If there is one thing that the summer brings for the NHL, it's all the summer makeovers the teams seem to do. There are at least two teams that have already shown off their new uniforms, and we had two looks at patch placements for two of the three teams that have confirmed they will wear patches for the 2010-11 season. Like wandering through a clothing store, new looks will be seen this season, and different looks will be seen through accessorizing. It's almost like NHL teams are teenage girls with the number of times they change their outfits.
I need to point out a video before we begin looking at the changes. The New York Islanders have put together a video of their jersey history, and it's a pretty good look at a former dynasty that has undergone a number of changes over the last twenty seasons. From the Mike Bossy days to the Fisherman logo to the wave jersey design to the throwbacks, it's all covered in the video. Check it out if you have five minutes or so:
The reason this video is important is because the Islanders are once again changing their uniforms. Gone are the crazy Rbk EDGE designs for a more traditional design that looks a lot like their original designs. While the blue home jersey has yet to be seen outside of the video above, it appears this jersey will win over a large number of fans.
Personally, I have no problem bringing back the traditional design. The original sweater was very unique to the Islanders. While they have remained with the darker navy blue over the last number of years as their home colour, I'm still hopeful they will return with the lighter blue as well. That would be great! The font on the back is traditional blue-on-orange, so that's a plus as well. Well done, Islanders!
The other team that debuted their new uniforms for next season were the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs went back in time as well as they brought back a more traditional design to their jerseys by adding the hem stripes and by using the vintage Leafs shoulder logo. Also added are the lace-up collars which gives the new jerseys an "old-time" feel.
Again, this is precisely what the NHL needs to encourage: lose the "futuristic" look that the EDGE jersey tried to force upon everyone, and embrace the hockey sweater as it should look. The hem stripes? Perfect. The traditional shoulder logo? Perfect. The Leafs even killed off their silver outline for their name and number! Only the alternate jersey will remain as it was.
Why was this change made? It appears the Leafs are listening to their most important asset: the fans.
"Our fans have been quite vocal since 2007. They have wanted the stripes and shoulder patch back on the sweater," said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. "We listened to them, and we hope they are as excited about the new, classic look as we are."
I, as a born-and-bred Leafs hater, actually like this look, and appreciate the change back to something that seems so right. Well done, Maple Leafs!
As for patches, we got to see the placement of the tenth anniversary patches for both the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Minnesota will sport their patch on the front of the right shoulder, and Columbus will have their patch in the same spot.
The one team that handed out jerseys at the draft that didn't feature a patch was the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks will be wearing this patch to celebrate their twentieth anniversary this year, and the patch will reportedly be worn between the shoulder number and the elbow stripes on the sleeve of the jersey. I took it upon myself to create a rendering of that very idea.
This is the first time that I've ever seen a patch worn in the space between the numbers on the sleeve and stripes on the sleeve, and it appears that the Sharks are starting to look a little European with all those patches on their sleeves. It just seems too busy. Perhaps they need to swap the twentieth anniversary patch with one of their current ones for one season. That would make more sense to me.
Vancouver apparently will be wearing a fortieth anniversary patch this season, but they had no first-round picks in this year's draft, so no jerseys were handed out with Vancouver's logo on them. There is a throwback game reportedly being planned between the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks to commemorate the very first game the Canucks played in their history. That game, incidentally, was also against the Kings. The date of that game is Saturday, October 9, 2010. It is thought that both teams may be wearing patches that night for the significant event.
The full schedule of the Canucks' "signature events" for their fortieth anniversary will be unveiled on July 7, 2010 at the club's annual "Canucks Summer Summit". I'll be checking out the information on that day to ensure that HBIC has all the anniversary info covered.
The one thing that I did notice, however, is that Derek Forbort, the first-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings, was given a throwback gold jersey rather than one of their current uniforms. The other picks outside of the first round received the Kings' current home uniform. Perhaps the Kings have big plans for this season as well?
All in all, there are a pile of updates for Sunday. The NHL will look a little different next season, but it should look better based upon the Islanders' and Leafs' new looks. Hockey teams might actually look like hockey teams once again!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!