Thursday, July 24, 2008

Two-Minute Minors for 7/24/08

The Ducks have rewarded coach Randy Carlyle, who was entering the final year of his contract, with a two-year extension. So that's how that works. (See, if Ted had just won a Stanley Cup there would have been no problem!)

I stopped into the NHL Store on Sixth Avenue yesterday to see if there was any news about the arrival of third jerseys. A very friendly and enthusiastic salesperson told me that they should arrive in late August or early September with the rest of the fall line merchandise. I was not aware that the NHL had a fall line. Look out, Giorgio Armani.

Really, though, it's no shock that the league would refresh its merchandise in preparation for the new season. It was just funny to hear it put that way.

The salesperson also told me that the NHL Store staff is hoping that it gets to sell the new third jerseys at all. It seems that the league prefers to keep specialty items like third jerseys in the domain of individual team stores so that the teams benefit directly from the revenue. I was surprised to learn that the league's flagship merchandise store might not carry such highly anticipated products. However, it does make sense, especially for a team like the Islanders whose fan base is so concentrated geographically. Most Islanders fans will purchase the new third at the arena, at the team store at the Broadway Mall, or online. But if you were hoping to pick one up in Manhattan, you might be out of luck.

Speaking of Manhattan, I recently spotted a kid wearing a yellow Islanders baseball hat on W. 72nd Street. That pushes my ratio of Manhattan Islanders gear sightings per year over the 1.0 mark—4 sightings in three years! We now have three baseball hats and one ski cap.

In case you haven't adjusted your browsing habits to include the NYI Voices blog yet, Steve Mears reminds us that the Islanders are opening the season on the road once again. Someone should check the NHL bylaws for the rule that prohibits the Islanders from playing their season opener on home ice. I would have gotten around to posting this as the season drew closer, but since Steve brought it up already, let's update the numbers.

In 2008 the Islanders will open their season on the road for the 32nd time in 36 seasons. And just for emphasis, let's repeat another fact stated by Mears: the Islanders have opened the season in Los Angeles more times than they have opened it on Long Island.

Mariusz Czerkawski announced his retirement from hockey today. Hat Tip: Mirtle (1), (Lowtide, Polskie Radio), 12:17. Somehow that didn't hit me quite as hard in a "Wow, I'm old" sort of way as when Claudio Reyna announced his retirement from soccer recently. But Mariusz is only 36 and was playing to the tune of a point per game in the Swiss-A league the last two seasons.

It's hard to remember Czerkawski as anything more than the leading scorer on some horrible Islanders teams. At least he was the one guy you could look to for a little offensive excitement during those painful years. He did manage to stick around long enough to see the team turn a corner and reach the playoffs in 2001-02. Anyway, happy retirement, young man.

I'd review the second episode of Islanders Illustrated, but it's 7:57 and writing this has caused me to forget that it was on. I'll have to catch it next time around.

1 comment:

7th Woman said...

I NEED to get to the blasted NHL store!!! But I understand about the 3rd jersey thing. The league itself is really only responsible for the home and away jerseys so it makes sense that they would leave the 3rds to each team.

Wow... the Polish Prince retires? Guess that's the last time the Polish media will cover hockey.