The Newfoundland Growlers, apparently sensing how long it’s been since I’ve been able to roll up my sleeves and critique a piece of clothing on this blog*, announced a new theme night jersey yesterday. Usually, ECHL theme night jerseys are purposefully, amazingly tacky, which I fully embrace—the Solar Bears’ ugly sweater jerseys are the kind of thing that sear themselves permanently into your brain like some kind of alien parasite, which is good and admirable—but the Growlers went for something a bit different for their Leafs Night.

So, while usually I hate jerseys with wordmarks instead of logos, I absolutely love the shit out of this. I think it’s the striping, which gives the jersey a vintage look that’s also subtly nautical. The use of blue and white horizontal block striping is reminiscent of a Breton-stripe shirt, which is a classic look for a reason. The three equal stripes are supposed to evoke the three tiers of the Maple Leafs’ system, which, sure, okay, let’s go with that, but no matter what, visually it’s a great look. The gold border around the wordmark is just subtle enough to call back to the Growlers’ colors without heinously clashing, and instead provides a nice accent.

The Growlers are currently scheduled to begin the 2020-21 season on January 15th, although I think we’ve all learned by now that trying to predict what’s going to happen three months out is, if not impossible, highly unpleasant. Even if they don’t get to wear these jerseys in a game, there are 115 of them available for pre-order through the Growlers website. You, too, can cover yourself in stripes.

*I was going to do a draft fashion recap, but by the end of the night, it became clear it would be two thousand words of speculation about Quinton Byfield’s bowtie collection (30-40 bowties, according to Bob McKenzie!), which would entertain me and literally no one else. Virtual drafts do not lend themselves to fashion analysis, although I will say that Byfield’s white jacket and black patterned bowtie combination looked sharp as fuck. I’m very pleased the kids of today are resurrecting the bowtie.


Back to Excited Episode 120: Free Agency and Draft Recap - Pension Plan Puppets
We break it all down!

Holiday Monday Maple Leafs Salary Cap Thoughts - Pension Plan Puppets
Please don’t show me your armchair GM roster.

Prospect Watch: An early 2021 NHL draft watch list - Pension Plan Puppets
No I haven’t caught Finnish Fever, shut up.

Free Agency

Vegas Golden Knights sign Alex Pietrangelo to seven year contract - St. Louis Game Time
The former Blues’ captain is officially a Knight.

2020 NHL Free Agency: Flyers sign Erik Gustafsson to one-year deal - Broad Street Hockey
No, not Erik Gustafsson from 2014, a different one! All aboard the Gus Bus regardless.

Nashville Predators sign UFA forward Brad Richardson to one-year, $1M contract - On the Forecheck
Richardson brings faceoff-winning skills to Nashville.

Colorado Avalanche re-sign Ryan Graves, acquire Devon Toews from Islanders - Mile High Hockey
Avs sign an RFA and acquire another.

Tyler Toffoli signs four-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens - Eyes On The Prize
Montreal adds its first free agent to the 2020-21 NHL roster.

Hurricanes sign defenseman Joakim Ryan - Canes Country
The Hurricanes have made an organizational depth signing.

2020 NHL free agency: Blackhawks sign Lucas Wallmark to 1-year, $950,000 contract - Second City Hockey
The 25-year-old center scored 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in 67 games this past season with the Hurricanes and Panthers.

New York Islanders Signing Goalie Cory Schneider, Per Reports - Lighthouse Hockey
The ex-Devil will try to rediscover his form, likely in AHL Bridgeport

NHL Free Agency: The Philadelphia Flyers haven’t been active in free agency — here’s why - Broad Street Hockey
“I like our guys.” - Chuck Fletcher

Stuff We Didn’t Write

What makes Brodie special: How the newest Leaf will bolster the D – The Athletic
The most intriguing possibility of Brodie's addition could be a partnership with Morgan Rielly.

Flyers sign Zayde Wisdom to entry-level contract - Broad Street Hockey
The Flyers’ fourth-round draft pick is the first of the 2020 class to sign an entry-level deal.

Rangers Sign Lafrenière to Three-Year Entry-Level Contract - Blueshirt Banter
The New York Rangers have officially signed No. 1 overall pick Alexis Lafrenière to a three-year entry-level contract.

2020 NHL Draft Rant: On the Tampa Bay Lightning’s strategy of size over skill - Raw Charge
To put it bluntly, they dropped the ball. Hard.

Toews says he's shocked by direction taken by Blackhawks: report
Jonathan Toews said he's surprised the Chicago Blackhawks are making big changes to their roster with a focus on young players replacing key veterans.

Travis Boyd posts goodbye note to Capitals after signing with Leafs - RMNB