The Instigator Podcast

Two in the Box

A Buffalo Sabres podcast hosted by Chris and Tyler of the Buffalo blog Two in the Box. The Instigator focuses on Sabres hockey, the NHL and other Buffalo-related topics.

All Episodes

It was a huge news week in the NHL as the Montreal Canadiens fired Marc Bergevin, cleaned house with the rest of their front office and brought in Jeff Gorton to head up the hockey department. We discuss everything surrounding the moves and the difficulty in Montreal continuing to maintain hiring French speaking executives and coaches. Elsewhere, the Penguins have new owners in Fenway Sports Group and more COVID cases may just threaten the NHL's ability to send players to the Olympics. Get 20% off your order AND free shipping when you use promo code Instigator at manscaped.com.

Dec 1

58 min 33 sec

The Sabres are slowly returning to health which means reinforcements are hitting the lineup. While Buffalo isn't back to full health, the return of Victor Olofsson and Henri Jokiharju will help boost the Sabres' lineup and we talk about what's on the horizon for further additions from within. The challenge surrounds how the Sabres and Don Granato will shape Buffalo's lines once more reinforcements come along. Will the additions give the Sabres the help down the lineup or will their forward corps still have holes? We also touch on some of the bright spots that have popped thus far this season, including Tage Thompson, Victor Olofsson and more. Get 25% off and free shipping during Manscaped's Black Friday sale by visiting www.manscaped.com.

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Nov 23

52 min 52 sec

The Sabres are off to a rough start at the box office. Ranking last in the NHL in ticket sales by a wide margin. We discuss all of the factors that have led to the Sabres averaging fewer than 8,000 tickets sold per game and debate whether or not they can turn a proverbial corner and push their ticket sales back up above 10,000 or potentially higher. We also touch on the situation playing out with the Omaha Lancers and offer up a brief look at the standings and the teams who have impressed thus far, and those who haven't.Visit manscaped.com and use the code Instigator at checkout to receive 20% off and free shipping on your entire order from Manscaped this holiday season.

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Nov 19

1 hr 2 min

The Sabres came back down to earth on their West Coast swing and their struggles to keep the puck out of the net are threatening to make the coming weeks an arduous journey. We discuss some of the struggles Rasmus Dahlin has dealt with and the path back to success for the former first round pick. We also offer up an update on Buffalo's prospect pipeline as a number of prospects are off to great starts this season.Go check out manscaped.com for the best below the belt grooming products in the world and when you use the code Instigator you'll get 20% off and free shipping on your order from Manscaped!

Nov 10

1 hr 4 min

We went into emergency pod mode to offer up our reaction to the trade that sent Jack Eichel and a 2023 3rd round pick to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, a 2022 1st round pick and a 2023 2nd round pick. We offer up our thoughts on the quality of the return the Sabres got and what sort of players you can expect to see in Krebs and Tuch.

Nov 4

56 min 43 sec

Perhaps the most significant update in the Jack Eichel saga dropped on Wednesday as Kevin Weekes reported an apparent trade package offered by the Calgary Flames for the Sabres former captain. We touch on some of the context surrounding the Weekes tweet, and the likelihood that Matthew Tkachuk would be involved in a deal for Eichel. We also discuss how things could be framed from the Vegas perspective, as the Golden Knights are believed to be the other front runner for Eichel along with Calgary. But we start the show with further discussion of the Blackhawks case and the newest developments in the wake of Gary Bettman's press conference on Monday afternoon.

Nov 4

1 hr 10 min

The Sabres are off to an impressive start and we're here to break down just what has gone right for the club thus far and just how much further they can take it. We touch on some of the stand outs from the team's 4-1-1 start and discuss who might offer them a bit more as the season progresses. We also discuss the disturbing report on the Chicago Blackhawks investigation into sexual misconduct and the fallout that has followed in the wake of the report being released.

E

Oct 27

58 min 58 sec

Very happy to have Joe Yerdon join the show once again, this time to discuss his brand new site, Noted Hockey. Joe and I discuss the new site, what fans can expect from his coverage and even get into some of the nitty gritty of today's hockey media landscape. We also dig in on the Sabres opener and discuss some of the potential bright spots in this rebuilding season.

