Entries in lake erie monsters (6)


Frozen Frontier Sweaters Shine

All photos by Micheline Veluvolu

AHL's Americans and Monsters meet at Frontier Field

The first outdoor game of the hockey season happened Friday night in Rochester, New York. The Rochester Americans hosted the Lake Erie Monsters in a game with a very distinct look. In typical outdoor fashion, the opponents sported throwback jerseys.

The Amerks were dressed to look like they did back in the late 1950s. The Monsters, meanwhile, took on the look of an even older team that preceded them in their hometown of Cleveland — the Cleveland Barons.

A photo gallery posted on the Amerks' Facebook page allows us to enjoy the aesthetics of the game in all their splendor. I recommend spending some time there.

What do you think? Are you over the throwback trend? Or is it a welcome relief from the onslaught of modern Olympic and NHL Stadium Series jerseys?


AHL Clubs Also Celebrate the Irish 

This past weekend was chock full of green jerseys all across the hockey universe. Yesterday, you got a comprehensive look at the various NHL tributes to St. Patrick's Day. Now it's time for a trip to the minors. Here are the AHL teams that went green this weekend.

Let's begin with the Binghamton Senators, who gave their alternate logo a bit of a recoloring for the occasion. The big difference between how the NHL and AHL celebrate the day o' green — apart from the variety of designs you'll see here — is the fact that in the AHL, they're not just warm-up jerseys. They're full on game sweaters.

Photos from Binghamton Senators via Facebook

That, of course, means plenty of pictures. So head over to the B-Sens' Facebook page and get a good look at this unique uniform design. There's a huge photo album for your enjoyment.

Next up, the Chicago Wolves were in on the St. Patrick's Day fun as usual.

Photos from Chicago Wolves via Facebook

Once again Facebook is the medium for a boat load of game photos. This is one of my personal favorites from the weekend. Definitely a more classic look and feel.

The Hershey Bears opted for green plaid on this day of St. Patrick. And I'm not sure they were better off for it. If the Wolves' jersey was toward the top of my list, this one was toward the bottom.

Jersey rendering from Hershey Bears via Facebook

The plaid aside, it's just a very dark and busy jersey. I'm not saying it's badly designed, but I wouldn't want one. It's a little bit much.

Photo by Anthony S. Fiore Jr. via Facebook

So far, the only game photo I've seen comes by way of Anthony S. Fiore Jr. who posted this to the Bears' Facebook page on Sunday night.

The Lake Erie Monsters marked St. Patty's Day with a black sweater and a recolored crest. Somehow the green lake makes the monster look a bit scarier.

Photos from Lake Erie Monsters via Facebook

The Monsters posted another photo on Facebook Sunday night which gives us a better glimpse at the shoulder patch and the name and numbers on the back. It's really a nice-looking sweater!

Not ones to miss out on any specialty jersey fun, the Peoria Rivermen sported green on Sunday. At first glance, the crest looks unchanged. But on closer inspection, the eagle-eyed will note the the "O" in Peoria has a four-leaf clover forming its center.

Photos from Peoria Rivermen via Facebook

Green is good and this is a brilliant example of that. And looking at this jersey, it occurs to me that this is a color scheme we rarely see in hockey. Green, blue and gold makes for a really sharp look. On Facebook, the Rivermen posted a photo collage that shows the finer details of this sweater.

Photo from Peoria Rivermen official website

They also shared this shot of a green jersey autographed by the team. And this report wouldn't be complete without a look at the sweater in action during Sunday's game against the Griffins.

Thanks to our good friend and designer Aaron Masik, the San Antonio Rampage looked pretty sharp in their green threads over the weekend.

Photo by Aaron Masik (@MASIK8) via Twitter

The Rampage tweeted a look at the jersey design on Saturday and prior to the game, Masik shared the above photo of the sweater itself by way of Twitter. Unfortunately, there isn't much to see in terms of action photos. At the time of this writing, I've found one shot on the team's Facebook page and it's not that great.

And lastly, there's the St. John's IceCaps, both wearing green and being green by recycling last season's green St. Patrick's Day jerseys.

Photos from St. John's IceCaps via Flickr

The IceCaps were kind enough to share a few photos from this Saturday's game both on Flickr and with a full game gallery on Facebook. Once again, they looked good in green.

I tried to catch everybody, but if there are any teams I've missed, let me know and I'll add them.


The Lake Erie Monsters of Cleveland

The AHL's Lake Erie Monsters want you to know that they play in Cleveland, Ohio. So much so, in fact, that they've added the city's name to their logo. It's a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim kind of situation we have here in the minors now.

