Ranking the NHL’s Stadium Series Jerseys

7: Pittsburgh Penguins 

Why not bring back the powder blues?

Why not bring back the powder blues?

For the Winter Classic the Penguins have been known to wear their old school powder blue uniforms or some combination of the powder blues. It was a surprise when they released a jersey with none of these elements for the Stadium Series game. True it may not be as important as the Winter Classic, but it would have been nice to see the Penguins in their old school blue jerseys. What makes it worse is that they just basically rolled out a watered down version of their current jerseys. The only change is the striping on the jerseys which is boring. If anything, they could have gone with the old black and yellow color palette instead of basically the same exact jersey colors they use all the time. With so many options for the Penguins, it was disappointing that this was the best they could come up with.

6: LA Kings 

Grey and boring

Grey and boring

Even though black and grey is a great color scheme, the Kings somehow screwed this up. Instead of doing a solid black jersey or bringing back the old Kings logo during the Gretzky era, the Kings just put out a grey jersey that looks like it should be a practice jersey. With weird LA should logos, the old crown logo, there just isn’t much to say about these uniforms. They’d have been better off with more black or going back to the old school purple and gold. The would have been awesome to see the purple and gold on the ice again.

5: New York Rangers 

Really? Let's just rip off the Hartford Wolfpack

Really? Let’s just rip off the Hartford Wolf Pack

The Rangers Winter Classic is one of my favorite jerseys of all time. I had high hopes for the Stadium Series hoping they would bring back a cream colored jersey or another old school look. Instead, the Rangers created a new look that looks like a combination between their old 90s alternates and the Hartford Wolf Pack. Silver? Really? The silver makes no sense, I’d rather see cream than silver. If they were going in this direction, they should have brought back the old statue of liberty logo instead of the New York script across the chest. With better logos and colors, the Rangers struck out when it came to Stadium Series jerseys.

4 Chicago Blackhawks 

Back in Black

Back in Black

The Blackhawks had the best Winter Classic jerseys with their classic logo and design. This year, the jerseys are good, but nothing special. It just feels like a lazy attempt. Just a basic black jersey with the current logo. Sure the black looks great with the red and black, but it would have been nice for the Blackhawks to bring back their old logo or jerseys. While it’s not the worst jersey, it’s by no stretch the best.

3: Anaheim Ducks 

Orange is tough to pull off, but the Ducks do it well

Orange is tough to pull off, but the Ducks do it well

These jerseys by the Anaheim Ducks are very good. I love the orange color which both pops, but at the same time isn’t obnoxious like some orange jerseys can be. The burnt orange color is something different that you never see in a uniform and looks great with the black, gold, and white trim. The reason this jersey isn’t higher is the logo. While the Giant webbed D is good, we’ve seen  it before. True it’s better than the “Ducks” script jersey, but I would have like to see them use the old Mighty Ducks logo with the mask and interlocking sticks. I have always been begging the Ducks to bring back that logo and think that would have been a great time to bring it back. Had they used that logo, they could have been on the top of the list, but without it they stay at number three.

2: New York Islanders 

Old school and new school meet for a great combination

Old school and new school meet for a great combination

Given the Islanders’ illustrious uniform history which includes some of the worst jersey disasters in hockey history, I was skeptical when it came to their Stadium Series jerseys. However, the Islanders jerseys are incredible and the one jersey in the Stadium Series that should become the team’s third uniform. This would be so much better than those stupid black jerseys the Islanders have. With the classic blue, orange, and white colors, this jerseys looks beautiful. Add in the horizontal stripes on the arms and pants, clean white shoulder stripes and this is an aesthitically pleasing jersey. Then the logo, finally a team that tried something new. I love how the Islanders incorporated the NY part of their logo with a modern twist on the chest. Overall this is a great jersey, and I hope the Islanders keep using these after the Stadium Series.

