For a brief time in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the long pants known as Cooperalls ruled the hockey world.
Well, not really, but looking back through the rosy lenses of nostalgia (which I love, of course), they were pretty damn cool.
They were even sported by a young Brett Hull when he played with the BCJHL’s Penticton Knights, though I’m not sure what’s more impressive, his pants or that haircut.
While Cooperalls were popular in the Junior and College ranks, the Philadelphia Flyers (1981-82 and 1982-83) and the Hartford Whalers (1982-83) were the only NHL teams to sport the long pants before the league banned them for being unsafe. Apparently they caused players to slide really quickly when they fell on the ice, which I guess isn’t ideal.
However, the Flyers and Whalers didn’t actually wear Cooperalls. They wore the CCM “ProPac” version. But just say Cooperalls. Don’t be weird about it. It’s like saying Kleenex, or Walkman, or even AstroTurf. They’re Cooperalls, don’t ruin it for everyone else.
During that magical 1982-83 season, the three most significant games were obviously between the Flyers and Whalers as they battled for the Cooperall Cup, a trophy which should have existed in the first place and which I will now create and award retroactively.
The games were played as follows:
December 12, 1982 – Hartford, CT: Whalers 7, Flyers 4
January 8, 1983 – Hartford, CT: Flyers 7, Whalers 4
January 9, 1983 – Philadelphia, PA: Flyers 8, Whalers 4
Therefore, with a 2-1 record and 19 goals scored in the three game series, the Philadelphia Flyers are hereby declared the first – and only, at least for now – champions of the Cooperall Cup.
Congratulations, Flyers. Everyone’s proud of ya.
And thank you, Cooperalls, for your brief but brilliant existence.