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Nashville Predators named to host 2016 NHL All-Star Game

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Nashville Predators named to host 2016 NHL All-Star Game

Photo from Nashville Predators

The next gathering of the NHL's top talent is still three months away with the 2015 NHL All-Star Game scheduled for January in Columbus. But we've already learned the host of the 2016 NHL All-Star Game will be the Nashville Predators.

The NHL made the announcement from Music City on Friday morning complete with a set of novelty Predators jerseys with a special message (photo above). The 2016 All-Star logo will probably be released sometime next summer.

By the way, I'm really hoping the photographer got a wider photo at some point because the visual of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was like some kind of cosmic gift for all his haters. From sleeve to sleeve, the jersey he's holding up reads 666 — "the mark of the beast." That's good for a laugh.

We first heard about the Preds' desire to host an All-Star Weekend back in June. They were hoping for something within the next five years. Looks like their wish came true sooner than expected.

The last NHL event Nashville hosted was the draft in 2003. The team played its first season in 1998.

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Orange dominates minor league special event jerseys

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Orange dominates minor league special event jerseys

On Wednesday, the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears unveiled the jersey they will wear when they host the 2015 ECHL All-Star Classic on Wed., Jan. 21. And they're very orange!

The jersey design is based on the team's existing primary uniforms with some colors swapped and some All-Star insignia added. The uniform is a little bright, but it's a nice homage to their home in Orange County.

The Solar Bears' opponent — the ECHL All-Star Team — will wear a white uniform that was first revealed last December following a fan jersey design contest, won by Jordan Roberts.

Meanwhile in the AHL, the Syracuse Crunch will host a stadium game at the 49,000-seat Carrier Dome on Sat., Nov. 22. And this is the special jersey they plan to wear.

The sweater, revealed on Oct. 4, features orange trim in honor of Syracuse University, where the covered stadium is located — and basically the center of the universe for locals.

If you're thinking the jersey looks a lot like the monstrosity introduced in 2007 by the Edmonton Oilers — you're not wrong. It's the same template but with classic Oilers colors, essentially. And good lord, all that piping. You don't need me to tell you it's pretty weak.

The Comets will wear their standard white jerseys for the game.

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Capitals, Canucks past prototype jerseys surface on ebay

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Capitals, Canucks past prototype jerseys surface on ebay

Tonight, we're taking a look at a couple of purported Reebok Edge prototype jerseys thanks to one ebay seller with a rare stockpile. And they are fascinating!

Photos by manonthemoon12345 via ebay

A current auction listing from manonthemoon12345 features what's described as a "rare authentic" Washington Capitals prototype jersey. The date on the tag appears to read Nov. 16, 2005 and notes it is a second version.

Most intriguing about this jersey is the crest which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Caps' Weagle logo — which currently graces the shoulders of their primary uniforms. In this version, the U.S. Capitol dome silhouette in the negative space is much more pronounced.

The design of the jersey itself, on the other hand, is much closer to the final product that was finally implemented during the 2007-08 season.

Photos by manonthemoon12345 via ebay

Back in July, another listing from the same seller offered an alleged "rare authentic" Vancouver Canucks sweater. The tag was dated September 2006, a full year before the blue and green jerseys were introduced.

This one is just painful. So many bullets dodged. First, remember that Reebok template I railed against earlier this week? The one Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Tampa Bay all used in 2007. Looks like Reebok was trying to push it on Vancouver as well.

Second, it looks like the Canucks considered sticking with the 1997 color scheme. I call it a dodged bullet, but in truth it was a unique look. No other team before or since has used it. But green and blue are definitely more fitting.

The best thing this prototype had going for it was the lack of the word "VANCOUVER" arched across the upper chest. Everything else about it... yikes.

What do you think of these jerseys? Have you seen any other interesting NHL prototypes?

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The Washington Winter Classic logo that didn't make the cut

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The Washington Winter Classic logo that didn't make the cut

Here's something cool. A couple of Icethetics readers pointed me to the Dribbble account of graphic designer Andrew Sterlachini.

It turns out Andrew not only created the crest on the Washington Capitals' 2015 NHL Winter Classic jersey, but he designed at least one other logo that didn't make the cut.

You can see above the W intertwined with a shape that looks like a D on one side and a C on the other. As clever logos go, this is by far one of my new favorites. It's just a shame the Caps didn't see fit to use it in some way. (At least not yet.)

If you're on Dribbble, give Andrew a follow.

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ECHL expands, adds CHL's seven franchises for 2014-15 season

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ECHL expands, adds CHL's seven franchises for 2014-15 season

Remember that major minor league shake-up we speculated on last month? It happened. And a lot faster than expected.

The ECHL announced today that it has accepted seven new members into the league effective immediately. They are the Allen Americans, Brampton Beast, Missouri Mavericks, Quad City Mallards, Rapid City Rush, Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder.

If those names sound familiar, it's because all seven were members of the Central Hockey League until yesterday. The teams will begin play in the ECHL, which now has 28 teams, in the 2014-15 season.

I don't envy the people who will need to work out the logistics in the next 10 days. It's going to mean divisional realignments, changes to the Kelly Cup Playoffs format and a completely new game schedule.

The new schedule also means a lot of the specialty jersey dates currently in the Icethetics Calendar may need to be thrown out and replaced in the next couple weeks.

This news also requires the fifth — and hopefully final — revision of my NHL affiliation infographic (right).

Speaking of that, you might be wondering if any NHL teams now have affiliates who will be competing against each other in the upcoming season.

As it happens, the Tampa Bay Lightning have agreements with both the Florida Everblades and Brampton Beast. The deal with the Beast was a one-year term signed last August and I haven't seen a press release about a renewal. However, the Beast still use the Lightning logo in their website banner. Confused? Me too.

The Dallas Stars were previously affiliated with the Allen Americans, but a recent change in ownership put an end to that. The Stars are still tied to the Idaho Steelheads.

So what do you think of this major upheaval of minor league hockey in North America?


Image from Utica Comets via Facebook

By the way, since we're talking minor league hockey, I'd be remiss not to mention the unveiling of the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic logo today. The Utica Comets will be hosting on January 25, 2015.

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