By Chris Gigley
No two days are ever the same for Scott Gollnick. That’s because no two jerseys his company makes are ever alike.
Gollnick is VP of sales and marketing for OT Sports, a Burlington, N.C., company that specializes in producing theme night jerseys for minor league teams. From special children’s hospital charity jerseys that feature the art of a patient, to ‘Game of Thrones’ jerseys celebrating HBO’s hit TV show, OT has designed and produced those and everything in between.
By Egan J. Chernoff
With 67,000 possible line combinations based on numbers, the stars must align – figuratively and literally – to create a recipe worthy of numeric nickname status.
Hockey line nicknames based on jersey numbers, or “numberlines,” are a rare occurrence in the NHL. The most recent popular combination was coined during the 2014 playoffs, when the Los Angeles Kings put Jeff Carter (No. 77) between Tanner Pearson (No. 70) and Tyler Toffoli (No. 73) to create ‘That ’70s Line.’ The name was inspired by the sitcom ‘That ’70s Show,’ which aired on Fox from 1998 to 2006. While the line didn’t last (Pearson broke an ankle midway through last season), the nickname evolved as Dwight King and his No. 74 took his place, creating ‘That ’70s Line 2.0.’
By Matt Carlson
In most of the world, the team sport linked to Adidas is soccer – or “football” just about everywhere outside the U.S. and Canada. And Adidas’ new seven-year partnership as the NHL’s “authentic outfitter of on-ice uniforms” figures to give the league’s licensed apparel sales and global brand exposure a boost when it kicks in, starting in 2017-18.
With the deal, Adidas immediately became a hockey brand in jerseys, the NHL’s signature merchandise category. But its parent Adidas Group didn’t suddenly become a hockey company when the deal was announced this off-season.
The German-based corporation owns Reebok, the NHL’s jersey provider the past decade, as well as sister-brand CCM, the century-old maker of skates, sticks and player protective and goalie gear. But the deal means the Adidas name and logo – the iconic “Brand with Three Stripes” – will appear on NHL jerseys in some form that’s still to be determined, according to company and league execs. Players, coaches and training staff will also be outfitted in other Adidas-branded products.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he’s thrilled by the resources Adidas will dedicate to the partnership, but the league isn’t releasing financial terms on the deal that makes the global footwear and apparel company its marquee “official supplier of licensed apparel and headwear.” The key to the agreement: Adidas will make, brand and distribute authentic and high-end replica NHL jerseys, including best-selling Premier models, that fans are buying in increasing numbers.
In 1949, Frank Zamboni of Paramount, Calif., debuted the ice resurfacing machine, known today simply as the Zamboni. It took nine years of trial and error to build the first working prototype, which featured a custom-built chassis, engine parts from an old army truck and a hydraulic cylinder pulled from a Douglas bomber plane. The task of resurfacing the ice, which took an hour and five people to finish, could now be completed by one person in 15 minutes. Upper Deck commemorated Zamboni and his machine on a trading card in 1991.
By Jason Buckland
The phenom arrived in jeans and a T-shirt, all floppy blond hair, stepping out from a Ford Explorer. He was delivered personally by his GM.
Stephen and Dawnelda Murray looked out and saw him, the teenager with the hype, the can’t-miss kid from the faraway land. It was the summer of 2006 in their quiet, middle-class neighbourhood in Cole Harbour, N.S. For years this had been Sidney Crosby’s town. Suddenly, a new No. 1 pick was on the scene.
Jakub Voracek looked back and saw them, too, the big cop with the goatee, his bubbly wife with the smile that seemed to stretch clear to Halifax. Before him were two people he had never met and a house he had never set foot inside. For the next two years, it would be home. For the next two years, Stephen and Dawnelda would be Mom and Dad. “They are one of the big reasons why I am where I am right now,” Voracek said. “Every time I needed them, they’ve been there for me.”
By Dan Marrazza
One of the hottest issues in hockey the past few years is how the physical elements of the game, particularly fighting, have steadily diminished. It’s in this spirit that the long-awaited sequel to the 2011 breakout hit ‘Goon’ has begun filming in Toronto, Barrie and Hamilton, Ont.
‘Goon: Last of the Enforcers’, starring Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber and Jay Baruchel, is scheduled to be released in theatres in 2016. “This is about an age that’s drawing to a close,” Baruchel said. “It’s a role, the goon, that’s going out of fashion. It was the stuff of talking heads when we made the first movie, about whether or not these guys have a place and how much of a place they should have. This is even more so now. It’s timed out perfectly to what we wanted to say about Doug’s (Seann William Scott) career. If we do our jobs telling the story right, then Doug is the prototype and represents a bygone era. He’s the last cowboy during The Depression, sort of thing. That’s the goal of the story we’re trying to tell.”
As unknown goalies go, Jack McCartan was right up there – or down there, if you will – at the start of the 1959-60 season. After three years at the University of Minnesota, he seemed more destined for hockey oblivion than stardom on a world stage. Certainly no New York hockey savant could in his wildest fantasies picture this St. Paul product dislodging Hall of Famer Lorne ‘Gump’ Worsley or Stanley Cup-winner Al Rollins from the New York Rangers net. But McCartan did.
Even more far-fetched was the mere suggestion Jack would spearhead Uncle Sam’s Olympic team to gold at the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif. “Before we even hit the ice, everybody said we couldn’t possibly win gold,” said U.S. coach Jack Riley. “We were up against powers like Canada, Russia and Sweden.”
When Terry Kalna thinks about the hockey game of the future, he envisions a fan who never has to worry about finding a parking spot or waiting in line. In fact, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ senior vice-president of sales and broadcasting just wants you to stroll in the door, mobile phone in hand. There’s already a parking spot reserved for you and, at 8:05, four hot dogs will be ready and waiting at a certain concession stand. “No lines, none of that hassle,” he said. “Completely automated, barrier-free. We want to take all the anxiety out of the experience.”