Despite not having not been many pleasant memories for suffering New York Islanders fans over the last 20 years, if there is anything for them to be really proud of, it is the glory days of the team's four straight Stanley Cup championships from 1980 to 1983.
When the Islanders dominated the National Hockey League during that time, they wore a very familiar logo and color scheme. While only for a short time during the mid 1990s did their classic logo disappear in favor of a widely unpopular blue raincoated fisherman, it is displayed front and center on a brand new alternate jersey that was unveiled late Monday at an Islanders Business Club event (see the video clip below).
video courtesy: New York Islanders
Michael Schuerlein of Islesblogger.com was the first to post a story back on July 28th that confirmed the team would be introducing a new alternate jersey.
The Islanders' new alternate jersey is flashback to that past as it is a royal blue base color with a thick orange stripe above an equally thick white one to cover the bottom-most portion. While the throwbacks we saw worn for a few games two seasons ago had orange numbers and lettering like the 1970s jerseys had, the team decided on having them in white instead with a thin orange outline.
Islanders Business Club executive director Mike Bossy unveils the team's new alternate jersey on October 27, 2008. (photo courtesy of New York Islanders)
Players also will wear matching royal blue hockey pants with an orange stripe down each side outlined in white. The socks are also royal blue with an equally thick orange stripe right below the knee as the jersey with a thin white stripe underneath it. But these sock stripes are interrupted in the back. That is something that is more noted for the Reebok Edge styles for socks.
The team will wear these new alternate jerseys for a total of 15 games this season and the first time fans can see them on the ice will be on Saturday night when the Islanders host the Montreal Canadiens at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It will be a part of a "Throwback Night" promotion sponsored by Modell's Sporting Goods.
"I think the new jerseys are fantastic," Islanders legend Bobby Nystrom said. "The colors really bring me back to our early teams. I think the fans are really going to buy into the jerseys because anybody who saw the team when we played, will appreciate the original colors. Plus, I like the subtle change the made to add another strip to the stick, signifying the four Cups."
(left to right) New York Islanders legend Bobby Nystrom, forward Josh Bailey, Islanders Business Club executive director Mike Bossy, forward Mike Sillinger and legend Clark Gillies attended the team's new alternate jersey unveiling event on October 27, 2008. (photo courtesy of New York Islanders)
Meantime, if you'd like to see what a couple of Islanders bloggers have posted about the new alternate jersey, I recommend you take a peek at Schuerlein's exclusive photo gallery and Dee Karl's entry at her NY Islanders 7th Woman blog about her day in which she attended the event and the game that followed, the Islanders hosting the archrival New York Rangers.
"I like them. They have a nice, clean look to them. I'm glad they left the piping off and the lettering is white outlined in orange. Much better than the orange 3rds from before (that I own like six of, damn it!)."
If you'd like to hear more about the new alternate jersey, check out this second video clip where you'll even hear player feedback. It sounds like the players and the fans are excited about Saturday night when it'll be the first game the Islanders will play in the new uniforms.
video courtesy: New York Islanders
UPDATE (October 30):
Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank reports that the Islanders are looking into making their just-unveiled alternate jersey as part of a permanent full-time uniform set. It is the team's hope it would be done as early as next season. If not, they're targetting the 2010-2011 campaign. Thanks goes out to Chris Smith at Icethetics and Sean Leahy at his Going Five Hole blog for their roles in giving us a heads up on this new development.