During this holiday season in the United States, we should be reminded as to the meaning of Thanksgiving. The pilgrims that traveled to the new world traded and bartered with the indigenous people in order to survive in this new environment. It should be noted that there were skirmishes, but Thanksgiving dinner represents the success of two foreign communities - the Native Americans and the English pilgrims - in establishing a relationship. With that being said, we honour this tradition every year with our grand feasts. In saying this, it is nice to see one long-standing NHL team honouring their traditions by paying homage to its past.
The Chicago Blackhawks unveiled their new alternate jerseys today, and you might say that they aren't new at all. I'd be inclined to agree with you, but there are some subtle difference to note, and we'll look at those. I'll have my sentiments at the end about these jerseys, but you should already have an idea of which way I'm leaning.
First off, the Blackhawks have gone to a lace-up collar - yet another team who has used this feature. However, this one gets a pass for using a retro feature on an old-time jersey. I like the lace-up collar on here because lace-up collars were distinctly an old-fashioned way to tighten the sweater on a player. The lace on the jerseys for the Winter Classic was black, making it almost invisible. I do like the off-white lace here, though, as it gives the jersey more of an old-time feel.
The Blackhawks introduced a shoulder logo that appears old-fashioned as well. Normally, the cross-tomahawk logo is much more modern, but this new logo has that distinct old-time feeling. This shoulder logo wasn't seen at the Winter Classic, so this is a new addition to the alternate jersey.
Overall, everything else is pretty much the same. The style of jersey is the same; the font used on the back is identical; the captaincy lettering is the same; and, the logo has the old-time "Black Hawks" name on it, appropriate for the period-specific timeframe of the jersey.
Overall, I thoroughly appreciate the work that the Blackhawks put into this jersey. It looks excellent, especially with the subtle changes that they made, and there hasn't been any extraneous junk added to it. Huge thumbs-up from me as this alternate jersey is something of which Blackhawks fans can be proud.
In terms of when and where they will wear the new threads, the schedule has been posted on their website. Some are home games while others will see the Blackhawks travel with their new duds (thanks, JTH!), so here's when you'll catch the Blackhawks in their alternate jerseys:
- December 1 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
- December 22 vs. San Jose Sharks
- January 5 vs. Minnesota Wild
- February 9 vs. Dallas Stars
- February 14 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
- March 2 vs. New York Islanders
- March 13 vs. Philadelphia Flyers
- March 23 vs. Phoenix Coyotes
- March 28 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
- March 30 vs. St. Louis Blues
- March 31 vs. Minnesota Wild
- April 6 vs. Dallas Stars
In any case, I am a fan of these new jerseys, and the Blackhawks have done an excellent job by improving upon an already appreciated design.
Just as a footnote to the alternate jersey discussion, the Nashville Predators will be playing in their new alternate jerseys tonight as they square off against the St. Louis Blues. I'll have a full write-up on them tomorrow after I see them in action. There are some interesting concepts at work in the Predators' new design.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!