Courtesy of the Las Vegas Wranglers
Published Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 | 7:05 p.m.
Updated Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 | 10:39 p.m.
The Las Vegas Wranglers (14-14-3) revealed the jersey designs for their "Rod Blagojevich Prison Uniform Night" on Friday, Jan. 30 against the Bakersfield Condors.
The Wranglers will wear jerseys with broad, horizontal black and white stripes with nameplates that read, "ILLGOV" followed by each player's number for the 7:30 p.m. contest. Bakersfield jerseys are bright orange Department of Corrections style uniforms while the ECHL referees can finally act as real police in the specially designed blue jerseys.
"We envision goal judges in powdered wigs and black robes and bars on the penalty boxes," said Billy Johnson, the Wranglers' president and COO in a statement.
The Wranglers will auction all of the event's uniforms to benefit the team's charities. Team officials said they would release details of the auction soon.
The Wranglers' top brass came up with the promotion after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich became the target of a federal corruption investigation for allegedly attempting to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacated state senate seat for a lucrative personal gain.
The Wranglers are no strangers to odd promotions as the squad regularly wears specially designed uniforms for holidays or to benefit charities. In 2006, Las Vegas sported orange hunting vests after Dick Cheney's hunting mishap.
On the road again
Before the Wranglers can have a little fun at Blagojevich's expense, they must tackle a five-game road trip that winds through Utah, Bakersfield and Stockton.
The Wranglers, have struggled on the road, however, posting a 4-9-1 record away from the Orleans Arena.
"We are looking to at least get seven of the next 10 points here in this trip," said forward Mick Lawrence. "We just have to start playing as good on the road as we are at home. Coming down the line here with playoffs you have to win no matter where you are playing."
Perhaps the most pressing challenge for the Wranglers to overcome is their lackluster power play, which ties for last in the entire ECHL at 12.1 percent. The Wranglers have scored 21 goals on 173 power plays.
On the flip side, Las Vegas is second in the league in penalty killing with an 88.3 percent success rate. The Wranglers have only allowed 23 goals while facing 196 shorthanded situations.
"There is not much to say," Lawrence said. "I don't know, maybe we came out with the same game plan as we did last year and teams were used to it. So we've changed things up now and we're finding ways to get the puck in the net each game."
A familiar face rejoined the Wranglers during practice at the Las Vegas Ice Center on Thursday morning.
Center Tyler Mosienko posted 21 points in 21 games with Las Vegas before the Wranglers loaned him to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League on Dec. 19.
Mosienko recorded one goal and three assists in nine games with the Monarchs.
Steve Silver can be reached at 948-7822 or email@example.com.