Last weekend Uni Watch Blog previewed, and you voted upon, the NHL third sweater/uniforms. However, there was some question and discussion in the comments as to whether we actually included all the alternates being worn in the NHL this season. While the answer is “no,” the alternates chosen were selected because they technically qualify as such, as defined by the NHL — the remaining alternates and throwbacks are really “special” uniforms. We’ll be looking at them today, and I'll will handle that breakdown. Phil wrote the majority of today's entry, and James and Adam did the analysis of the voting. Huge thanks to each of those men!
The results from last weeks poll (thanks to all who participated) will be featured, along with some analysis. Interesting results to say the least. James Huening (who set up the poll) and Adam Walter (who provided the analytical data) will take part in that section. So, let’s begin with the missed jerseys. We’ll take a look at these in a Scrooge-like manner.
- Montreal Canadiens 1909-10 jersey: The Habs went blue-and-white just as they did in their first year of existence. The jerseys are strikingly gorgeous despite wearing the colour scheme of their arch-rivals in the Maple Leafs. Rear font is easy-to-read, one-colour block.
- Montreal Canadiens 1910-11 jersey: The Canadiens opted to represent their second year of existence by bringing back another throwback that was absolutely beautiful. This could almost be a Team Canada jersey, and one might make the mistake of thinking that in viewing this picture. The colour scheme is excellent, and I really like combination of the jersey with the breezers. The rear font is still standard block making it easily legible.
- Montreal Canadiens 1912-13 jersey: And winding up the Canadiens “three-fer” this season are the “love ‘em or hate ‘em” barberpole throwbacks. These must have been something back in the day (here’s how those would have looked in living colour). Now, however, they probably fail the “is it good or is it stupid” test.
- Calgary Flames 30th Anniversary jersey: The Flames reached back to their humble beginnings to bring back an iconic look. Kent Nilsson wore the scarlet red with the white flaming “C”, and now we have another generation who can appreciate this look. The Flames added the 30th Anniversay patch to their jerseys, and the rear font is block letter, white-on-yellow just like the old days.
- Philadelphia Flyers Winter Classic jersey: The Flyers, having brought back the retro orange already, decided to bring back some more history for this year’s edition of the Bridgestone Winter Classic. I like the old-time white-and-orange, but I honestly hate the black name plate. Would it really be that hard for the Flyers to wear the same thing as the Fred Shero-led Flyers? Much nicer, and much cleaner. Either way, the visiting Flyers will look good coming down the ice.
- Boston Bruins Winter Classic jersey: The Bruins will definitely be the fashion winners on January 1, 2010 if they look as good as Milan Lucic did during the test skate. The jerseys stand out nicely against the backdrop, and they look iconic on the Bruins’ alumni. The rear font is easy to read, but the numbers might be better for TV with the white outline. Overall, though, I like the look of these.
- Just for those that are wondering, here is the setup for the rink inside Fenway Park. The fans sitting in the Monster seats may not be a factor in this game.
- New Jersey Devils throwback: We’ve all heard that St. Patrick’s Day this season will feature the New Jersey Devils in a one-time throwback. The rumour is that they are going back to their Christmas colours that they wore for so long. What the design will look like, however, remains to be seen. Some have suggested that their current look will simply swap black for the old-style green. Whatever it may be, only this man knows for sure. I’m hoping the the Devils do bring back the look that Shanahan was wearing in that picture. The Devils would make an absolute killing on those jerseys as they are always big sellers on eBay.
Now, we move along to James (and Adam), who’ll bring you the results of last week’s poll.
Here we are again with the results of another uniform survey. With help from our Six Sigma Black Belt, Adam Walter, we’ve got some nifty charts and graphs in both PDF and PowerPoint formats.
The Top 5:
1 – Edmonton Oilers
2 – Chicago Blackhawks
3 – Toronto Maple Leafs
4 – Pittsburgh Penguins
5 – Vancouver Canucks
The Bottom 5:
18 – Phoenix Coyotes
19 – Dallas Stars
20 – Tampa Bay Lightning
21 – Ottawa Senators
22 – Atlanta Thrashers
Any interesting phenomena this time around? Why, yes, there were. First, the Penguins finished fourth despite the fact that their unis were named more often as the favorite than any other team’s were. Also, the team itself was mentioned most often as people’s favorite. The Oilers got the highest score despite coming in third place for favorite uni and tying for 20th (with the Kings and Blue Jackets) as favorite team.
The Blackhawks finished second across the board in those three categories and they tied for second-to-last with the Blues for worst uni, so I guess there’s some nice symmetry there.
The Thrashers also ran the table, so to speak. They were our respondents’ least favorite team, gathered the lowest score, received the most votes for worst uniform and the fewest for best uniform. And, like the Buffalo Bills in our NFL surveys, they averaged less than one point per response.
