Don’t look now, but the NHL season will soon be upon us. Preseason games begin next Saturday, Sept. 23, and the regular season starts about two and a half weeks after that, on Oct. 10.
You can tell we’re getting close because little bits of uni news are starting to emerge. One of them came yesterday, when Chicago tweeted some photos of first-round pick Connor Bedard with a “Rocky” patch on his jersey. That’s a memorial patch for team owner Rocky Wirtz, who died in July. Chicago will wear it throughout this season.
Speaking of patches, Chicago doesn’t yet have a jersey advertisement, and team exec Jamie Faulkner said yesterday that nothing’s yet imminent on that front. From this article in The Athletic:
“We don’t have a jersey patch partner right now,” Faulkner said.
[New team chairman Danny Wirtz, Rocky’s son] chimed in, joking, “I’m sure my dad would be happy to move the [memorial] patch aside.”
“We’re being very careful,” Faulkner said. “First of all, the market is saturated. Every team, between baseball and NBA renewing patches, there are so many people out there right now trying to get patch dollars. We want to be really thoughtful about who we’re going to partner with and put on our hockey sweater. We’re just talking to a lot of big companies, making sure, like, ‘Hey, if we were to do a partnership, does it align? Is it good for your business? Is it good for our business beyond what you’re looking for by putting yourself on our jersey?’ So, we’re being really thoughtful and taking our time. We are in no rush to put a jersey patch on our jersey.”
Oh, man — there’s something extra-gross about Danny Wirtz’s quip about his father’s memorial patch.
I’ll have my annual Uni Watch NHL Season Preview, with all of this season’s uni changes, on Oct. 5-ish.
Update: It’s also being reported that Chicago’s black alternate uniform will be making a comeback, although it’s not clear if that will happen this season or at some point down the road.