Sunday, August 30, 2009

First thoughts on a third jersey

Well, Wild fans, whaddya think?

The new third jersey has been officially unleashed upon the hockey world. And, as with such new items, there is a surrounding amount of hoopla to go with it.

A crowd estimated at several thousand (to the consternation of Minnesota State Fair officials) packed Underwood Street in front of the former Modern Living building (now called 'Fan Central') to see Wild forward Derek Boogaard model the new Wild green third jersey during a Sunday afternoon State Fair appearance, after which Boogaard signed an estimated 800 autographs.

The new third jerseys can be seen here:

The new green jerseys will be seen 15 times this season (13 home games, 2 road games) according to an announcement at today's event.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The new Third jersey: What would YOU change..?

Would you change anything? Everything? Or, nothing at all??

First, look at the 'leaked' ones on the icethetics website:

Then, discuss what you think...

IMO: I almost like them at first sight. I like the dark forest green color, that will hold up well. I also like the fact that they went for some red (not much) in the jersey, but will use the same font for numbers and player names that the current home jerseys (the 'Iron Range Red' ones) do now. I'm not crazy, however, about the block script 'Minnesota Wild' being at a 45-degree angle (I think they had to do this to comply with the Reebok RBK template, otherwise the name would be too small to stand out on a player, especially the smaller ones (PMB, Miettinen, etc.)

Will there be room for the 'C' on Mikko Koivu's sweater where it's supposed to be? Or, like Detroit, will the Captain/Alternate letters be placed on the right-hand side of the jersey?

Inquiring minds want to know. And, come Sunday at the State Fair, I guess we will, starting at 12:30 PM at Fan Central (the former 'Modern Living' building) when Derek Boogaard takes center stage...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Don't miss it, don't even be late..." (H)

...for the Minnesota Wild's new 3rd jersey unveiling on Sunday, August 30 at 12:30 PM, at the Wild's Minnesota State Fair booth, between Carnes and Dan Patch on Underwood (the former Modern Living building site) on the State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights.

The Wild have convinced clothes horse, budding model (and NHL heavyweight champ) Derek Boogaard to model the new, throwback-style third jersey at the team's new location, moving their operations into the shared building (with the Vikings, Swarm, Timberwolves) from their old digs at the top end of the Grandstand ramp.

Sadly, the team's mascot, "Nordy" will also be there, primarily to scare the little kids (not; but at the State Fair, you never know) and provide a moving obstacle for those wishing to order jerseys after Boogaard debuts them (that part is indeed true).

The team's website will have further details of player appearances, and when Nordy is scheduled (so you can avoid the mascot, like I prefer to do).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Over the hump of 'Hockey Hell' (H)

We've all turned the corner. It's August. Next month, at this time, NHL teams will be reporting for training camp all over North America. We've almost gone thru the 'Hockey Hell' of summer, when there are no games, no events, nothing to talk about.

There are even teams selling regular-season tickets already (LA Kings), and others (NY Islanders, Florida, Tampa Bay) will start selling tickets before August is done and over with. The Minnesota Wild will begin selling tickets for their three pre-season home games August 22, but (like most other NHL teams) will wait until the NHL-mandated date of Saturday, September 12 to begin selling regular-season tickets.

But has it really been that bad a summer? Or are Wild fans just that anxious?

Since the Wild took the ice last (April 10, at Columbus; Wild won 6-3) the following has taken place...

Jacques Lemaire resigned (April 10)
Doug Risebrough was fired (April 16)
Chuck Fletcher replaced Risebrough (May 22)
Wild Road Trip outstate appearances (June 22-25)
Todd Richards replaced Lemaire (June 22)
NHL Entry Draft (June 26-27)
The end of the Gaborik era (June 30)
The beginning of Free Agency (July 1, also
known as the beginning of the Martin Havlat era)
Rookie Developmental Camp (July 6-12)
NHL Schedule Release Day (July 15)

...and now, the summer abyss. No new player signings (yet; stay tuned!), no old players with new teams (hey, no one has bothered to sign Martin Skoula yet) and no news of any real impact from anywhere. Yes, the Glendale Follies continue in Arizona, as the Phoenix Coyotes saga continues to deteriorate into an absolute legal quagmire. The two men who share ownership of the Tampa Bay Lightning can't stand each other, so now their future is in question. Ditto the Atlanta Thrashers; the owners (Atlanta Spirit, LLC) can't get along, either. If the cards fall the wrong way for the NHL, Gary Bettman may be de facto operating three franchises by the end of 2009.

Hello, Winnipeg? Are you listening up there?

And on top of all of that, there are the little things that if it happened any other time but in August, wouldn't be made into as big an item as it has been. Such as the Kane boys and their 'out-on-the-town' after-hours activities in Buffalo last weekend. Mind you, all this was over 20 cents. In the grand scheme of things, you have to ask yourself: 'Is it worth it to embarass my cousin by arguing over 20 stinkin' cents'?

Answer: Uh, no.

Was it really worth it to run up thousands in legal bills for the Kane cousins to get their (literally) 'two-bit' point across? Or was this another case of 'bad karma' for the Blackhawks, courtesy of the free-agency signing of one Marian Hossa? Think about it...Dale Tallon fired, the Hawks finding out Hossa is needing shoulder reconstruction surgery (not ready at least until after Thanksgiving) only after they sign him to a break-the-bank contract, and now, one of their top 3 players in trouble with the law in his hometown. Is this the ghost of Hossa rearing his ugly head again for the increasingly 'tough-luck' Hawks? Or was this just poor judgement by a pair of over-served 20-somethings in Buffalo late on an August night? Only time (and the courts) will tell.

Until then, Kane family, next time tell the cab driver to keep the change.

Monday, August 3, 2009

'Hi, I need a loan...for Leafs' tickets.' (H)

Oh, yeah. That title ain't kiddin', folks.

The cost of tickets for single games of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre (a.k.a. the ACC) might be enough to take out a home equity loan for.

Face value of the cheapest seats is $45(Canadian). The cheapest seat in the secondary market is going for $75 each. The cheapest seat in the secondary market for lower level seats (face value: $120) is $198 each. (And that's not even on the end where the Minnesota Wild shoot in the first and third periods.)

And, if you want the REALLY good seats (Platinum Club, lower level sides) they're available, too. Face value: $245 (ouch!) Secondary market value: $665 (and up).

You have to be hockey-crazed to pay those kind of prices, Yet, the building will be absolutely full when the puck drops on November 10, when the Wild face the Leafs at the ACC (the day after the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony nearby at the HHOF). The Leafs, who haven't won a Stanley Cup since 1967, who haven't been in the playoffs since 2003. The Leafs, who are the de facto 'cash cow' for the Ontario Teachers' Pension Pool (hence the aptly-named Leafs' blog, "Pension Plan Puppets"), who have been mis-managed for years. Yeah, that Maple Leafs franchise.

Now you know why we have to save in other ways (like hotels, meals, transportation, etc.) in order to get there. Because, it sure as hell won't happen at the box office.