E

Oct 20

1 hr 1 min

As the NHL regular season opens, we chat about the return of hockey to the ESPN airwaves, what it means for the sport and some of the impressive features the network showed off on their initial broadcast. We also touch on the Turner product and our anticipation for that along with some Sabres roster discussion to close out the show.

E

Oct 13

50 min 38 sec

Rather than run down the usual list of teams we think will succeed this year, we tried our hand at a slightly different format of a season preview. We offer up a trio of potential stand out storylines to keep an eye on for the season and how they could affect the league at large. Before getting to that, we provide a quick update on the latest Jack Eichel news and reflect on where the Sabres stand as they continue to pare down their training camp roster.

Oct 8

1 hr 1 min

Preseason hockey is underway and we discuss the progress the Sabres have made so far but through the lens of preseason hockey. We touch on a few players who have stood out so far, including JJ Peterka and Linus Weissbach. The potential goaltending battle between Aaron Dell and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is touched on and we catch up on Rasmus Dahlin's contract extension after missing the chance to discuss it last week.

E

Oct 1

58 min 55 sec

Joe Yerdon joins the show for another guest appearance as we discuss all of the drama from the first day of practice at Sabres training camp. We run through Kevyn Adams' comments to open camp and the decision to remove the captaincy from Eichel. How the Sabres move forward in their effort to trade Eichel and how they're being perceived nationally were big topics for the podcast before eventually moving on to discuss the camp roster and the players we're most excited to see in camp and preseason action.

E

Sep 24

1 hr 6 min

There will be actual hockey games played in Sabres uniforms this week as the 2021 Prospects Challenge kicks off on Friday night. This episode runs down the Sabres roster for the tournament and hits on the key players we're looking forward to seeing on Friday and Saturday. Not only do we dive in on some of the bigger names like JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn but we touch on some of the invites on the roster and what's intriguing about them for the weekend. We also touch briefly on the new COVID mandates put in place for Bills and Sabres games this week.

Sep 15

57 min 30 sec

The NHL will be returning to the Olympics and the 2022 Beijing games. We discuss the implications of the NHL's return and the pros and cons of the deal that was struck. Additionally, we talk through the end of the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet and Montreal's acquisition of Chrisitan Dvorak while also running through the new contracts for Casey Mittelstadt and Henri Jokiharju.

Sep 8

43 min 31 sec

We are back for another episode and we're discussing Jack Eichel's decision to take on new representation with NHL power agent Pat Brisson. We run down what it means for his current surgery stalemate with the Sabres and the trade rumors that have followed both him and the team since the spring. We also touch on the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet from the Hurricanes and wrap up the show with some thoughts on the current stadium discourse with the Buffalo Bills.

Sep 1

1 hr 2 min

Tim Graham of The Athletic joins the show to run through everything that's been happening with the Bills stadium negotiations. From the public posturing to how and where the money will be spent we touch on just about everything that's been discussed publicly and lend some opinions on what the stadium could or should look like once shovels are in the ground.

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Aug 20

1 hr 4 min

In the wake of free agency we discuss the latest drama surrounding Jack Eichel, the Sabres and Eichel's agents. We touch on the new information learned about the surgery he's seeking, the statement made by his representatives and where trade talks appear to stand at this point. Later in the show we go over Buffalo's free agency activity and crown the teams we feel have improved (and those who haven't) in the offseason.

E

Aug 4

1 hr 8 min

The NHL Draft offered up plenty of drama as there were a handful of blockbuster trades and a few draft picks in between. We break down the Buffalo Sabres trades of Rasmus Ristolainen and Sam Reinhart, the Chicago Blackhawks addition of Seth Jones and offer an update on the Jack Eichel situation. We also dive in on Buffalo's draft picks and provide a brief primer for free agency as it is set to open on Wednesday.

E

Jul 27

1 hr 20 min

It's the busiest week of the offseason in the NHL as Seattle has selected their roster via expansion and the NHL Draft kicks off on Friday. We offer a breakdown on Seattle's expansion draft selections along with a discussion on what Buffalo will be looking at with their first two selections of the draft. There's also a quick chat on the trades made on Thursday and a brief Jack Eichel update.

Jul 23

1 hr 6 min

The offseason is officially in full swing as two big stories dropped this week in the NHL. We break down the trade that sent Duncan Keith to the Edmonton Oilers and the decision by the Minnesota Wild to buy out the contracts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Our main topic for the week is discussing Buffalo's expansion outlook and the players they're likely to leave exposed as Seattle prepares for the expansion draft next week.

