A classic trademark look is now being frowned upon by the NHL to the consternation of players. (Alex Brandon/AP)
By Allan Muir
As someone who has to identify players from press boxes located halfway up to the heliosphere, I can selfishly get behind the push to enforce a rule that’s been on the books for nearly 50 years. It’s a whole lot easier to pick up a number when it’s not obscured by being crammed into the back of someone’s breezers.
Still, given the contentious debate about the league’s sudden decision to get tough on jersey tuckers, this seems like a lousy fight for the league to pick with its players. Sure, there are arguments to be made that uniforms are supposed to be, by definition, uniform and that there’s marketing value in making it easier to identify the stars of the game. And there might even be some safety/insurance element involved, though honestly when you’re passing out weekly wrist slaps to players who nearly separate someone’s head from his shoulders, this isn’t exactly a high road position.
Whatever the reason, the optics are lousy for the league. It feels pointless and petty. On the bright side, remember that crackdown on interference? They were serious about that for a while, too.
Joffrey Lupul brings up an interesting point: