1999

How Things Have Changed: NHL Uniforms in 1999

Fifteen years ago was a long time ago. Think about it. Probably a lot of the stuff you thought was cool isn’t anymore (kick scooters), but hey some of it probably still is (Lego, Pokemon, Backstreet Boys). This applies to fashion too. Remember the 90‘s fashion? Especially late 90s when everything had to be shiny or gaudy? Well the NHL was no different.

It used to look ugly. Really ugly, but some of it has come back to look pretty good. Actually it looked good. Nope ugly. Dive in.

By: Adam Pyde - @Adam_Pyde

Anaheim-Mighty-Ducks-Purple-Jersey-1993-2006

We start in Anaheim, where they were very 90s.

Just look at those colours. Teal and eggplant. It looked tacky at the time, but honestly, the look as aged quite well which seems to be the case of most old uniforms. Maybe its my Mighty Ducks movies nostalgia.

“Rabble rabble rabble GET RID OF THAT OLD STUFF! ITS TIME TO MOVE ON! WE NEED A NEW LOOK! rabble rabble rabble”

Then you get new looks, and they usually suck but you buy it and defend it because of team allegiance. But 10 years later people are clamouring for the classic look. And this one was no different.

In fact Anaheim brought it back and the team hasn’t looked so good in the last 8 years. Gone was a 90% black uniform and in came something that really popped. In a league full of boring black and navy uniforms, this was a welcome change.

You’re welcome to bring these back full-time at any moment, Anaheim.

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Next we stop in Boston where, uh, they wore… this.

raybourque

Really Boston? Who approved this? Who approved putting one of the greatest defencemen of all time in this? Are you kidding me?

“The hot new trend is a third sweater these days! Let’s make one bright yellow and put Smokey the Bear on it! It’ll sell like hotcakes and look great!”

Awful. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last terrible yellow uniform we’ve seen.

Still, woof. I get Anaheim. That was 1995.

But this? It looks like one of those hilarious minor league sweaters worn on fundraising nights for local charities.

“Come on out to the Garden to support our local boy scouts raise funds for wildfire awareness!”

Luckily for your eyes, the Buffalo Sabres actually were wearing a pretty decent uniform in 1999.

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Not bad. And I would probably like it more if half of the Minor Hockey Associations across British Columbia didn’t feel the need to switch to this design. It’s probably the second best uniform set in franchise history, trailing only behind the classic 1970′s look.

Plus, this sweater accompanied Buffalo’s only trip the Stanley Cup Finals where… oh right. This happened.

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Would you look at that. What a travesty. And of course I’m talking about the Dallas Stars ever ditching those classic green star uniforms.

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Damn. That looks good. Oh so good. And so unique. The Stars used to be the only team in the entire league to wear green in their uniform. No idea why. Green is a great sweater colour.

And look at that design. They are called the Stars, and their uniforms were star designed. And it worked. Good job marketing and design teams!

Similar to the Buffalo Sabres, this was the only sweater that ever got the Stars into the Stanley Cup Finals, and they won. Then the franchise struck futility for years wearing boring black uniforms.

But times are good right now, and its no coincidence its because they’re mean in green again.

Curious of another NHL team that seemed to hate the idea of colour in their uniforms? Why the Los Angeles Kings are they!

To see how things have changed in places like Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix (ew) and Tampa Bay, head over to TalkingBaws for the full article.

End Of Season Report Cards Are Dumb…Except This One…

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I don’t ‘do’ end of season player report cards. I know they’re all the rage on sports radio and print media, but in my opinion, the Oilers all deserve a D-.

When it comes to the coaching grade, I will weigh in heavily.

It’s no secret I’m not a fan of Dallas Eakins. I didn’t like the way he came in, his performance during the season, nor the dismal finish. But that would be a boring ‘report card’ and a very short one. So, I’ll grade the Oiler media crew instead.

630 CHED

Bob Stauffer D-

Not a fan. While playing both sides of the fence, (Homer (working for the team) and Hater (negative and blame shifter) I cannot sit through an entire show.

But lets be clear, he was the only viable option during the Dan Tencer era. If you can’t handle Stauffer, it is 100x better than Tencer’s hated evening show.

*Since Dan is no longer on sports duty (thank you, God), I will include him here*. Highlights include:  blaming  for the Oilers dismal season last year on ‘the  fans not cheering loud enough’, and the horrible shade comment towards Josh Harding playing with Multiple Sclerosis (‘Josh Harding. In net. This is going to be horrendus’). I have yet to hear anybody say ‘ I really miss Tencer”, but listening to Bob could possibly do that.