By all accounts, the team name has not changed. They're still the Lake Erie Monsters, but on Sept. 18, they unveiled new jerseys featuring a revised crest — Cleveland has been added to the bottom of the logo. The revised primary mark is now in use on the team's online outlets as well.

The Monsters logo, which has been with the team since the original launch in 2007, will now include “Cleveland” written into it below the “Monsters” wordmark. Moving forward, this logo will be seen on all uniforms, including home, road and alternate.  The home white jerseys have also been revised for the 2012-13 season.

Aside from the crest, the road jersey isn't changing. And the alternate uniform is also getting the updated design.

Now Cleveland, help me out here. This logo revision just seems silly. What's really going on here? It seems like the Monsters are spending a lot of marketing dollars just to "show their commitment" to their town. There has to be another reason, right?


Going Green for a Game

Green is one of the most neglected colors on hockey uniforms. It's a perfectly good color that, far too often, gets overshadowed by the likes of blue and red. But there's at least one day on the calendar when green rules. One week from today is St. Patrick's Day and hockey teams across North America are taking note with green-infused uniforms. Thought I'd take some time today to run down the list of what to expect.

NHL: New Jersey Devils

Devils announce Retro GameSince 2010, it's become an annual tradition for the New Jersey Devils to sport their red and green retro jerseys on or near St. Patty's Day.

The tradition continues for the third year in a row next weekend as the Devils host the Pittsburgh Penguins. Icethetics reader Mike Iannaccone tweeted a photo on Wednesday from the Prudential Center that confirms this.

The Devils wore this sweater for the first time on St. Patrick's Day 2010 — also against the Penguins. (It was actually their first time wearing green since 1992 when it was replaced with black.) The Devils won that game 5-2, but were shut out 3-0 last year when they hosted the Capitals on March 18.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has made it known he has no interest in New Jersey wearing an alternate sweater on a regular basis, but if he ever changes his mind, this one is a classic.

ECHL: Trenton Titans

Elsewhere in New Jersey, the ECHL's Trenton Titans will sport the green plaid for Irish Heritage Night when they face the Reading Royals.

But oddly, this Irish Heritage Night will not take place on March 17, but rather a week later on Sat., March 24. The promotion had to wait a week since the Titans will be on the road for St. Patrick's Day. But they wouldn't miss this opportunity.

In fact, when the Titans his the road next week, they'll be in Chicago. That takes us to...

ECHL: Chicago Express

Chicago Express St. Patrick's Day jerseyThe ECHL's Chicago Express, currently embarking on their inaugural season, will celebrate St. Patty's Day with a special jersey as they host the Trenton Titans next Saturday night.

The Express's green-themed sweater is decidedly not plaid. In fact, you might say it's a little more... alcohol-y. If that wasn't a word I just made up, anyway.

The bubbles up and down the front and back of this jersey certainly make it look like the players will be giant green beers skating around. Though you'd be more likely to see that if you already had some green beers in you. That's all I'm saying.

The primary logo is normally navy and powder blue, but the standard colors have been swapped out for green and orange for this event.

For what it's worth, this jersey has all the bad design markers, from the black for black's sake right down to the illegible name and numbers. But they'll get auctioned off for charity after the game, so we'd all sound silly to complain.

While we're in Chicago...

AHL: Chicago Wolves

The AHL's Chicago Wolves will wear their St. Patrick's Day jerseys for three home games over the next two weeks — though not on the actual day itself.

The jerseys are green with WOLVES arranged diagonally across the front in cream. Based on the image below, provided by the team, it looks like there will be a patch on each shoulder — one with a black shamrock and the year, the other with the Wolves' primary logo. As is the norm with these things, they will be auctioned for charity.

You'll note the jersey will be worn for home games on 3/14 vs. the Peoria Rivermen, 3/24 vs. the Hamilton Bulldogs, and 3/25 vs. the Houston Aeros but not on March 17. That's because the Wolves are traveling that night to... yes, Cleveland. Folks, you can't make up segues like this...

AHL: Lake Erie Monsters

The AHL's Lake Erie Monsters will be wearing their St. Patrick's Day colors when they entertain the Chicago Wolves in Cleveland on March 17. Unfortunately, while they've made the announcement on their website, they haven't offered us any pictures of the "shamrock-filled jersey," as they put it.

But, you see, the Monsters may have won St. Patrick's Day simply by doing one thing. They're painting the ice green that night. Yikes. Here's what their press release says:

The Monsters will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day all weekend long, next Friday and Saturday, March 16th and 17th! We're teaming up with The Ohio Lottery to bring you the luck o' the Irish in back-to-back games at The Q.

