Let's Catch Up on the Week

The reason you haven't heard from me this week is simple: relocation. I've been packing all my stuff, moving it to a new place, and then unpacking it. All while working. Didn't leave a lot of time for Icethetics. But not to worry, I'm back!

Time to catch up on what I've missed. And there's been quite a bit.

NHL to hold Winter Classic press conference Sunday

First, we'll start with the newest news. Apparently, the NHL has called a press conference for Sunday morning and those in the know are speculating it will be the official announcement that the NHL Winter Classic — scheduled to be played in Ann Arbor, Mich. between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs three months ago — will be rescheduled for Jan. 1, 2014. Or so says Michigan Live's Ansar Khan.

More importantly to Icethetics readers, Khan says the jerseys will be unveiled as well. And assuming the designs weren't changed after the recent leaks, this is what we can expect them to look like

The press conference is scheduled for 10:30 AM ET on Sunday. You can be sure I plan to update the blog with official images as soon as humanly possible.

Thanks to @Levesque_B and @adam_rickert for their helpful tweets this morning.

Dallas Stars' whiff on April Fools' joke

As if their poor fans haven't endured enough these days, the Dallas Stars decided to play a nasty joke on them Monday. It was an April Fools' Day prank that might've been funny in another context.

At this point, it's widely known the Stars will have new uniforms next season. What's not known is when they plan to unveil them. Then the team tweeted this Monday night. 

Now, April Fools' Day being what it is, most of us were understandably suspicious. You don't make big announcements on April 1 because no one will believe you. Still, many people were taken in by the idea that the Stars might reveal their new threads that night.

With any hope of making the playoffs quickly fading and the Stars being shut out 3-0 by Anaheim, the promise of a look at the club's future was enough to blind a lot of folks to the calendar. Unfortunately, what they got was a look at their ridiculous past when — as Dallas Morning News beat writer Mike Heika put it — "out of a curtain jumped a guy in a horse head wearing the old alternate sweater — 'The Mooterus,' as it is called in disgust by fans."

Yeah, under the circumstances, not so funny. Chris at SportsLogos.net got into a little more detail on his blog — including some unwelcome fan backlash.

Stars jersey leak prank fools logo website's readers

Speaking of our good friends at SportsLogos.net, Chris decided to join the April Fools' fray on Monday morning, thinking it would be funny to post a phony leak of the Stars' new uniforms.

April Fools' Day prank via SportsLogos.net

Essentially, it's a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey in green with the Dallas Cowboys logo on the front. Can't give him points for creativity, but I can give him points for execution. The grainy "cell phone photo" was intended to look like a shot of an official NHL branding sheet, complete with "CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT RELEASE UNTIL Q3 2013" watermarked all over.

I thought we'd all have a laugh and move on. Until my inbox starting filling up (thanks, Chris) with people asking if I'd seen the leak. I think many of Chris' readers simply looked at the pretty picture, downloaded it, and posted it to other web forums and such — without bothering to read all the way to the bottom of the page.

Yes, folks, it was a joke. Did you really think the Stars could so blatantly infringe on one of the most valuable identities in all of sports? And spend so much time developing a new brand that simply ripped off other brands? We all know better than that. It was a decent joke, but nothing more.

Penguins may not add new third jersey in 2013

Contrary to what was reported in the last NHL JerseyWatch post, the Pittsburgh Penguins might not be adding a new alternate uniform next season. While they are definitely retiring their blue third at the end of this season, its replacement may still be a couple years away.

This all comes from one succinct tweet by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review beat writer Rob Rossi yesterday.

All the bad news you can fit into 140 characters. New new thirds. And the Vegas gold is staying. Sorry Pens fans, this is apparently not your year.

But briefly on the subject of the JerseyWatch post. I must admit I was making an assumption regarding a new third jersey. All Reebok tends to say in January when it comes to jersey changes is "TBA" — to be announced. All it tells us for sure is that the existing jersey won't be around next season. The question of whether it would be replaced immediately is not answered with "TBA." I just jumped to conclusions.

That's not to say a new third wasn't in the works for 2013. The team may have had something in development that was scrapped before December. We'll probably never know for sure.

Red Wings honor Gordie Howe with No. 9 sweaters

And finally, we'll finish where we started. Michigan. The Detroit Red Wings honored legend Gordie Howe on his 85th birthday Sunday. Every player donned his No. 9 sweater during warm-ups prior to their game against the Blackhawks.

Photo from Detroit Red Wings official website

It was kind of an interesting sight and a neat way to wrap up this post.