Entries in echl (67)


Solar Bears Roll Back the Clock

Photos provided by Orlando Solar Bears

Twelve years is a long time to wait for something. Orlando hockey fans had to wait that long to watch their championship banner be raised to the rafters. Last Saturday, Feb. 2, the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears paid tribute to their IHL predecessors by celebrating their 2001 Turner Cup championship.

But the interesting thing to us jersey geeks is what the Solar Bears wore while doing it. The team broke out the old Solar Bears jerseys for the special night — complete with the upper/lowercase surnames and everything! Those uniforms looked great from 1996 to 2001 and they look great now.

Photos: ©2013 Gary Bassing/OSB via Solar Bears official Facebook page

Great to see the new Solar Bears honoring the old Solar Bears. You can find a lot more pictures on the team's official Facebook page.


S.F. Bulls Plan Sharks Homage

San Francisco Bulls to sport old San Jose sweaters

For all you lovers of the original Pacific Teal, the ECHL's San Francisco Bulls are about to make your weekend. The classic San Jose Sharks sweater returns to the Cow Palace ice after 20 years this Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. 

The Bulls, who are affiliated with the Sharks, will be wearing their parent club's very first teal jersey — only without the awesome shark on the front. In their press release, the Bulls point out that this will be their first time wearing something other than their orange and white jerseys.

If you can get over the ugly crest, the jerseys will be auctioned off during this weekend's games. The Bulls host the Bakersfield Condors for both games on Sat., Feb. 9 and Sun., Feb. 10. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for photos to share.


The Jersey Brief: ECHL Edition

Ever since the return of the NHL, I've been back to ignoring the minor leagues. Sorry about that. Hopefully I can make up for some of what I've missed with this post and others to come.

Solar Bears disappoint with third jersey

I've had this one in the chamber for a little while now. But I can't ignore it anymore. The Orlando Solar Bears — of the ECHL's current top-selling jerseys — debuted their third jersey on Dec. 28 against the Florida Everblades. And it was extremely disappointing.

Photos: ©2012 Gary Bassing/OSB via Solar Bears official Facebook page

The Joe Bosack Graphic Design Co. created a wide and varied set of phenomenal logos for this team last year. And despite that, the Bears managed to create a rather boring jersey. So they play in the Sunshine State, you say? I'm all for simplicity, but it just feels like there's a big hole in the middle of this sweater. If you're interested, you can find more photos on the Solar Bears' Facebook page.

Solar Bears go pink for one night in January

While we're talking Orlando, might as well mention the Solar Bears' Pink in the Rink jerseys. That fad isn't going anywhere. The team's cancer awareness night was Jan. 19 and they were fully clad in hot pink and their familiar purple in front a crowd of 9,000-plus.

Photos: ©2013 Fernando Medina/OSB via Solar Bears official Facebook page

Those are certainly bright. But as pink jerseys go, they aren't the worst we've ever seen. Of course that contrasting nameplate thing won't die. Don't think the Bears have worn a single jersey yet that didn't have it. (Way to go, Flyers.) Of course you can find more photos on the team's Facebook page.

Wranglers to go "topless" on Over 18 Night, Feb. 4

Fresh off their Indoor Winter Classic victory, the Las Vegas Wranglers are going "topless" next week. The club known for weird and wacky theme nights will be wearing these jerseys on Monday.

Photo by IIA Photography

Since there's nothing I can think to say, I'll give you an excerpt from the press release:

“Going bottomless was simply out of the question,” said Wranglers President and Chief Operating Officer Billy Johnson. “Yuck.”

The specialty Wranglers jersey, featuring a bare chest and sculpted abs, has a Wranglers crest tattooed over the right pectoral. Adorning the shoulders are a “topless hockey” and Wranglers word mark, with light arm hair filling out the details.

“The guys have never looked to be in better shape,” said Johnson. “Nor have they appeared to be as identical.”

The Wranglers host the Colorado Eagles for "Over 18 Night" on Feb. 4. "In addition to topless hockey," the team says, "fans can enjoy mild adult humor throughout the game, including uncensored clips from well-known movies applied to game situations."

Also the numbers look absolutely illegible. Can't wait to see pictures from the game.

Stingrays set to sport pink-infused jersey on Feb. 23

Rounding out our ECHL coverage tonight are the South Carolina Stingrays, who yesterday unveiled their Pink in the Rink Night jersey. As pink jerseys go, it's surprisingly decent. Icethetics reader Sean M., who let me know about the unveiling, even called it "tasteful."

Again, as pink jerseys go, I can't say I disagree. The pink-infused sweaters will be worn by the Stingrays on Sat., Feb. 23 when the host the Greenville Road Warriors.

I understand this doesn't completely make up for my lack of minor league posts recently, so there are more to come. For one thing, the AHL's Outdoor and All-Star Classics were this month, complete with lots of neat jerseys. Stay tuned for more.


Wranglers Share More Classic Details

Indoor Winter Classic "throwback" jersey unveiled

Earlier this month, we learned about the latest comical promotion coming from the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers. On New Year's Day (tomorrow), the club will host the Indoor Winter Classic — a theme night meant to mock the cancellations of the NHL schedule.

