The NHL Entry draft is one of my favorite “hockey days” of the year. It’s happening this Friday, and over at GunnHockey.com, I’ve written my predictions for the top 10 picks of this year’s draft.
> Check them out, by clicking here.
As anyone who knows me is aware of, I am hockey obsessed. I originally planned on having this website be mostly hockey related, but realized most of the people that read this site have no interest in hockey. My entertainment posts are always the most popular. For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a separate blog, which will be entirely focused on hockey.
So those of you that have an interest in my hockey related posts, please check out my new blog at GunnHockey.com, as I won’t be posting about hockey on this blog anymore.
My hockey blog is still in the baby stages, and I’m still working on improving the look and content, but I plan on keeping it updated on a regular basis.
Don’t worry, I won’t be ignoring MattGunn.ca at all. It will still be my primary focus, but my other blogs just give me something else to occupy my time with. I’ve always wanted to have a site that is 100% hockey based, so now I have that and won’t be filling this site with hockey-related material that a large percentage of you have no interest in reading.
Feedback is welcome, both for MattGunn.ca or GunnHockey.com. I always appreciate it, and if there’s any specific topics or posts you’d like to see in the future, feel free to send an email or message my way.
When it was announced this past summer that Anaheim had acquired Chris Pronger from the Edmonton Oilers, they immediately became Stanley Cup favorites. I agreed that they had a very good team, but I didn’t think they were deep enough to win the Cup, and that two All-Star defensemen weren’t enough.
Well, even after predicting against them in every single series of this year’s playoffs, the Anaheim Ducks managed to win professional sports most famous trophy, The Stanley Cup. Almost all of the media and bloggers were picking Ottawa to win the series, and well, so did I. They easily defeated the favorite, the Buffalo Sabres, and looked like they had a complete team running strong. Unfortunately due to a ridiculous schedule, they had a long lay-off in between series’ and I think that was their undoing.
Anaheim proved they are a lot more solid that anyone expected, and their no-name stars such as Andy McDonald, Chris Kunitz, Samuel Pahlsson and Travis Moen are going to be nothing but from now on. Their checking line was the best in the NHL, their top line, although inconsistent, played well and their “young guns” line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Dustin Penner will be a force for a long, long time.
The person I am most happy for is Brian Burke. I was a huge fan of “Burkie” when he was the GM of the Canucks, and when they let him go, a lot of fans, including myself, were outraged. He did an incredible job in Vancouver, and was let go based on politics, not his quality of work. He quickly turned the Ducks into a contender, and won the Cup in his second season with the team.
For the third straight year, a Canadian-based team and lost in the Finals. I wonder what’s going to happen next year?
So, hockey’s done. I’m going to miss it, although I’m already used to it. Once my team (the Canucks) are eliminated, my “care factor” drops quite a bit.
The off-season can be exciting, as we have the NHL Awards, NHL Entry Draft and July 1st (the day free agents are available) coming up over the next month.
You know you’re a hockey fan when… it’s Summer weather outside, hockey has just ended after going on for nine months, and you are already looking forward to NHL training camp in September.
Over the years, there have been many different NHL jerseys. In what is always the case, some are great, some are average, some are boring, and some are downright awful.
I’ve compiled a list of what I think are ten of the ugliest NHL jerseys of all time. You’ll notice a theme among my choices. A good percentage of them are from the era when nearly every team came out with a “third” jersey. The reason behind this was nothing other than marketing. These jerseys were all pretty flashy and had some ridiculous type of logo. It was a way to quickly sell some more jerseys. These didn’t last for more than a season or two.
There are of course some other horrid jerseys that came before the third-jersey era. I tried to keep my selections to the “modern NHL”, which is about 1970-current.
Here’s my choices:
10. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins used these jerseys in the mid to late 90’s. They had a pretty ugly original jersey (it’s main color was blue?!?), but I’ve liked their current design, which is the design they’ve had for most of their history. But this one? The “triangle robot penguin” just doesn’t work. Thankfully they switched back to the old logo after a few years in this ugly thing.
9. Atlanta Thrashers
This is the Thrashers’ third jersey, which they unfortunately still use to this day. Baby blue just screams, “we’re a tough hockey team, watch out!”. Their regular jerseys have hardly any, if any at all, baby blue… so I don’t understand the logic in making it the main color on this jersey. Also, why is there a shoulder stripe on only one side?
8. Vancouver Canucks
One of the earliest of the Canucks’ jerseys. Most people would rank it as one of the worst of all time, but I personally don’t think it’s quite that bad. “Puke yellow” is not a good color choice. And the “logo”? It’s a couple of stripes that resemble the letter “V”. Horrible.
7. Dallas Stars
Dallas have pretty nice jerseys. So of course, they needed an ugly jersey, and created this horrid “third jersey” piece of crap. I see how they are trying to be creative by having the “stars” align to form a “Texas” bull’s head… but well, it comes off looking really, really ugly.