Reid Wilkens  D

Reid was Tencer’s producer for several years. He’s a young, fledgling radio guy, doing the best he can given the unfortunate inheritance of the crappy show before him. He’ll grow into it, I think, but he has shown the same ignorant and rude interactions with callers, and inappropriate  jokes and dead air moments as his predecessor. He’s from my mother’s home town, though, and my Uncle plowed his parent’s driveway for years.

TSN 1260

Neilson & Fraser A+

Desperately seeking a morning show for my drive to school and back every morning, these guys make my days better. Every. Single. Day. They are fun, honest, and creative. I literally ‘laugh out loud’ at the ‘Morning Mandate’ and ‘Sad Suter’ segments.

Jason Gregor B+

Gregor personally promised me I would ‘Be Entertained’ by his show when I went public with Dan Tencer’s MS comment. I have MS, and relented on Twitter that I ‘wish everybody would preface MY work with, “With MS” and, “This is going to be horrendous” like he did for Harding. Jason Gregor was astounded that anybody could be such an ass on air, and invited me to check out his show on 1260 in the afternoon. I happily obliged. I like it, and I don’t always agree, but I learn a lot and hear all kinds of points of view from him and his variety of guests. Happy to report that I am, indeed, entertained.

In addition, Jason rides the MS Bike Tour raising money every year for MS research for people like me. He is my hero for that.

Jason Strudwick D-

This might be an unfair assessment because it stems from a comment he made (and when asked about it, defended) about adoption in Canada. Jason and his wife have an AMAZING story of difficulties conceiving, and the adoption of their children. In a story printed by the Edmonton Sun, claimed they ‘adopted from the US because in Canada, there is no such thing as closed adoption, meaning “the biological mother has to be at every birthday, Christmas and holiday in our home”.

I am a former foster mother of 24 babies, and adoptive mom of 2. I was involved in  20 adoptions. None of the statement above is truthful nor factual. I have also spent my life traveling North America as a professional speaker on the topics of foster care, adoption, and FASD. I appeared on the Oprah Show and shared my story with Ellen.

When I kindly  asked him to reword his comment on the subject, he wrote me a very defensive, angry letter. I will happily continue correcting his myth of adoption in Canada, because it’s my passion and life’s work. I may as well, since I’m speaking to millions of people through my shows and media anyway. No problem.

However, commenting that he understood why the Oilers wouldn’t be trying very hard at the end of the season, and it would be understandable for them to ‘mail it in’ made me angry.

“Are you telling me none of you ever lacked motivation to do your job?” He asked. My reply, “I’m an OB nurse, I’m pretty sure you’d prefer I be ‘motivated’ for the birth of your child. Mail it in? That’s the Stork.”

I’m really tired of ex-athletes getting their own shows.

Bryan Hall

Much like my daughter’s first  assessment in French Emersion ; it was so bad, they couldn’t even give her a grade. I have one question on Hall; What time can I set my alarm that Bryan Hall WON’T  be on the radio? Answer: Never. You have to change the station.

If that wasn’t bad enough, (as of last summer), I now have a giant mural of Hall’s face that I can see out my back door.

If Oiler media and personnel don’t improve over the off season, (like I expect the team to), I may be forced to turn off my radio after 10 am in the future. Thanks to Nielson and Fraser, my faith will be restored until then.

 

west

Cup Crazy: First Round Western Conference Playoff Predictions

I love playoff hockey. This opening paragraph could end here, but it won’t because I love love love playoff hockey. Best teams versus the best teams. Teams going all out because all the chips are down. Players leaving it all on the ice. Shooting, hitting, saves, scoring, blood, sweat, tears, emotion.

Yeah, there is shenanigans like Dustin Brown diving and the Sharks being a bunch of babies. But that makes it all the more exciting and infuriating.

Also, with no Vancouver Canucks this year, it’ll be totally stress and disappointment free!

By: @Adam_Pyde

So to prepare for the best two months of NHL hockey, why not make predictions? I mean, no one gets these right. Ever. TSN used to have a monkey spin a wheel and it nailed more correct outcomes than the “experts.” And I’m not an expert, nor am I a monkey which leaves me in between somewhere so obviously I know more than people who get paid.

