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Amerks unveil throwbacks

The Rochester Americans have unveiled their opening night sweaters as part of the announcement naming the team’s captains for the 2010-11 season.

Amerks head coach Chuck Weber handed out alternate captain duties to Chris Taylor and Joe Callahan. Clay Wilson will also serve as an alternate for home games, while forward Bill Thomas will wear the “A” for all road games.

“I’ve worn a letter in other cities,” said Callahan. “It’s an honor and I take a lot of pride in it, but there are a lot of leaders in that room.”

Taylor and Callahan modeled the 1956-57 jersey of the original Rochester Americans. The jersey is very similar to the Stars and Stripes jersey adopted in the mid 1990s and carried over to the new millennium. The body and arms of the sweater are draped in the white and red bars of the American flag. The top of the opening night sweater is trimmed in blue and dotted with white stars on each shoulder. A white shield on the upper arms contains the player’s number. In the middle of the chest is the word “Americans” with the letter “R” for Rochester set over the top.

“We are proud to be the second-oldest franchise in the American Hockey League and being to reach back 50-plus years to wear a replica of the Americans jersey worn in the first season of our existence,” said Americans president Lewis Staats. “The stars and stripes jersey carries many years of tradition and excellence for the city of Rochester and we look forward to an exciting 75th anniversary season for the AHL.”

The sweaters will be worn on Sunday, October 10, when the Amerks host the back-to-back Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears at 5:05 p.m. as part of the American Hockey League’s 75th Anniversary celebration. Rochester is the second-oldest team in the AHL as it enters its 55th season.

The Amerks will also wear the original sweaters on Saturday, October 16, when they travel to Hershey. The sweaters will go to the Knighthawks/Amerks Charitable Foundation, Inc. following the anniversary weekend.

The games are part of a special set of home-and-home series featuring the AHL’s six senior-most cities. The league’s 75th season will kick off on Friday, October 8th. Along with the Hershey Bears and Rochester Americans series, the Providence Bruins will take on the Springfield Falcons and the Lake Erie Monsters will square off against the Syracuse Crunch. All of the teams will wear throwback uniforms that will hark back to the earliest days of the AHL. Providence, Springfield, Cleveland and Syracuse were among the league’s charter cities in 1936, with Hershey coming aboard in 1938 and Rochester hitting the ice in 1956.