After the Wild, Hurricanes, Sharks, and Sabres dropped new sweaters on us last year, the latest round of uniform updates have started to come out, just in time for the start of preseason games.
Do you remember what you were doing the first time you heard your favorite band? I was in Cambridge in 2007, chilling in my friend's apartment. I had tickets for the Lawrence Arms, and decided to skip a week of classes to visit friends and catch the show. He had gone to work for the day, and I was on a random message board, reading posts from a few dudes about how the best rock band in the world was a Japanese trio called Boris, named after the Melvins song.
The jaded old punks will tell you that punk is dead. That modern bands aren't important anymore. That the scene today doesn't mean crap compared to the Spirit of '76 or '84 or whenever. DC hardcore, NY hardcore, California hardcore, British oi!, nothing today will ever mean as much as those scenes did. But they're wrong. They're dead wrong.
From 1998 through 2000, the American Hockey League had what was known as the Empire Division. It consisted mostly of New York teams (hence "Empire"), and the not-even-from-America Hamilton Bulldogs. I like to make the case that now is the time to bring back the Empire Division. There's more teams in New York than there were in the late 90s, and for some reason years and years of AHL realignment leaves both Charlotte, NC, and Rochester, NY with Western Conference teams. Then again, there was also one year where the entire Empire Division was in the West (beforehand it was an unbalenced setting of 3 in the East and 1 in the West). Rochester, Albany, Syracuse, and Binghamton are still around, plus now you have Utica, and a new team in Glens Falls, since the Phantoms bolted for (Le)high(Valley)er grounds (that was painful but necessary). This new team is the former Abbotsford Heat, affiliated with Calgary, which should make for a GREAT rivalry with the nearby Utica Comets, affiliated with Vancouver. But lets get to the point here. The Heat need a rebrand, and I have just the idea for them. I hope you're listening, Flames.