The Malik Report
by George Malik on 09/27/13 at 04:46 PM ET
This note from ESPN's Paul Lukas, who penned a "Uni Watch" article discussing all the tweaks and changes in team uniforms, does indeed always arise during training camp and the preseason:
• The Red Wings will be wearing these gorgeous throwbacks for the annual Winter Classic on Jan. 1. Additional photos and info here. Meanwhile, in an annual rite of September, the Uni Watch inbox has been flooded with alarmed emails from fans who've noticed that the Wings have been wearing straight, block-lettered nameplates for their preseason games instead of their usual vertically arched lettering. Don't worry, people -- the Wings do this every preseason, so their equipment manager doesn't have to go through the trouble of making the vertically arched names for all the players who don't end up making the final roster cut. The arched lettering will return when the regular season starts. Promise.
In the days of hand-cut letters, where the "arch" was literally made by hand, the block-font was incredibly necessary to reduce time, energy and effort when making jerseys for 60+ prospect camp and training camp attendees...These days, I'm sure that it's easier to sew the block-font letters, but most places that customize jerseys use CNC machines and computer software to get things right, so in the present moment, the tradition is about tradition more than saving time.
It's about the privilege of earning your name in arched letters on a Wings jersey via a regular season appearance, and it may or may not be about selling unique training camp jerseys. That, and whatever the Wings' equipment manager wants to do, it's his workload, so Paul Boyer gets what he wants.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.