Sunday morning homily X

After 22-plus years of daily journalism, it's no wonder than the cynic in me views most every sports business-related move with a healthy dose of skepticism. For instance, take the combined efforts of RBK Hockey and the NHL with the new RBK Edge jersey. While those corporate entities extol the new product's benefits to players and insist that any retail gains are secondary, I have my doubts.

Granted, I think the jerseys, which will make their debut in Dallas later this week, look pretty cool. And I do believe Tampa Bay's Vinny Lecavalier when he praises the performance-enhancing virtues (lighter in weight with greater moisture-wicking technology) of the new jerseys.

"They're the real deal," he told USA Today. "The water doesn't soak into your jersey. So you don't feel like you have 10 pounds on your back by the end of the third period."

Though anything that adds speed to the game is worthy of applause, I'm convinced that corporate greed is a major role. With news that all 30 NHL teams will be wearing the new jerseys, there's also an indication that some teams will be changing their looks. And, of course, a new look, especially on a jersey, will prompt many fans to keep up with the times.

With RBK Edge versions of the All Star Game jerseys commanding anywhere between $110 (replica) to $350 (authentic) each, it's an easy leap to believe this pricing structure will continue with a team's new release.

Bottom line, kids, is that the jerseys are just another thinly veiled attempt to pry money from fans. In the meantime, I'll keep my eyes open for a Vintage Buffalo Sabres Mitchell & Ness jersey.

Kings needed Luc's luck

It's a shame that the Los Angeles Kings players couldn't contribute on a night when Luc Robitaille's No. 20 was raised to the rafters. After quickly jumping out to a 2-0 lead, thanks to Anze Kopitar's nifty shorthanded goal, the Kings let the Phoenix Coyotes leave the Staples Center with a 3-2 victory.

It's my guess that Robitaille, as well as the many former teammates (including Butch Goring, Jari Kurri, Larry Robinson and Rogie Vachon) who honored the three-time NHL All Star in the hourlong ceremony, would have done a better job of protecting and, most likely building upon, the lead. In fact, I would've loved to see those guys get one last spin around the rink.

The game also featured the L.A. debut of goalie Sean Burke, claimed last week off waivers from Tampa Bay. Too bad, though, that dehydration forced Burke, seeing his first action in nearly two months, to leave the game early in the third period. Yutaka Fukufuji, who made NHL history recently as being the first Japanese-born player to play and then start in an NHL contest, gave up the game-winning goal.

2 + 0 = 3?

I'll bet there will be a bunch of Carolina Hurricanes fans walking into Raleigh-area malls and sporting goods stores today with sheepish looks upon their faces. And, no, those looks didn't come from the Tampa Bay Lightning's 6-5 come-from-behind shootout victory.

After Scott Walker gave the Canes a 5-4 lead against the Lightning in the third period of last night's game, more than a few Carolina fans, thinking that Eric Staal had scored a hat trick instead, littered the ice with their ballcaps, a time-honored show of appreciation for such a feat.

Replay upon replay, however, showed that although Staal was on the ice, he wasn't even close to the puck nor was he involved in the play.

Now, I'm not saying this case of premature e-cap-ulation means Hurricanes fans aren't knowledgeable about hockey, but they might want to brush up a little on their math. Until then, they need to remember that 2 + 1 is what equals 3.

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