were not known to part with under previous owner Harold Ballard's rule!) to the Edmonton Oilers for Grant Fuhr, Glenn Anderson and Craig Berube, ending Damphousse's days in Toronto.

Damphousse's stay in Edmonton would be short, as he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens after just one season. The trade to his hometown Canadiens would energize Damphousse, who set a career high with 97 points to lead the team in scoring. Once in the playoffs, he would continue to lead the club in scoring with 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 20 games to lead Montreal over the Los Angeles Kings 4 games to 1 to capture the Stanley Cup.

Vincent Damphousse Canadiens

During his seven seasons in Montreal, he would record two more seasons with over 90 points, lead the club in scoring three times and be named team captain in 1996. He would also make his only international appearance in 1996 when he was a member of Team Canada for the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

In March of 1999, Damphousse was dealt to the San Jose Sharks where he would play the final six seasons of his career. He would play every game of his final three seasons and also serve as team captain for part of his final season. 2002 would see him play in his third NHL All-Star Game, after an appearance in 1992.

Vincent Damphousse Sharks

He had signed with the Colorado Avalanche for 2004-05, but the NHL lockout prevented him from playing for the Avalanche and brought an end to his playing days. His career would conclude with 432 goals and 1205 points in 18 NHL seasons.

Just announced four days ago was the news that Damphousse would be inducted into the QMJHL Hall of Fame on April 6, 2011 in Montreal.

Today's featured jersey is a 1986-87 Toronto Maple Leafs Vincent Damphousse jersey, as worn during his rookie season in the NHL. This jersey was actually used by winger John Anderson starting in 1983 before being recycled to Damphousse in 1986.

The Maple Leafs adopted this style back in 1970 when they introduced the new modern version of their team logo.

Against their wishes of team owner Harold Ballard, who had the names invisibly added to the back in the same color as the jersey in protest(!) because he thought it would hurt program sales, the Maple Leafs eventually capitulated and added names to the back in 1978 and maintained the use of this style through the 1991-92 season. The success of their Turn Back the Clock jersey that season led to a redesign for the following year which incorporated the retro style leaf as a secondary logo and a return to a classic striping pattern for the jersey, ending over a 20 year run for this style.

Toronto Maple Leafs jersey
Toronto Maple Leafs jersey

In today's video section, Damphousse scores in overtime to defeat la Rangers.


Here, Damphousse scores the first goal in the Canadiens new home, the Molson Centre at 6:13 of the first period when the Canadiens defeated the Rangers 4-2. And there was much rejoicing.


In this next video, Damphousse completes a dramatic comeback by the Sharks over the Kings.


Finally, Vincent is looking fine and seems quite fond of touching his own hair.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

1969-70 Los Angeles Kings Bill Flett Jersey

Bill Flett began his road to the NHL with the Melville Millionaires of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 1960-61. After scoring 18 points that first season and 22 points the following season, Flett exploded for 31 goals and 85 points in 1962-63 followed by another 18 points in 18 playoff games.

His professional career began with the Charlotte Checkers of the Eastern Hockey League in 1962-64, scoring 47 points in 41 games. He also made one-off appearances with the Rochester Americans and a single playoff game for the Denver Invaders of the Western Hockey League.

He split time time between the WHL's Victoria Maple Leafs (23 games) and the Tulsa Oilers of the Central League. Nicknamed "Cowboy" because he owned a cattle ranch and participated in rodeos, Flett would play two more seasons with Tulsa before the hockey landscape was changed forever with the expansion of the NHL from six teams to 12 for the 1967-68 season, creating roughly 120 new jobs for players at the top level, one of which was claimed by Flett, who became a member of the expansion Los Angeles Kings when he was claimed from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1967 Expansion Draft, a transaction which brought his rodeo days to an end, as Kings owner Jack Kent Cooke threatened to fine Flett $1,000 for every rodeo he appeared in!

