I read a feature article posted earlier today by Dan Rosen on the National Hockey League's official web site (NHL.com) and he tells us how much fans seem to be more embracing to throwbacks of yesteryears these days. Some teams have listened.
For example, given just a subtle change or two from originals, the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks gave that nod to the past with their new alternate jerseys they began wearing this season.
This evening the Philadelphia Flyers will join this group of teams as they will unveil to season ticket holders at the Meet The Team! event at the Wachovia Center a new alternate 1970s retro orange jersey.
The Chicago Blackhawks just brought back their popular black version to the primary home and away jersey design we've seen for many years, only in this case it was fit into the jersey template that is now in its second season of use. Along with the Detroit Red Wings, they each will wear for one-time only a very retro jersey during the upcoming Winter Classic in Chicago on New Year's Day. Here, both teams will show fans what they once wore during the early years of their franchise's existence.
However, the Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues went in a different direction with new looks and even new alternate crest logos. About to be unveiled are the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning where like the Stars and Thrashers, they will simply have a glorified wordmark across the front of their jerseys. The Anaheim Ducks were the first to start this trend two years ago when they broke away from the original Disney-themed look, including the familiar duck mask crest logo.
Icethetics site founder and blog author Chris Smith was asked by Rosen to weigh in on what fans seem to prefer nowadays in jersey designs.
"Overwhelmingly fans seem to love the throwback third jerseys. They don't sound happy about the new-style jerseys we're seeing with Atlanta and Ottawa (what's been leaked anyway) though fewer complaints for Tampa Bay's," Smith said. "They love what the Oilers, Islanders, Canucks, Penguins and Sabres are doing and I can't say I disagree."
I can truly say I enjoy the amount of work Smith has dedicated to giving fans a destination where they can talk about team logos, uniform designs and anything in between. In recent months, his site has become a popular place to find out the latest scoop on new NHL team logos and alternate jerseys. From the NHL Tournament of Logos blog to the Icethetics blog to now the new Icethetics web site, we have been able to find the latest news updates on such items.
Smith posted a new entry on his web site about Rosen's article.
After taking a vacation for the 2007-2008 campaign as Reebok Hockey took care of meeting production demand of the primary home and away jersey sets for the 30 teams, the third jersey program is back. How well the other alternate jerseys to be unveiled in the immediate future will be received by the fans remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, there will be plenty of opinions to be said.