Roundtable: Which classic NHL jerseys should make a comeback?

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The Athletic reported this week that the Avalanche are contemplating bringing back the Quebec Nordiques jerseys. That made us think: Which classic NHL jersey should make a comeback?

Sean Leahy, NHL writer: The Hurricanes have brought back The Whale. The Coyotes held Kachina Nights. It’s time for the Penguins to go old school, “Gin and Juice” style, and let us see the diagonal PITTSBURGH jerseys again.

After winning back-to-back Stanley Cups the Penguins changed their look — which they later returned to full-time in 2016 — to the diagonal black away jersey and the RoboPenguin whites at home. Worn from 1992-1997, the jerseys do harken back to some tough playoff defeats, like the Islanders in 1993 and Panthers in 1996. But during that time you had some memorable seasons from Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, and Larry Murphy.

The Penguins went blue again for the Winter Classic and have reintroduced yellow into their scheme. If you want to get fun, bring back the diagonal blues like they wore when they entered the NHL in 1967.

James O’Brien, NHL writer: As a colorblind person with not just zero style, but basically anti-style, I’m not going to try to flex fashion muscles. Instead, I might be better off going sardonic.

With that in mind, my first instinct was to say “Buffaslug.” After all, the notorious uniform and logo actually ended up selling well. The ‘slug would pour wounds on what made that jersey sell well, though: great, long-suffering Sabres fans.

So, I settled on the most notorious of the already-questionable run of Dallas Stars unis. I’m, of course, talking about the … “Mooterus.” In a remarkable twist of timing, the Stars tweeted about that cursed design this very week:

Let’s be honest. There’s not many nice things you can say about the “Mooterus,” beyond “Haha, that’s funny.”

And that’s good enough for me! At least since the NHL covered so many nostalgia bases in recent years. Though this next entry is a must …

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor: NHL content: I’ll preface this idea by saying that it is probably proof of why I don’t work in marketing. But here goes:

The San Jose Sharks should hold “Seals Night” one home game per year, to honor the first NHL franchise in the Bay Area.

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Incorporated into the NHL as part of the league’s 1967 expansion from six teams to 12, the California/Oakland/Bay Area Seals/Golden Seals (yes, there was plenty of rebranding) played nine seasons in Northern California before relocating to Cleveland.

Though brief in tenure, short on team success, and unfortunately mis-managed (remember, Guy LaFleur only became a Canadien because of this lopsided deal), the Seals still made an important foray into a new NHL market. Yes, things have gone better the second time around in the Bay Area.

The Sharks celebrated the Seals’ 50th anniversary in 2017 by honoring notable alumni, giving away vintage merchandise, and even bringing Krazy George back, but the team wore their regular jerseys for the game against Detroit. Let’s go one step further and put the threads on for real.

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Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.