During the Kings fifth game on October 22, 1967 Flett scored his first NHL goal at 1:10 of the second period, igniting a five goal outburst as the Kings defeated the Chicago Black Hawks 5-3 for a win in their first ever game against one of the established Original 6 clubs.

Flett Kings photo FlettKings.jpg
"Cowboy" Flett got his chance at the NHL when
the league doubled in size in 1967

Seven games later, in a contest held on this date in 1967, Flett became the first member of the Kings to ever score a hat trick when he lit the lamp three times against the Detroit Red Wings at the Olympia. Gordie Howe opened the scoring at 11:59 of the first period only to have Flett counter with his fourth goal of the season at 15:41 from the Kings eventual leading scorer Eddie Joyal and Real Lemieux. After Detroit scored twice during the second period for a 3-1 lead. Flett got his second of the game at 5:17 of the third from Jacques Lemieux and Bob Wall on the power play. Howe responded with his second goal of the game at 5:34 before the Kings erupted with four goals in the span of 6:04 completed with Flett entering the Kings record books at 15:43, again on the power play to complete a 6-4 Los Angeles victory against another Original 6 club.

 Flett would go on to score 26 goals and 46 points that season, good for second on the Kings,  and would be named the West Division Rookie of the Year. He would play three and a half seasons with Los Angeles, including appearing in the 1971 NHL All-Star Game, until being traded halfway through the 1971-72 season to the Philadelphia Flyers due to his declining offense.

Flett Flyers photo FlettFlyers1972.jpg
A clean shaven Flett arrived in Philadelphia early in 1972

The move to the Flyers paid of for both parties, as Flett played on a line with Bobby Clarke and had his best season as a pro with 43 goals and 74 points in 1972-73.

Flett Flyers photo FlettFlyersbeard.jpg
Flett's signature beard appeared as a member of the Broad Street Bullies

While his offensive numbers declined the following season to 17 goals and 44 points, the season as a whole was a success, as the Flyers became the first of the expansion clubs to win the Stanley Cup in 1974.

While the Flyers would go back-to-back in 1975, Flett was not there to be a part of it, as he was traded prior to the 1974-75 season to his original rights holders, the Maple Leafs. Flett would play one season in Toronto before being claimed off of waivers by the Atlanta Flames in time for the 1975-76 season, where he would have his fourth 20 goal season to date with 23.

Flett Flames photo FlettFlames.jpg
Flett was claimed by the Flames in 1975

Flett was all set for another season with the Flames, but just four games into the 1976-77 season he was sold to the Edmonton Oilers of the rival WHA. The wide open style of the WHA suited Flett and he quickly reeled off seasons of 34 goals and 54 points in 1976-77, his second 40 goal season of his career with 41 goals and 69 points in 1977-78 and 28 goals and 64 points.

Flett would remain with the Oilers for the 1979-80 season as Edmonton was one of four surviving WHA teams to join the NHL as expansion teams that season. Flett would play just 20 games that season before retiring as a player.

Flett photo FlettOilers.jpg
Flett with Edmonton in the NHL in 1980,
as evidenced by the white background to the Oilers crest

Flett would play 689 NHL games, scoring 202 goals and 417 points and win a Stanley Cup as well as seeing action in 195 WHA games, scoring 103 goals and 187 points.

Today's featured jersey is a 1969-70 Los Angeles Kings Bill "Cowboy" Flett jersey. The Kings original jerseys had single color numbers for their first two seasons before changing their number font and adding white outlines to both their main crest and numbers. These jerseys would remain in use through the 1979-80 season.

Marcel Dionne is the  Los Angeles all-time leader in hat tricks with 24 and Flett finished his Kings career with three, the second coming on February 1, 1968 later in the team's first season and the third on December 11, 1968.

