The Dog Days of Summer

We’re locked into the dog days of summer, and at a standstill for NHL news. So, let’s talk about a controversial issue facing fans and players alike next season.

Who would emerge victorious in a brouhaha between Sean Avery’s flame, Elisha Cuthbert and Mike Comrie’s new catch, Hillary Duff?

I’m kidding of course. Cuthbert, who plays Jack Bauer’s daughter on the hit series “24” would do away with the former Disney Channel pop princess in a matter of seconds. But I’m pretty sure both would look better in a scrap than most NHL teams will next season.

One of the more interesting stories of the off-season revolves around the sweater (jersey or uniform for those of us in the States who think Canadians are weird for still calling it a sweater). Either way, the last few months have been a fashion designer’s dream, literally and figuratively.

The league-wide switch to Reebok’s “RBK Edge” jersey has allowed clubs the chance to update their wardrobe, without having to worry about a drop-dead date for changes. Several teams will make a minor switch, including traditionalists like the Rangers, who because of the new jersey design, will be forced to bring the diagonal “RANGERS” lettering inward and closer together, as opposed to starting right under the armpit.

Color-wise, there’s one key change and one rumored change that won’t be happening. As expected, third jerseys have been eliminated. But for the fourth consecutive season, home clubs will wear dark jerseys at home and the road teams will wear white.

The Bruins and Capitals were two of the first teams to unveil the new Reebok duds, with both choosing to pay tribute to the past. The B’s introduced a new sleeve logo, a modernized prowling bear, similar to the one that adorned their inaugural jerseys in the 1920?s. The Caps will ditch the blue and gold for the most traditional red, white and blue, and an updated version of the logo that the club had from 1974-1995.

Other changes are a little subtler in nature. The Blue Jackets have trashed the CBJ cartoon jacket logo, leaving the red, white and blue Ohio flag logo as the new primary. The San Jose Shark is meaner and Ottawa has modified the new and improved Senator that was featured on the home jersey in 2006-07.

The Panthers and Kings have also made their new uniforms public, with minor changes. Florida’s jersey has a slightly larger Panther crest and funky bib-like piping. The new Los Angeles sweater doesn’t have a stripe at waist level, the city name still remains intact.

Nashville and Tampa Bay have also gone city crazy. “Nashville” now adorns the away sweater right above the Predator logo. And “Lightning” has been dropped from the new Tampa Bay logo, which features the city name and a new stylized bolt. Vancouver and Dallas also have rumored changes that involve a prominently featured city name on the uniform.

The Canucks’ changes have generated great interest amongst the Internet crowd. Will Vancouver’s “Orca” logo survive a makeover? Or will the club revert to the “stick and puck” logo? Will it be blue and red, or green and blue? We’ll find out soon enough.

Other rumored changes could include a new Avalanche jersey, similar to their current third jersey. And who knows what the Islanders have planned? Let’s just hope it’s not another fisherman.

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