E

Jul 14

1 hr 13 min

We're back on the heels of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, breaking down what helped power the Tampa Bay Lightning to their second-straight title and what went wrong for the Montreal Canadiens. We discuss what's next for the Habs as whether or not they can capitalize on their unexpected run. We also touch on the Lightning's cap overage and whether or not the outrage over it is deserved.

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Jul 9

1 hr 4 min

The Cup Final is rolling and we offer up our views on the series between Tampa Bay and Montreal. We discuss the matchup issues Montreal may encounter, how Carey Price can be the x-factor and offer up our prediction for how the series will go. We also discuss the NHL's officiating issues and touch briefly on the Sabres coaching search.

E

Jun 29

1 hr 6 min

Sabres great Rene Robert passed away on Tuesday and we discuss how his loss will leave such a huge hole in the organization and with the Sabres alumni group. We also touch briefly on JJ Peterka and some of the signs for cautious optimism with regard to Buffalo's pipeline and upcoming draft capital.

E

Jun 23

58 min 30 sec

Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News joined this week's show to discuss the laundry list of topics happening in the Sabres orbit. We talk about the mounting rumors regarding Jack Eichel's future and what sort of return Sabres fans should expect (or hope) to see the team fetch for their captain. We also discuss the top of the draft and the expectation that the Sabres just might be picking twice in the top 10 come July and the prospects they'll have to choose from should that come to fruition.

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Jun 18

1 hr 11 min

The Sabres retained the first overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft after winning the draft lottery last week. We discuss last week's lottery and some of the top prospects in this year's draft including Owen Power, Matthew Beniers, William Eklund and others. We also hit on the second round of the NHL playoffs and some of the top storylines of what's been a solid year of postseason series for the NHL.

E

Jun 9

1 hr 6 min

This is a little outside the norm for the podcast but knowing what this summer is bound to hold, it seemed wise to discuss potential landing spots and packages in a potential Jack Eichel trade. We also discuss Wayne Gretzky joining the TNT NHL broadcast and some of the current playoff results. Tyler's DealsDET: Joe Veleno, Evgeny Svechnikov, Danny DeKeyser, 2021 1st, 2 2021 2nds, 2022 2ndANA: Sam Steel, Alex Volkov, Rickard Rakell, 2021 1st, Benoit-Oliver Groulx, Max ComtoisNYR: Kappo Kaako, K'Andre Miller, Alexandar Georgiev, Ryan Strome, 2021 1stChris:LA: Alex Turcotte, Akil Thomas, 2021 1st, Jonathan QuickSTL: Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, 2021 1stCGY: Matthew Tkachuk, Connor Zary, 2021 2nd

E

May 26

1 hr 28 min

With the Sabres fully in offseason mode, we felt it was time to go deep on Don Granato and the Sabres coaching search. We determine whether Granato is the right choice to be the Sabres next head coach or if another hire is the better option. Along the way we laugh about reports of the Sabres other interviews and even offer up a playoff preview.

E

May 19

1 hr 19 min

The Sabres kicked off locker clean out interviews with bang as Rasmus Ristolainen, Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel each made huge statements with regard to the 2020-21 season and their respective future in Buffalo. We discuss Eichel's availability and his transparency regarding his desire to get surgery on his neck so that he'd be ready for next season. We talk about his comments and just how damning they are along with the comments made by Ristolainen and Reinhart.

E

May 11

1 hr

Ryan Miller announced that he will be retiring at the end of the season and we discussed his impact on and off the ice during his time in Buffalo. It was a great conversation remembering just what he meant as a goalie and as a person during his career with the Sabres.We also touch on the Tom Wilson incident and the reaction surrounding it. 

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May 5

1 hr 9 min

While most of the trade rumors have seemed to be nonsense, there has been more than enough chatter about Jack Eichel to trigger a conversation about the Sabres' star. Not only do we touch on the idea that the Sabres might trade him but a number of other topics related to the player. Also on the docket is a chat about Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

E

Apr 28

1 hr 20 min

Buffalo's youngsters are getting a serious look in key roles down the stretch of the 2021 season. We discuss the impact some of the key prospects and young players have had in Buffalo this spring and the potential that exists for that group to have a significant impact in the future as well. We also place focus on Don Granato and whether or not he should be the first choice as the long-term head coach of the team. There's also bonus conversation on the European Super League and the fallout of the apparent failure of some of soccer's biggest clubs to break off and make their own competition.

