Joe Sakic

Best and worst sweaters of all-time: Colorado Avalanche

When you relocate a franchise, coming up with a new look can be a perilous thing. For the Colorado Avalanche, having to come up with something to replace the iconic look the Quebec Nordiques ran with was a tall order. They did the best they could though and carved out an identity of their own.

Best: Avalanche sweaters are an acquired taste. Some adore the logo, the colors, and the look of the whole thing with burgundy and baby blue being big factors of it all. Others find the whole thing to be foul and look at it like a demented Baskin Robbins uniform. That’s a bit harsh, but their original home sweaters really make for a great look. With the huge crest on the front, the burgundy and white sleeves and the Bigfoot foot print secondary logo on the shoulders, it’s a look that Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg made stylish.

Worst: Depending on your opinion of the Avalanche’s look already, there’s almost no argument that their most recent third sweater is an abomination. The Avs took inspiration from their original third that was an all-burgundy affair that had “COLORADO” written diagonally down across the front. The new one, however, took that look and turned it blue with a burgundy shoulder yoke. Vomit city.

I’d rather look like a chocolate bar than a blueberry, personally. Perhaps Willy Wonka was part of the creative process for the Avalanche’s third sweaters. At least that would explain a few things. What I’m left wondering about is why they haven’t done anything with the Bigfoot foot print secondary logo. That’s instantly a winner.

Old-Timey Goodness: While the Avalanche won’t really recognize it, their past in Quebec City as the Nordiques is one that left behind a legacy of sweater beauty. The Nordiques sky blue road sweater is one that goes down in history as one of the all-time best. The funky logo on a background of blue and white with the fleur-de-lis adorning the entire sweater is a look that could not be topped. For the Avalanche when they relocated from Quebec City, they had a really high bar to reach in order to keep up fashion-wise. They did their best but nothing tops the Nordiques. Consider this the same problem the Hurricanes had in changing locations from Hartford and ditching the Whalers moniker.

Assessment: All told, the Avs current sweaters are average. Their original look was solid but with the RBK Edge system taking over after the lockout, the old design just couldn’t keep up with the new “technological marvel” that was the Edge sweater. If your sarcasm detector went off reading that, congratulations it’s in working order. The Avs home and away set is helped out by looking like a work of art in comparison to their nightmarish third. Consider it a moral victory.

Friday’s loss serves as ‘harsh lesson’ for Blue Jackets

Jasper Fast, Nick Foligno, Henrik Lundqvist
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Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.

Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.

Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.

The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.

“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.

Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.

The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.

“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”



Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?