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Fantastic Fashions – The Pittsburgh Penguins & Yellow

15 Feb
2012-13 O-Pee-Chee - Mario Lemieux Vintage Rookie

2012-13 O-Pee-Chee – Mario Lemieux Vintage Marquee Rookie

Lately, the Pittsburgh Penguins have jumped aboard the retro train a fair bit, but for the most part, they’ve rocked the blue jerseys (light blue and dark blue) from their earliest days in the NHL.

Currently, they don’t have a third jersey, but there’s talk of one reappearing for 2014-15.  What I’d really like to see is a bit more yellow, sported for a couple years in the early 1980’s.  The image above is brought to you courtesy of a young Mario Lemieux.  Now, this uniform would only be complete with the yellow helmet and classy screened-on numbers (see the shine on the 66?), but I’m pretty sure this is something the Penguins can do.  Are you listening, Pittsburgh?

Fantastic Fashions – The Philadelphia Blazers

4 Nov
2007-08 In the Game - Bernie Parent

2007-08 In the Game – Bernie Parent

The Philadelphia Blazers are a fairly interesting case study in the World Hockey Association.  Now, I’m not going to get into a whole thing about the WHA, although it really is fascinating.  If you want to know more about it, read The Rebel League by Ed Willes.  If you want to read a half-assed piece of nonsense about one of the league’s franchises, stay here.  The following are a few reasons why you should care about the Philadelphia Blazers:

-They were born as the Miami Screaming Eagles but never played a game there – they moved to Philly before the WHA’s inaugural 1972-73 season.
-They didn’t stay long in Pennsylvania.  They moved west to Vancouver for 1973-74 and 1974-75 before becoming the Calgary Cowboys for two seasons.
-They once made Derek Sanderson the highest paid athlete in the world to play a total of eight games for them.
-After playing two years in Toronto, Bernie Parent’s return to Philadelphia wasn’t with the Flyers, but with the Blazers.  Then he went back to the NHL the next season with the Flyers, and he won a couple of trophies.

And, above it all, they wore those uniforms.  That much orange and that much yellow, mixed with so much creativity in the logo design… you might have missed it, but they made the L into a hockey stick.  I know, your mind is blown.  Go Blazers.

Philadelphia Blazers (WHA)

Fantastic Fashions – St. Louis Cardinals Pillbox Helmets

14 Aug
1977 Topps - Lou Brock

1977 Topps – Lou Brock

Most people know about the Pittsburgh Pirates wearing the old “pillbox”-style caps for a few years in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  What I didn’t know was that the St. Louis Cardinals and a few other National League teams did the same in 1976 to celebrate the League’s centennial.  The Cardinals even took it to a new level of ridiculousness by ensuring that their road helmets also had the striping painted on.

This is a decision that probably could have been reconsidered.  Lou Brock would agree… and he’s in the Hall of Fame.

Fantastic Fashions – Pittsburgh Penguins Jaw Protection

22 May
1992-93 O-Pee-Chee - Rick Tocchet

1992-93 O-Pee-Chee – Rick Tocchet

Lately, ever since he broke his jaw, it’s been pretty obvious to notice that Sidney Crosby has something wrong with his helmet.  Something to do with protecting the injury.

What has been lost in all of this is that the same thing happened to Rick Tocchet back during the Penguins’ second Stanley Cup run in 1991-92.  Sure, they say it wasn’t as bad as Sid’s, but Tocchet did fight Kris King right after returning.  What are you doing, Sid?  Leading the league in playoff goals?  Alright, whatever.

Here’s my question – which jaw-protecting helmet was better?  I’d say there are pros and cons to each, and it’s pretty tough to decide:


-Jaw protector matches helmet colour
-Tough factor with no visor and limited facial coverage
-Open-faced motorcycle helmet cool

-Jaw protector attached to awful early 1990’s Jofa helmet
-That is the only con needed


-Appears to provide actual protection for a player with a history of head injuries
-Not attached to awful early 1990’s Jofa helmet
-Cage-style design allows for easier communication with teammates and coaches


-Appears to be part of ill-fated Itech full face shield
-Might as well just wear ill-fated Itech full face shield
-Cage-style design allows for easier communication with officials

Realistically, if I was going to rock one of these, it would probably be Tocchet’s, even though it’s just hideous.  I like to kick it old school, what can I tell you.

Fantastic Fashions – John Slaney

28 Jan
1990-91 Upper Deck - John Slaney

1990-91 Upper Deck – John Slaney

At the NHL draft, when a player’s name is called by his new team, he takes the stage and is given a new hat and a jersey for his first NHL photo opportunity.  This photo opportunity usually takes place with the team’s owner, the general manager, head coach, someone’s kid, and a couple of other people who I’m sure do a hell of a job for the team.

