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AHL Fashion
By Tricia McMillan, AHL Correspondent

As long as we're going to rank the NHL's uniforms/colors, we may as well get the AHL in there as well. Mind you, a lot of AHL teams are sorely lacking in originality and copied the parent team's outfit with small word changes here and there. As a result, I really don't see the point in including the St. John's Maple Leafs, Saint John Flames, Fredericton Canadiens, Providence Bruins, Adirondack Red Wings or Binghamton Rangers here. If you want to know where they rank, just look at where their parents wound up.

But for the AHL originals (or at least partly originals), drum roll please:

1. Carolina Monarchs (Same colors as Florida): The Monarchs are rated number one for their road jerseys, which have to be the most colorful daggone things I've ever seen. If you missed this morning's sunrise, go to a Monarchs road game - same thing.

Ivan Droppa
Carolina's Ivan Droppa
Photo by Kevin Fischer

2. Albany River Rats (Same colors as New Jersey): Same basic idea as the Devils, but who could resist such a nifty looking rat?

3. Portland Pirates (Same colors as New Jersey) Apparently a failure to notice they're the Capitals, but a good logo and snazzy look, especially on their third jersey. Besides, black is mean and dangerous right?

4. Hamilton Bulldogs (Same as Hamilton): They adopted the new colors of the Oilers, but with a grouchy looking dog instead of an oil spout. Very classy and classic look.

5. Syracuse Crunch (Black, purple, teal, yellow): All the hip colors in one place, but how many teams invent their own superhero? Besides, they knew the parent Canucks looked terrible.

6. Baltimore Bandits (Black, purple, silver, yellow): Last year they would have ranked No. 1, but in accordance with their lack of marketing ability they had to change one of the few things they did right in the first place and tinkered with the unis. Great colors... until someone thought yellow would look good in there.

7. Springfield Falcons (Blue, green, black): OK, but whose idea was it to get into anatomically incorrect birds anyway?

8. Worcester IceCats (Blue, green): So many shades of blue it was frightening when Eric Fichaud matched a fan's fingernails. Stupid logo too.

9. Hershey Bears (Maroon): Hershey commits that worst of all sins... Booorrrinnnggg. What worked in the thirties doesn't cut it in the nineties.

10. Rochester Americans (Red, blue): Ditto. Except they've adopted a third jersey which is outright hideous with stripes. The American flag does not look good on hockey players...

11. Philadelphia Phantoms (Purple, orange): Godawful color combo. You get this feeling the players are about to ask you to sign for a FedEx package.

And the very worst is...

Chris Tancill
Kentucky's Chris Tancill
Photo by Kevin Fischer

12. Kentucky Thoroughblades (Purple, teal): Purple pants. Nuff' said.

Come to think of it, maybe we should encourage a failure of originality in the AHL. After all, the best uniforms copy the parent teams to some degree and most of the complete copies look pretty decent. It's a thought...

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