Tag Archives: toronto maple leafs

Jersday Blog March 14, 2019

The Round-Up

John Tavares Toronto Maple Leafs St. Pats

Any other week this would’ve won Jersey of the Week. This is by far the strongest field of submissions that I’ve had so  unfortunately it falls into the category of the “also ran”. If I was a complete Leafs homer I would’ve named it the winner, but I don’t let bias taint the jersey game. Big integrity move on my part.

For my money the Leafs have the best St. Patrick’s day set-up in sports. Every other team just falls back on the “make our regular jerseys green” play but the Leafs can just dust off the retro Toronto St. Pats out of the closet and print some money. Toronto St. Pat’s gear is on another tier with Boston Celtics and Notre Dame Fighting Irish apparel for St. Patty’s day outfits.

While we’re on the subject of St. Patrick’s Day, the viral video that my buddy took on St. Paddy’s Day two years ago ended up on Ellen this week. Shout out to Blake the man behind the camera. Shout out to the guy that got hit by the door. Apparently he was fine. Shout out to my hair cut seeing as the top of my head takes up 1/4 of the screen. Shout to Adam “Charlie Conway” Cooke.

Michigan Wolverines Baseball Starter Brand

You can tell that this puppy came straight from the thrift shop and it is fantastic. This jersey is pure grit. I’m always a big proponent of pinstripes on a baseball jersey and there is no exception here.

Go Blue.

Alex Pietrangelo St. Louis Blues 2008-2016 Alternate

The Original 6 teams get a lot of lip service in the “best jerseys in hockey” conversation. Everybody’s favourite looks seem the be the classics or the ugly 90’s throwbacks. The St. Louis Blues sneaky have one of the sharpest set-ups in hockey with some great names that you can throw on the back of the jerseys. Chris Pronger, Adam Oates, Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Keith Tkachuk, Curtis Joseph, Vladimir Tarasenko. This Pietrangelo 3rd jersey hits the right notes.

Jordan Eberle Edmonton Oilers 2015-2017 Reebok Alternate

Remember when the Oilers traded Eberle for Ryan Strome? Remember when the Oilers traded the first round pick that would become Matthew Barzal for Griffin Reinhart? Remember when the Oilers traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson.

These trades are the result of Chiarelli making a deal with the devil to win 2015’s McDavid lottery. How in the world can you ice a team that currently sits 22nd in goals for per game in spite of McDavid’s 100 points in 66 games? What a mess. They have the best player in the world, all of those Stanley Cups, a new arena and sweet jerseys so at least they’re a hot mess.

Jamal Murray Denver Nuggets

The pride of Kitchener, Ontario. You know, growing up within a stone’s throw of KW, I know people that played against Jamal Murray in highschool. He’s lucky that Grand River High School didn’t make a trip down to the Falcon’s Nest in Fergus during my reign as chief towel waver and high fiver. He may not have made the NBA after I was through with him. I have derailed a few careers with my relentless “D What?” “Defense!” chants.

Dennis Rodman Chicago Bulls 

I believe it is fair to assume that Dennis Rodman is the only person on this planet to date Madonna, brunch with Kim Jong Un and lead the NBA in rebounds per game for seven straight seasons. This guy was/is legitimately a complete psychopath. Hell of a basketball player though.

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Christian Laettner Duke Blue Devils

March Madness is just around the corner so this jersey is perfect. Everybody hates Christian Laettner! This guy was the original Duke villain that blazed the trail for the likes of Grayson Allen and JJ Reddick. This guy was known for stomping on your hearts with big shots and… literally stomping on people.

Hate him if you will, but sports needs villains and Christian Laettner was one of the best college players of all-time and one of the biggest tools. Also, Christian Laettner also holds the rare distinction as the worst player on the 1992 Dream Team. The US men’s Olympic team was only going to take one college player and Chuck Daly and his coaching staff (Coach K) the Duke phenom over LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal (ever heard of him?). Unbelievable.

Jersey of the Week

Claude Giroux Berlin Polar Bears

I was ready to hand jersey of the week to Christian Laettner until this one hit my timeline. This is the first Deutsche Eishockey Liga jersey we’ve seen and it’s a beauty. During the 2012-13 NHL lockout Giroux racked up 19 points in 9 games with the Polar Bears on a team that also featured Flyers teammate Danny Briere. Any jersey of a North American All-Star on an overseas team’s jersey is a contender for Jersey of the Week. If someone hits me with a Davos HC Joe Thornton jersey that will be an automatic win.