Also interesting to me is that some folks evidently took Teebz’ joke about the Islanders’ return to the “Gorton’s Fisherman” as their third seriously and didn’t read a little further to where he described the team’s real throwback-inspired alt, resulting in comments like these: “Gorton’s fisherman logo and too many colors” … “They were horrid the first time around, why do I want fish sticks???”
There were some comments that James felt were insightful and/or made him chuckle. First up, the reasons for choice of worst:
Thrashers — “it makes my eyes want to puke” … “It looks like Jackson Pollock threw up on it” … “I have seen only one worse jersey this season…the home uni for the Buffalo Bills” … “If they went with ‘ATL’ on the front, it would have been the perfect storm of shit.” … “Look like a moto-cross shirt, should say ‘FOX’” … “the family-style chain restaurant look should be suppressed in all sports” … “Hold on, i just threw up in my mouth a little bit…… ok, its the an ugly, pathetic excuse for a jersey, terrible font, terrible numbers, terrible shoulder logo, terrible marron color… the thrashers should be banned from wearing these turd sandwiches” … “It looks like a Footballjersey that had sex with a Hockey Jersey, and those SOCKS…”
Avalanche — “It looks like a Chinese knockoff.”
Stars — “It looks like it was designed by – or purchased at – Wal-Mart.” … “It’s not even really an alternate. At least the teams with ugly alternates were trying.”
Panthers — “You have a great, distinctive color scheme and dynamic logo and you dump it for something you’d see in the ‘not-quite pro shop’ at KMart.” … “Ugh. They copied St. Louis, Nashville, Minnesota and Pittsburgh with the logo. And with the uniform itself…they shit the bed. Their designer was probably (I wish I was kidding) like ‘Look at Pittsburgh’s unis sell! Let’s get on that train! Boys, we need more powder blue!’ ‘But sir, it doesn’t make any sense__’ ‘You’re fired!’”
Wild — “It reminds me of one of those fake sports jersey from the Gap or Abercrombie & Fitch” …
Predators — “Because everything about hockey in Nashville sucks” …
Senators — “Look – I expect stupid from non-hockey markets…but Ottawa? With its history? Lame.” … “It was a close call between this one and the ‘BOLTS’, but the Senators should know better being from Canada. ” … “looks like NASCAR!”
Coyotes — “I think it’s the worst because I can’t enjoy watching a game the Coyotes are playing in. The whole game I can’t stop thinking about how angry those awful uniforms make me.”
Penguins — “They always lose when they wear it”
And now the comments for choice of best:
Oilers - “I like the thirds that are ‘classic’. The Ottawa and Tampa ones annoy me to no end.” … “Classic look, nothing gimmicky. It’s an alt I’d want to buy, and that’s the point, right? Who would buy a ‘Bolts’ sweater?” … “biased fan. actually, objectively it’s kinda ugly, but I grew up in Edmonton in the 80s, so I HAVE to name it as my favorite.”
Kings — “Gangsta.” …”When I imagine Buckingham Palace in the year 3000, I picture something like that logo.” … “looks crisp, like Bond in a tux”
Wild — “It’s GREEN”
Islanders — “fixes many years of uniform stupidity”
Senators — “It is just straight up badass”
Penguins — “Attractive color… Historical accuracy… It makes me orgasm…”
Blues — “While many of the better one are retro, the Blues have a modern era jersey without the ‘douche’ element usually pitched by reebok”
Maple Leafs — “As opposed to may of the others, it doesn’t look like it was thrown together from the random scraps of fabric left over from making other uniforms.”
Canucks — “Stick In Rink. It Rhymes.”
James continues with the other poll questions.
There was one other question we asked. We wanted to know your general opinion of the NHL’s thirds. Surprisingly, only about 8% of respondents feel that the alts are unnecessary and only another 23% think that too many teams wear them. Lots of people felt that only throwbacks should be allowed. Two people got even more specific than that saying that only teams that have been around since before 1980 should have alts.
So the overwhelming sentiment is that alternate unis are fine the way they are or MORE (if not all) teams should be wearing them. A common response was that the alts are fine as long as they’re good.
My personal opinion is that every team should wear two (good) alts — a home and a road version — about 6 or 8 times each. Of course, who decides what’s good enough to be worn?
There you have it — ALL the “thirds” and the results of the “official” alternate uniforms (as the NHL defines them).
And now a quick message from the team that put this together.
An outstanding job by all of the collaborators, and thank you readers for participating in the poll and for giving us such colorful opinions. Hockey uniforms are, arguably, the most beautiful of all sports, and even though reebok has ruined many of them, there are still some gorgeous ones out there. Maybe not all teams need a third sweater, but clearly, their popularity is sky-high and probably of all the sports, a third look for many teams is not a bad idea at all.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!