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Apr 21

1 hr 24 min

The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone and it wasn't without some fireworks. We run through some of the biggest trades of the 2021 deadline and take an in-depth look at the work Kevyn Adams and the Sabres did at the trade table.

E

Apr 13

1 hr 20 min

The deadline is right around the corner and the Sabres hold perhaps the most valuable chip at the table. We break down the trade that sent Kyle Palmieri to the Islanders and how it could affect the market for the Sabres and Taylor Hall. We run down the other potential rentals the Sabres may sell ahead of Monday's deadline and add in a couple potential additions should some of these larger moves get made.The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.Instigator Podcast listeners can get 2500 free coins when they download the Vig It sports app and use our promo code 2ITB when you register. Bet on the NHL, NBA, MLB and win real prizes with Vig It. The app is free to download and free to play which means you can start earning coins to win prizes today.

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Apr 8

1 hr

This week we discuss some of the rumors swirling about Buffalo’s front office and how the various names connected to the Sabres could affect their future. We touch on the trade that sent Eric Staal to the Montreal Canadiens and the potential positive impact of the return. We wrap up the show analyzing some college free agents who could help in goal.  The Hockey News link on draft lottery changes:https://www.si.com/hockey/news/which-recent-nhl-draft-lottery-outcomes-led-to-the-new-rule-changes The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com. Instigator Podcast listeners can get 2500 free coins when they download the Vig It sports app and use our promo code 2ITB when you register. Bet on the NHL, NBA, MLB and win real prizes with Vig It. The app is free to download and free to play which means you can start earning coins to win prizes today.

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Mar 31

1 hr 13 min

Some late breaking news hit the wire before we recorded this week, as Sabres interim head coach Don Granato and interim assistant coach Matt Ellis each entered COVID protocols ahead of Thursday's game in Pittsburgh. We discuss just how insanely ridiculous this season has been for the Sabres before diving into the latest NHL controversy with referee Tim Peel. We also discuss the changes to the NHL draft lottery and even touch on the trade that sent Jonas Johansson to Colorado. The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.Instigator Podcast listeners can get 2500 free coins when they download the Vig It sports app and use our promo code 2ITB when you register. Bet on the NHL, NBA, MLB and win real prizes with Vig It. The app is free to download and free to play which means you can start earning coins to win prizes today.

E

Mar 26

1 hr 17 min

Ralph Krueger's seat keeps heating up and we dive in on a host of topics as we await what seems like the inevitable decision to fire the Sabres coach. On the docket this week is a discussion over some of the notes included in 31 Thoughts on Buffalo's thin scouting staff and the potential pitfalls that brings.We also spend time discussing the young players the Sabres regularly leave in the minors without truly evaluating them at the NHL level. We touch on the likes of CJ Smith, Arttu Ruotsalainen and others who can't seem to break into the lineup for the necessary amount of time to prove whether or not they're NHL players.The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Mar 17

1 hr 10 min

The NHL's 17-year absence from ESPN will come to an end this fall as the league and The Worldwide Leader will start a new seven-year partnership. The implications of the new TV deal are huge for the league as they return to the number one sports network in the United States with an agreement that carries a huge streaming package.This week's show hits on all the key factors of the ESPN deal, including the potential on-air talent, what it means to be carried on ESPN and how the streaming aspect is a new frontier for one of North America's Big Four.We also discuss the latest dram surrounding Ralph Krueger and the Sabres' coaching position. That includes rumors hinting at Nate Leaman being a target and what exactly Bruce Boudreau said on the radio Wednesday afternoon.The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Mar 11

1 hr 17 min

The Sabres spiral has continued and with each loss, Ralph Krueger's seat appears to get hotter. We talk about the strange decisions made by Krueger on and off the ice along with some of the other news surrounding the team from the past week.The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Mar 4

1 hr 16 min

The Sabres bounced back on Tuesday night with a 4-1 win over the Devils. We offer up some positive thoughts on the win after running through some of the other issues that have plagued the Sabres the last two weeks. Whether bad injury luck, bad shooting luck or just garden variety bad play, the Sabres are slipping from the playoff conversation once again. The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Feb 24

