If there was one travesty that happened when Reebok began outfitting hockey teams across the world, it was the fact that they single-handedly removed the identity of the Ottawa 67's with their EDGE design. Gone were the barber pole jerseys that fans of the 67's loved and held in such high esteem thanks to the legends that had worn it. I, for one, loved the look of these jerseys, but Reebok essentially killed what made the Ottawa 67's so identifiable. While there had been rumours of Ottawa bringing these jerseys back to their uniform set, nothing had materialized. That is, nothing had materialized until Thursday!
In 2009, Jeff Hunt, owner of the OHL club, addressed Ottawa 67's fans through a statement after it was revealed that the 67's would wear black jerseys while on the road despite the popularity of the barber pole jersey thanks to Reebok's new "technology". Mr. Hunt said,
When the 67’s Reebok Edge Jersey was launched this week, longtime fans who had grown to love the traditional barber pole jerseys were upset. Rightly so. As an organization, we should have warned you in advance that in this first edition of the Edge Jersey our traditional look wasn’t possible. At least, that way, it wouldn’t have been a shock when the jersey was unveiled.Needless to say, the demand for the barber pole jerseys didn't go away. In fact, I think a lot of hockey fans in general looked at this move by Reebok as something akin to blasphemy or heresy. With the demand on the rise, I'm sure that Mr. Hunt and his team felt the pressure to bring back the identity of the Ottawa 67's.
The problem is that the engineering of the new, lighter, cooler jerseys is such that only a solid colour is possible on the main front panel. We have maintained as much of the barber pole look as we could (sleeves) and we are working with the manufacturer to overcome the technical problems so that, at some point in the future, we can return to our full barber pole look.
I hope you enjoy the new season.
Owner and Governor
Ottawa 67’s Hockey Club
I am happy to report that the dream is now reality as of yesterday! We go to the Ottawa 67's page where the news has broken!
"The barber pole jersey is synonymous with 67's hockey," said 67's Owner and Governor Jeff Hunt. "It’s the jersey of Denis Potvin, Doug Wilson and Bobby Smith. It's the jersey of our Memorial Cup winning teams. And it's fantastic to finally be able to return to it and give our fans the look they’ve been asking for."For the first time, it seems that a team has finally forced Reebok's hand in developing something that they want rather than having it the other way around. I'm glad the the Ottawa 67's are going back to the way they are supposed to look because it just feels right.
Over on the Ottawa 67's Fan Blog, a great site written by Valerie, Sid, and StatsGuy, they have a full picture of the new barber pole jerseys, and I have to say that they look fantastic! I am extremely pleased with this news, and I look forward to seeing the 67's on the ice all season next year!
Finally, it seems some sense is being put back into hockey fashion. Thank you, Ottawa, for bringing back your mojo!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!