NHL Sweater Switch 2013

Sweater Switch was an annual tradition on Icethetics going back to 2009 — until I accidentally skipped it last year. No one asked for it and I quite simply forgot about it. Not this year.

Now that we're several days into NHL free agency, teams are starting to hold press conferences to introduce their newest members. So I'm gathering up photos to give us all a first glimpse at a handful of big names who will be sporting new sweaters in the fall. Enjoy.

Photos from Philadelphia Flyers (via Instagram)

Flyers add Lecavalier, Streit and Emery

This has got to be the most bizarre one of them all. And I'm not just speaking as a Lightning fan here. Vincent Lecavalier wearing anything but the bolt is just not right. Even if he is on the downswing of his career. Trading blue for orange. Four for forty. And temperate Tampa for chilly Philly. Just bizarre.

Lecavalier was forced to dump the No. 4 jersey he wore for many years in Tampa since it was retired by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1975 for Barry Ashbee. But here's a fun fact: Lecavalier wasn't always No. 4. After being drafted by Tampa Bay in 1998, he actually wore No. 8 since his Jean Beliveau-inspired jersey was taken by previous Lightning draftee Cory Cross. However, the following season, Cross was traded for Fredrik Modin, freeing up the number we all associate with Vinny. I'm hoping he's the last Bolt to wear it.

Mark Streit also had retired-number problems. His standard No. 2 was raised to the rafters in Philly just last year for Mark Howe. For Ray Emery, on the other hand, Tuesday's media event was all very deja vu. He held up that same No. 29 Flyers jersey for pictures when he was signed four years ago.

By the way, the Courier-Post has a neat shot of the trio wearing their new threads.

Photo from Dallas Stars (via Facebook)

Stars welcome Seguin and Horcoff

Also on Tuesday, two new Dallas Stars players got to model two new Dallas Stars jerseys. Shawn Horcoff, in green, will wear No. 10 next season as he has for nearly all his years in Edmonton. (I believe he had No. 36 briefly as a rookie.)

Meanwhile, Tyler Seguin, donning white for the media, was forced to swap digits as his No. 19 was retired by the North Stars for Bill Masterton in 1987. They still honor Minnesota's retired numbers in Dallas. He'll now wear No. 91 in Dallas.

By the way, don't forget that this franchise will be retiring another number next season. On March 8, 2014, No. 9 goes up for Mike Modano, a fact made public last month when the Stars unveiled these new uniforms.

Photos from Columbus Blue Jackets

Nathan Horton joins Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets wasted no time getting their biggest free agent signee in front of the media. Nathan Horton met the cameras on July 5, the first day of free agency and the day he signed his new deal. As you can see, he'll take on No. 8 with R.J. Umberger occupying No. 18.

But this is the last time we'll see Horton in a Blue Jackets jersey for a while. He's about to undergo shoulder surgery, which will put him out of commission for four to six months. Meaning we probably won't get to see him in action until November or December.

By the way, speaking of Horton and Seguin, I was amused by this photo from 2010, depicting the pair showing off their new Bruins jerseys. Just goes to show how futile these things can be sometimes.

Anyway, I'll leave it here for now. There will be more of these press conferences as the summer goes on, so I'll just keep adding updates to this post.

By the way, I know the the Minnesota Wild already introduced Keith Ballard, but I understand they're doing Matt Cooke on Wednesday, so I'll post their pictures together once that happens.