Anaheim Ducks vs Dallas Stars

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The first round opens with an old Pacific Division match-up. Anaheim reeks of paper tiger. Great forwards, a some-how competent defence, and good but not great goaltending. On the other hand, Dallas has a great first line, good defence and good goaltending.

Anaheim’s depth at forward is the real big different maker. Dallas doesn’t quite have the secondary scoring that Anaheim received this season with 10 players that scored at least 10 goals, with 2 more at 9. So basically the entire roster is able to score.

Dallas has a lot to like going forward, but they just don’t have the depth at forward to really compete if Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn don’t carry them. The defence also could use a stud like Stephane Robidas, who they traded to Anaheim this season.

Dallas big edge this series in net. I’ll take Kari Lehtonen over whichever one of three goalies Anaheim will play.

I don’t like Anaheim’s chances against an actual good team, but luckily for them Dallas isn’t quite a good team yet.

Pick: Ducks in 6 games

Head on over to TalkingBaws.com to see the full totally correct predictions!

So what do you think? Am I crazy? Super crazy? Super right? Let me know, because I’m right. I’m always right.

east

Cup Crazy: First Round Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

I love playoff hockey. This opening paragraph could end here, but it won’t because I love love love playoff hockey. Best teams versus the best teams. Teams going all out because all the chips are down. Players leaving it all on the ice. Shooting, hitting, saves, scoring, blood, sweat, tears, emotion.

Yeah, there is shenanigans like the Habs diving and the Bruins being whining, crying jerks. But that makes it all the more exciting and infuriating.

Also, with no Vancouver Canucks this year, it’ll be totally stress and disappointment free!

By: @Adam_Pyde

So to prepare for the best two months of NHL hockey, why not make predictions? I mean, no one gets these right. Ever. TSN used to have a monkey spin a wheel and it nailed more correct outcomes than the “experts.” And I’m not an expert, nor am I a monkey which leaves me in between somewhere so obviously I know more than people who get paid.

Boston Bruins vs Detroit Red Wings

detroit

The Bruins are the top seed in the entire NHL. Meanwhile, the Detroit Red Wings have made the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season. The last time they missed the playoffs I was not yet 1 year old. And none of this has anything to do with anything because its the playoffs.

I don’t know who would pick against the Bruins here. The team is just so complete. The best goaltender in the league with Tuuka Rask, the most dominant defenceman in the league with Zdeno Chara, and a set of forwards that features 12 time 30 goal scorer Jarome Iginla and Selke winner Patrice Bergeron. If there is anything to worry about with this team, it is that with Dennis Seidenberg out on defence things get awfully thin behind Chara. Guys like Krug, Bartkowski and Boychuk are all quality defenceman, but they aren’t going to give too much trouble to opposing forwards.

Detroit has a good team, but they’ve been so ravaged by injuries that its hard to get a good read on what this team really is. They have all the makings of a team that can make a run. Skilled, fast forwards to score like Pavel Datsyuk and Gustav Nyqvist, steady defence lead by Nik Kronwall, and terrific goaltending from Jimmy Howard. But again, they’re injured. Henrik Zetterberg is out, Johan Franzen is seemingly always a stride away from a hernia, Jonathon Ericsson is out, and so are a bucket full of other players.

Detroit will manage to take a couple games and put a scare into the Bruins, but unfortunately they don’t have enough. Any other opponent in the East though and they would’ve done some damage.

Pick: Bruins in 6 games

Head on over to TalkingBaws.com to see the full totally correct predictions!

So what do you think? Am I crazy? Super crazy? Super right? Let me know, because I’m right. I’m always right.

blargh

Lock In Your Bets: Is “Cup Crazy” The NHL’s Attempt at March Madness?

Coming out of the 2012-2013 NHL Lockout, the league implemented a variety of changes. Things like boring salary cap and revenue stuff, uniform regulations, and increased injury protocols. But the biggest change was that to the conference and division alignment, as well as the playoff system that would take effect in the 2013-14 season. That is, the move to a bracket system.

While there was never anything wrong with playoff hockey before, it was still pretty complicated with reseedings and whatnot. Ever try to run an office pool? Pretty well lasts 2 weeks of the first round and everyone is toast. But now things are different and lot like March Madness, but you get to start at the Sweet 16.

Teams stay in their division until the conference finals to build rivalries! Which is fair. The best rivalries in the league come from the playoffs: San Jose – Los Angeles, Chicago – Vancouver, Boston – Montreal, Philadelphia – Pittsburgh.