The team will be wearing one-of-a-kind, shamrock-filled green jerseys both nights (which will be auctioned off at the games). Plus the ice will be painted green as well!

Along with the game against the Wolves, the Monsters will also trot out the St. Patrick's Day jerseys the night before against the Milwaukee Admirals.

Sadly, there's no clever transition to be had here...

AHL: St. John's IceCaps

The AHL's St. John's IceCaps will also sport green threads in honor of St. Patrick's Day. They're the only Canadian team on this list (that I know of).

The IceCaps are in their first season playing in Newfoundland after the Manitoba Moose were uprooted by the relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg. The IceCaps are currently affiliated with the Jets.

The team has been holding drawings to determine which lucky fans will win these green jerseys right off the players' backs after the March 17 game against the Manchester Monarchs. Here's a look at that sweater.

I think that's all I've got for you today. If I've overlooked any St. Patrick's Day jerseys, let me know and I'll make the appropriate updates to this post. 


AHL: 75 Years of Identity Issues

Over the past two weekends, the AHL has been celebrating its 75th anniversary by calling on its six oldest teams — sort of — to sport special throwback uniforms. Some for the better, others not so much. 

For those of you that enjoy Icethetics history lessons, boy do I have a doozy, but first let's review what these six teams looked like in their retro threads.

Springfield Indians vs Providence Reds

Why is it the Peoria Rivermen should've played as the Indians, instead of the Springfield Falcons? And do the Connecticut Whale really have a better claim to the Reds than the Providence Bruins?

Syracuse Stars vs Cleveland Barons

Plus, are the Buffalo Sabres responsible for killing the Syracuse Stars? And are the Worcester Sharks more worthy of skating as the Barons than the Lake Erie Monsters?

Hershey Bears vs Rochester Americans

And finally, two teams just the same as they've ever been for more than a half-century. What more could you need to know?

All of these questions will be answered. It's time for that history lesson.

When the AHL was formed in 1936, known then as the International-American Hockey League, eight cities were represented, six of which have teams today that took part in the anniversary festivities: Springfield, Providence, Syracuse and Cleveland. Hershey and Rochester joined later but most of the other teams are suffering through an identity crisis of some kind. Let's break this down.

Springfield Falcons

The Springfield Falcons were founded in 1994 so they certainly aren't among the AHL's oldest franchises. But last weekend, they played as the Springfield Indians, who were. In fact, the current Falcons team has no ties to that original franchise, which now exists as the Peoria Rivermen. So how did that happen?


The city of Springfield, Mass. has had pro hockey since before the AHL formed. The Springfield Indians were founded in 1926 and played in the Can-Am, or Canadian-American Hockey League, under that name until 1951 when they were renamed the Warriors. That lasted only three years before the club reverted to Indians moniker.

In 1967, the name was changed again, this time to the Springfield Kings. But a classic name dies hard and this time seven years passed before the Indians name was brought back once more. Then finally, in 1994 the franchise was relocated to Worcester, Mass. and dubbed the IceCats. Because it was the '90s and minor league teams did that sort of thing. Not willing to go down without a fight, ex-Indian players were granted a new franchise, now named the Falcons.

The IceCats moved to Peoria, Ill. in 2005 and so goes the story of the Indians franchise. However, the league couldn't very well dress the Rivermen in their old Indians uniforms while hockey was still going strong in Springfield. So the Falcons paid tribute to their city's past in style.

Providence Bruins

The Providence Bruins franchise was founded in 1987 but has only been playing in Rhode Island since 1992. Again, it's definitely not one of the league's original teams. Actually, just like Springfield, this city had pro hockey long before the AHL in the form of the Providence Reds, who are now about to become the Connecticut Whale. What?


Just like Springfield's story, it all began in 1926 in the Can-Am. The Providence Reds were one of the eight teams that joined the new International-American Hockey League in 1936. They were successful and stuck around a long time. But when they affiliated with the New York Rangers in 1972, things were changing. And it started with a new arena.

Then in 1976, the team name was changed to Rhode Island Reds. But that would be the team's final season in the Union's smallest state. When the North American Hockey League folded in 1977, the owners of a Binghamton, N.Y.-based franchise, called the Broome Dusters (not kidding), bought the Reds and shifted them about 300 miles west and appropriated their own name for the club.

