If you follow me on Twitter or read my work elsewhere (in which case, deepest apologies, by the way), you probably know how I feel about throwback tribute jerseys.
The Toronto Aretnas? Give me liberty or give me poor logo placement, I say. The Vancouver Millionaires? Literally the best throwback jersey until the Coyotes brought back the Kachina, and it’s not even close. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim? Colorado Rockies? Yeeeeeesssss. All of it. Bring me all of it.
I know some people consider it blasphemous or disingenuous or whatever, and that’s awesome and all. Everyone deserves respect for their opinions, or something like that.
But apparently, the new marketing staff under the fresh ownership group in Carolina is firmly on my side in this debate - because yes, the Hartford Whalers are coming back to Carolina.
Hurricanes are unveiling Hartford Whalers throwbacks, and a source tells me they will wear them against the Bruins Dec 23 and March 5— Marisa Ingemi (@Marisa_Ingemi) September 27, 2018
The Whalers were moved from Hartford for a myriad of reasons, including struggling attendance in a smaller market (surrounded by other teams in close proximity, nonetheless) and an arena controversy.
The fanbase that the Whalers left behind, though, was loyal to the core, and their uniforms were absolutely bananas good. So now, they’ll get a chance to wear them again, albeit in their new market a couple thousand miles to the south.
The particularly neat part about their games is that it appears they’ll play both games against the Boston Bruins, who also share a storied history with the Whalers franchise. The two teams shared an arena in Boston when the now-Hurricanes first formed as the New England Whalers of the WHA, splitting the old Boston Garden from 1972 to 1974.
Anyways, add this to the long list of teams that are busting out some seriously fire throwback jerseys as their third alternates this year. The Coyotes Kachina jersey and the Mighty Ducks throwbacks were already going to be major revenue drivers for their respective clubs - but with the Whalers jersey joining in the mix, there’s some steep competition for which throwback will get the most attention.
Speaking of things that are getting attention, let’s discuss Gritty for a moment:
Since the Flyers revealed their absolutely insane new mascot earlier this week, we’ve learned quite a bit.
First off, the damn thing has squeaky hands like a doggie chew toy, which is utterly incredible:
A bond has been forged pic.twitter.com/8qojKM92tB— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 26, 2018
Who did this??? Who did it????
Also, whomever has been given the now-famous job of actually being Gritty has done a bang-up job so far. He’s dumped popcorn all over Rangers fans, letting his eyes spin in circles and thrusting his belly all over the place. He’s fallen on the ice and absolutely rallied. He’s even shot some dude in the back with a t-shirt cannon, which is probably the best story of the preseason by a wide margin.
I was mildly terrified when I first saw it, but my two-year-old loves the thing. And apparently she’s not alone - so while we all had to collectively scrape our jaws off the floor when Meth Youppi showed up on the scene, apparently some marketing mogul had the right idea.
In the world of Avalanche hockey, the AHL’s Colorado Eagles opened up their training camp this week.
We’ll have one of our own out there today to catch up with some players at the game - potentially including the newly-reassigned Martin Kaut - so keep an eye out for the recap of that.
Speaking of catching up with players, the Avs caught up with Logan O’Connor:
And if you subscribe to The Athletic, here’s a cool look at each of the masks the Avs players will be wearing this year, and why. [The Athletic Denver]
In some final news:
Shea Theodore is finally back with the Golden Knights after inking a long-term deal to join the club, and he’s pretty excited about it. [Knights on Ice]
Meanwhile, in Montreal, things are actually looking up a bit with prospect Jesperi Kotkaniemi. [Habs Eye On The Prize]
And finally, Robin Lehner has added an even more personal twist to his In Flames mask this year, and we’re all here to support it. [Lighthouse Hockey]
We’ll end with an awesome highlight of what the women in pro hockey do to make ends meet. This tweet comes from an entire thread showcasing the jobs the CWHL players have outside of the rink, but this picture really hammered the entire concept home to me:
.@ThunderCWHL's Liz Knox (@27Knoxy) is currently completing her #firefighter certification through @TDFireAcademy.— Paul Harbridge (@PaulHarbridge) September 26, 2018
She also works in carpentry/construction for McMunn & Co. and is co-chair of the @CWHL_PA.#RoleModel @CraigMcMunn :@pollockheather pic.twitter.com/WdKmsicq4Q
Find me a cooler career photo (spoiler: you absolutely can’t).