Jersey of the Week Scoreboard:

1. @Acooksy19: 5
T2. @beamerr9: 2
T2. @wilsondrew17: 2
T3. @jefftrahan13: 1
T3. @phillydip4: 1

The Weekly Jersey Dump

 

These jerseys are kind of awesome. The overall look would look better with white pants but the jerseys themselves are a huge look.

 

Even the Raptors practice jerseys are hot. I’ll take a Spicy P Siakam OVO practice jersey please.

These are the perfect kind of ugly. This hits the Shane Doan-Randy Johnson sweet spot.

Whoever greenlit this must be a “fun” math teacher. Quit trying to make pi day happen. You can’t make me care about math.

 

 

Burning jerseys is so passe. I like that people are starting to get more creative in disgruntled jersey destruction.

Oof. As someone that owns a Colby Rasmus, Luke Schenn and Cory Joseph jersey this tweet hits home.

Jersday Blog February 7, 2019

The Round-Up

Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey

Now that Matthews is locked up the question on every Leaf fans mind has to be: “do we have enough room for Jake Gardiner?”

Kidding aside, I’m not concerned on whether or not Marner will sign. Dubas already spent half a year fighting Nylander tooth and nail. There is just no reality where Nylander is a Leaf and Marner isn’t.

Now Auston Mathews’ five year $58,170,000 will be a negotiation point but, regardless of how unreal Marn Dog has been, I can’t see him signing for more than the franchise center. For comparison’s sake here’s every RW contract over $6mil over the past five years.

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I’m torn on what I want a Mitch Marner contract to look like. If they signed him to the same Matthews deal like the Blackhawks did with Toews-Kane in 2014, that means Matthews, Nylander and Marner will all be UFAs in the same summer. But anything with more term would be more expensive for every UFA season the Leafs buy him for.

Either way, buckle up.

Pierre-Luc Dubois Columbus Blue Jackets Jersey

What a pick. What a jersey. I’m a big fan of Columbus’ current digs and Dubois looks like the number 1 center Jarmo Kekalainen promised. I was personally skeptical that they took Dubois over Jesse Puljujarvi but that doubt was quickly put to rest. Check this shit out:

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Take another L Chiarelli

Paul Pierce Boston Celtics Alternate Jersey

Here’s my power ranking of Boston Celtics in order of jersability (the amount of heat radiating from a jersey):
1. Larry Legend
2. Paul “The Truth” Pierce
3. KG
4. Bill Russell
5. Brian Scalabrine
6. Ray Allen
7. Kevin McHale
8. Glen “Big Baby” Davis
9. Rajon Rondo
10. Tony Allen
11. Kris Humphries
12. Isaiah Thomas
13. Gerald Green
14. Kendrick Perkins
15. Jared Sullinger
16. Dominique Wilkins
17. Shaq
18. Darko Milicic
19. Popeye Jones
20. Kyrie Irving

Jersey of the Week

Shane McMahon WWE

Here comes the money!

If you have a WWE jersey you’re definitely more inclined to start wrastling people when you’re drunk. RKO’s, throwing people through tables, Stone Cold beer shower and yelling “suck my dick”. There’s definitely a type.

I’m personally not a big wrestling guy but I respect the art of the sport. Back when I used to play Smackdown Vs. Raw on PS2 I was a big Rey Mysterio and Big Show guy. The 619 into The Showstopper Slam was the ultimate tag team.

The Weekly News Dump

This guy sucks

Shooting straight from the hip, Oakland, Detroit, Colorado, Royals and White Sox brought the heat. Just when I think I have enough hats I get roped back in.

Zut alore… Who cares

These Stadium Series jerseys stink out loud

The Jersday Blog January 17, 2019

The Round-Up

Pavel Datsyuk 2013-14 Winter Classic Detroit Red Wings Jersey

Since the lockout, Crosby has undoubtedly been the best player in the NHL. Ovechkin the best goal-scorer, Joe Thornton the best set-up man and Cal Clutterbuck the most-hitting player. But in my mind, Datsyuk was easily the most fun to watch. Lock the door, put a sock on the door knob and and feast your eyes on this puck wizardry:

This guy was pure electricity. Not to mention he also won faceoffs! And actually back checked! And won 2 Stanley Cups! His 2007-08 season where he won a Selke for league’s best 2-way forward, scored 31 goals and 97 AND won a Stanley Cup has to be one of the most impressive seasons in the modern era. What a stud.

Auston Matthews Centennial Classic Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey

Auston Matthews Jersday Count: 3

Let’s take a look in at how Matthews has been doing lately.

