We're going to continue our run of weird minor league jersey news in just a minute — and trust me when I tell you this one's a doozy — but first I have a few NHL items to get to.
The Boston Bruins wore their Winter Classic jerseys yesterday afternoon (January 23) in front of the indoor home crowd as they faced the Ottawa Senators.
Interestingly, going into that game the Bruins hadn't won a home game since the Winter Classic itself when Marco Sturm netted the overtime winner. Yesterday, the jersey did not, in fact, bring good luck and simply extended the Bs' losing streak.
Anyway, watching this game only cemented the notion in my head that these gold sweaters need to Boston's third next season. They look incredible — especially when compared with the current black alternates.
They have what may well be the best home/road jerseys in the NHL. To have such an awful third is just below them. Fingers crossed, Bruins fans!
The Flyers also wore their Winter Classic jerseys in front of their fans in Philadelphia when they hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 6.
They looked great as well but I think it's a foregone conclusion that these will be given regular use as the club's road jersey beginning next season. Hopefully then we'll get to see it without the Winter Classic patch.
It's strange they wore that patch for a normal regular season game but it may just have been to indicate to fans that this was a special sweater, and isn't yet ready for full-time use.
And if it is used on the road next year, I sincerely hope they fix the nameplate. It works on the orange ones, but not the white ones.
As part of their 100th anniversary celebrations, which have been going on since the beginning of the 2008-09 season, the Montreal Canadiens are scheduled to wear historic jerseys every so often throughout the year.
According to a Special Events calendar handed out to fans at the beginning of this season, last night was a scheduled Centennial Jersey Game. The Habs should've worn their red 1910-11 jersey against the Rangers. But they did not! (I posted the schedule back in October.)
I'm a little confused as to why this change was made. I haven't read anything about it, but if there are any Habs fans out there who have, please fill us in. Meantime, we'll just have to keep an eye on them and see if they make up for missing this one.
For the record, I've got a few jersey galleries in the pipeline for the Habs' centennial sweaters. Expect to start seeing them this week.
Now onto the minors. Two things.
What in the world is going on in Las Vegas?! The ECHL's Wranglers have become notorious for bizarre specialty jerseys and that streak will continue when they dress like — that's right — girl scouts!
According to the ECHL's web site, the Wranglers will wear these (right) Girl Scouts-themed sweaters on March 12 when they host the Bakersfield Condors.
Looks like they've earned their wrangling badge.
To be fair, there will be a silent auction and a portion of proceeds will benefit the local Girl Scouts organization. But isn't there some kind of line these men have crossed by agreeing to wear these to a professional hockey game?
Now normally I'd go into more detail with something like this, but Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy has already taken the liberty. He's got details from the Girl Scouts and even a television commercial about Girl Scout Night at Orleans Arena. But my favorite part is when Greg refers to the puck as a "thin mint." Do read it.
My thanks to Jeff for pointing this story out to us.
And finally, Mark writes in regarding his hometown Albany River Rats of the AHL. There could be some drama here ripe for JerseyWatch 2010.
I'll let him tell you rather than trying to paraphrase.
While I have not seen anything online about this, word is that the Albany River Rats have been sold and will be moving to Carolina next season. Seeing as how I have never seen them over 50% capacity, I can see why.
So that's an interesting development. The River Rats have been in upstate New York for two decades. They were the Capital District Islanders from 1990 to 1993.
But here's the real deal as far as what's been reported by more legitimate media outlets. The News & Observer in Raleigh says that the River Rats currently have a four-year deal in place in Albany. It ends after this season. The report goes on to say the following:
Hurricanes management in the past has expressed a desire to have an AHL team closer to Raleigh and in North Carolina, if possible.
Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said Thursday [January 21] that he would neither confirm nor deny that the move to Charlotte will be made.
Rats owner Walter Rabb has said he would be willing to sell the AHL team but only if the franchise remained in Albany. But it appears the franchise will be sold and moved to Charlotte.
If this happens, it'll be interesting to see what it means for the ECHL's Charlotte Checkers. Canes Country reports that Checkers owner Michael Kahn may well purchase the River Rats in order to bring them to Charlotte, but does not go on to say what would become of the ECHL franchise.
The Charlotte AHL team could be named the Checkers if that franchise is disbanded or sold. If you trust Wikipedia — and I don't know why anyone wouldn't (wink, wink) — another name being considered is the Charlotte Beach Rats.