This change had primarily been overlooked. Mainly because it wasn’t yet totally relevant as it took over a year to really take effect.

Continue reading at TalkingBaws.com

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Ryan Smyth: A Legacy Retires

As you’re all probably aware, Saturday night marked Ryan Smyth’s last NHL game, but more than that it marked the exit of one of the greatest players to wear an Oiler’s jersey. He was never the fastest or most skilled player but he created a legacy with his sheer determination, heart, grit, and dedication to not only the Oilers but to the city of Edmonton. Smyth played for four NHL teams, but the Edmonton Oilers was the only team he truly belonged on.

Saturday night was a reflection of the respect and admiration that Smyth earned throughout his 19 year NHL career. I will never forget the atmosphere or the events that took place in Rexall Place that night. An entire stadium stood on their feet for one of the greatest men to ever wear an Oiler’s jersey. It was an emotional night for Smytty and every fan in that building: Canuck’s fans and Oiler’s fans alike came together to give Ryan Smyth a well-deserved send-off.

Ryan Smyth has always been my favourite hockey player and it’s been an emotional time coming to terms with his retirement. We all knew it was coming, but the reality of never seeing number 94 on the ice again is hard to accept for some of us. I don’t think it matters what team you cheer for, Ryan Smyth is a player that is respected throughout the entire league. Not only will Oiler’s fans miss him, but the sport of hockey will miss him.

All we can do now is hope to see him in a position within the organization — a man that loves the game that much won’t be able to stay away for long — and thank him for an incredible career. I know I learned a great deal from Ryan Smyth: I learned that hockey isn’t always about the points, it’s about having a passion for the game and ultimately being in love with the game. I believe his legacy is something we can all learn from when it comes to the sport of hockey and when it comes to life in general. Thank you, Smytty for your inspiration throughout the years, you will be missed.

 

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/Oilers.NHL/photos/

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Bringing Home Hardware: NHL Awards Predictions

The NHL season is over. This is great news. For fans of good teams, its playoff time. For fans of bad teams, yay draft! Prospects! But more importantly, it is awards season! I love awards season and predictions and voting time!

Where else will you find dumb media guys openly admitting they’re dumb by casting dumb votes because the second pairing defenceman on your favourite team is easily a Norris contender and the rookie who played 35 games is a total Calder candidate.

So why not speculate on who’s a favourite and who I think will win?

(I should note, I’m saying who I think will win, not who I’d pick. Also, read this if you enjoy funny)

VEZINA – Awarded to the league’s top goaltender

Contenders: Semyon Varlamov, Ben Bishop, Tuuka Rask

Other names: Carey Price, Ryan Miller, Jimmy Howard

Mid-season pick: Josh Harding

Its been a weird year for goaltending in the NHL.  Your regular contenders spent most of the year hurt or playing poorly to honestly have their names in the conversation like Quick, Lundqvist, and Rinne. Poor Josh Harding was playing terrific before having his season derailed by medical complications.

Rask is pretty well king of the castle at this point. He’s a terrific goaltender and plays on a defensive juggernaut of a team and will be in the Vezina discussion until the Bruins stop being good.

Bishop wass key to the Lightning’s comfortable playoff position despite some key injuries to Stamkos and Hedman, as well as the departure of crybaby Martin St. Boohooius St.Louis.

Varlamov has been unbelievable for the Avalanche this season posting save percentage at the top of the league on a team that gives up a whole lot of shots. He’ll finish the season with the most total saves on the year and have basically set new personal highs in everything.

Price and Howard will both be up there. Price is terrific, but I just don’t know if he’ll get the votes. Howard would be higher up if not for his time missed with injury considering Detroit’s status as a skating infirmary.

Winner: Tuuka Rask

Tuukka Rask

 Click here to continue reading for all the other totally correct trophy picks.

Phoenix Coyotes v Minnesota Wild

Top 10 Tuesday: NHL Names

There have been some pretty awesome names in the NHL through the ages. Some are still playing, others have long  since left the NHL. Here’s a list of the ten best names formerly and currently in the NHL:

10. Zarley Zalapski

This guy played for 5 different NHL teams in the 80′s & 90′s. The double Z’s are a bit of a tongue twister but make for an awesome name.

9. Jordin Tootoo

Is there really a need to expand on a guy who’s last name is Tootoo?

8. Jonathan Quick

Not a particularly cool name on its own, but add in the fact that he’s a top goaltender and it makes the name ironically fitting.