Not a hot start to 2019 but there’s a reason the season is 82 games long and not 2 weeks. Anyone panicking about the Leafs current slide are the same ones who kept projecting Matthews’ scoring totals back when he was on pace for like 100. But that’s the Toronto sports scene for ya. The sky is always falling.

Just remember… the Leafs have Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Reilly and Andersen. LFG.

Travis Konecny Philadelphia Flyers Jersey

I’m a big fan of the Flyers’ oranges. They look a lot better than their mid-2000’s black primary jerseys from the Robert Esche era.

As for Konecny, he’s a cool pleyer to root for. The former Chatham-Kent Cyclone and Ottawa 67 has been a real player for the Philadelphia Flyers. The speedster was taken 24th overall in 2015 but is ninth in scoring from his draft class (ahead of him are McDavid, Eichel, Rantanen, Marner, Aho, Barzal, Werenski and Hanifin (holy shit this was an awesome draft year)). While he’s have a slow year compared to his 24 goal 2017-18, Konecny has a lot in the tank.

Cam Neely Boston Bruins Jersey

Greatest power forward of all-time is a bit of a stretch. Then again guys who average a point-per-game and around 100 PIMs a season don’t grow on trees. Fighting is a bit of a lost art form these days and anytime a guy can effectively chuck knucks and score goals I do take notice.

Some people think that I hate the Bruins and that… well that is true. But that’s only been a recent thing. Pre lock-out 2005 the Bruins and Leafs never seemed to be good at the same time so I could appreciate the Joe Thorntons, Sergei Samsonovs, Cam Neelys and  and Ray Bourques or what have you. But that ship has unfortunately sailed. Kick rocks Burgess. I have no time for your irrational Matthews-hating ways.

Steve Nash 1st stint Phoenix Suns Jersey

Heavens to Bettsy I’m blushing. What a jersey. This era of Suns jersey was before the long hair and MVP trophies.

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Full disclosure. Steve Nash is my favourite basketball player of all-time.

But any Canadian and/or basketball with a beating heart can appreciate MVSteve. He’s the only Canadian to win NBA MVP and is the 11th player to ever win back-to-back MVP’s.

Here’s a fair warning, I’m about to hit you with a Datsyuk montage and a Nash highlight reel in the same blog. Buckle up.

Jersey of the Week

Jaromir Jagr Czech Republic National Team Jersey

The man, the myth, the mullet. The jersey speaks for itself.

Jagr has officially suited up for the Czech Republic for 133 games internationally in his career. That’s more than his time in Philly, Boston, Dallas and Calgary.

1921 points in 1733 career NHL games. He left the NHL last year at age 45 to play in the Czech Republic. The guy was an absolute legend. I doubt we’ll see him in the NHL again but don’t be shocked if it happens.

 

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The Weekly Jersey Dump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jersday Blog December 27th, 2018

The Round Up

The Blue Devils Wagon
Zion Williamson Black Nike Duke Jersey
RJ Barrett Black Nike Duke Jersey

Barrett’s ceiling is that of an elite playmaking small forward in the NBA and Williamson is a 285 pound wrecking ball that demolishes every rim in sight. Zion and RJ are projected to go 1-2 in the 2019 NBA draft and could be right up there with Hill-Laettner era Duke, Anthony Davis-MKG Kentucky team and the Michigan Fab Five for best combos in college basketball history.

 

Christian Yelich Pinstripes Majestic Milwaukee Brewers Jersey

2018 was quite a year for Yelich. 36 dingers, a triple slash line of .326/.402/.598 and a National League MVP. Yelich is so hot right now. Baker Mayfield certainly thinks so.

The throwback Brewers look is the only way to go and pinstripes always play. This jersey is an overall win.

Karl Malone Purple Adidas Classics Utah Jazz Jersey

The 90’s were jam-packed with stars and the Mail Man can often times get lost in the shuffle. He’s a two-time MVP, he’s made the All-NBA First team 11 times and is second all-time in NBA scoring with 36,928 points (25 PPG). But in a decade with all-time greats like Jordan, Hakeem, Robinson, Barkley, Pippen, Drexler, Ewing, Miller, Stockton and Shaq it can be tough to stand out. Nothing screams 90s like a purple Malone or Stockton jersey, even if they couldn’t get over the hump and beat MJ for a championship.

Tom Brady Red Alternate Nike New England Patriots Jersey

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the red Patriots jerseys are so much cooler than the grey on navy look that they insist on. And yeah I guess Brady is the GOAT…

Auston Matthews Blue Adidas Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey

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This is the second Matthews jersey posted this year and I want them to keep on coming! He has 19 goals in 23 games… This guy is unreal.

