The Walleye's Simon Denis models the Rocky jersey
The Toledo Walleye currently hold the ECHL title as the league’s top team. So it’s only fitting they’re hitting the ice as a famous silver screen champ, Rocky Balboa.
Slap Shot’s Ned Braden bearing his chest during an on-ice strip tease was his way of calling out the Charlestown Chiefs goonery, but the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye rocking bare skin for their upcoming game against the Brampton Beast is simply their way of paying tribute to another great silver-screen sports star.
When the Walleye square off against the Beast on Saturday, Toledo will be wearing bare-chested jerseys as part of a full Rocky Balboa ensemble for their “Rocky Tribute Night.” Beyond rocking the ripped-physique look, the jerseys themselves feature boxing glove style wrist cuffs, which read ‘Toledo’ instead of the boxing standard, Everlast. Across the bottom half of the jersey, the Walleye will also be rocking a championship belt — and rightfully so as the league’s top team — that bears their primary logo.
And it doesn’t stop at muscled, skin-tone sweaters. Don’t be silly. Why would it? The Walleye’s getup also includes Rocky’s famed star-spangled trunks, as well as his classic white boots.
All he wants to do is go the distance.— Toledo Walleye (@ToledoWalleye) 5 January 2017
'Rocky Tribute Night' is THIS Saturday, 1/7. 💪 pic.twitter.com/ONsu4jH2ou
With the Bakersfield Condors now plying their trade as part of the AHL, there’s less wiggle room for the former ECHL club to come up with some wacky promotional antics and produce themed jerseys on a regular basis. Luckily, it seems like the Walleye have stepped up to take over as the foremost purveyor of lovably ridiculous theme nights.
In the past two seasons, the Walleye have made headlines with a number of hilarious theme nights, which have often come paired with themed jerseys. Among the most notable were Don Cherry Night, Zombie Night, and Super Mario Night, which even saw the visiting Fort Wayne Komets get in on the action with Bowser jerseys.
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.