About a week before my 31st birthday on June 14, 1993, a friend of mine gave me a colouring booklet featuring some NHL stars of the time. Included were Patrick Roy, Doug Gilmour and Pavel Bure among others. A couple of days prior to the Canadiens winning their most recent Stanley Cup (sounds better put that way, doesn't it?) I had the idea to colour in the Gretzky pic you see here in Habs colours. If I recall correctly, Montreal were leading the Kings in the final two games to one at the time.
It's just totally weird that I should find this lost coloured drawing of mine - now, of all times. I hadn't seen in well over ten years. I pulled an old hockey book last night - Quest For The Stanley Cup - and there it was, sitting inside the pages!
Weird, and coincidental, because Wayne Gretzky turned 50 this week, Kevin did a post here a few days back on Stan Lee's Guardian's superheroes, and now P.K. Subban flips everybody out by wearing a Hurricanes jersey at the All-Star Game.
Back in '93, other than the Habs meeting the Kings in the Cup final at that time, the only real and true motivation for me colouring Gretz in red, white and blue colours was noticing that the layout of the Los Angeles Kings jersey, as far as the size of the colour bands on the arms and legs go, was pretty darn close to the Canadiens traditional red jersey.
For laughs, I though I'd give it a shot!
If you look closely, you'll see the black ink outline of the Kings logo, where I super-imposed the Canadiens crest.
So I was photoshopping before it ever existed, I guess
Years ago, I mentioned this drawing to a friend at work named Dave Fontaine - nicest guy you'll ever meet, and a big time Leafs' fan, no less. He went nuts for the drawing, begging me to let him keep it. I couldn't do that, but I did let him photocopy it.
Had I been able to post this on the internet in 1993, I think it would have gone absolutely viral!
Finding this lost drawing tonight, after P.K. did his thing in the skills competition yesterday, I began to ponder ramifications of players wearing other team's jerseys under peculiar circumstances.
Imagine if Gretzky had worn the CH for a shift at the '93 ASG in Montreal!
Or if Vincent Lecavalier had done this two years ago in Montreal?
Sidney Crosby was a big Hab fan growing up. What if....
What if, in next year's skill competition, some player decides to one-up Subban's harmless "hello" to Carolina fans?
Like, pick your favorite scenario!
I remember that there is a hockey card - a childhood hockey shot - of Doug Gilmour in a Habs jersey. Francis Bouchard ran an article here last year that featured the Flyers' Claude Giroux in a Saku Koivu sweater. There are other examples, going far back. In the 1950's, the Maple Leafs made a big cash offer to the Habs for Maurice Richard that was hilariously laughed off, like all things Leafs. A Toronto newspaper then did a primitive cut and paste, sticking the Rocket's head atop a Leaf player's sweater. I featured a black and white newspaper scan of that shot here at EOTP a few years, featuring a bunch of former Habs looking dreadfully awful in the colours of their new teams.
As a rookie in the NHL this season, Subban donning the 'Canes "puck swirling down a toilet" logo won't offend a soul. If he was an established, long-time NHL'er, opinions might be way different.
The only Stan Lee comic book I ever owned was also based on real people, sort of. It was the 1977 KISS comic book, the one that band poured their own blood into the vials into.
I can't really get into this "Guardian's" thing - were any of them goalies?
Like Clark Kent pulling on the Superman suit, I can't imagine a better hockey superhero than Gretzky in the Habs' CH.
An unbeatable combination, perhaps?
I just take one look at that old drawing and dream how many more Cups both Gretzky and the Canadiens would have won only if....
Below are pics of Rocket on T.O. duds, Giroux in Koivu's 11 before being drafted by the Flyers, and Bobby Orr, in a Minnesota North Stars sweater.