Remember when the 2016 Draft was framed as “will the Leafs choose the elite center or the elite goal-scorer?” Well Matthews ended up being both. At 21 years-old Matthews is already one of the best goal scorers in the NHL. For once it’s a good time to be a Leafs fan.

Deron Williams Black Adidas Brooklyn Nets Jersey

The end of D-Will’s NBA career took a bit of a hit with the mediocre last few seasons of his career. In his prime he was a top five point guard in the league. He was a notch below Chris Paul and Steve Nash.

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I’d rock a Williams jersey, although a Utah Jazz or a New Jersey Nets jersey would bring a bit more punch than a Brooklyn one.

Arizona State Hockey Jersey

After years of club hockey in the ACHA, the Arizona State Sun Devils have been a Division 1 NCAA program since 2015. While they are Independent and don’t belong to a conference, the 12-6 Sun Devils are the 15th ranked team in college hockey with what is already their highest win total since joining the NCAA. Undrafted 22 year-old forward Johnny Walker leads the nation in goals with 17 in 19 games. Walker and teammateTyler Busch were on the Spittin Chiclets podcast last month and talked all things Sun Devils hockey. It’s a good listen so check it out if you haven’t already:

Jersey Dump

Week 17 is coming in hot and everyone is scoreboard watching. I for one don’t want to see the Steelers and that moron Ben Roethlisberger make it. I just want a playoff spot come down to a hail Mary or some sort of play that includes 8 laterals. Bring on the madness.

Cowabunga

I kind of want a Kalil Mack Bulls jersey now.

Young Sheldon over here oversold this collision. As someone who couldn’t be further from courtside lifestyle, sorry if I don’t feel sorry for this little punk.

 

The Jersday Blog December 13, 2018

The Jersey Round-Up

Troy Tulowitzki Colorado Rockies Jersey

This one hurts. Just a week ago I professed my disappointment with Tulo’s Blue Jay era and now, with the snap of a finger, he’s gone. Paid $38 million to stay out of Toronto. Well pull up a chair. Back in my day Tulowitzki, Matt Holiday and Jeff Francis were the best players on the 2007 World Series runner-up Colorado Rockies. From 2007 to 2014 here are the top 5 shortstops based on Fangraphs WAR:

1. Hanley Ramirez 36.5
2. Troy Tulowitzki 33.4
3. Jose Reyes 30.6
4. Jimmy Rollins 30.2
5.  JJ Hardy 24.0

Believe it or not Tulowitzki used to not stink. In fact he was actually awesome. Good luck with your future endeavours Tulo. I hope you find your peace playing second base for the Oakland A’s.

Joffrey Lupul 2014 Winter Classic Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey

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Say what you will about Brian Burkes tenure as Toronto’s GM, but the guy made some shrewd trades. Feast your eyes on this home run:

2011-Feb-09  Anaheim Ducks trades Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner and round 4 pick in the 2013 draft (Fredrik Bergvik) to Toronto Maple Leafs for Francois Beauchemin

For the price of a 30 year old Beauchemin the Leafs got 2 solid seasons out of Lupul–67 points in 66 games in an All Star 2011-12 season and a 22 goal 2013-14 season–and many good seasons out of Jake Gardiner (he may throw the odd pizza up the middle but more often than not Gardiner is very effective).

The Winter Classic game was one of the few highlights of the 2013-14 season. A 3-2 shootout win over the Red Wings on January 1st at the Big House in Ann Arbour really kicked off 2014 with a bang. The Leafs would finish the season 38-36-8 missing the playoffs altogether which was pretty par for the course.

In terms of Winter Classic jerseys the 2014 look was alright. There are too many stripes for my liking. But Toronto bias aside any Leafs jersey has looked like a classic and this jersey is no exception. At the time I almost sprung for a Jonathan Bernier Winter Classic jersey which would’ve been par for the course for me.

Alex Barkov Florida Panthers Jersey

Barkov is quietly one of the best centres in the NHL and it’s crazy that there’s not more buzz around the guy. He had 78 points in 77 games last year and he is on a point per game pace once again this year. MacKinnon and Seth Jones get more of the buzz from the 2013 draft and deservedly so. But Barkov is not far behind at all.

Also shout out to Florida’s newest look as the only jersey in franchise history to not look like a Walmart special. The Canadiens-esque stripe down the middle that most teams are using looks sharp. The switch from yellow to gold and emphasizing red over the navy has been a great call.

