When the NHL Draft gets going on June 21st we’ll get the first “official” look at the league’s new look. Reebok is being replaced by Adidas as the manufacturer of game jerseys which means all 32 teams will be outfitted in different equipment.
Before you roll your eyes and say “who gives a shit how they look”, you should know that when they did the change from CCM to Reebok 10 years ago it was a disaster that effected the player’s game. How? Well Reebok was so excited about their technologically advanced fabrics and scientific testing that they forgot the basic principles of physics. The fabric was moisture resistant and wicked away the sweat, which obviously meant less weight being carried by the player because of sweat soaked uniforms. BUT anyone who watches hockey (scientists do not) knows that the sleeves go into the gloves, and the socks go from the thigh to the inside of the skate. So all that sweat that was happily wicking away from the fabric ended up pooling in the gloves and skates. A lot of it. Reebok ended up getting rid of the socks they designed and added strategically placed perforations to the fabric.
Back in 2007 it was a HUGE change to the uniforms, but this year will likely be very small and unnoticeable to most. Take a look at this side-by-side of Joe Thornton from 2005 on the left, and 2007 on the right:
Upgrade! Form fitting and better looking (imo). But it wasn’t just on-ice changes that made a huge impact, it was merchandise sales that skyrocketed… which was no accident. The form fitting and elastic jersey only slightly improved the player’s experience, but the fans could now buy a replica jersey and wear it without feeling like a flying squirrel. Huge fan of that.
But this year there shouldn’t be much changes coming from Adidas. They actually own Reebok so this will probably be more of a lateral move to promote the parent company and to simply update their templates. Adidas did the World Cup jerseys this year and for the most part they looked great.
I know it’s a different story when dealing with World Cup uniforms, it’s easy when they’re typically simple with bold colors. It’s good to know Adidas can pull off a clean look, but honestly I’ll freak the fuck out if I see their signature 3-stripes running down the side of the Bruins jerseys next season. I WILL FREAK OUT. Chances are they won’t be permitted to do that, but that’s not a guarantee.
Things we know:
-A new collar will be introduced, like the World Cup ones. Whether that means teams have the option to stick with the laces or not- I don’t know but I hope so.
-We also know there will be no alternate jerseys this season, which means it’s a full template change across the board (that means the fabric will be cut different and the seams will be in different places, obviously)
-Any team with piping down the font of the jerseys which makes it look like a fucking apron or a bib, they’re gone thanks to the new seams. Hallelujah.
-13 teams will have changes that go beyond labels, collars, and seams.
-All 32 teams will unveil home and away uniforms at the draft which is 16 days away and that means we’ll be seeing leaked images later this week. I guarantee someone will get a shipment of the new jerseys the week before by accident and the internet will go wild because that happens every single time like clockwork.
Here’s the list of the teams that will be getting updates.
Boston Bruins –
It’s hard to say for sure what the B’s are thinking here but my gut says they’re ditching the yellow shoulder yolk for the home jersey, but leaving the black yolk on the aways. We know they love embracing the black whenever possible as seen in their alternates for the past 9 years, and the uniforms from 1981-1995 looked exactly like that. That’s my educated guess. It’s worth almost nothing.
Buffalo Sabres –
Thankfully this disaster
will should be thrown in the trash. The gray stripes next to the yellow look like absolute shit, the dumbass piping down the front has to go because of the template change, the gray armpit panels should be GONE, and finally the number on the chest should be dumped too. Captaincy patches, memorial and special occasion patches, those are the only thing that should be on a hockey players chest. Buffalo sucks at everything. This jersey is a collection of bad ideas that were never removed from the idea board until it was too late.
Calgary Flames –
This is another one that will most likely lose the piping because of the template change. The Flames haven’t changed anything about their uni since Reebok entered 10 years ago so they’re definitely due for an update. I’d say they’re probably going to do some minimalism exercises and make it a simpler version of this one. I hope they ditch the black, because as nice as red/gold/black looks, the Flames looked incredible when they were just red/gold/white.
Colorado Avalanche –
Definitely the worst uniform in the NHL for the past 10 seasons and they know it. If they’re smart they’ll ditch everything about this and just go with their alternate. You can’t win if you look like shit, and this is a mountain of shit.
Columbus Blue Jackets –
They need a real stripe at the bottom. They need to change the font. They need to ditch the full arm stripes. They need to abandon that garbage logo. They need to do a lot of things but it doesn’t matter because they’re Columbus and sometimes I forget they exist.
Dallas Stars –
This is a relatively new uniform so I don’t expect a big change. The Stars went back to their “roots” 3 years ago by bringing back the Kelley green from their days as the Minnesota North Stars. Well, it sounded great but nobody took the time to realize the reason the North Stars looked so great is because they had kelley green and bright yellow. Kelley green and black is almost upsetting to look at on the ice for some reason. It looks off. So maybe they’ll darken the shade of green? or maybe bring back some gold accents? Or maybe they’ll fix the fact that it’s a boring ass jersey and start over.
Edmonton Oilers –
Fun Fact: we know what the change will be. The Oilers will be going orange full time. So just swap this one out for their alternate, maybe a new collar, but that’s it. That’s a victory in my book.
Florida Panthers –
This baffles me. They’ve only had one season in these things. It can’t be a huge change otherwise they’d have a mob of fans in brand new obsolete jerseys beating down their doors. Maybe the Adidas jerseys won’t allow for a small stripe at the bottom of the waist? Like the Flames and Blue Jackets? No idea, but I’m very interested in seeing what happens here.
Minnesota Wild –
This design will be going away completely. Minnesotta has had an identity crisis for a few years, where their home, away, and alternate have been wildly different designs. Word is that the new home jersey will be returning to green, and will be similar to the ones they wore in the 2016 Stadium Series. My assumption is they’ll be restoring the bear logo to the chest so the home/away identity will match again.
Nashville Predators –
This makes me laugh. I hope they win their first Stanley Cup and are forced to scrap these things forever. Not because I hate them, just because it amuses me to see success ruin plans. This jersey isn’t quiet as bad as the Sabres, but if they just delete the white piping it would improve 100%. I don’t even mind the weird blue horns on the chest because it reminds me of the tiger’s teeth. I really hope they didn’t ditch the yellow either… That would’ve been a massive mistake and it’s too late to turn back now.
New Jersey Devils –
I’m not even going to speculate. This is an iconic jersey and they better not fuck it up. Maybe just a new font and updating the stripe pattern. That’s all I’ll accept.
Ottawa Senators –
I know the Sens have expressed interest in changing the logo, but they can’t do that this season. I’m thinking they’ll go with a classic look and return to black as their primary colors.