Los Angeles Kings 1969-70 jersey photo LosAngelesKings1969-70Fjersey.jpg
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Bonus jersey: Today's jersey is a 1976-77 Atlanta Flames Bill "Cowboy" Flett jersey which was also worn by Larry Romanchych following Flett being sold to Edmonton of the WHA. Shortly after Flett was moved to the Oilers, they acquired John Gould from the Vancouver Canucks, who requested the #21 he had worn in Vancouver. Romanchych agreed to relinquish the #21 and changed to the recently vacated #9, previously worn by Flett.

In addition to the fact two different players wore this jersey that season, also of interest is Romanchych's name on the back, as the NHL would not mandate that players wear names on their backs until the following season.

The only time the Flames would wear names on their backs in the 1976-77 season was for nationally televised games.  The nameplates were then removed following the games, as many owners felt that having the player's names on the back of the jerseys would harm program sales! This is one of only a small number of Flames jerseys from that season to survive with it's original "TV name" still intact due to teams standard policies of removing them following the televised games.

This practice has led to several unique, and apparently inconsistent, variations of jerseys for several clubs, as many did not believe teams had ever worn particular styles in combination with names on the back, such as the Cleveland Barons wearing names on jerseys with their one-year-only state of Ohio sleeve patches, known to have been from their "nameless" first season in Cleveland, until knowledgeable collectors recalled the practice of names being added just for national TV games on the weekends. They were somehow able to document the TV schedules from back then and verify their explanation of jerseys with names that should not normally have them from game photos with their opponents from those dates appearing in the background to collaborate their theory in a fascinating bit of research.

The Flames would wear the same jerseys for their entire run in Atlanta from 1972-73 through 1979-80 with only minor striping tweaks after their first season and the addition of league mandated names on the back in 1977-78.

Atlanta Flames 1976-77 jersey photo AtlantaFlames1976-77Fjersey.jpg
Atlanta Flames 1976-77 jersey photo AtlantaFlames1976-77Bjersey.jpg

Today's first video is footage from the Kings victory over Chicago on October 22, 1967 which amazingly includes Flett's first NHL goal. What a find! Note the old scoreboard at the Chicago Stadium with clock faces.


 Flett and the Flyers winning their first Stanley Cup in 1974.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

1953 NHL All-Star Bill Gadsby Jersey

Bill Gadsby broke into the NHL in 1946 with the Chicago Black Hawks as an 18 year old defenseman in 1946 after just 12 games in the minors. He was welcomed to the NHL with a cut that required 12 stitches in his first game, but went on to score 8 goals and 18 point that first season. He was a regular on Chicago's blueline for the next eight seasons, including being named team Captain in 1952, the first season the Black Hawks qualified for the playoffs during Gadsby's time in Chicago.

Gadsby Black Hawks captain

Early in the 1954 season, Gadsby was dealt to the New York Rangers as part of a five player deal. Gadsby would rarely miss a game while with the Rangers, never playing less than 65 games (of a 70 game schedule) in six seasons in New York. Playing with the Rangers was good for Gadsby's style of play, as his point totals increased from a high of 41 in Chicago (his only season there over 35) to having five of six seasons in New York with 35 or more, including a career high of 51 twice, first in 1955-56, which placed him ninth in league scoring, and 1958-59, which included a league record 46 assists for a defenseman. He also set a career high of 14 goals in 1957-58 while with the Rangers. Playoff success continued to elude Gadsby however, as the Rangers only made the playoff three times in seven chances, a trio of first round exits.

In 1960 Gadsby was traded to the Detroit Red Wings and continued his dependable play, including two of his seven seasons in which he played every game of the season. Early in his second season in Detroit, Gadsby became the first defenseman in NHL history to reach 500 career points, which he did on this date in 1962 in a 3-1 Red Wings win over Chicago.

Bill Gadsby Red Wings

Later that year, in his 17th season in the NHL, Gadsby would finally reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time. Detroit would return to the finals again the following season, only to fall to the Toronto Maple Leafs both times. Two seasons later Gadsby would play his final NHL season, capped off by his third trip to the finals.