6. Los Angeles Kings
Once again, a “third” jersey makes the list. The LA Kings came up with this poor excuse for a jersey, and it looks like something an eight year old would paint with his water colors. The Kings’ rarely wore this jersey, but they did manage to have it just long enough for NHL legend Wayne Gretzky to be stuck seen wearing it.
5. Phoenix Coyotes
Coyotes’ fans and players were actually forced to endure this awful thing for quite a few seasons. Fortunately they’ve changed to their newer jerseys, which are pretty nice. But the “robot coyote” is one of the ugliest logos of all time, and the jersey pattern just compliments it’s ugliness.
4. New York Islanders
The Islanders were a pretty good franchise during the 70’s and 80’s, and they had some pretty decent jerseys during that time. They kept the same jersey and logo for a long time, before deciding to switch it to one of the most hated logos in sports history. Fans utterly despised the new logo when it was released. It was nicknamed the “captain fishstick logo” , and fans would go as far as to chant that in a mocking tone during games. After begging to have it switched back by fans, the Islanders’ quickly did so the next season.
3. Nashville Predators
If you thought the Canucks’ “puke yellow” jerseys were bad, well look at these things. They take “puke” to a whole new level. One of the ugliest jerseys of all time, of any sport. And the worst part is… they STILL wear them!!!
2. Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Before they were just the “Ducks”, they were the “Mighty Ducks”. This is a franchise that’s name originated from a silly Disney movie of the early 90’s. They have had some pretty bad jerseys and logos, but this one takes the cake. This is another one of those horrid “third” jerseys. This jersey seems like something that would come out of a badly drawn cartoon. Hockey players are supposed to be tough athletes… and how are you supposed to look tough in something like this? Disgusting.
1. Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins are one of the NHL’s original six teams, and one of it’s most storied franchises. The team has had the same basic jersey and colors for nearly it’s entire history. The NHL’s decided to come out with third jerseys, and with all the awful designs that came out from that little project, the great Bruins come up with the ugliest of them all. They take the beautifully simple “B” logo and nicely colored jersey, and get (here it is again) “puke yellow” with a giant smiling teddy bear slapped in the middle. It looks like they made this jersey as a joke. Way to go Bruins, you have the ugliest jersey in NHL history.
Even though I had seen it before, the hilarious Jes Golbez recently posted this picture of Chris Chelios. It still manages to crack me up, though.
In the photo, Chelios gets a laugh out of a fan’s sign…
Those of you that aren’t familiar with Mr. Ricci are probably wondering ‘who the hell is Mike Ricci, and why is this funny?’
Well, this is Mike Ricci…
Needless to say… that is not a compliment. Mike Ricci is famous among hockey fans as being quite possibly the ugliest player in the history of the game.
Ahhh, how I love them Canucks’ fans.
“When you have bacon and eggs for breakfast, the chicken makes a contribution, but the pig makes a commitment”.
– Fred Shero
That’s a quote I read today on the great Edmonton Oilers’ fansite, Lowetide. I can’t remember if I had heard it before or not, but either way I got a kick out of it.
Fred Shero was a defenseman for the New York Rangers during the late 1940’s. He was, however, more successful as a coach. Shero won two Stanley Cups as a coach of the Philidelphia Flyers.
Fred Shero passed away from cancer on November 24th, 1990.
Star defenceman Brian Leetch officially retired Thursday, ending an 18-year career that featured two Norris Trophy wins and 10 all-star selections.
The 39-year-old sat out the entire out 2006-07 season after spending 2005-06 with the Boston Bruins, when he recorded five goals and 27 assists in 61 games.
In 1991-92, he became only the fifth defenceman in NHL history to reach the 100-point plateau and finished the year with 102 points (22-80).
Leetch is also the only American-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after helping the Rangers end a 54-year Stanley Cup drought in 1994.
Normally, I wouldn’t make mention of something like this, but Brian Leetch holds a special place in my heart. That special place where you hold those most hated and despised.
Don’t get me wrong, Brian Leetch will go down as one of the best offensive defensemen in NHL history, but that doesn’t change what he did to me.
Brian Leetch is one of direct causes to what is probably the saddest of all my childhood memories. He helped the evil New York Rangers defeat my beloved Canucks, back in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. I was just twelve years old, but I remember the moment very clearly. Leetch receives a cross ice pass and scores a goal for the Rangers, in what I believe was the third period. I remember crying, and feeling absolutely crushed.
The underdog Canucks were not able to come back, and were defeated 3-2 in that Game 7 by Leetch and the super-powered Rangers.
I will never forget you Brian Leetch. But not for the good things you brought to the game, but for turning that potentially wonderful day into one of the most crushing moments of my life. And I’m sure not just mine, but also millions of other young (and old) Canucks’ fans around the world.