Odell Beckham Jr. New York Giants Jersey

Here’s a brief synopsis of OBJ’s young career so far:

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Say what you will about Odell, nobody can deny that he is a fun and talented player. Love him or hate him the guy puts asses in the seats. Off the top of my head here’s a quick top five Giants I would get a jersey of:
1. Saquon Barkley
2. Strahan
3. Lawrence Taylor
4. Odell
5. Victor Cruz

1997 NHL Eastern Conference All Star Jersey

A lot of NHL 90’s jerseys went from cool to ugly and tacky and now they’re just cool. The San Jose themed ’97 All Star jersey is a cool get. This one doesn’t have a name and number on it so here’s a list of guys who could’ve been on it:

Starting Lineup:
United States 2 – D Brian Leetch (New York Rangers)
United States 10 – LW John LeClair (Philadelphia Flyers)
Canada 22 – RW Dino Ciccarelli (Tampa Bay Lightning)
United States 34 – G John Vanbiesbrouck (Florida Panthers)
Canada 77 – D Ray Bourque (Boston Bruins)
Canada 99 – C Wayne Gretzky (New York Rangers), Captain
Commissioner’s Selection:
Canada 15 – C Dale Hawerchuk (Philadelphia Flyers)
Canada 32 – C Dale Hunter (Washington Capitals)
Reserves:
Canada 4 – D Scott Stevens (New Jersey Devils)
Canada 7 – D Paul Coffey (Philadelphia Flyers)
Canada 8 – RW Mark Recchi (Montreal Canadiens)
Sweden 9 – RW Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa Senators)
Canada 11 – C Mark Messier (New York Rangers)
Slovakia 12 – LW Peter Bondra (Washington Capitals)
United States 16 – D Scott Lachance (New York Islanders)
Canada 18 – LW Geoff Sanderson (Hartford Whalers)
Canada 21 – C Adam Oates (Boston Bruins)
Slovakia 24 – D Robert Svehla (Florida Panthers)
Canada 30 – G Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils)
Czech Republic 39 – G Dominik Hasek (Buffalo Sabres)
United States 44 – D Kevin Hatcher (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Canada 66 – C Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Canada 88 – C Eric Lindros (Philadelphia Flyers)

 

Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers Jersey

This is a cool jersey. The Dodgers look is timeless and Jackie Robinson is on the Mount Rushmore of Dodgers ethos. As the first African-American player to play in the big leagues Robinson is a legend that really doesn’t need an introduction.

The movie “42” that came out in 2013 was solid. My brother does a great impression of Harrison Ford playing Dodgers owner Branch Rickey where he contorts his face and growls “baaaasebaaaall” in a raspy voice while pretending to smoke a cigar. Take my word for it, it is spot on. If you haven’t seen the movie yet definitely check it out.

 

Jersey Dump

 

 

The Jersday Blog November 22, 2018

The Weekly Jersey Round-Up

Limited Edition Calvin Johnson Blue on Blue Detroit Lions Nike Jersey

This is one of my favourite submissions so far. Just a sweet Detroit Lions look coming in hot on Thanksgiving Thursday. The Lions definitely could’ve used Johnson today considering they lost 23-16 to Chase Daniels this afternoon. Since trading Golden Tate to the Eagles the Lions top receiver is… Kenny Golladay?

I’m sure the 33 year old Johnson could still suit up and probably dominate. When Megatron retired two years ago, he left on top of the game. Johnson, along with Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt, and Antonio Brown are the only receivers with seasons of 1,600 yards receiving. In 2012 Johnson broke the record for the most receiving yards in a single season with 1,964 yards. At his peak he was a 6’5″ beast who could run, jump and catch with the best of them.

 

Boone Jenner Oshawa Generals Reebok Jersey

Boone Jenner straight out of the Shwa. I’m a huge fan of junior hockey jerseys and Jenner is no exception. I’m curious as to what level of Jenner/Coloumbus/Oshawa fan you’d have to be to scoop this one up. Oshawa Generals jerseys have a clean classic look and are probably one of my favourite OHL sweaters. The more I think about it I’m all about this jersey. Jenner is the perfect intersection of grit, scoring, obscure and is just low-key good.

Colin Kaepernick San Fransisco 49ers Jersey

If you don’t sympathize with the plight of Colin Kaepernick then you’re kind of an ass hole. He’s good enough that he should at least be on a roster. In 2016 he had a 90.7 Quarterback Rating which would be 20th in the league this year sandwiched between Matt Stafford and Andy Dalton. Now Kap has never been as great as he showed in that 2012 Super Bowl run, but when he had it going the guy played like a god damn video game. Decent arm, had some size and could run like the wind. Just a fun, fun player to watch.

