Growing up in San Jose, I started playing ice hockey 4 years before the San Jose Sharks were even a reality. With the Northern California Bay Area far from a hockey hotbed, resources for learning about professional hockey were limited to the Long Island-based Sportschannel ( all Isles, all the time! ), and hockey cards. Being all of 10 years old, I was like any other kid eager to learn. I memorized stats, knew which country each player was from, and could tell you what style each player was known for. But the one thing that really sparked my interest on each hockey card was the difference in each players' gloves. Some wore beefy, short-cuffed gauntlets, some wore sleek, long-cuffed gloves that seemed to wrap around the stick as if it were part of their anatomy. I could tell you which brand almost every player wore, if it was made of leather or nylon, and what colors they were. Even as an adult, I still get a little giggly when trying on a new pair of mitts.
These days, the technology that goes into making hockey gloves is far superior than what it was 20+ years ago, everything from the materials used to the scientific process of blending form and function. But in the NHL, it seems that style has been thrown out the window by a majority of teams, making the styling of gloves a thing of the past. As of this writing, 10 NHL teams sport an all black glove motif. Let me re-word that , so that you can sense my boredom. ONE THIRD of all NHL teams wear gloves that are black, and nothing else ( except maybe some lettering. Whoopty doo). In no particular order, these teams are : Anaheim, Boston, Calgary, San Jose, Chicago, Philadephia, Colorado, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh.
( Don't worry, Sid. The monotony puts me to sleep, too.)
How about teams wearing all blue gloves? I count 8. Those teams would be:
Atlanta, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, NYI, St. Louis, Toronto, Vancouver.
Heck, I could go on and on about the solid color scheme 21 out of the 30 NHL teams have predominantly adopted, but what if we could change that? As I said before, the technology of hockey has made vast improvements over the years, so why not bring back a little variety? With a little bit of creativity, any team can create a memorable look, even if they only use it once in awhile.
How about the original 6 adopting the old-school, brown leather look?
Detroit, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, NYR, and Montreal could all rock these bad boys whenever they face each other:
via ep.yimg.com ( Yes, they are brand new )
( Throwback gloves! Remeniscent of yesteryear, right ?)
How about Phoenix playing along with the desert theme, and adding a radical rattlesnake look?
Okay, maybe that's stretchin' it... But as you can see, the option IS there if someone wanted to explore it. Score an empty netter for Technology.
But one of the most intriguing reasons I thought of this post was the San Jose Sharks. From 1967-1976, Northern California was home to another hockey team, The California/Oakland Golden Seals. And for a brief time, the Seals wore white skates.
The thought of wearing white skates was laughable until the mid-1990's, when Nike used Sergei Fedorov as their spokesman for their first forray into the hockey business. The result? Kids in every rink wanted a pair.
( Little did he know, but Sergei was the first Russian in the NHL to be big pimpin')
So, maybe as an homage to the previous hockey team in NorCal, or maybe just to deter from the fact that 80% of their division wears all black gloves, I was thinking...... Why not white gloves for the Sharks? The All-Star game last year featured white gloves with colored cuffs for the Western Conference, and I thought they were rather sharp looking.
( Hey! I know those guys! )
Now, what if the Sharks wore those white gloves once in awhile, with the same black cuff that currently resides on their all black counterparts? I realize that some hockey purists would cringe at the thought, but it's obvious to most that times are a changin'. Here's some terrible mockups I did ( forgive the poor MS Paint skills. You get the idea):
Personally, I'm sold. The only team in the NHL badass enough to rock those? Where else would be more fitting than San Jose? It's a solid argument, and if you disagree with me, I'll slew foot you.
As you can see, the options are limitless. Kids these days don't realize how great we had it. But ask any rabid, 11 year old hockey fan these days, I'm sure they could tell you how great it could be.
Just don't listen if their argument is "not as good as" these beauties:
Now, I leave it up to you. What would you want to see? Anaheim or Philly in Orange? Boston in bright yellow? More two-tone gloves? Have fun with it, kiddos.