The Binghamton Dusters became the Binghamton Whalers in 1980. Then a decade later, they were named after their NHL affiliate, the Rangers. In 1997, the team became the Hartford Wolf Pack, and later this year, Howard Baldwin will officially rename them the Connecticut Whale. What a lineage. Ouch.

Once again, the Providence Bruins will only wear Reds jerseys as a tribute to their town rather than their own team heritage — a team which began life in 1987 as the second incarnation of the Maine Mariners and relocated in 1992.

Syracuse Crunch

The identity crises don't end in Providence. The Syracuse Crunch is a franchise only slightly older than the Falcons, having been established in 1992. And would you believe this? The team once known as the Syracuse Stars was actually killed by the Buffalo Sabres in 1970.


The Stars' story is long, but not all that complicated. Founded in 1930 as a member of the International Hockey League, the team from Syracuse, N.Y. hooked up with the I-AHL in 1936. By 1940, they were on the move, however, to Buffalo. Renamed the Bisons, the new team was a replacement for the club of the same name which disbanded in 1936 when its arena collapsed.

The Buffalo Bisons were effectively sent to slaughter in 1970 at the announcement of the Buffalo Sabres NHL franchise. They vacated the Memorial Auditorium for the new major league team and that's the end of their story.

Meanwhile, the Syracuse Crunch were founded as the Hamilton Canucks in 1992. After just two seasons in Ontario, the club relocated to New York. Just like the Falcons and Bruins, they don Stars attire not as a tribute to their own past but to their city's and that of the AHL.

Lake Erie Monsters

Once again, we have a club still in its teens masquerading as one of hockey's oldest. The Lake Erie Monsters franchise was founded in 1994 but only moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 2007. The actual Cleveland Barons were founded in 1929 and the lineage of that name can be quite confusing as you're about to learn.


The Cleveland Indians were a member of the International Hockey League from 1929 until 1936. However, they were known as the Cleveland Falcons for the last two years in the IHL and in their first season as a charter member of the I-AHL.

The following season, in 1937, the Cleveland Barons were born. And that's where things get interesting. Everything was fine until 1972 when the WHA and the Cleveland Crusaders came along. This spelled instant death for the minor league franchise, which was forced to relocate midway through the 1972-73 season. Unfortunately, they moved to Jacksonville, Fla. so they only got in one more full season before folding. The bloodline ends there.

As a side note, the Cleveland Barons name was revived in 1976 when the NHL's California Golden Seals relocated to Cleveland, forcing the Crusaders to St. Paul, Minn. But the Barons lasted only two seasons in the NHL before disappearing again. Ironically, the players from the disbanded team went to the Minnesota North Stars.

One more attempt was made to revitalize the Cleveland Barons moniker when the AHL's Kentucky Thoroughblades were bought by the San Jose Sharks in 2001 and relocated. Five years later, the Sharks moved the club to Massachusetts and renamed it after themselves. So technically, the only existing team that came claim the Cleveland Barons name in their heritage is the Worcester Sharks.

Yet the Lake Erie Monsters, founded in 1994 as the Denver Grizzlies, donned Barons duds last weekend. The Grizzlies played in Colorado only one season before the Quebec Nordiques announced they were to move there. So the Grizzlies went to Salt Lake City, Utah for the next 10 years.

The club suspended operations for two years while it looked for a new owner, who would then put the club in the home of the departing Cleveland Barons. By the way, don't confuse these Utah Grizzlies with the ECHL club of the same name. They have a long history of name changes and relocations but actually began life as a charter member of the East Coast Hockey League.

Hershey Bears

At last, a true original AHL franchise. Almost. The Hershey Bears joined the I-AHL in 1938, two years after its founding. End of story, right? Not quite.


The Bears were actually founded in 1932 as the Hershey B'ars. Then it was changed the following season to Hershey Chocolate B'ars in case the original name was too subtle for you. Then back to Hershey B'ars once again in 1934.

The Bears nickname actually came about by way of New York sportswriters who thought the B'ars name was overtly commercial. Gee, you think? In 1936, it stuck. Officially. And though the Hershey Bears have endured minor uniform, logo and color alterations over the last 72 years, the name has remained the same. 

Rochester Americans

The Rochester Americans didn't join the American Hockey League until 1956, but at least they're not masquerading as some other team just to celebrate an anniversary.


Now in their 55th season, the Amerks, like the Bears, have been through logo and uniform changes over the years but have always kept the name. It's refreshing to see that some teams can exist over long periods of time like this. We could all wish for more of them, but that would just make for a much duller history lesson, wouldn't it?

Hope you enjoyed this post, by the way. Spent over two hours working on it this afternoon. But it was rather fascinating.