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Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs Reebok Winter Classic Jersey

The Leafs are third in the NHL despite having Matthews stapled to IR since October 27th. This team is a wagon, Autson Matthews is a stud (10 goals in 11 games noooot a big deeeeeal) and it finally feels like its all coming together for the Leafs. This Winter Classic jersey bangs.

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Tony Parker San Antonio Spurs Adidas Jersey

I just realized I only own point guard jerseys. I guess you don’t see your patterns until its right in front of you. I have Steve Nash, Jose Calderon, Spud Webb, Cory Joseph, Damian Lillard and Tony Parker. It’s like I’ve unintentionally boycotted dunking. Regardless of my point guard fetish, I think the Tony Parker jersey plays. 4 time NBA champ, 2007 Finals MVP and a 6-time all-star.

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Autographed Serge Ibaka Toronto Raptors Jersey

Ibaka’s resurgence has been a huge part of the Raptor’s scorching hot 15-4 start. The guy is blocking shots and working in the paint like a maniac. He hasn’t been this effective since the Thunder had Durant and Harden (laugh out loud hilarious that the Thunder chose to pay Ibaka over Harden (laugh out laugh hilarious that the Magic traded Oladipo for Ibaka (laugh out loud hilarious that the Thunder flipped Oladipo for Paul George))).

After a questionable first year and a half into his Raptors tenure, Ibaka is now dominating on the court and in the kitchen. Bon Apetit.

Ron Francis Hartford Whalers Jersey

Shout out to Doctor Hyatt! An esteemed professor in Brock University’s sport management program, Hyatt’s love for the Hartford Whalers is only matched by his love for Tim Raines and the Houston Astrodome. Listening to his lectures in second year History of Pro Sport (yes that was a real class) were some of the funniest and most informative rants that I have ever witnessed. Tim Raines is only in the Hall of Fame because of champions like Hyatt fighting for his cause. And if he had his way, the Hartford Whalers would be back in the NHL. Hyatt Fun Fact of the Day: the Hartford Whalers logo contains a whale tail, the letter “W”, AND the letter “H” is hidden in the middle of the logo. Fascinating stuff.

Jersey Dump

These are beautiful. Buckeyes haven’t been relevant since Jared Sullinger but these jerseys queue their comeback. Bad teams don’t wear jerseys this nice.

These jerseys land square in the middle in the Venn Diagram of my Yankee hate and Notre Dame hate.

The NFL needs more colour rush… Bring back colour rush Thursdays!

 

Throwback to a time when the Bills still didn’t win the Super Bowl! Still nice though.

 

Gonna have to pop on a Beltre jersey. Just don’t know which team it’d be…

I don’t love the Marlins new look. It’s better than the bright orange era but definitely worse than their 90’s look.

Probably a decent call to get rid of the Chief Wahoo logo. Big fan of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitar patch on the sleeve. Cleveland Rocks.

 

I saw some hate on the powder blues on Twitter but I’m a big fan.

These make me dizzy and nauseous.

Mike Modano, Eddie the Eagle, Jere Lehtinen, Sergei Zubov, Derian Hatcher. Now that is Texas hockey.

If you want to show off a sweet jersey or want to put a buddy with a jersey-buying problem on blast, be sure to send your submissions to me over Twitter @twaind4

NHL Week In Review – Joel Quenneville, The Resilient Red Wings, And The Senators Wild Ride

Hello, beautiful Bench-Lifers. I am back again for another look at the biggest NHL storylines from the past week. There was a ton to talk about during the past seven days so let’s jump right in.

Blackhawk Down

A new day has dawned for the Chicago Blackhawks. On Tuesday morning, in the midst of a five-game losing streak, the team fired long-time head coach Joel Quenneville. The mustachioed bench boss was the longest-tenured coach in the NHL at the time of his firing and had won three Stanley Cup championships over his 10 seasons with the team. Jeremy Colliton, who was coaching the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL, was named his successor and became the youngest coach in the league at 38-years-old.

Quenneville is the second-winningest coach in NHL history (890 wins), trailing only the legendary Scotty Bowman (1,244 wins). Ironically enough, the Bowman regime has a massive part to play in this whole scenario. Stan Bowman, the Blackhawks general manager (and Scotty’s son), butted-heads with Quenneville over organizational matters throughout the entirety of their working relationship. Mark Lazerus has a fantastic piece about the whole situation on The Athletic, but basically, there were three main points of contention that the article covered.

