Monday, 29 September 2014

Back In Black And Blue

We've seen a few teams in recent years go back to uniforms that they had a lot of success in, but Tampa Bay didn't do that today. As you can see from the photo above, the Lightning are harken back to their championship days with their new alternate as Steven Stamkos took to the ice in black, but we'll see that these aren't throwbacks to their 2004 Stanley Cup Championship.

"The one thing that we talked about was obviously going to black but keeping our blue in it, having the blue and the black together," Dave Andreychuk told Bryan Burns. "And I know Mr. Vinik was a big fan of the BOLTS. To me, it’s perfect."

Well, opinions are going to differ between myself and the 2004 Stanley Cup-winning Dave Andreychuk. I respect Mr. Andreychuk, but I think he's hitched his wagon to the BOLTS a little too long.

If Stamkos wasn't wearing BOLTS across his chest, you may have been able to convince me that he had been traded to the Los Angeles Kings. While the Kings wear sleeve stripes and less blue, the jerseys are nearly identical in their basic design. Personally, I'd like my alternate jersey to look unique to my team, but it seems the Lightning are taking a page directly out of the Kings' jersey history. On top of that, check out the stripe on the Kings' socks from their old black jerseys. While Gabe Gauthier's socks aren't the best in that picture, it seems the Lightning's new alternate socks have nearly the same pattern as well. I'm not sure that there is anything unique about this uniform at all. It's simply a reworking of the Los Angeles Kings' current jersey and their old socks. Did Reebok have a surplus of Kings equipment lying around their factory?

Moving on from being Los Angeles West, I wasn't a fan of the BOLTS name across their chest when they debuted it on their blue alternates a few seasons ago, and I'm still not a fan.

"I'm glad that that's back," Andreychuk told Burns. "We kept the BOLTS, which is cool because I think when you think about BOLTS now, we're starting to become Bolt Nation and Go Bolts. We can't get rid of the BOLTS, so I'm glad that stayed."

Why? They have such a great, simple logo now, they no longer need BOLTS. In fact, they've never needed BOLTS. It's a nickname. It's not the team name. The Penguins don't wear "Pens", the Capitals don't wear "Caps", the Islanders don't wear "Isles", the Panthers don't wear "Cats", and the Canadiens don't wear "Habs". Why do the Lightning feel they need to use their nickname when they have a great logo?!?

It's not their most colorful alternate nor does it use some funky font, so will anyone remember this uniform fondly? I doubt it. It's not all that unique, and it certainly doesn't evoke memories of anything in the Lightning's history. Being a black uniform, it has to be pretty awesome for me to give it high marks. This uniform, sadly, is not, and it would not receive a passing grade from me whatsoever.

Lightning didn't strike twice in Tampa Bay with these alternate jerseys.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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