1 hr 1 min

Joe Yerdon joins the show to talk about the Sabres' woeful shooting percentage and the effect it has had on their season thus far. We go into a somewhat philosophical debate over what options will be on the table for the Sabres should yet another season go off the rails after so many previous failures. The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Feb 18

1 hr 12 min

There's been a pile of stories in the hockey world as Brian Burke and Ron Hextall were hired by the Pittsburgh Penguins, there are hot seats everywhere in Vancouver and John Tortorella is back in the spotlight. We discuss the outlook for Hextall and Burke in Pittsburgh; specifically the job that faces them in keeping the Penguins' Cup window open. In addition, we look at the struggles of the Canucks and the massively weak North Division. We close with a discussion on the Sabres' postponements and what sort of effect it may have on the season. The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Feb 10

1 hr 30 min

The Sabres will have their games postponed until February 8 due to COVID exposures in the wake of their series against New Jersey. Rasmus Ristolainen and Taylor Hall are on the COVID list as of Tuesday with the potential for more to be added in the coming days. We discuss the impact of the league allowing the series to be played and the potential long term effects these types of exposures could wreak on the schedule. We also touch on Tony DeAngelo being waived by the Rangers and discuss Buffalo's struggles to score at even strength.The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Feb 3

1 hr 7 min

This week we take a look at the success the Sabres have had driving possession after failing at the same feat for a number of years. The positive impacts have touched virtually every piece of the roster and it's promising to think that this is a sign of a positive trend for the Sabres. We also discuss the Dubois-Laine trade and it's impact on the Blue Jackets and Jets. The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Jan 29

1 hr

The Sabres may be facing a difficult challenge with regard to their goaltenders as Carter Hutton exited Tuesday's game early after a second period collision. Linus Ullmark already missed a scheduled start due to personal reasons. That leaves the Sabres staring at Jonas Johansson as their potential starter, a scenario that could torpedo their season. Also in this week's show is a discussion over Buffalo's first four games and why there's reason for hope due to the start they've had and in spite of their record. The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Jan 21

1 hr 5 min

Regular season NHL action is finally back and the Sabres will be taking the ice for the first time in over 300 days. We discuss the shape of the Sabres' roster and the potential for a positive outlook on the 2020-21 season. Along the way we project where we think the Sabres will fall in the East division and take a deeper look at the current scenario playing out with Jeff Skinner.The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Jan 13

1 hr 19 min

The Sabres hit the ice for the scrimmage as camp progressed and there were a number of standouts in the first game action for the club since March of 2020. We discuss the strong play of Tage Thompson, Arttu Ruotsalainen, the Eric Staal line and others. We also touch on the latest news of teams opting out of the AHL season and have some fun remembering some of the players who switched teams in this lengthy offseason. The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

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Jan 5

1 hr 2 min

The smaller camp roster and established veterans leaves very little wiggle room for the Sabres as training camp is set to open. This week's episode addresses the 33 players going to camp with the Sabres and the few roster spots that may be up for grabs prior to the start of the season.

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Dec 2020

1 hr 1 min

The NHL's format for the 2020-21 season has been confirmed. We discuss the key factors of the 56-game season, specifically the key dates set for the start of the season, trade deadline, playoffs and the draft. The introduction of a taxi squad was the main focus of the show as we broke down the different ways it can be utilized and what approach the Sabres should take with the group. Casey Mittelstadt and other key Sabres prospects were at the center of the debate as questions about the AHL and development opportunities still exist. We close the show with a brief rundown of the coming helmet ads in the NHL and the outlook for Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn at the World Junior Championship

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Dec 2020

59 min 59 sec

We're back for the 2020-21 season. With the divisions and rough structure of the regular season announced, we jump into discussing just what this unusual season may have in store for the Sabres. We also hit on the upcoming World Junior Championships and the Sabres prospects who will likely be competing in the event.

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Dec 2020

53 min 30 sec

Chris Creamer and Todd Radom join the show to discuss their new book Fabric of the Game. We discuss some of the excellent stories in the encyclopedic book about the NHL's uniform and logo history. They also share some great stories from their careers, their personally favorite uniforms and logos and even some thoughts on the NHL's Reverse Retro uniforms.

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Nov 2020

54 min 54 sec