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A Message to Mark DePasquale, Calgary Flames Equipment Manager




I truly adore the Calgary Flames retro jerseys. The 90’s and 00’s craze saw copious amounts of black elements added to nearly every team’s uniform as testament to the questionable tastes of the era. There were varying degrees of success for Calgary, with the flag and pedestal jerseys at the bottom, and the home/alternate versions of the horsehead jerseys being the peak. However nothing has been quite as striking as the clean simplicity of the white, yellow, and of course red colour scheme that the franchise debuted with.

So with the organization announcing the return of the retro set as the full-time uniform, I could not be happier. However, and this is a big however, there is something horribly, truly profoundly wrong with one of them.

Of course, we’ve only seen the white variant since the Heritage Classic this past season, and it’s a flawless tribute to the original. So this leaves the home red uniform. Since it was reintroduced as an homage during the team’s 30th anniversary season in 2009-10, there is one element that has remained infuriatingly unchanged throughout it’s various usage over the past decade. See if you can spot it on Iggy before reading the next paragraph.

The chinstraps. The m********ing chinstraps. If you’ve never really noticed them before, I’m sorry but it’s all you’ll be able to see from this point on. Other than the skates and stick (which have never been incorporated into team’s uniforms) there is absolutely zero trace of black anywhere on the jersey, pants, socks, gloves, and helmet.

So why oh why are the chinstraps black? I realize that the helmets likely come from the manufacturer standard with a black chinstrap. However a quick google search shows that a single replacement chinstrap costs around 6-10 Canadian dollars, which if they were to be purchased in bulk from the manufacturer by an NHL team, would obviously be cheaper than that. Even the new white helmets have white chinstraps, which just proves that the team has the necessary material on hand.

I held out hope that the error was due to the fact that they were used sparingly as a third jersey and thus didn’t warrant much attention. But the picture used at the top of this article is from the official jersey change announcement from the Flames at the beginning of October, which means nothing has changed. In case you were wondering, the Flames did indeed have white chinstraps on the original uniforms in the 80’s. Check out the comparison below and tell me it doesn’t bother you.

Mark DePasquale has been the Flames equipment manager since 2006-07, which means he has overseen the entire resurgence of the retro jersey. While he may not be in charge of decisions such as the actual design of the jersey, something like chinstraps and gloves 100% falls within his realm.

Mark, I’m begging you. It’s so easy. We’re on the precipice of perfection, and we can begin this new era of Calgary Flames hockey on a positive note.

by Gordie Taylor