Hockey jersey ads go even further in Finland

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As the tradition debate rages on this week after the NHL’s longtime model franchise, the Montreal Canadiens, revealed they were the latest to sell advertising space on jerseys, a Finnish team works the inside angle of sponsorship profit.

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European clubs are notorious for stuffing almost every inch of away shirts, helmets and kit with advertisements, skating their players on billboards. KalPa, a team based in Kuopio in south-central Finland, topped them all by displaying the domain inside their jersey.

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Left winger Juuso Kononen, one of the team’s and elite Liiga’s most popular players, was pictured on the KalPa website, rolling up the hem of his gold and black kit to show off the great brand of a tiling company.

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“The away side was full,” said Jouni Nieminen, a writer who follows Finnish sports from Canada. “It may be a first in hockey.

There has been humorous speculation that the tiling company was duped into buying the space, not knowing its location, but it seems they wanted any room they could get.

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During Monday’s team golf tournament, the Canadiens all wore their 2022-23 jerseys with a blue and gold RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) logo in the upper right corner. As one of the two oldest teams in the NHL along with the Maple Leafs, they’ve been the most resistant to any changes to their red, blue and white.

During last week’s Upper Deck Hockey Card Rookie Showcase in Washington DC, other teams that add patches were forced to display them. The Capitals will have a Caesars Sportsbook logo, Pittsburgh a private medical facility and Minnesota an orthopedic company.

The Leafs have yet to reveal plans to add jersey sponsorship.

THE PTO LIST IS EXPANDING

Two players have passed their 35th birthdaye birthdays are among the 22 professional tryout contracts offered by NHL teams starting Monday afternoon. The aging duo consists of center Eric Staal, 37, with the Florida Panthers, who hopes to play with his brother Marc, and James Neal, 35, a winger looking to catch up with Columbus.

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Recently, the Calgary Flames added center Cody Eakin and forward Mark Stone, while Vancouver added defenseman Danny DeKeyser after his decade in Detroit.

The Anaheim Ducks have four men on PTO so far, defensemen Nathan Beaulieu, Nikolas Brouillard and Josh Healey, and center Brent Gates.

The Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche signed Evan Rodigues to a one-year, US$2 million contract on Monday as a space opened up at center with the departure of Nazem Kadri.

A painting of the late Pat Stapleton hangs above the main entrance to the renowned Pat Stapleton Arena in Sarnia.
A painting of the late Pat Stapleton hangs above the main entrance to the renowned Pat Stapleton Arena in Sarnia. Photo by Paul Morden /Postmedia network

ICE FRIES

With COVID-19 waning, all NHL clubs have been advised that they will revert to the pre-pandemic policy of active players being made available in the locker room after games and practices, unless a new health situation warrants a change… Named a substitute for new Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki alongside Brendan Gallagher, Joel Edmundson is only thinking about improving the 32n/a– place the Habs in the status of playoff contender. “Rebuilding was last year,” Edmundson told reporters on Monday. “We’re ready to take the next step”… The Flyers are cautiously optimistic that center Sean Couturier will be a healthy participant in camp next week, seven months after back surgery. But defenseman Ryan Ellis, who suffered a pelvic injury last year, may not be well enough to join the team yet… Heading into his final season without a new deal, UFA potential Bo Horvat insisted on Monday: “I’m a Vancouver Canuck right now, I’ll be a Vancouver Canuck until the end of the season.” The momentum to get him a new contract stalled after the end of the regular season… The Canadiens’ rookie roster for the tournament in Buffalo will include first overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky and 2021 first-round defenseman Logan Mailloux. The Leafs, playing in a separate event in Traverse City, Michigan, will announce theirs on Tuesday … Nashville and San Jose will start the NHL season Oct. 7-8 in Prague, preceded by the Preds in an exhibition against HC Bern, the former new forward Nino Niederreiter’s club team… NHL officials have called a camp in Buffalo, NY Five get promoted to full-time, referees Mitch Dunning and Brandon Bladina, with linesmen CJ Murray, Caleb Apperson and Kilian McNamara. Linesman Tommy Hughes is a new recruit… Mickey Redmond was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame this weekend. He was the first Red Wing to 50 goals in 1972-73, was a member of Team Canada a year earlier and was a broadcast analyst in Detroit for nearly 40 years… On Saturday, the city of Sarnia, In Ontario, renamed its arena for Chicago. Blackhawks star and Team Canada 72 member Pat Stapleton… Tuesday marks the 35th anniversary of Mario Lemieux’s 6-5 overtime goal in the deciding third game of the Canada Cup final against Russia.

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