This week’s guest Instigator was current Dallas Stars’ color guy and former Forever .500 Hartford Whalers goaltender Daryl Reaugh. The best moment in the episode might have been Daryl’s highlight reel that included him scolding the women of Dallas for throwing their bras on the ice when hat tricks are scored. Did that really happen? Different hockey market down South.
This week on The Instigators the crew briefly discussed the new Tampa Bay Lightening uniforms for the 2011-2012 season. If I were Tampa’s new owner (Jeff Vinik) and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a hockey team, I would change the uniforms too. Tampa’s current unis are among the worst in the league and if you want to be taken seriously as a hockey team, you have to look the part. So I guess the redesign was a step in the right direction. I applaud Tampa for coming up with a sleek, basic, stripped down design. But you cannot fake tradition, and now they will just look like the Maple Leafs South. The logo looks like something you would see on the side of a van for your local town’s electric and light department twenty years ago.
The whole project is part of a re-branding of the team and recommitment to the Tampa community. Also included are a $2-million-a-year charitable campaign, a program for season-ticket holders to receive a team jersey with an embedded microchip that entitled them to deep food and merchandise discounts, and a renovation of their rink. We hope it works. The Lightening have drawn large crowds in the past, even hoisted the Cup. We do not need another team to be rumored to be on the move to the Great White North.