1: New Jersey Devils 

A Classic

A Classic

The Devils jersey may not be new or innovative, but it’s nice to see at least one team honor their heritage. Sure Christmas colors may not sound like a winning combination on a hockey sweater, but the Devils make it work. The red, white, and green is simple and beautiful. These jerseys pop with their red color scheme and the green and white highlights are crisp and mesh well together. Sure it may look like Christmas on ice, but who doesn’t love Christmas? Finally the Devils have one of the best logos in hockey, so why mess with perfection? Great logo, great jersey, clearly the winner. Do you agree or disagree? Which was the best Stadium Series jersey and which was the worst? Comment and like below!

 

 

 

Why Muhlenberg Hockey is the best sporting event on campus

  • Excitement of Hockey 
    Fast paced action

    Fast paced action

    Hockey is one of the most exciting sporting events to watch. The speed, grace, and power of hockey players is truly something to behold live. Whether it’s a player flying down the ice, to a bone crunching hit in the corner, hockey provides the excitement of speed and violence that can get even a first time fan’s adrenaline pumping. Want excitement on a friday night? Come to a game!

  • Personalities 
    Who doesn't love a team with personality?

    Who doesn’t love a team with personality?

    Whoever said “blondes have the most fun” has clearly never met hockey players. Sure the players might be a little goofy, but they’re just having fun. The Muhlenberg team is no exception, filled with fun guys that just want to have a good time. Who really wants a team that is too serious? Those teams are no fun.  Why not root for some of the funnest guys on the Muhlenberg campus? Win or lose, you will be entertained.

 

  • They look good: 
    Back in Black

    Back in Black

    Muhlenberg maybe the cardinal red and grey, but man do they look good in black. The hockey team has some of the sharpest uniforms on campus, including my personal favorite uniforms, the road blacks. Nothing says intimidating like a team dressed in black from head to toe. While their uniforms may different from the norm here at Muhlenberg, it makes the team stand out in a good way.

  • They score…a lot!! 
    Putting the biscuit in the basket

    Putting the biscuit in the basket

    You gotta love an exciting team. Muhlenberg can put up goals in bunches with their dynamic offense and aggressive defense men. Seriously watching this team is like watching a highlight reel on ESPN. Not only can they put the puck in the net, but make it look easy with great plays that will make you just say wow.

 

 

  • Get away from campus 
    One of the best teams on campus

    One of the best teams on campus

    Lets face it. There are times that you just want to get out of the Muhlenberg bubble and get away. With the games off campus it gives students a chance to get off of the Berg campus and a chance to escape for a couple of hours. Plus the bus trip is a great way to meet new people that you may not have met otherwise.

  • Team’s mascot 
    Duncan is the team's mascot and #1 fan

    Duncan is the team’s mascot and #1 fan

    Sure we have the Mule mascot, but the hockey team has its own mascot and #1 fan. Duncan is the team’s little brother who is at every game cheering his heart out. He loves to come to practice whenever he can and has been a huge part of the program for the past two years. The players and fans love him and his family. Chances are if you come to a hockey game you’ll see Berg’s best fan along the glass cheering for his favorite team.

 

 

  • The Fans 
    Some of the most passionate fans on campus

    Some of the most passionate fans on campus

    The hockey games are a romp at Muhlenberg. The Muhlenmaniacs come out in full forces and let their presence known. If you love to cheer, you need to come. The fans are an integral part of the team’s success as they have given the Mules one of the best home ice advantages in the conference.

     

Lost: Why the Islanders moving to Brooklyn will be a disaster

It may have all the bells and whistles, but the Barclay's center isn't built for hockey

It may have all the bells and whistles, but the Barclay’s center isn’t built for hockey

In the fall of 2015 the New York Islanders will move from Nassau to Brooklyn in what will be a new chapter in New York sports. While the team finally gets the new arena the franchise has coveted for almost two decades, the Islanders may regret making the jump to Brooklyn. In the grand scheme of things it is easy to see why the Islanders are moving. The Nassau Coliseum is a dump that has been long considered the worst venue in the NHL and Long Island hasn’t exactly shown the initiative or resolve to get a new arena on the Island. Given the current circumstances it’s easy to see why the Islanders needed a new home. Problem is, they may have picked the wrong one.

