I'm not a fashion designer, nor do I have any fashion training whatsoever. In fact, my wardrobe would not only confirm this, but pretty much solidify the fact that I probably need some sort of extreme makeover. When one considers the job that Reebok has done on hockey, it's probably time someone give them an extreme makeover in their design department. From the useless piping, aptly dubbed "apron strings", to the half stripes on sleeves to completely ruining a classic look by "modernizing" the uniform, Reebok needs a serious reality check. Right Said Fred agrees with me. Anyway, let's take a look at two new jerseys available for purchase this season.
We'll start in the professional ranks where the Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their Winter Classic jerseys this past week. Last year, the Flyers received some fairly positive feedback last season when they introduced their retro alternate jerseys. In fact, it was so highly received that the Flyers will play in orange at home this season.
For the Winter Classic this season, the Flyers have decided to bring back the old again as they had Reebok design a new jersey similar to their old home jerseys from a previous era. The result? This is what Philly will take to the ice in when January 1, 2010 rolls around.
Do I like them? Yes, with an asterisk. The front of the jersey is clean and crisp, with excellent use of orange-on-white. The logo jumps off the white background as well. The side view shows the television numbers well, and I really like the shoulder stripe extending all the way to the wrist. What I don't like - here's your asterisk - is the stupid black nameplate on the back. Why couldn't Reebok and/or the Flyers simply go with black lettering like they did in the days when Fred Shero ran the team? Is that really difficult to do?
Aside from the nameplate adding nothing but stupidity to the design, the jerseys themselves look great. Yes, I realize that the Flyers have essentially flip-flopped the colouring of their current home jersey, but sometimes more is less. And in this case, more is definitely less.
Overall, a very good-looking jersey with a very bad idea tacked on to it. If I were ever to own one of these jerseys, I would eliminate this dumb black nameplate, and have black lettering sewn directly onto the back. But since I aim for accuracy with my jerseys, I guess I won't be owning one of these for that very reason.
From the Flyers, we jump to the amateur ranks where the NCAA saw one of its teams adopt the Reebok EDGE jersey. The North Dakota Sioux men's hockey team is the first collegiate hockey team to wear the Reebok EDGE, so you know that a re-design is in the works for the Sioux. Saturday's Fan Fest saw the Sioux debut the new duds.
Before we get to them, I received an email from Nate, who wanted to pass on some info regarding the new uniforms before they were unveiled. He writes,
"UND is unveiling their new uniforms for men's hockey tomorrow. They will be the reebok edge jerseys, and UND will switch from nike-bauer equipment to reebok as well. On fightingsioux.com they have all the 'Reebok is so great' company line mumbo-jumbo in the press release. The jerseys (and socks, helmets and pants, hopefully) will be unveiled at a fan fest tomorrow, which I plan on attending. I will try to get some pictures of the new uniforms.I tend to agree with Nate that if the Sioux went the way of the Winterhawks and the Blackhawks with just the Native American head logo, you'd have an excellent jersey. After all, last season's jerseys are still one of the better NCAA hockey jerseys of all-time in my view.
"Coach Hakstol is pretty old school, and I'm sure he's had some input on the new design, so I'm not expecting anything garish. I think he knows better than to include the apron strings and pointless piping you see on some jerseys. As someone with an interest in both the team and uniform design, I'll hopefully be able to give you a little more of the intricate details of the uniform that you might not find on the fighting sioux website tomorrow.
"One thing I think everyone will be looking for is to see whether or not the logo or Sioux name appear on the new uniforms...I'm hoping they do something like the Portland Winterhawks of the CHL. Switch the red with green and put the Sioux logo on there and you've got a pretty fine looking jersey."
Here are your new Reebok-designed jerseys for the UND Sioux in 2009-10. They look pretty good. The Sioux name and logo are still highly-visible, and it appears that Nate's hope for the green 'Hawks jersey pretty much came true. The Sioux jerseys, both home and road, look very similar to the Blackhawks jerseys in terms of their striping patterns. As you may know, I think the red Blackhawks jersey is one of the best in sports, so I think you can get an idea of what I think of these jerseys.
Huge thumbs-up from this writer on the Sioux's new duds, and major kudos go out to head coach Dave Hakstol if he is responsible for the traditional look of these jerseys. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going old-school in hockey. It is a game build on the foundation of tradition, and this jersey for the Sioux is all about tradition. Excellent work, UND!
Nashville will be unveiling their new alternates later this week, and the Bruins are due to show off their Winter Classic threads. HBIC will be all over those two unveilings as well. Especially Nashville. Despite how "unique" this look was, no one looks good in "baby puke"-coloured clothes.
And just to finish this off the right way from where I started, I'm too sexy for this blog!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!