It's rare when I can pull some obscure pop culture reference into my blog when talking about something that I consider to be extremely important to the game of hockey, but here I am spoofing Right Said Fred. However, RSF's song about modeling brings about another round of new alternate jerseys from three more teams. October 6 saw the Maple Leafs bring out their new threads, October 7 had the Oilers strutting their stuff, and today saw the Atlanta Thrashers roll out the red carpet for their new jerseys. Grab a seat beside the catwalk as I roll these out chronologically.
The Leafs have radically changed the look of their team this season, jettisoning veteran players like they have the Bubonic Plague. The good news is that someone in the front office still has their wits about them. The Leafs had some solid alternate jerseys a couple of years ago. In fact, their retro alternates sold just as well as their modernized Maple Leafs jersey.
Thankfully, someone kept their wits about them when they came up with the new design. Essentially, they just revived the retro Leafs jersey. There was nothing wrong with it, and it sold well, so why ditch a good idea? For the first time in a long time on this blog, I will actually commend the Maple Leafs for an idea. Well done, TML!
The Oilers rolled back into the 1980s yesterday. The dynasty of the Oilers that powered its way through the 1980s - driven by guys like Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Coffey, Anderson, Lowe, MacTavish, Fuhr, and Ranford - ran roughshod over the rest of the NHL for a number of years. And they looked pretty darn good doing it too.
With Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish, and Charlie Huddy directing the Oilers' ship, it was almost inevitable that they went back to the blue-and-orange that they once wore. I was and still am a huge fan of the Oilers' former alternate jersey. It was unique, and was consistently at the top of jersey sales for the short time they were available. However, the return to glory can't be overlooked here. While the video on the Oilers' site was pixelated, the jerseys themselves stand out quite a bit - something you want to see in a jersey. Overall, these are solid alternate jerseys, and the Oilers get a thumbs-up from me for their new look. The schedule of when they will be wearing the retro jerseys is below.
October 12 vs. Colorado Avalanche
October 27 vs. Boston Bruins
November 13 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
November 20 vs. Detroit Red Wings
December 16 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
December 19 vs. Anaheim Ducks (Shirts Off Our Backs Night)
January 3 vs. Dallas Stars
January 18 vs. Phoenix Coyotes (Glenn Anderson Night)
February 3 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
February 11 vs. Montreal Canadiens
February 21 vs. Calgary Flames (Hockey Day In Canada)
March 14 vs. Colorado Avalanche
March 24 vs. Detroit Red Wings
April 4 vs. Vancouver Canucks
Atlanta's history of jerseys is one that has been marked with question marks and poor choices in terms of their look. There was the baby blue Thrashers jersey that began as an alternate, and then was adopted as their home uniform, replacing their navy blue and red jerseys. Why do teams wear their city name on their home jerseys? I still have no rational explanation for this.
Well, there's still no navy blue jersey. Today's unveiling featured the brand-new red Atlanta Thrashers! Unoriginality seems to be haunting NHL teams like nothing else. The team name is plastered across the chest of the players with a giant number, not unlike some college teams. The letters on the front for the captaincy stand out, mainly because they contrast and they're frigging huge! The socks leave a lot to be desired as well. The back of the jerseys have the same unique font that they normally wear, but the giant Thrasher head on the shoulders seems a little overdone.
Overall, these jerseys are unique in their design, but they don't really click for me. The lack of a logo plus the wordmark across the chest just seems to bring these alternate jerseys down a few notches.
Three more down, and a pile still to go. As more are released, they will be featured on HBIC. I'm looking forward to the season opening tomorrow night, and there will certainly be some highlights coming up this week. Don't forget! The Hockey Night In Canada Anthem Challenge ends tomorrow! Go vote!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!