In the last few days, the Wranglers have offered up a few more details of what we can expect that night — not the least of which is the "throwback" jersey seen above. They're definitely having fun with this, as you can see from a recent press release.

“As one of the Original Four, we thought this would be another terrific way to celebrate our tenth season in Las Vegas,” said Wranglers President and Chief Operating Officer Billy Johnson. “The Indoor Winter Classic is quite a celebration of professional hockey for us and the three other originals, plus Ontario.”

The Wranglers — along with the Bakersfield Condors, Idaho Steelheads and Alaska Aces — were one of the original four western teams when the ECHL expanded in 2003.

Yes, they were. That's almost like the owner Dallas Stars calling his team one of the Original 12. Sure, you can make it true with the right spin, but that doesn't keep us from a little eye roll.

More fun from the release:

“We believe hockey fans will want to wear clothing that commemorates the first outdoor game ever played inside,” said Johnson. “There can be only so many firsts of anything, really, and this is one of those.”

T-shirts and hoodies are a dark ash color and feature the Indoor Winter Classic logo on the chest.

Advance weather forecasts for inside the arena call for intermittent snow for the Indoor Winter Classic, as well as unpredictable wind patterns caused by arena doors being left open.

The jersey announcement came on Friday. But there's more. The Wranglers made one more announcement on Sunday.

Wranglers reveal Indoor Winter Classic trophy

Indoor Winter Classic trophyThe Wranglers will host the Ontario Reign for the big event on Tuesday. And apparently the winner will walk away with this gem. (But then how can you really call yourself a "winner" carrying that thing around?)

“The trophy arrived early Sunday morning,” Wranglers President and Chief Operating Officer Billy Johnson said. “No one on our team went near it, which — if tradition is to be believed — tells me they really want to win it.”

The trophy features a base that displays an Indoor Winter Classic logo, and three columns support an upper shelf that features two U.S. dollar signs that flank a glittery-scarf-wearing bobble head doll of the team’s mascot, The Duke.

The entire award is wrapped in a chain that is padlocked in the front. A team representative said that the entire trophy came in at under $29.

Can't help but be entertained by the Wranglers. Guess that's what happens when you put hockey in the desert. Or maybe it's just Vegas.

I'll be curious to see how the Indoor Winter Classic turns out. But more than that, I imagine I'll be spending the next few days hoping for a press conference with the NHL and NHLPA to announce they're ready to stop being stupid. Fingers crossed.


Solar Bears Tout Top-Selling Jerseys

Orlando's ECHL expansion team tops league jersey sales

The Orlando Solar Bears have a little something to be proud of. On Wednesday, the team announced it has the top-selling jerseys in the ECHL. The league recently informed the team of this impressive accomplishment.

Credits: Photo (left) from Solar Bears (official website); photo (right) by Stephen Sylvanie (via Facebook)

From the Solar Bears' press release:

"Here at the League Office, we have been very impressed with the support the great hockey fans in Orlando and the surrounding communities have shown for the Solar Bears," said Todd Merton, Director of Marketing and Licensing for the ECHL. "Team jersey sales are a great indicator of how well a team has been welcomed into a market. With the Solar Bears being at the top of the league in jerseys sold, it is clear that the team has been welcomed back in a big way."

If you don't live in Orlando, you can buy your Solar Bears jersey from the team's online shop.

Solar Bears to auction military-themed jerseys on Saturday

Photos from Solar Bears (via Facebook)

Last month, the Solar Bears wore the first in a series of specialty jerseys they'll don throughout the season. On Veterans' Day weekend, they celebrated military vets with these camouflage sweaters. During this Saturday's game, MeiGray will conduct an in-arena auction of those game worn jerseys.

Six specialty sweaters on the schedule for Orlando

While we're on the subject of Solar Bears jerseys, it's worth pointing out that the team has several more specialty designs scheduled to be worn as this season continues. Here's a look at them all:

  • Camouflage Jersey: Nov. 10 and 11 (Military Appreciation Weekend)
  • Scout Jersey: Dec. 8; March 2 (Scout Night)
  • Pink Jersey: Jan. 17 and 19 (Hockey Fights Cancer Weekend)
  • Vintage Jersey: Feb. 2 (2001 Championship Banner Raising)
  • Old Time Jersey: Feb. 22 (Turn Back the Clock Night); March 24 (Fan Appreciation Night)
  • Special Jersey: March 17 (St. Patrick's Day Theme Night)

We'll have to keep an eye on these theme nights in Orlando to see what the Solar Bears will be wearing. I'm particularly excited to see their "Vintage Jersey" on the night they raise their 2001 championship banner. The Solar Bears won the last Turner Cup championship as a member of the International Hockey League before it merged with the AHL.

I say "last" but technically the Fort Wayne Komets were the last to win the Turner Cup because the trophy was resurrected when the IHL was in 2007. But then the league shut down again for good in 2010. The Komets won the Turner Cup in all three seasons. They then joined the Central Hockey League and this season were admitted into the ECHL. Turner Cup champs together again. But I digress.

What do you think of the Solar Bears' jerseys? As the NHL slowly kills itself, do you imagine taking on a minor league team to cheer for? If so, would you buy that team's jersey?