Utah Grizzlies celebrate Halloween in skeleton style

The Batman theme jerseys we saw from Toledo the other day were cool. But not to be outdone, the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies went all out on Halloween night with these skeleton uniforms!

Images from Utah Grizzlies

What makes this theme night stand out is that they went beyond just the jerseys. Even the pants and socks were made to look like bones.

Impressively, the club raised more than $17,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital in the post-game auction of the special sweaters. That's just awesome.

Unfortunately, the spooky costumes did nothing to rattle the visiting Colorado Eagles, who won 6-2.

But wait, there's more!

The Grizzlies are also celebrating their 20th anniversary season with a special jersey. The crest reads 1995–2014 — though it probably should say 2015. But the franchise's history isn't quite so straightforward.

The team we know today as the Grizzlies actually began play in Utah after a dormant ECHL franchise was resurrected in 2005. That franchise was founded in 1981 as the Nashville South Stars in the old Central Hockey League.

Two years later, the team moved to the Atlantic Coast Hockey League and became the Virginia Lancers. During a decade which saw a couple more name changes and a couple league changes, the franchise ultimately became a founding member of the East Coast Hockey League in 1988.

In 1993, the moved to Alabama and became the Huntsville Blast for one season. After that, they spent seven in Florida as the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks.

In 2001, the team relocated yet again to Georgia and got one of the greatest nicknames in minor league hockey history — the Macon Whoopee. Not kidding. But that only lasted a year, followed by a year as the Lexington Men-o-War in Kentucky.

In 2003, the franchise folded again and stayed that way for two years before it was mercifully transferred out of the south and sent west to Utah.

So where does the 20th anniversary claim come from? Glad you asked. The original Utah Grizzlies franchise began play in 1995 in the International Hockey League. It was one of the teams that jumped to the American Hockey League when the IHL folded in 2001.

In 2005, the franchise suspended operations while searching for a new owner. That's when the ECHL came knocking. But that original Grizzlies AHL franchise was reborn in 2007 as the Lake Erie Monsters.

I don't know what anyone could possibly do with that information. But there you have it.

So... how about those skeleton jerseys?

Toledo Walleye reveal amazing Batman theme night jerseys

Image from Toledo Walleye

Last month, I wrote about a handful of must-see minor league theme nights in 2014-15. Among them was Heroes Night from the Toledo Walleye.

This week, the ECHL club unveiled the specialty jerseys they'll be wearing for that game coming up on Sat., Nov. 22.

And they are epic.

The Walleye will sport sweaters modeled after the 1960s Batman suit made famous by Adam West in the wildly popular TV series.

Even their opponent will participate. The visiting Evansville IceMen will wear jerseys inspired by the well-known Batman villain, the Riddler.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Batman's first comic book appearance.

From the team's announcement:

The game worn jerseys will be sold after the final whistle during a live auction, with proceeds benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, March of Dimes and the Walleye Wishing Well. A limited number of replica Batman themed jerseys will be available at The Swamp Shop on Monday, November 3.

I rarely say this about minor league theme jerseys, but I really want these. Both of them!

Up next from the Walleye, Cosby Show-themed jerseys are coming in January. Meanwhile, the IceMen will have Pi Day jerseys in March.

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.