His career would conclude with 130 goals and 438 assists for 568 points which still ranks 40th all time among defensive scoring despite the massive changes in the game after the arrival of Bobby Orr. In addition to his impressive point totals for his day, he also received as many as 600 stitches to his face, but didn't mind too much, as he had an insurance policy which paid him $5 for every stitch!

Gadsby was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1970.

Today's featured jersey is a 1953 NHL All-Star Bill Gadsby jersey. This style of jersey was used from 1947 to 1954 and was worn by Gadsby in the first two of his eight All-Star Game appearances in 1953 and 1954.

Photobucket


Monday, November 3, 2014

1992-93 Buffalo Sabres Pat LaFontaine Jersey

Drafted by third overall by the New York Islanders, Pat LaFontaine delayed his entry into the NHL by first playing for the United States National Team in preparation for the 1984 Olympics.

Lafontaine USA 1984, Lafontaine USA 1984

At the conclusion of the Olympics, LaFontaine then joined the Islanders for the remainder of the 1983-84 season, scoring 13 goals in 15 games. He would play seven seasons on Long Island, unfortunately arriving at the conclusion of the Islanders dynasty which occurred with the loss in the 1984 Stanley Cup Finals to the Edmonton Oilers. It would be the last time LaFontaine would play in the finals, as his teams would never advance past the second round of the playoffs for the remainder of his career.

He proved to be a prolific goal scorer with the Islanders, scoring 38 goals in this third full season and then posting four consecutive seasons of 40 goals or more, highlighted by his career high of 54 in 1989-90 and his 105 points that year was his best as an Islander.

Lafontaine Islanders, Lafontaine Islanders

The highlight of LaFontaine's time with the Islanders was scoring the series winning goal in the fourth overtime of Game 7 between the Islanders and the Washington Capitals during the 1987 playoffs. "It was the most memorable moment in my hockey life. Even today, wherever I go, people come up to me and start telling me where they were during the Easter Epic," LaFontaine said.


LaFontaine would suffer a concussion during the playoffs in 1990, the first of several that would affect his career.

With the situation in New York looking dismal for the foreseeable future, LaFontaine turned down a contract offer from the Islanders and sat out the first three weeks of the season before being traded to the Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres were a good fit for LaFontaine and he immediately scored 93 points in 57 games that season, although he was limited by a broken jaw which led to some interesting headgear upon his return.


He followed up his first season in Buffalo with the best offensive season of his career in 1992-93, after being named team captain, with 53 goals and 95 assists, helping set up many of Alexander Mogilny's 76 goals in the process, for a career best 148 points and second place in the NHL scoring race.

Laftontaine Mogilny 92-93, Laftontaine Mogilny 92-93
LaFontaine and Mogilny were rewarded with spots in the
1993 NHL All-Star Game

The next two seasons were a struggle for LaFontaine, as he only managed to play in 38 total games due to knee surgery for a torn ligament. Still, he was awarded the Masterton Trophy in 1995.

Proving he still could compete, he had his seventh 40 goal season in 1995-96, finishing with 91 points. Early in the next season, he would suffer another concussion, costing him several months of playing time which would limit him to just 13 games. Sabres management and team doctors refused to clear him to play, but LaFontaine demanded a trade, believing he could still play.

The Sabres subsequently traded him to the New York Rangers for the final season of his career of 1998-99. He managed to play in 67 games that season, which included reaching the 1,000 career points milestone, as well as representing the United States at the Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Lafontaine USA 1998, Lafontaine USA 1998
LaFontaine at the 1998 Olympics

After suffering another serious concussion in a collision with a teammate in mid March, LaFontaine would miss the remainder of the year and retire at the end of the season, having totaled 468 goals, 545 assists and 1013 points in his abbreviated 15 year career.

In addition to the 1984 and 1998 Olympics which bookended his international career, LaFontaine would also compete for the United States in the 1987 Canada Cup, the 1989 World Championships, the 1991 Canada Cup and the gold medal winning 1996 World Cup of Hockey team, where LaFontaine had four points in five games.

