Late January was a busy time for some "classic" American Hockey League uniforms. We'll start with the 2013 AHL Outdoor Classic which took place on Sun., Jan. 20 at HersheyPark in Hershey, Penn. between the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. (Does anyone else have a sudden urge for chocolate?)
By the way, it turns out that jersey the Pens photographed for Instagram last October was the one they'd be wearing to the big outdoor game a few months later. Now we know. It's surprisingly lackluster for the Penguins, but it works for an outdoor hockey game, which sort of demands that old-timey look and feel.
The Penguins ended up winning the game in an OT thriller on a goal from Paul Thompson.
By the way, for more fantastic photos of the Bears' uniforms from the game, head on over to Sweetest Hockey on Earth. Lots of great shots by Kyle Mace. I particularly like the felt appliqué crests on these. Adds even more to the throwback feel of an event like this. Penn Live has more game photos.
Speaking of throwbacks, before the Outdoor Classic, a bunch of alumni from the Bears and Penguins got together for a game of their own — wearing, of course, sweaters of olde.
That wasn't the only classic AHL game in the month of January.
Just over a week later, on Mon., Jan. 28, the best players still left in the AHL (after the NHL nabbed a bunch of them) descended on Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. for the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic. After 15 years of pitting an all-Canadian AHL team against players born in other parts of the world, the league switched up their All-Star format in 2010 — to east versus west.
Since it's not obvious from the sweaters, I'll tell you that the team wearing blue was the Western Conference All-Stars. The Eastern Conference wore white. And both teams feel like a bizarre mix between the old Montreal Canadiens' and Washington Capitals' uniforms for some reason.
For those of you that can't get enough of these "fauxback" jerseys, the AHL is the league to watch right now. And if you want one of your very own, they're up for auction on ebay.
The West ended up winning the game 7-6. (Maybe because East players started shooting on their own goalie?) But what's interesting about the teams' jerseys is that they were worn during warms-up prior to last year's All-Star Classic. Why is that interesting? Check out this year's warm-up jerseys.
I'm not saying they AHL All-Stars will wear black and gold in 2014, but these are unique. I doubt the league would stray from their red, white and blue. I'm also not sure I like how the Boston Bruins' primary and secondary logos have been redesigned for the purpose of this event. Seems like they could've been a little more original.
In case you're interested, the Journal Star reported last month that the AHL is considering Peoria to host the 2014 All-Star Classic. (Concept logos, anyone?)
And finally, this...
On first glance, from above, it looks like this could be the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators — or the Boston Bruins in their 2009 Winter Classic threads. But no, it's Providence and Worcester both wearing colored sweaters! Proof that you don't need a white jersey to have a hockey game.
Get with it, NHL. If they can do it, certainly you can too.