No wrong answer in uniform debate

It’s been interesting to watch the discussion that’s been generated this past week over what colour the uniforms should be for the local ‘AA’ hockey teams.
Should it be the black and yellow that’s associated with the Muskies? Or should it be the blue and white that is the traditional colours of the Canadians?
It’s a passionate debate that’s been seen in the letters to the editor that have come into the Times office, as well as in the votes tabulated in our most recent web poll.
And to be honest with you, it’s easy to see both sides of the argument.
Firstly, I think the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association made the right decision heading into last season to have all of the rep teams in town have the same colours and the same name, as it gives those teams a piece of identity instead of just being named after a sponsor.
From a minor hockey standpoint, the black-and-yellow makes sense for those teams since the logo of the FFMHA, which is very similar to that of the NHL’s Boston Bruins, already is in that colour scheme.
Plus, when playing against other ‘AA’ teams from Northwestern Ontario, teams from Dryden already have blue in their main colour schemes, which makes a huge difference in team identity.
However, the local ‘AA’ Midget team—while sharing the Canadians’ name—is different when it comes to the tournament trail, as they frequently take on many of the top teams in Minnesota and dominated many of their opponents all season long.
As the lone team locally to still wear the colours of the Allan Cup champs from 1952, it’s nice to see that tradition still being upheld—and sometimes that’s something you don’t want to mess with.
Speaking on a personal level, I can remember about 17 years ago back in my hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, when the OHL Greyhounds switched from their classic red circle logo with a running greyhound to one with a cartoon dog.
From the time that uniform was unveiled, the public backlash was pretty much instant. And after four years with the new logo, the classic Greyhounds’ one was brought back and remains there to this day.
Although the ’52 Canadians squad still are kept close to the heart and souls of many people here, it can be argued that for a certain generation, the Muskies are considered the team that many people associated with hockey locally.
Over the years, the Muskie boys’ program not only has been a force on the ice with three provincial titles to their name, it also has been the launching points for many players to their future careers, with Florida Panthers’ draft pick and current Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs’ forward Joe Basaraba being an example of that.
As I’ve mentioned previously in other columns, I’m not from here originally and it’s hard for me to make an opinion on a discussion such as this. But I do think that the way things currently are in regards to the uniforms for each team is working out just fine.
However, I’m sure the FFMHA will consult all parties involved before it determines its plans for next season with the uniforms for the Midget ‘AA’ team.
In the end, the most important thing is to make sure the players themselves have great memories when they look back years from now on their time with the program, not what colour their jersey was.
• • •
One player who came through the FFMHA system was goalie Ryan Faragher, who made an impact this season with the St. Cloud State Huskies men’s hockey team in the WCHA.
The 20-year-old Faragher, who finished up his freshman campaign with a 9-11-3 record and 2.78 GAA, was a co-recipient of the team’s Dave Torrey Award for goaltender-of-the-year this past week, sharing the honours with Phoenix Coyotes’ prospect Mike Lee.
After Lee went down with an injury early in the season, Faragher picked up the slack between the pipes for most of the campaign.
He played in 24 games this winter and also earned his first career shutout against North Dakota back in October.

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