  • Barclays Center great for basketball, not so much for hockey

    Barclays Center great for basketball, not so much for hockey

    Hockey at the Barclays Center. sounds like a good idea except for the arena logistics. For example, the layout can cause for some problems.  This is because Barclay’s Center was built for basketball and concerts, not hockey. As seen here the scoreboard for the hockey games doesn’t hang outer center ice, but over a blue line.  While the arena features a hockey layout, this was only supposed to be for special games, not an entire season. The whole purpose of the Barclay’s Center was to deter any hockey teams from coming in. I understand that they loved how new and modern the arena is, but when this nostalgia of a new arena wears off after a few years and then the Islanders will say “this was a mistake”. At Barclay’s, the rink is not centered creating unusual hockey sight lines and certain blind spots to the action. Sure the idea of the Islanders in a new arena is great, but once that fad wears off people will realize that the Islanders in the Barclay’s Arena was a mistake.

  • West End:
    No seats? Why are there no seats?

    No seats? Why are there no seats?

    A unique feature about the Islanders at the Barclay’s center is that there are no seats behind the net in the west end of the arena. You heard right with the configuration, there will be just a wall behind the west goal with seats above the glass. Some of the best seats in hockey are right behind the goaltender and the Islanders are ok with half these seats gone? One of the biggest

    Seats with a blind spot, what I always wanted

    Seats with a blind spot, what I always wanted

    arguments about the Islanders getting a new arena was about the seating capacity. At 16,170, the Nassau Coliseum is the second smallest arena in tens of capacity in the league.  At Barclays the capacity is 15,800 for hockey, and while they have said that more seats will be added for Islanders games, it still makes Barclays the smallest hockey arena in the NHL. On top of that, there are terrible sight lines from this configuration such as blind spots from the upper deck in the west end. I can se Islander fans really happy about commenting to Brooklyn and paying for ridiculous ticket prices for seats with blind spots.

  • Bye Bye Tailgating
    Islander fans will have to say goodbye to the grill in Brooklyn

    Islander fans will have to say goodbye to the grill in Brooklyn

    Sure the Barclays Center is beautiful, but it does have its own problems. Case in point parking. Why is this important? Without parking there is no tailgating, which is an Islanders’ fan staple. Sure tailgating probably originated because Islander fans wanted to spend as little time as possible inside the Nassau Coliseum, but it is who they are. Tailgating brings fans together in a community linked by sausages and burgers. Sure it’s more of a football thing, but tailgating and hockey are a terrific combination. However, Brooklyn will put an end to this with almost no parking and no large gathering place for tailgating. The closest Islander fans will get to tailgating stating in 2015 is cramming onto the train to Brooklyn with other Islanders fan.

  • It’s not Long Island!
    The Islanders are Long Island's team, not a New York City team

    The Islanders are Long Island’s team, not a New York City team

    This is the most important aspect of why the Islanders moving to Brooklyn will be a disaster. They are Long Island’s team, not a New York City team. The reason this team was so beloved on Long Island is because it was Long Island’s own team that became one of the greatest dynasties in sports. Now those championships and history are being moved away from the fan base that loves this team so much. It be like the Packers moving to Milwaukee, it just doesn’t make sense. You take the Islanders of the Island, you lose the essence of what the team means to the people of Long Island. They’re not a New York team so why should they now play in the New York market in Brooklyn?

