What to Make of the Islanders’ Reverse Retro Jerseys

What to Make of the Islanders’ Reverse Retro Jerseys

The New York Islanders’ history is one of triumph and darkness. After taking home four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1978-1982, this team has never been able to achieve that feat again.

This past offseason, the Islanders had a long stay in the bubble up in Toronto, and then Edmonton, falling two wins shy of making it back to the finals for the first time since 1984.

While Islander fans and hockey fans await the decision for next season, with a potential start slated for January 1st, fans of every team were ecstatic to see what Adidas went with regarding their design for the reverse retro jerseys. The idea with this was to look back at the history of each team and design a more modern look to classics. This morning they were released, as some were stellar, solid, and mediocre.

And then you have the Islander ones.

This offseason, Islander fans have felt uneasy. While there is no question that restricted-free agent Mat Barzal will be back with the club prior to the beginning of the 2020-21 season, whenever that begins, money is a major issue for this hockey club right now. A new, fresher looking jersey, could have at the very least taken our mind’s off of this issue.

But that was not the case. The reverse retro jersey the Islanders unleashed resembled their regular home uniforms, just with a darker shade of blue, and a few other minor changes.

But nothing special like we see with the other 30 NHL teams, jerseys that get the fan base excited in a time of uncertainty.

Deep down, what should we have expected? Through the almost fifty years this team has been around, their jerseys have rarely changed. Other teams have had secondary logos, which allows for creative alternates. The Islanders have never had that, and under the leadership of Lou Lamoriello, a classy-old fashioned guy, we should not have expected any glimmer and glam.

Fans calling for the fisherman jersey to come back makes me sick, as besides thinking they look absolutely horrid, this was a jersey that embarrassed the organization from 1995-1997. Over that span the team was a laughing stock finishing last in the division, the Atlantic Division at the time in both seasons. So paying homage to a jersey that exemplified failure would not be doing this franchise any good.

Look, I get the sadness. There was an opportunity here to do some creative things. But at the end of the day, this is a jersey that the team may wear three to five times this season, as it is more of a way for the league to generate money. I, and most fans, care more about the success on the ice. This reverse retro jersey represents winning, paying tribute to a time when the Islanders were a dominant force in the National Hockey League.

And for that reason, let’s accept what happened here, and move on.

Arizona Coyotes Renounce Mitchel Miller

Arizona Coyotes Renounce Mitchel Miller

Today the Arizona Coyotes have officially renounced the rights to their fourth-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, Mitchell Miller.

With the National Hockey League trying to take strides in combating racism and social injustices in the sport, the fact that Miller was ever drafted in the first place is an exclamation point on the inept management of the Arizona Coyotes, as well as the leadership group in the NHL.

Back in 2014, Miller, in eighth grade at the time, was convicted in an Ohio courtroom for the bullying of a developmentally disabled African American student. On multiple occasions, Miller called the student the N-word and “brownie” while physically abusing him.

The worst incident came when Miller tricked Meyer-Crothers into licking a candy push-pop that he and a friend wiped in a bathroom urinal, resulting in the need for Hepatitis, HIV, and STD testing, thankfully coming back negative.

In a phone interview for the Arizona Republic, the victim, Meyer-Crothers, had this to say:

He pretended to be my friend and made me do things I didn’t want to do.” “In junior high, I got beat up by him. … Everyone thinks he’s so cool that he gets to go to the NHL, but I don’t see how someone can be cool when you pick on someone and bully someone your entire life.”

As someone who was bullied growing up, there is a zero-tolerance policy in my life for bullying. I feel horrible for this kid and what he had to endure and the fact that Miller was able to get this far in his hockey career, with what happened, will never sit well with me, despite the news that broke today.

To make matters even worse, a month prior to the NHL Draft, the CEO and President of the Arizona Coyotes, Xavier Gutierrez, was named to the NHL’s Executive Inclusion Council, a group focused on fighting racism and creating widespread diversity in the sport.

While the team and the rest of the league knew about Miller’s past, the Coyotes believed that they could be a program that could help Miller become a better person, but as more news was released and this player and his past caught the public eye, the team released this statement earlier today via CBS Sports:

“What we learned does not align with the core values and vision for our organization and leads to our decision to renounce our draft rights.”

Miller, 18, will now head back to the University of North Dakota, as his future in hockey is unknown at this time.

The question now that is circling the heads of hockey executives, players in the league, and fans is does everyone deserve a second chance? Players make mistakes. We see in other sports, particularly in baseball more recently, where players are being exposed for things they said on the web years ago, leading to mandatory classes as well as fines and suspensions. That does not mean their actions are forgotten.

The actions by Miller, at least in my eye, makes him undeserving of a second chance. Actions have consequences. While Miller can be extremely upset that his dream of playing in the NHL may never happen, and quite frankly should not happen, I could not care less.

He knew what he was doing was so morally wrong, but decided to do it anyway. Like I mentioned above, bullying has been a major issue in my life when I was a younger kid. Even with Miller being cut, that does not fix the physical and mental abuse that Meyer-Crothers had to deal with for years while the bullying occurred, not to mention the lingering effects that has on a person’s life.

On my radio show, The BS Sports Show, I let my opinions be known:

The Coyotes made the right move by renouncing their rights of Miller, but this organization is still not out of the woods and will need to do many things to fix their image, if fixable at this point.