Now that the NHL has expanded to 30 teams, marketing tactics must grow as well. This season 11 clubs will don third jerseys and four of those teams, the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs, will debut new designs. It is the largest season debut since the alternative sweater program started five years ago.
"The third jersey program was launched as an opportunity for member clubs to expand their identities on ice," said Lloyd Haymes, the director of sporting goods and NHL Center Ice.
The Philadelphia Flyers will wear their black jerseys for 20 games, tops in the league. Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Ottawa, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers are next with 15 games each. T
Mark Oct. 28 on your calendars. On that night at the Fleetcenter, both the host Bruins and the Maple Leafs will put on their third sweaters.
MINDING THE NET
Eyes will not just be on Patrick Roy's run at the career record for goalie victories, some young netminders drew attention last year in their rookie campaigns.
Pittsburgh's Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Martin Biron of the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia's Brian Boucher had one of the best combined totals for a rookie class in over a decade.
The last person to wear the No. 11 for the New York Rangers before Mark Messier came to Broadway in 1991, was longtime linemate Adam Graves. Graves left Edmonton for New York in that summer and donned that number for one game -- his Rangers debut. New York traded for Messier following that game and claimed No. 11 as Graves switched to No. 9. No one wore 11 in the three years Messier spent in Vancouver.
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