clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

From the Branches: Every day is casual Friday now

Auston Matthews and I are both excited for the Maple Leafs to move away from suits and ties.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Vancouver Canucks
JT’s backpack is always professional wear in my heart.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to talk about fashion on the blog, and I am going to return, as you all knew I would, to talk about the Minnesota Wild.

This tweet is like staring into the void, if the void went to a mid-tier private high school, or really liked to golf. I have looked at a lot of hockey player walk-in footage, and I’d like to break it to everyone that whether or not these men are wearing a suit has absolutely no correlation to whether they look “presentable”. It’s possible to look like a total disaster while wearing a suit, and to look sharp as fuck in casual wear. Could they not, at the very least, have gone for a more interesting not-a-suit uniform if the players themselves wanted to dress identically? I endorse matching embroidered leather jackets like they’re collectively starring in a really weird revival of Grease.

To my relief, no one in Toronto seems to be lining up a rack of team-logo polo shirts. In this one thing, Auston Matthews and I are in perfect agreement:

I really love suits, don’t get me wrong—a well-tailored suit is a piece of functional art and a true joy to look at—but fashion should be about expression, and Matthews is right that every other major sports league has the NHL beat in terms of walk-ins as a vehicle for expression. MLB doesn’t appear to have a dress code at all, and while the NBA and NFL both do, theirs use more subjective language (“professional manner” for the NFL, “business casual” for the NBA) as opposed to the NHL’s, which specifies a suit and tie. (I also want to note that dress codes themselves are often used as a way to enforce classist and racist ideas of what is, ah, presentable.) While I don’t expect anyone to knock Serge Ibaka off his Best Dressed Athlete in Toronto throne, I’m hoping for interesting, at the very least. I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of guys dressed in sweatpants or jeans or plain tees or even, like the Minnesota Wild, team-logo-embroidered collared shirts (we all choose our choices!), but I’m also sure that some Leafs are going to take the opportunity to show off a more creative side of their style.

Travis Dermott, whose wardrobe seems to be an endless source of weird clothes that absolutely delight me (the man owns bright lilac pants!), started us off with this majestic creation right here. I desperately wish I could see the rest of this outfit, because if he’s paired this with sweatpants and Crocs, he’s going to break my heart. This pattern is ludicrously showy, belongs on upholstery in a Roger Moore-era Bond film, and I would wear it in a hot second. My only quibble is that I’m not sure that a T-shirt is the best way to display a pattern that large and geometric—a short-sleeved button-down shirt would be my suggestion. A placket and buttons would provide more breakup of the pattern itself, so it looks slightly less like wallpaper and more like fabric, and a collar would make it look less like the world’s most glamorous hospital gown. That neckline is doing the situation no favors.

View this post on Instagram

Back w the fellas

A post shared by Auston Matthews (@austonmatthews) on

Meanwhile, Matthews is wandering around in a bucket hat like he’s spiritually channeling my grandmother. At least he’s wearing Raptors shorts. I rely on you to nibble around the edges of avant-garde, Auston, go follow Serge’s excellent example and buy yourself a kilt.

ICYMI

Three left wingers skate out at Maple Leafs practice - Pension Plan Puppets
Which one gets the roster spot?

Stuff We Didn’t Write

Injured Maple Leafs forward Johnsson skates before practice - Sportsnet.ca
Andreas Johnsson’s recovery from knee surgery has brought him back to North America.

‘It’s gonna be dicey’: Far-flung NHL broadcasts bring new challenges – The Athletic
What will it be like broadcasting an NHL game from afar? The Blackhawks' team will let you know when they do it.

Philadelphia Flyers sign Oskar Lindblom to three-year contract extension - Broad Street Hockey
#OskarStrong

2020 NHL Awards: Finalists & Predictions - Fear The Fin
The Finalists have been announced. Here’s a simple reason for every award winner:

Maple Leafs, Oilers face level playing field despite NHL hub status - Sportsnet.ca
The idea of that cannon going off in an empty arena is absolutely terrifying to me for reasons I can't quite comprehend.

The N.H.L. Is Back but Full Paychecks Are Not, Some Employees Say - The New York Times
The N.H.L. cut the pay of some staff members by 25 percent to reduce costs during the league’s suspension. But while hockey is returning, full salaries are not.