  1. In the 2011-12 season, Bowman forced Barry Smith upon Quenneville as an assistant coach. Scotty Bowman was a senior advisor in the organization at the time and Smith was an old friend who had coached with him for over 15 seasons. The decision infuriated Quenneville and started a theme of resentment between him and the Bowman clan. Interestingly enough, Smith was immediately brought back this past week as an assistant coach once Quenneville was canned.
  2. At the end of the 2016-17 season, Quenneville’s best friend/assistant coach Mike Kitchen was fired by Bowman. The two started coaching together in 1998 with the St. Louis Blues and had spent over 12 seasons alongside one another behind the bench.
  3. Bowman had made some trades that Quenneville vehemently disagreed with over the past few years, most notably, the Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artemi Panarin deals.

The way I see it is that Bowman saved his own ass by firing Quenneville. Apparently, that is how former Blackhawks’ tough guy Daniel Carcillo sees it too.

Now, the head coach was not perfect by any means. He was not some infallible deity that could do no wrong with the hockey gods. Quenneville routinely frustrated fans by showing blind loyalty to veteran players while youthful talent waited for their chance. The Blackhawks had first-round exits in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons before completely bottoming-out last year. Due to this, changes definitely had to be made. With that being said, Bowman is more responsible for an under-performing roster than Quenneville was.

The head coach did not trade Hjalmarsson to the Coyotes nor did he make the Panarin for Brandon Saad swap. He did not trade Teuvo Teravainen, Philip Danault, or Vinnie Hinistroza in the past two years. The general manager is responsible for those moves. Furthermore, Bowman inherited his Cup-winning core from Dale Tallon when he was hired in 2009. He did not draft Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, or Corey Crawford. Likewise, Bowman responded to the Blackhawks’ worst season in a decade by signing Chris Kunitz, Brandon Manning, and Cam Ward this past offseason. Talk about some real game changers.

Negativity aside, I fully believe Bowman deserves credit for the moves he made during the 2012-13 and 2014-15 Cup wins. Players like Johnny Oduya, Michal Handzus, and Antoine Vermette were integral playoff pieces and shrewd acquisitions.

All of this adds up to the Blackhawks losing the first two games of Colliton’s NHL coaching career. Their losing streak now sits at seven games. After a 6-2-2 start, their record sits at 6-8-3. Quenneville was caught up in a power struggle, and he ultimately deserved a better fate. Regardless, he will be able to coach again any time he wants to as certain teams are likely drooling at the thought of bringing him in. Quenneville will be fine. I am not sure the same can be said about the Blackhawks.

Comebacks And Curly Fries In The Motor City

Before saying anything else, the Detroit Red Wings are not a good team. I am a diehard fan myself, and while they have been incredibly fun lately, I am not mistaking them for a team with realistic playoff aspirations.

With that being said, OH MY GOD THE RED WINGS REBUILD IS IN FULL SWING! WE’LL BE BACK IN NO TIME! IN LARKIN WE TRUST!

*ahem*

Yes, the Red Wings have won six of their last seven games after a dismal 1-7-2 start to the year. They have won three straight games despite trailing by multiple goals in each contest. It is the first time in franchise history that the team has accomplished such a feat. Up front, there have been fantastic performances from some of their young leaders. In particular, Dylan Larkin is playing like an absolute stud. He has seven goals and 10 assists through 17 games this season including the overtime winner against the New York Rangers on Friday.

Similarly, Andreas Athanasiou has been dangerous on a nightly basis. He has four points in his past two games and 10 points through 13 games this season. On Saturday, Anthony Mantha single-handedly spearheaded the comeback against the Carolina Hurricanes with two goals in the third period. Tyler Bertuzzi has shown he belongs at the NHL level and 2017 first-round pick Michael Rasmussen has delivered tantalizing flashes of his power-forward potential.

With that in mind, perhaps the best part about the whole start to the season has been 2016 first-round pick Dennis Cholowski on the back end. On draft night, many fans (including myself) were skeptical when the team traded down, jettisoning Pavel Datsyuk’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes, but passing on Jakob Chychrun in the process. Cholowski was a moderately unknown commodity at the time as he played in the BCHL during his draft year. On the other hand, Chychrun had been considered a top-10 pick early on in 2016 while playing for the Sarnia Sting in the OHL. Cholowski surprised many people out of training camp this season and ultimately wound up on the team for opening night. Since then, all he has done is impress with two goals, six assists, and a poise that far exceeded expectations.

Again, the Red Wings are not good. This is a team that was so bad early on in the season, that Arby’s changed a decade-old curly fries promotion. In years past, fans would get a free order of curly fries whenever a Red Wings player scored a hat trick. All they had to do was bring in a box score of the game. Now, Arby’s is giving away a free order of curly fries whenever the Red Wings score three goals in a game. There is lowering the bar, and then there is that. But hey, since the changeover the Red Wings have scored at least three goals in seven of eight games. All praise the power of the curly fry.

