The Lightning came two wins shy of the franchise’s second Stanley Cup, but the NHL had the merchandise ready should Tampa Bay have defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 and 7. Much of the gear looks the same, but Tampa Bay’s Cup win would have had a much different slogan.
The Chicago Blackhawks celebrated their third Stanley Cup in six years on home ice this past Monday, but there were only two losses away from suffering their first final defeat of the current era. Had those two losses come at the hands of the Tampa Bay, it would have been the Lightning, not the Blackhawks, who had a bevy of new merchandise revealed to celebrate a Stanley Cup victory.
Now, thanks to SportsLogos.net’s Chris Creamer, we have a look at what, exactly, that gear would have looked like. While much of it is similar to the Blackhawks championship attire – the color scheme and logo, really, are the only differences on many of the items – one shirt in particular does stand out:
That’s right: we were
this close to having a shirt that said, “Party in the Bay,” on it. Instead, we got Chicago’s “Windy City Celebration” and “WINdy CITY” merchandise. While both decent, there’s something great about picturing a Floridian Stanley Cup celebration. And maybe, finally, if the Lightning would have won the Cup, they would release the
mock-third jersey shirts that has palm trees on it. There’s more than that, though. There are hats, towels, magnets, flags, can sleeves, license plates and plaques. All of them, made for a Lightning Stanley Cup victory and all of them never to see the light of day on the NHL store. Because of the time it takes to produce apparel such as this, usually the league has much of what they wish to have ready for the teams premade for the celebration should either team capture the championship.