Lafontaine USA 1996, Lafontaine USA 1996
LaFontaine hoists the 1996 World Cup

Following his career, LaFontaine was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on this date in 2003 as well as the United States Hockey Hall of Fame later that same year. "I am truly thrilled to receive this tremendous honor. Growing up in St. Louis, I always played for the love of the game and never dreamed this could ever lead to my being a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame." he stated when told of his selection to the hall.

On March 3. 2006 the Buffalo Sabres would retire LaFontaine's #16.

An interesting note of trivia, LaFontaine is one of only three players to play for all three teams from the state of New York, and the only one to have played his entire career in New York state. LaFontaine once joked, "I got to play for three great organizations in my career and never once had to buy new license plates."

Today's featured jersey is a 1992-93 Buffalo Sabres Pat LaFontaine jersey. LaFontaine would join the Sabres for the 1991-92 season while they were still wearing their original blue and gold jerseys. At the time LaFontaine became a Sabre, the club had changed from a lace up collar as first worn in 1970-71 upon the club's debut, added names on the back in 1977-78, added shoulder logos in 1978-79, and thickened the arm and sleeve stripes in 1983-84.

During the first five of LaFontaine's six years with Buffalo, the jersey would remain the same, but the NHL 75th Anniversary patch in 1991-92, the Stanley Cup Centennial patch in 1992-93, the Sabres 25th Anniversary patch in 1994-95 and the Roger Crozier Memorial #1 patch in 1995-96 were all worn.

Buffalo Sabres 1992-93 jersey photo BuffaloSabres1992-93Fjersey.jpg
 photo BuffaloSabres1992-93Bjersey.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1996-97 Buffalo Sabres Pat LaFontaine jersey. For LaFontaine's final season in Buffalo, the Sabres moved out of their old arena, The Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, and moved into the new Marine Midland Arena. To kick off the new era in Sabres history, the team completely revamped their entire identity package, which included not only new jerseys and a new buffalo head logo, but a change to the all new color scheme of black, red and sliver.

For the only season LaFontaine would wear the "goat head" jerseys, the Seymour H. Knox III memorial patch was worn as a tribute to one of the Sabres original owners.

The black and red jerseys would be worn for nine seasons through the 2005-06 season, but never really were accepted by the Sabres faithful who longed for a return to the blue and gold. In a perfect example of "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it", the blue and gold returned in 2006-07, only now in the form of the universally ridiculed "Buffaslug" logo!

Buffalo Sabres 1996-97 jersey photo BuffaloSabres1996-97Fjersey.jpg
Buffalo Sabres 1996-97 jersey photo BuffaloSabres1996-97Bjersey.jpg

During LaFontaine's career, there was inconsistency in the way his name was displayed on the back of his jerseys. The Islanders had it as both "LAFONTAINE" in all captial letters of the same size and also "LAFONTAINE" with the "A" capitalized, but in a smaller subscript size during his early days with the club. The Sabres used all capitals the same size while the Rangers used the small "A" style. His 1987 USA Canada Cup and jerseys used the smaller "A", while we have seen his 1996 USA World Cup jerseys both ways!

That makes it essential for you to do your research for the exact specification of lettering style for not only the name on the back, but use of the "A" or the "C" used for the particular year of any LaFontaine jersey you may want to add to your collection. We strongly recommend searching for photos and videos of the style of jersey you wish to replicate and supply your findings to your customizers in order to get the most accurate jersey possible.

Extra bonus jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 2003-04 Buffalo Sabres Chris Drury jersey as worn when the Sabres retired LaFontaine's #16.

The red alternate jersey was first used by the Sabres in 2000-01 and lasted through the rest of the black and red era, which ended at the end of the 2005-06 season.

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We begin today's video selections with the Top 10 goals by Pat LaFontaine.


Next, a tribute to LaFontaine on the occasion of his jersey retirement by the Sabres.

 

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