The Uber Ride Heard ‘Round The World

At this point, I hope we all know what happened. If not, here is the video. During a road trip to Arizona in late October, several Ottawa Senators players were unknowingly recorded by their Uber driver as they mocked their coaching staff in a five-minute rant. Matt Duchene was the most vocal of the bunch and continuously mentioned how clueless assistant coach Martin Raymond was while Chris Wideman and Thomas Chabot laughed at the team’s inefficient penalty killing.

Now, this is not a great situation, especially for a franchise that has had such a tumultuous year. It is embarrassing for the players and provided an unnecessary headache in an already challenging season. With that being said, I thought this whole ordeal was blown way out of proportion. I mean, who hasn’t badmouthed a co-worker, customer or boss before? The difference is, if you knew you were being recorded, you probably would have kept your opinions to yourself. Gerard Gallant, head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights, had a great take on the situation when asked by a Toronto Sun reporter.

“All the players talk about coaches all the time, believe me, and vice versa.” He paused to laugh. “We talk about them too.”

Obviously! It is cliche, but you cannot please everyone. A hockey team consists of a ton of individuals having to try and work together to achieve a common goal. Not everybody is going agree with the methods, and in return, they will vent about it in privacy. This video never should have surfaced because all it is are athletes voicing their frustrations.

Thankfully, the Senators won two of their four games this week, including a wild comeback against the powerful Tampa Bay Lightning. Things would have been brutal if they went on a massive losing streak after this media firestorm.

I will say, one positive from the whole situation is that this tweet was made (sorry Sens fans).

Fabulous Firsts

These players scored the first NHL goal of their careers this week: Denis Gurianov (DAL), Brett Seney (NJD), Jeremy Lauzon (BOS).

Quick Hits

The Boston Bruins top line of Brad Marchand (2G,3A), Patrice Bergeron (2G,4A), and David Pastrnak (5G,2A) absolutely dominated during four games this week. The trio has accounted for 58% of the Bruins goals this season (31/53). They are simply terrific.

Continuing on with the Bruins, shoutout to Jaroslav Halak who has been downright magnificent with Beantown this season. Halak has posted a 6-1-2 record with a 1.77 goals-against average, .945 save percentage, and two shutouts to start 2018-19. Aside from a five-goal clunker against the Canucks on Thursday, he has been practically unbeatable. Tuukka Rask remains on personal leave which means Halak is manning the crease for the near future.

The Minnesota Wild have been quietly formidable through their first portion of the season. They are riding an 8-2-0 record in their last 10 games and sit at 11-4-2 on the year. Zach Parise’s resurgence has been a big part of their success. He has delivered seven goals and nine assists through his first 17 games after posting back-to-back seasons with less than 50 points. Here’s hoping he stays healthy!

William Nylander continues to play the waiting game with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The slick Swedish forward has until 5PM on December 1st to sign a contract or else he will be ineligible to play this season. Both parties are apparently still quite far apart with the financials. I understand the hesitation from Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas. 1). This is his first big contract dispute as an NHL general manager. If he caves and gives Nylander a big contract, agents will prey on him for years to come. 2). He has to try his best to get Nylander signed to a reasonable contract that will not handcuff the team’s financial abilities in the future. Apparently, the Leafs have reached out to possible trade partners in recent days. Dubas has continuously stated that he will not trade Nylander, but with the clock ticking, desperation may set in during the coming weeks. Not having Nylander playing and/or not having assets in return would severely hurt the Leafs chances of getting past Tampa Bay and Boston in the playoffs this season.

A couple of streaks were extended for Florida Panthers players on Sunday evening. Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov both picked up an assist during a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. This extended their point streaks to 12 and 11 games, respectively. The two have formed a daunting unit with Aleksander Barkov on the top line.

The Nashville Predators have become the third team in NHL history to win their first eight road games of the season. Last year’s President Trophy winners are well on their way to another magnificent campaign. They sit atop the NHL standings with a 13-3-0 record and are currently rolling on a five-game win streak.

About three weeks ago, New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle announced that his leukemia was in remission. Boyle was diagnosed with the disease back in 2017. On Tuesday, which was coincidentally Hockey Fights Cancer night in Pittsburgh, Boyle scored the first hat trick of his 705-game NHL career. Sometimes sports can be pure poetry. What a touching moment for Boyle and his family. Good luck to him the rest of the season.

Milestone Makers

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton played in his 1500th career game on Thursday night during a 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars.

Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise scored the 700th point of his career on Thursday night during a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Patrick Marleau picked up the 600th assist of his career on Friday night during a 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

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