Saturday, May 27, 2017

Jersey Change, Part 1

We now know that 12 teams will be changing their jerseys for next season as the league transitions from Reebok to Adidas as the official jersey supplier.  The Vegas Golden Knights also will be debuting their first ever jersey.  Only the Edmonton Oilers have released details of their new look, darkening the royal blue to navy blue, while going with their orange alternate jersey as their home.  There will be no third jerseys for any teams next season.

Some of the teams announcing changes are surprising, whether its because they only recently changed like the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers, or that changes aren't necessary at: Boston Bruins.

Boston Bruins: The team switched over to their current look in 2007 when Reebok rolled out its Edge jerseys.  The Bruins have one of the best uniforms in the league, so it is curious as to why they might be making anything but minor changes.  It could be as simple as changing the number font, dropping the three layers, which some fans have complained about, to two.

Buffalo Sabres: In 2006, Buffalo introduced to the world the Buffaslug, a much derided logo that was replaced just 4 years after its introduction.  The team also brought back their original blue jersey as its alternate, complete with unnecessary chest numbers, to calm down the unhappy fans.  While the team may have looked funny, the team itself enjoyed some of its most recent success on the ice.

With calls to return to their original uniforms full time, the Sabres introduced another alternate jersey based on their original set in 2008, promoting it to full time status in 2010. However, the addition of silver and using the darker colours, not to mention piping that went no where, still wasn't completely satisfactory.

So, following the current evolution (or devolution) of the team's jersey, they should be going back to their original set full time.  It is their best look and nobody will have anything bad to say about them.

At the very least, they should remove the fluff.  The useless pipping and the chest numbers, which they remain as the only team to have them.  There were only three teams that had them in the first place and both have since removed them as the San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning since changed their jerseys.

Calgary Flames: The Flames are one of those teams in desperate need of a complete overhaul.  Before 2007, they had one of the best looks in the league.  They attempted to mimic the style with their Edge jerseys, but it was a complete fail.  In an attempt to be patriotic, the use of the Canadian and Alberta flags as shoulder logos looked completely out of place, especially the Alberta flag with its blue colour clashing with the red jersey.

There's a split among Flames' fans as to whether black should be part of the colour scheme. The divisive colour has been used by the team longer than it hasn't, using it beginning in 1995 in their first jersey overhaul.  It was a design never seen before and was dubbed the pedestal jersey for obviously reasons.

For the fans who would like to see black dropped completely and a return to their original set, which they have worn off and on as an alternate jersey since 2009, I will say that the black is needed to balance out the look.  It makes the flaming C on the home red jersey pop. If the Flames were smart, they would have based their new jerseys on the alternate jerseys that the team wore from 2013 to 2016.  Use the regular logo and perhaps fill in the bottom of the sleeves black to mimic the current sleeve design.

Colorado Avalanche: Much like the Flames, the Avalanche attempted to fit their pre-edge jerseys into the Reebok template.  It almost worked, but failed on a couple of things.  For one, the sleeve design not coping the side panels made no sense.  Instead, those missing stripes were transferred down the front of the jersey.  The piping going down the front, dubbed apron strings, were ugly and somehow found its way on several other jerseys.

In 2015, the team revealed a brand new alternate jersey, featuring a new alternate logo based on the logo of the Colorado Rockies hockey team, which are now the New Jersey Devils.  There are some fans who believe that logo could potentially replace the current logo, which would be a huge mistake.  The A logo is a modern classic and replacing it with a defunct team's would make no sense.

The team's original uniforms were fitting for the team, as the mountain striping pattern was perfect.  If they could return to them, that would be great, but it seems unlikely.  Personally, I would love to see them come up with a jersey based on the alternate jersey that the team wore from 2001 to 2007, replacing the script with the team's actual logo.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Outside of the team's old alternate jersey, the Blue Jackets have had a very consistent look through the two jersey changes they have made.  They should stick with it, simply adding proper hem stripes to their current jerseys, similar to their original set.

Dallas Stars: Much like the Boston Bruins, it's curious as to why the Stars would make anything but minor changes considering the team already overhauled their uniforms in 2013. The team returned to their roots, sort of, going with a green home uniform for the first time since 2006 when black became its primary colour.

The changes are more than likely adding another trim layer to the numbers, instead of the single colour that it is now.  I wouldn't be surprised if a different logo adorned the shoulders for next season, either, as its current shoulder logo is redundant since it is the primary logo inside a roundel.  The State of Texas logo that is on the pants should take its place if not something completely new.


Part 1 Done.

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