The NHL’s been saving a sneaky little uniform change for the start of the regular season: Beginning next Thursday, all players except for goalies will be required to have their uni numbers on the front crown/forehead area of their helmets (as well as on the back, which was already required). The move, which is supposedly to make the players easier to identify for officials and the media, was first reported via Twitter on Tuesday night by Wild equipment manager Tony DaCosta, who shared the two photos you see above. I got confirmation from the league yesterday.
That tidbit makes a good lead-in to my annual NHL season-preview column, which is up now on ESPN. Yes, this is a bit earlier than we usually publish it. One consequence of the earlier pub date is that I won’t have a separate column on goalie masks and pads running in tandem with the team-by-team rundown, because not enough of the goalies have played or been photographed yet during the preseason. So we’ll run the goalie column a bit later, probably on Oct. 13-ish. OK? OK!
Stickers reminder: Remember, if you’re a Uni Watch Membership Program enrollee, you can now order a sheet of stickers based on your membership card design. If you’ve missed the news on that, you can get the full scoop here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Reebok has agreed to pay $25 million in a settlement over false advertising claims regarding sneakers. … Speaking of Reebok, Zack Tanner notes that some NHL teams are still using old jerseys with the Reebok vector instead of the wordmark. I asked Bob Halfacre about this (along with all the MLB stuff he does, he’s also part of the Kings’ equipment staff) and he said, “Any old stock is supposed to have a new patch placed over the vector. Reebok provides us with the patches, and they actually do a really solid job on that — the vector logo is larger, so they make a square made from the jersey air knit that has a new wordmark patch sewn to it. It matches into the jersey really well. It’s a little bit of a pain at this time of the year, but it’s just part of the job. Our biggest fear is forgetting to do it.” … Here’s a good video clip on the making of Aussie footballs (from William Blevins). … SportsCenter, again with the inconsistent conference logos (from Tony Burke). … Amusing to see the AP’s World Series style guide. … A soccer team was penalized for wearing contrasting underwear (from Gary Streeting). … New court design for Illinois (from Erik Spoonmore). … New hockey uniforms for Ohio State (from Andrew McCarthy). … Does wearing a black hockey jersey make you more aggressive? Shmaybe (from Matt Harris). … Saturday is the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month, and LSU isn’t wasting any time. The Tigers will wear pink ribbon decals on their helmets this Saturday. … This is pretty awesome: Todd Helton in an old Denver Bears strike zone uniform. It was on the cover of the April 2003 issue of Rockies magazine, which Tyler Maun found while rooting through some old stuff. … Here’s a good Marlins uni retrospective (from Daniel Buckalew). … Ron Mazzola notes that Jose Reyes
pulled a chickenshit move was wearing his skullcap inside-out yesterday. … After seeing innumerable athletes with innumerable-times-20 bad tattoos, it’s great to see that Brandon Guyer of the Rays has something that’s pretty damn cool (screen shot by Chris Fernandez). … A Samoan rugby player has been fined for wearing an unauthorized mouthguard. “I’m one of about five people in the world who care about rugby and uniforms, and I was about 10 yards from this player several times,” says Caleb Borchers. “I certainly didn’t notice. Ridiculous.” … Happy New Year to all who are observing (and shame on me for not putting that in yesterday’s post).