Usually, the player takes a moment to try to make himself look presentable.  Other times, like at the 1990 NHL Draft, players like John Slaney decide that the best way to wear a bad hat is to perch it atop a bad bowl haircut as awkwardly as possible.  In Slaney’s case, he obviously followed three key rules to draft headwear:

1. Ensure the hat is worn as loosely as possible and make zero effort whatsoever to resize it.
2. Ensure the team’s logo is almost impossible to see on the hat due to the upward angle of the brim.
3. Ensure that everyone knows you cut your own hair with a pair of lefthanded scissors (you know, the ones with the green handles.  Come on.)

Now, I think Slaney is owed a bit of a break on this one – but for one reason and one reason only: his winning goal against the USSR in the 1991 World Junior tournament (see goal #6 on the linked video). Come to think of it, how much shit does John Slaney get away with in life for scoring that goal?  I’m not saying he shouldn’t, just asking.  If I scored that goal, I’d want some mulligans too.

Fantastic Fashions – The Vancouver Red Canucks

31 Oct

1997-98 Score – Alexander Mogilny

So, today is Halloween.  However, just so we’re crystal clear here, the red uniform above that Alexander Mogilny is wearing was not a Halloween costume.  It was an actual uniform worn by the Vancouver Canucks in 1995-96, and then, because they were convinced it looked good, again – again! – in 1996-97.  I guess there is a Halloween theme here – because the Canucks’ uniform history has been something of a nightmare.  Heyo!

SIDE NOTE: you might not remember, but the Vancouver Canucks were an ice hockey team in the former National Hockey League (NHL).  You might remember the NHL for the times they actually played hockey between labour disputes.  In other news, I’m not bitter about the lockout.

Fantastic Fashions – Gerry Cheevers, Cleveland Crusaders

30 Oct

2007-08 ITG – Gerry Cheevers WHA

In the world of purple hockey uniforms, the Los Angeles Kings get most of the recognition for their classic purple and gold look.  However, in the rival World Hockey Association in the 1970’s, the Cleveland Crusaders and future Hall of Fame goaltender Gerry Cheevers were rocking purple in a big way.

However, despite the presence of Cheevers, the Crusaders stuck to Cleveland tradition by not winning very often.  They were then replaced in Cleveland in 1976 by the NHL’s Cleveland Barons, who really didn’t win very often.  Later, Cleveland was home to the IHL’s Cleveland Lumberjacks and the AHL’s Cleveland Barons and currently, the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters.  And you can see where this is going: none of these teams won very often.

So, the moral of the story is that whether you like purple or not, Cleveland is bad at hockey.

Fantastic Fashions – The Tampa Bay Lightning Alternate

2 Oct

1998-99 UD Choice – Daymond Langkow

1998-99 UD Choice – Paul Ysebaert

So, it doesn’t look like there’s going to be NHL hockey anytime soon – as if any of us are surprised about that.  So, might as well take some time to make fun of some questionable fashion from the 1990’s.

From 1996 to 1999, the Tampa Bay Lightning wore a wildly ill-advised alternate jersey featuring a sublimated design that (I think) showed dark waves in a thunderstorm on the front and back, with bright yellow lightning flashing on the sleeves from the dark grey clouds on the shoulders.

Now, I know exactly what you’re asking yourself… and the answer is no, they did not have matching socks with storm clouds and lightning bolts.  They just wore the ones they wore with their normal black jerseys.  I mean, if you’re going to go ridiculously horrible, don’t half-ass it.  Go all out.  Thumbs down, Tampa Bay Lightning.  Thumbs down.

Fantastic Fashions – Joe Carter’s Cleats

7 Aug

1992 Pinnacle – Joe Carter

So, the crew over at Getting Blanked has made us aware of Bryce Harper’s new cleats.  It’s impressive that they noticed, because the cleats are camouflage, which obviously makes them incredibly difficult to see.  Nothing says baseball better than camouflage, if you ask me, so Harper has made a wise decision.

Now Bryce Harper might be a connoisseur of high fashion, with his eye black and his mohawk, but if you go back about 20 years, a gentleman named Joe Carter rocked the hell out of the high-top cleats, and had himself some fairly productive seasons, if you recall.

Bottom line: Joe Carter was bringing cool to the Major Leagues before Bryce Harper was born.  Chew on that, bro.

Fantastic Fashions – Dave Lemanczyk

29 Jun

1978 Topps – Dave Lemanczyk

This was obviously 1977 class picture day for the Toronto Blue Jays.  As you can see, Dave Lemanczyk’s mother dressed him exceptionally well for it.  The collared shirt underneath the jersey was reserved at the Lemanczyk household for picture days, Christmas Dinner, and Easter Sunday, when sometimes, it would be partnered with a clip-on tie.  That would just be overkill for class picture day, though.  Dave’s mother wouldn’t want the other kids to tease him too much.

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