NHL marks St. Patrick's Day with weekend of green

As part of the annual tradition, the last few days have seen a handful of NHL teams go green in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Typically, clubs wear green practice jerseys during warm-ups and auction them off for charitable causes. Let's take a look.

Boston Bruins

There's no way the team from Boston could avoid celebrating Irish heritage. The Bruins wore their green tonight before beating the Minnesota Wild 4-1. By the way, they wore their third jerseys during the game.

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres did the green thing on Sunday prior to facing their old captain Thomas Vanek and his Montreal Canadiens. Buffalo was shut out 2-0 while wearing also wearing their new thirds for the game. That jersey sure is taking a beating.

If you're interested in adding a green Sabres jersey to your collection, here's the auction.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks also donned their green on Sunday ahead of a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. If you want one, here's the auction page.

Nashville Predators

The Predators got pretty creative with their St. Patrick's Day jerseys. Skip to the other photo in the mini-slideshow above to see the musically-themed screen printed numbers. Fittingly, they then faced the Blues, but lost 4-1.

New York Islanders

St. Patrick's Day celebrations started early on Long Island. The Islanders wore these Saturday prior to beating the Sabres 4-1. Okay, at this point I have to ask. What is it with all these 4-1 finals?

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Taking-It-Too-Far Award this St. Patrick's Day has to go to Pittsburgh. The jerseys might've been fine but then they started adding flags to the sleeves. But that's not what won them the honor in my book. For that, you have to flip to the second image.

The Penguins took their primary logo and dressed the penguin up in a leprechaun suit. They've been using that as their Twitter icon the last couple days. Then they had to go and put it on a T-shirt as well. Amazing. Winner, hands down.

The green jerseys were worn Sunday in advance of a 4-3 loss to the Flyers. If you want more photos from warm-ups, the Pens have dedicated an entire gallery on their website.

Washington Capitals

We can usually count on the Capitals for green jerseys. They round out the list this year, wearing this set on Sunday before a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Speaking of the Leafs, I'll leave you with this tweet.

A handful of minor league teams also wore special St. Patrick's Day jerseys this weekend. I aim to gather some photos for another post later this week.

2013-14: Season of Change, Part 2

2013-14: Season of Change, Part 2

In Part 2, we take a look back at the special uniforms worn in the six outdoor games that took place during the NHL's 2013-14 season.

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New Lightning third jersey confirmed during telecast

Still from SunSports broadcast

During Thursday night's Tampa Bay Lightning telecast came confirmation that the team will indeed have a new third jersey for the 2014-15 season. It was mentioned as part of a promo for season ticket packages.

The broadcasters made no specific mention of details regarding the jersey or its design, saying only what we see on screen — that it will be part of this new Blue Line Club package.

Icethetics first reported on a new alternate uniform for Tampa Bay in the NHL JerseyWatch 2014 cover story in February. The information was based on retail planning documents from Reebok.

This is the first official confirmation of a new sweater coming directly from the team. Speaking as a Lightning fan myself, I'm definitely eager to see what's in store. So let the speculation officially begin!

Kings switching to gold jersey for Legends Nights

The Los Angeles Kings will have a new look for their Legends Night events in 2014-15. Beginning next season, the club is swapping their "Forum blue" throwback jersey for the gold version.

This change was revealed Wednesday by LA Kings Insider with Jon Rosen, a blog associated with the Kings' official website.

The design is based in the jersey the Kings wore during the 1969-70 season — after adding a white outline to the crest but before switching to gold pants.

Rosen shared some interesting quotes from Kings business operations president Luc Robitaille.

As Robitaille shared with LA Kings Insider, the process of incorporating new jerseys is a two-year process that includes gaining league approval, and then having the jerseys made. As such, the first Legends Night in 2014-15 won’t be held until the second or third week in December.

“We’re not trying to tweak or redesign the jersey, so it’s a little bit easier,” Robitaille said.

“There are so many jerseys, so many teams, and Reebok has to have enough time to be able to make them. It’s a process. It takes about two years. But on this one, it’s basically our old jersey, so everybody’s aware of the style and everything.”

At this point, it doesn’t appear as though the team will use the gold jerseys as a more traditional alternate jersey.

“We don’t want to overdo it,” Robitaille said. “I’d prefer just having it three, four times a year and making it special.”

Personally, I love the idea of seeing special throwback jerseys like this just a few times a year. We still get to see them, but they aren't so common that they lose their novelty.

Due to the production timeline, it sounds like it will be mid-December before we actually see the Kings' gold jersey on the ice.

Rosen indicates that the famous "Forum blue" — or what our eyes clearly see as purple — will be worn for the final time tonight as the Kings honor Jim Fox. But all bets are off a few years from now.

Though it’s several years away, ideas are being proposed about ways to commemorate the 2016-17 season, the team’s 50th in the National Hockey League. An idea Robitaille shared would be to use multiple jerseys from the team’s history, similar to what the Montreal Canadiensdid in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

“I’d love to find a way to bring back probably not every one of our jerseys, but a bunch of them,” he said. “Montreal did a great job with their 100th year anniversary. For us, it’s our 50th coming, so we’d love to do something where we’re able to bring at least one jersey from each era, and play one or two games within that year. We think it’s going to be pretty special.”

It's great to hear Robitaille thinking like an Icethetics reader! Bring on the throwbacks!

I get the feeling that Icethetics' 10th anniversary in 2016-17 will be an interesting one as it coincides with the NHL's 100th and the 50th of the original expansion teams — the Kings, Penguins, Flyers, and Blues. (The Golden Seals moved to Cleveland and merged with the North Stars, who are now in Dallas and just celebrated their 20th anniversary there.)

Looking forward to all the potential retro sweaters!

Finally, as tonight will be our last time seeing the Forum blue for a while, I'll leave you with some photos of it in action. This season's previous Legends Nights were held on Oct. 27 and Dec. 7.

Image from LA Kings Insider. Click to enlarge.

Nieuwendyk honored by Flames on Retro Night

On Saturday, Mike Modano had his jersey retired by the Dallas Stars. But the night before, March 7, the Calgary Flames honored his 1999 Stanley Cup championship teammate and playoff MVP Joe Nieuwendyk.

Instead of retiring numbers — which becomes limiting as years pass — the Flames have taken to honoring certain players with their Forever a Flame program. A special banner is raised to salute players who have made a lasting contribution to the franchise. Lanny MacDonald, Mike Vernon and Al MacInnis have earned the tribute.

In the slideshow above are photos from Nieuwendyk's ceremony and the Flames' pre-game skate, in which the players all wore No. 25 jerseys with the captain's C on the chest.

The Forever a Flame "25" logo was also worn as a patch on the players' jerseys during the game. And befitting the nostalgic night, the Flames skated against the New York Islanders wearing their classic throwback threads — based on the sweater Nieuwendyk wore in 1989 when he won his first Stanley Cup. He won two more in his career, in 1999 with Dallas and in 2003 with New Jersey.

Seeing the Flames in their retro jersey was a relief to fans worried it would be permanently replaced by the new third jersey. It's nice to see the Flames leaving themselves the option of a fourth jersey as a handful of teams are beginning to do — Anaheim, Los Angeles and Vancouver among them.

But what I'd really like to see is a fifth Flames jersey — this white throwback!

By the way, the Flames were not the only team to sport their red retro jersey this season. Anyone know who it was? That'll be the subject of another blog post this week.