Takin' a T/O With BT: Thinkin' Pink to a Greater Degree in the NHL

xx yySenior Writer IMarch 2, 2009

Every professional sports league, despite their own share of degenerates, loud-mouths, and criminals who don't do their required amount of time, does a lot to support charities and causes that matter.

With all of the money these teams and leagues make from endorsements, ticket sales, merchandise revenues, corporately sponsored events, and nearly anything else you can think of, it's nice when teams decide to give back.

It's even nicer when those teams go over and above the call of duty.

This past Friday night, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League played the Erie Otters in a typical OHL Friday night game.

While the game featured flurries of shots from both teams, it was unnaturally low-scoring for a Knights team who features offensive gurus such as John Tavares, Nazem Kadri, Justin Taylor, and a host of others, ending in a 2-1 overtime win for the Green and Gold.

But there was something different about this game. It didn't have anything to do with the roster or the team itself (aside from the fact it took about a period and a half for them to gear up). It had to do with that Green and Gold.

It wasn't there.

Now, a breast cancer awareness night is nothing new to hockey at any level. For the past few years pink sticks have been used, a patch has been placed on the captain's jersey, and even the ice has been flooded pink.

On Friday night, the London Knights became one of just a few teams in recent memory to don pink jerseys.

While the color scheme didn't exactly work (Black, white, and light pink jerseys, black pants, and hot-pink socks), it certainly got the job done—enticing bidders from who knows how far away to try to purchase their favorite player's pink jersey.

At the time of writing this, John Tavares' jersey was up past $10,000.

Although I've never been to any other "Pink Games", the Knights did it right. There were pleasant ladies selling bracelets all over the arena, the crowd was encouraged to (and did) dress in as much pink as possible, and midway through the second period, a bucket (much like the collection plate in Church) was passed throughout the entire arena to collect everyone's spare change.

Even the players got into it. In a recent article by Ryan Pyette of the London Free Press he quoted Daniel Erlich (who I had the pleasure of meeting about a month ago) as saying "If we can find some pink sticks, let's use them. Pink tape. Pink everything."

Pre-game, there was even a Knight wearing a big fuzzy pink hat. I'm not sure who it was, but it proved that, while young athletes get such a bad rap these days, some of them are good-natured, light-hearted, giving individuals.

This brings me to a bit of an issue I had with the game though—going back to the fact I couldn't tell who it was wearing the hat.

The jersey's were a touch unreadable.

I don't know, perhaps my eyes simply didn't adjust quickly enough, but light pink on white is pretty hard to see at a hockey game going full speed.

It eventually got so bad that I thought it was Tavares feeding Kadri for the game-winner, not the other way around. I'm not going to lie: All I saw was the number one.

Side note: For those not familiar with the team, Nazem Kadri is number 91, while Tavares is 61. Tavares originally wore 91 with the Oshawa Generals, but when he was traded he switched to Rick Nash's old number 61 because Kadri had his number.

Despite my Clinton Kelly-esque fashion expertise (switch the light pink on the numbers with the dark pink on the socks for more readable jerseys) though, I was convinced of just one thing during the game.

The NHL should adopt more pink in the jerseys. Not for an entire season, but more than those wimpy pink fan jerseys (unless any of those proceeds go towards Breast Cancer).

I mean a home game for each team where they're required to wear pink jerseys.

Marketing be damned (and it would be a damn good strategy) 'Thinking Pink' in arenas is quickly turning into one of the most enjoyable experiences at the Junior, College, and AHL level.

And Greg Wyshynski is right: A Hockey Fight in pink jersey's is certainly something different.

Bryan Thiel is a Senior Writer and an NHL Community Leader for Bleacher Report. If you want to get in contact with Bryan, you can do so through his profile. You can also check out all of his previous work in his archives.