  • Now your telling a fan base that’s been loyal through thick and thin, sorry if you still want to watch us play you have to commute to Brooklyn. Sure this isn’t the worst case scenario which would have been the team moving completely away from the New York area, but it has moved the Islanders away from the community that helped make them a proud NHL franchise. While Brooklyn may have all the bells and whistles, once the thrill of a new arena wears off coupled with terrible hockey sight lines, will make this move a disaster for the Islanders. Sure the team will be the same, but the soul of the Islanders will be lost once they move in 2015.

Looking for a home? Five cities who deserve NHL teams

Honorable mention: Kansas City

It's built but no one's come

It’s built but no one’s come 

The famous line from Field of Dreams that “if you build it, they will come” didn’t work for Kansas City. Built in 2007, Kansas City believed that their state of the art 17,500 seat arena would help to lure an NHL team. Despite a few teams using Kansas City as a relocation threat, nothing has come to fruition. Despite being a beautiful arena part of Kansas City’s problem is the unknown hockey market which scares off possible suitors, especially when you look at the NHL’s success at entering “new” hockey markets. For now the Sprint Center sits in downtown Kansas City as a reminder that you should make sure you have a horse, before you build the barn.
5) Seattle

Since the departure of the Sonics, Seattle's been looking to fill the void

Since the departure of the Sonics, Seattle’s been looking to fill the void

With a new arena in the works located near both Safeco and Centurylinks Fields, Seattle has become a city that the NHL is closely monitoring. With no competition from an NBA team in the winter, a hockey team would be the sole focus. Also, Seattle is known for some of the most loyal and rowdy fans in the country. Can you imagine that home ice advantage?Logistically, it gives another opponent in the Western Conference, and it’s proximity to Vancouver could create a new and fierce rivalry within the NHL.

4) Houston

Houston could go from the minors, to the pros very quickly

Houston could go from the minors, to the pros very quickly

I know that NHL expansions in the south have been less then fruitful. More often than not there a disaster. However, the Stars have always been a great draw in Dallas, why not give the lone star state another team. Houston is currently the largest American market without an NHL team, and we all know that Gary Bettman is all about the bottom line. With a large untapped market, a chance for a great in-state rivalry, and a city that has never had NHL hockey, why not give Houston a team? Hey, everything’s bigger in Texas, why not make the NHL one of those things?

3) Hartford

Bring back the Brass Bonanza!

Bring back the Brass Bonanza!

Ok, I know what this looks like being a Hartford Whalers fanatic. If you want to see more on why I think the Whalers should come back check out my article here (Bring back the Brass Bonanza!). Despite Hartford’s need for a new arena, Hartford does offer a large TV market and a well established history in the NHL. They already have a loyal fan base and brand as the Whaler brand is still ones of the most valuable merchandising brands in the NHL. It’s a long-shot, but a team in Hartford would be better than some of the other team’s in the south. All I can say that if the Whalers were to ever return, Connecticut will be behind them. Hopefully, we get to hear the Brass Bonanza once again!

2) Oklahoma City

With the success of the Thunder, Oklahoma City could be a great landing spot

With the success of the Thunder, Oklahoma City could be a great landing spot

With the success of the Oklahoma City Thunder, a new arena, and a market with little competition all make Oklahoma City another city that could use an NHL team. While Oklahoma City may seem odd, it’s a city that rallies around its local teams. In a city similar in size to Winnipeg, the NHL has focused on small markets that can support a team and OKC could be one of those. Based on the rapid success of the Thunder and the support from the community, the NHL may just take a shot on OKC.

1) Quebec

Quebec, like Winnipeg, is trying to get a team back

Quebec, like Winnipeg, is trying to get a team back

If any team will get an NHL franchise back, it will be Quebec. With a brand new palace of an ice rink scheduled to be built by 2015, an established fan base, and a market that the NHL regrets leaving; Quebec offer the best option for an NHL franchise. They have a rich history with the Nordiques, and the NHL is finally realizing that hockey in Canada is their most popular sport. With Winnipeg’s success, and Canadians begging for more hockey, in my opinion it’s not if but when the NHL returns to Quebec. What city do you think deserves an NHL franchise? Do you agree of disagree and why? Comment below for your opinions.

