TEPID TAKE(S): Garbage Jerseys, Shrinking Ice, Flyers Goalies

Adidas unveiled the All-Star Game jerseys, which are garbage. Legit garbage. The jersey makers have partnered again with Parley for Oceans to make jerseys out of plastic debris out of the oceans. It has been done before with MLS and now will come to the NHL All-Star Game in San Jose.

When comparing to past ASG jerseys, they’re underwhelming, of course, because they’re not flashy. From what JonnyP has told me, it has to be that way due to the thread used to keep it all together. Fair enough and in all honesty, it’s the All-Star Game and while specialty jerseys are suppose to have some kind of flash to them, this is a good cause. Plus, on the broadcast, it’ll give an old-time feel of black-and-white TV.

More over, it’s a nice nod to the MLB jerseys where players wear their own teams logo on it. While the jersey itself isn’t the template specific, the fact that it’ll be more than just a shoulder patch logo is pretty damn cool. You can’t buy just a generic jersey and slap together whatever you want– you need to know what team you want before you buy it– so that’s something.


Rene Fasel was talking about things again. This time, the IIHF President for Life was talking about how the federation is looking into shifting the sizes of rinks for international competition away from the set-up of 200-feet by 100-feet to the NHL standard of 200-by-85, which is in no way an attempt to get the NHL back into the Beijing Olympics in 2022.

No, Fasel said that it would be more for the fans and help bring more excitement and emotion thanks to smaller confines…and in no way to squeeze another row of seats into the arena.

Listen, unless the other European federations are going to shrink their rinks and the leagues around the world are going to put up with this whole thing, this just seems like a silly idea. Sure, the European fans have a total different look as the NHL/North American fans– but the fun with Olympics and World Championships is the bigger ice surface to have more space and have skill and actual systems come through.

I’m not fully convinced it’s to appease the NHL and their overlords because the fact the World Juniors is played on NHL-size ice every three of four years and then a random European rink is a little annoying– but don’t change the systems wholly because of one Olympics that the NHL didn’t want to go to because of reasons (money).


Mike McKenna won’t be the last different goalie to start for the Philadelphia Flyers. Thanks to his start in Washington on Tuesday, McKenna helped the Flyers tie the record for most starting goalies used in a season (Quebec in 1989-90, 2002-03 St. Louis Blues, and 2007-08 LA Kings) as the sixth different starter in a season.

We’re only midway through the season, there’s plenty of more goalies to go through, and the Flyers still have the trade deadline, waiver wires, and the inevitable injury that’ll happen to Carter Hart or McKenna to look forward to.

The Flyers are 13th out of 16 teams in the Eastern Conference, while they’re last in the league in goal differential with a minus-61. Are the goalies the biggest woe for the Flyers?? Maybe, but it proves that just removing the GM and head coach wasn’t the quick fix some thought it would be. Might it hamper Hart’s development?? Perhaps– especially since the Flyers haven’t been able to bring along a homegrown goalie since Ron Hextall back in the ’80s.

On Face Off Hockey Show, we put the over/under at 8.5 for goalies who have started for the Flyers this season. You have to think that maybe some minor league goalie gets pluck off of waivers by the Flyers or Branden Komm gets a call-up late in the season because the hell with it. For me, I’m taking the over all day, everyday.

Stumping For More Event Diversity

Why is it that the NHL doesn’t like diversity in their pinnacle events?? While the Draft does get moved around frequently, the prospects of the return to Toronto or Montreal– while nice– doesn’t appeal to me not just because I’m a part of the media, but because I’ve been there and won’t get to experience a new location.

That’s why when the NHL announced that the All-Star Game for 2018 would be in Tampa made me tilt my head a little. Not to say that Tampa isn’t a good market to hold it in, as many who have attended events there have said it’s amazing hospitality, but wouldn’t you– as a league– want to shift things around to make sure each market gets a taste of NHL audience traveling there and pumping up the local economy on top of seeing new sights. Tampa last had the All-Star Game in 1999, which happened to be Wayne Gretzky’s last ASG before retiring and he got the MVP in an unsurprising happening.

This past season, Los Angeles had the ASG, 14 years after they last had one and six years after they held a Draft. I get it that LA is a big place for celebrity turnout and a place that people want to be to experience it– but three times in 14 years could be overkill despite the rabid fan base.

While this may seem like an attack on popular markets….it is. When you look at other fan bases who get left out in the cold, you have to look to mainly the East Coast. For me, I’ve never seen a Draft or All-Star Game in the Washington, DC area because the last time they had a big event there was in 1982 and it was in Landover. Long Island/Brooklyn haven’t hosted either since 1983, New York City hasn’t had a big event since 1994; though you could say that the Draft in Newark piggybacked off of New York City being so close.

My point is that there are big fan bases that don’t get these premiere events for one reason or another (maybe they don’t want to bid because it’s too big an undertaking). Sure, some of those places like the DC-area gets outdoor games, but that doesn’t draw fans from the 31 teams, which is nice bank and the ability to get new people to see how great the area is.

Since my ideal location is the DMV-area, I’m sure with the Verizon Center having a lot of other things going on during the ASG and Draft times– it’ll take a lot to get them there. Especially with Vegas coming into play, Edmonton and Winnipeg wanting to get those kinds of events in their arenas that haven’t been explored before, Anaheim and San Jose being left out on a lot of these events, as well. It’s just quite short-sighted for the NHL to not go to places or stump harder for these places to hold these events to diversify the minds of hockey fans.

This is why we get people who don’t know Nashville is a hockey town until they get to a Cup Final. When we went to the 2003 Draft, you could tell that area had a core group of people who loved it and were trying to share the love of it to others, which was rough during their unstable times. Now, it’s finally in full blossom and I know I’m not surprised because I’ve been there. When the eyes aren’t on them in the main events of the NHL, it’s not hard for people to not realize how good a place can be and how amazing the fan base and the cities are in supporting it.