Hockey Headlines

Friday, 26 June 2015

Draft Day Fashions

The NHL Draft went as predicted for the first two picks. Connor McDavid is now being hailed as a demi-god in Edmonton after he was selected first overall, and Jack Eichel is already autographing most of the Buffalo Sabres' merchandise that was shipped down to Florida. All fifteen semi trucks. Arizona, Colorado, Edmonton, Montreal, and Columbus share a special bond today, however, as these five teams decided to tweak or change their uniforms, and all were unveiled today as each welcomed a new player to their franchise. I'll also toss in one more uniform change that happened earlier this week as six teams will play with new looks next season. And yes, we'll go from bad to good.

Sixth-Place

The Montreal Canadiens are keeping their timeless colors and amazing logo the same, but they went off and added the one thing that has been overused in jersey design and redesign in the last decade: collar lacing. Completely unnecessary. Further to that, why white laces? Use the Habs' blue for the red jersey laces and red on the white jersey, and it immediately looks a thousand times better. If you're going to add an old standby, the least you could do is dress it up a little different, Montreal.

The only saving grace? The NHL finally recognizes that Montreal speaks French first and everything else second, and decided to follow the CFL's lead and rebrand the league patch in French.
Overall, though, I find the big change of the lace-up collar to be unnecessary for a team with the history of the Canadiens. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Fifth-Place

Colorado is ready for a cooking convention again this season. There was serious hope that the apron look created by the piping would disappear, but it appears the Avalanche are simply adding some pieces of flair to their uniforms. There's the 20th anniversary patch that will be worn this season, and it's nothing too gaudy thankfully. The yeti footprint patch on the shoulder is gone, replaced with the "C" from Colorado's state flag. However, the state flag features a yellow center inside the "C". The Chicago Cubs feature a blue center similar to the Avalanche. If you want to know if this passes the stupid test, it does not. And I'm not impressed. But at least they don't have lace-up collars.

Fourth-Place

When the Arizona Coyotes had mentioned that they would be changing uniforms this season, there was a collective gasp from the hockey community. The brick-red jerseys that they had been using were clutter-free and generally pretty nice overall. Today, we saw the introduction of black into the uniforms again as the Coyotes changed the sleeve striping, eliminated the shoulder yoke, and changed the pants and socks.

I dislike the sleeves as they feel too busy now. The white cuffs combined with the black trim of the gloves give a stripe overload around the hands as there are seven color changes from the wrist to the shoulder. Way too busy on these uniforms.

The font changed on the uniforms slightly as well. There's no real loss here as the previous iteration was easily readable, and so is this font. However, the socks are clearly visible here and, like the sleeves, look way too busy with all the stripes and color changes. The black breezers don't help either.

The Arizona patch worn on the shoulder will remain on the road uniform, but the home uniform will see a new sand-colored paw print patch added. Why? Who the hell knows? Because they can, I guess?

Overall, these uniforms feel very minor-league compared to what the Coyotes were wearing before. With all the drama surrounding the team this summer, the last thing they needed was a mediocre jersey to kill merchandise sales.

Third-Place

Sometimes, you just need to do things right to make things better. The Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they were changing their shoulder patch from the Civil War-referecing patch to a new one. They've also had the interlocking CBJ as a patch the insect patch at points, but the Blue Jackets went ahead and updated their alternate logo with their current colors for their new patch and it looks pretty good. Ever since Columbus has updated their look with the flag on the front of their jersey, they've ranked pretty high in my books with their look. Adopting this patch changes nothing regarding that opinion.

Second-Place

If it wasn't for one small detail, these new Oilers threads would have been in first-place. We'll get to that in a second, but let's give the Oilers credit here. As the last remaining original WHA team that hasn't relocated, the Oilers are a pretty special franchise when it comes to honouring the past. The NHL, as we know, likes to pretend that the WHA never existed by neither paying homage or showing respect to the league, so let's give credit to the Oilers for reaching back into their history and pulling out these WHA-inspired orange uniforms!

I love the TV numbers on the shoulders. I love the bold orange color - imagine a game in high-definition between the bright yellow Predators and the orange Oilers! I love how these throwback jerseys look like traditional jerseys despite the circular hem! These are one of the best throwbacks I've seen, and I'd really like to push the NHL to consider making all alternate jerseys as throwbacks as a rule for each and every team. It would be awesome!

The one thing that pushes this jersey into second-place, though? They will only be worn seven times next season, meaning they are more akin to being heritage jerseys than actual alternate jerseys. Honestly, I want to see these more than seven times. They're great!

First-Place

I happen to believe that the Washington Capitals missed the mark entirely by not going back to their traditional jerseys when they had the chance. They've worn the white throwback as an alternate, and they're bringing back the red for this upcoming season! This has always been their best look in the history of the franchise, and I can't say enough good things about them wearing these uniforms for up to fifteen games this season. Had it come down to Edmonton wearing their throwbacks the same amount of times, I would have gone with the bold WHA statement, but kudos to Washington for sticking with the timeless red-white-and-blue uniforms!

It should also be noted that Reebok is still the main jersey sponsor and partner of the NHL, yet the Capitals sent Alexander Ovechkin to the unveiling who decided to don a Nike cap. I know Ovechkin has a contract with Nike, but I'm almost certain that the NHL won't appreciate him pimping Reebok's main competitor in any way.

There's your rundown of who is wearing what for the upcoming season. Which jerseys do you like best? Least? How wrong am I on a number of fronts? Sound off in the comments!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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