U Conn Do it! Why UCONN needs to build a new hockey arena

If UCONN hockey wants to make it to the big time, they need a new arena

If UCONN hockey wants to make it to the big time, they need a new arena

In 2014-2015 the Connecticut Huskies will enter new territory. Starting next year, the UCONN hockey team will be joining one of the better leagues in college hockey, Hockey East. At this point many people may even be asking “wait, UCONN has a hockey team”? It’s easy to be forgotten at a school known for its powerhouse basketball programs, and its recent dominance in soccer and baseball. Not to mention a school whose effort to build a national football program has gone off the rails in the past few years. By joining Hockey East, the hockey team will now be entering the big time. It’s been a program that’s been heading in the right direction. With more scholarships and an impressive 19-14-4 2012-2013 season, the program is ready to make some noise on the Storrs campus. There’s just one problem.

Let me see scholarships? Check. New uniforms? Check. A new coach with National Championship credentials? Check. A suitable arena to house the team? Oh there’s the problem. The Huskies do not have a suitable home which could be the final piece to the hockey puzzle. The solution? Give them the home they deserve. After years of pouring millions of dollars into the other athletic programs, it’s time for UCONN to invest in their hockey program’s future. Despite being built-in 1998, the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum is not a suitable home. This arena was built for a second-rate college hockey program,  which UCONN was at the time, but now it’s a joke that a Hockey East team calls this home. While the hockey program has announced that the Hockey East games will be played at the XL Center in Hartford, this is just another problem. The massive 15,000 seat arena can barely be filled for a UCONN basketball game and will look empty even if 5,000 fans show up to a hockey game. On top of that the arena is outdated, 30 minutes from campus, and will cost the school about 25,000$ to play a game there. What’s the solution to all of this? Build this team a new arena.

The Huskies need to build a facility that will not only house this team for the future, but to use as a tool to recruit top prospects. Let’s face it, despite the direction of the program, the arena situation is a major turnoff. If I’m a recruit do I want to play in two arenas that are terrible, or go to a beautiful arena of a Hockey East rival? Sounds like an easy decision easy to me. If UCONN wants to be successful in hockey just look 40 minutes south at Quinnipiac University.

After building their 52 million dollar TD Bank North Sports Center basketball and hockey complex in 2007, the Quinnipiac Bobcats program blossomed. Coach Rand Pecknold has even said that the arena is one of the biggest recruiting tools and why they have been able to become on of college hockey’s premiere programs. Six years after opening their new arena, the Quinnipiac Bobcats were playing for a National Championship, in large part because they used their arena as a major recruitment tool. UCONN has the resources and space to build a new arena. A 3000-4500 seat arena would be an adequate sized arena for this team. Bigger then their current arena but not as colossal as the XL Center. Plus, they can add all the bells and whistles to make it a state of the art home that will make Hockey East rivals envious. With Connecticut now becoming one of the better locations in the country for college hockey, thanks to Quinnipiac and the National Champion Yale Bulldogs, the state of Connecticut is becoming a major player in college hockey. We’ve seen how quickly the Yale and Quinnipiac programs have emerged onto the national stage, with nowhere near the resources that UCONN possesses. If UCONN builds a new arena and uses that as a great recruiting tool, I predict within 5 years after the arena’s completion UCONN will be a nationally ranked program. Hockey has always been a staple in New England culture, shouldn’t one of New England’s best schools share in the tradition of great hockey?  I’m not saying that UCONN can’t be great in hockey without a new arena, but it would defiantly speed up the process. Remember what they always said in Field of Dreams? If you build it they will come! If UCONN builds it, great hockey will come. Who knows. Maybe one UCONN hockey and basketball teams will be fighting over who can win the most National Championships and who is truly Connecticut’s team.