7. Rob Klinkhammer

Just an all around fun name to say. Say it out loud a couple times… that’s why it’s on the list.

6. Cal Clutterbuck

Paired with his epic mustache, the Islanders’ forward’s last name is not easily forgotten.

5. Jeff Buekeboom

Known as a hard-hitting defenceman, it’s only fitting that his last name ends with boom.

4. Harry Dick

He only played one game in the NHL but… shame on his parents.

3. Janne Niinimaa

The amount of vowels in his name alone places him on the top 10 list.

2. Jonathan Cheechoo

Cheechoo. Enough said.

1. Bill Quackenbush

I would’ve killed to be around in the 40′s and 50′s to hear people saying this last name during games. Better yet, he had a brother also playing in the NHL: what’s better than one Quackenbush? Two Quackenbush’s!

 

 

 

Entering NHL’s Best Kept Secret; ‘The Quiet Room’…..

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It was meant to be an example of the more cautious approach that teams were supposed to be taking towards head injuries. The NHL quietly introduced a new protocol for assessing concussions coming out of the general managers meeting in March 2011, a time where they were under heavy scrutiny because of the injury that kept Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby on the sidelines for several months.

When I was competitively skating, I was practising a double Axel. I fell hard. I did not hit my head, but the way I fell and the motion of my neck alone left me with a concussion. I had no idea until the next day, when I was throwing up, dizzy, and had a pounding headache and trouble seeing.

Years later, in  nursing school, the neurology residency was fascinating, but scary. It is absolutely incredible what our bodies do, especially the brain. It controls EVERYTHING. It is soft. It is floating in fluid inside your head. And when you injure it, it may never heal. That is crazy enough.

The SCAT2 (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2) was introduced to screen players who have sustained a blow to the head. This is what the ‘Quiet Room’ is designed for; assess the player in an environment free of distraction. To use  the SCAT2 properly, the four page assessment should take nearly 45 minutes to determine concussion/probable concussion. That’s just the INITIAL screen that tests the player with questions, while noting how the patient feels. The physical, coordination and neurological testing  takes closer to an hour.

Lets face it; it’s in nobody’s best interest to take a guy out of a game ‘just in case’ its a concussion (except the player, who will inevitably deny any symptoms to get back on the ice). We demand a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer in 5-7 minutes to a question that isn’t so easy to answer.

I’ve seen the quiet room used four times now, and none lasted more than 8 minutes! ? Part one of SCAT2 takes at least 5 minutes alone, and grading takes at least 10!

Here’s an example:

Sideline assessment, (Maddocks Score) is what they are asking the player while attending to the athlete still on the ice:

1.What venue are we at today?

2.What period is it in the game?

3.Who scored last in this game?

4.What team did you play last week?

5.Did your team win the last game?

That is the primary test.

Once in the quiet room, more questions are asked:

-What month is it?

-What is the day of the week?

-What year is it?

The coordination and cognitive physical test is then done and an overall ‘score’ is given based on the performance of all tasks combined.

Research found that adrenalin spikes when the brain gets banged around and can actually assist in the memory of immediate details. That is why the second process of the SCAT2 is (supposed to be) used. The athlete should be tested again even in the days that follow to assess the possibility of a missed diagnosis, or degree of concussion sustained.

It looks really good on paper, and the NHL seems to have satisfied (in theory) the concerns of concussion in hockey, but I’m not convinced.

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Hanowski, Mikael Backlund, Curtis Glencross

Your Flames, where are they?

Article by FlamesNation.ca 

It was September 5th of 2013, and your Calgary Flames had just hired Brian “Brian” Burke as their shiny, new President of Hockey Operations and “not General Manager”. The move at the time seemed to draw a line down the middle that divided the Cowtown faithful in reference their confidence in the new hire and, more importantly, the future success of their beloved franchise.

It was obvious to everyone when then GM Jay Feaster shipped Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester to new return addresses in the lockout shortened 2013 season that a new era was being ushered in at the Scotiabank Saddledome; a period of rebirth many felt was long overdue. In short, a rebuild. If you’re reading this, you already knew that.

Brian Burke, one way or another, became emblematic of the Calgary rebuild, but only in the sense that this accepted 3-4 year process of planned upheaval was suddenly in peril, given Burke’s spirit of competition and also more tellingly, all the troubling things he’d say whenever he would open his mouth….. Read More