Alternate CondorsWe start with the Bakersfield Condors who have already adopted the colours of the Edmonton Oilers, but had yet to follow suit with an orange-and-blue alternate jersey. The Condors finally made the reveal six days ago, and I have to say that I am a fan of these alternate jerseys.
Ok, unnecessary dramatic music aside, that orange jersey looks good! While the Condors opted to use the secondary oil drop logo, they added the talons from a condor to make the logo somewhat Bakersfield-centric. To me, though, this jersey's logo feels a lot like the Oilers alternate that they wore from 2001 to 2007. I, of course, am a big fan of that oil drop logo as well.
Well done, Bakersfield! A solid alternate jersey is being added to the rotation, and I can't wait to see it on the ice!
Falcons' New Feathers
We'll start with the red jerseys that Springfield will be wearing. I am posting the large mock-up of these jerseys with the Pantone colours in order for fans and designers to get a jump on any future designs such as an alternate jersey. In any case, here are the red jerseys.
That seemingly useless navy blue underarm splash. Why is it there? Is it because the jersey needed more colour? Here's a thought: add a hem stripe! You have it on the socks and sleeves, so toss in the the same striping pattern on the hem! Instead, the Thunderbirds went for the slimming vertical side colours which, I assume, will be incorporated on the breezers for the players to make one long vertical stripe. If it doesn't or if the Thunderbirds decide to wear navy blue breezers as contrast, these side panels will look ridiculous.
Also, if you read carefully, the Thunderbirds have decided to adorn the US flag on the right shoulder. I believe in flag patches for international competitions and perhaps all-star games, but wearing it because you're based in America? No. It didn't work for the Calgary Flames, and I don't like it here. If you aren't a team made up of 100% American-born players who are traveling internationally, this is just overkill in the nationalism department. Hockey is a global game. Keep it that way.
Lace-up collars are so yesterday. Phase them out too. Especially when your team was never part of "old-time hockey".
Ok, so we've ran over the negatives, but here's the thing: the jerseys look fairly good! I'll explain why under the white jersey mock-ups.
As much as I ragged on the US flag patch, the Thunderbirds are wearing it as a tribute to the US military, and they're going to wear it right. From their release, "The flag patch is reversed in much the same way military members adorn the flag on their uniforms, suggesting that the flag is flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward." That attention to detail is something the Uni Watch crowd and Paul Lukas always note, so kudos to the Thunderbirds for getting this detail right as per military rules. Do it right or don't do it at all.
Because the team was dealing on such tight deadlines, it's interesting to note that "Springfield will wear a different jersey design for a pair of preseason home games on Oct. 7-8 at the MassMutual Center" as stated in the release. You wonder if they will wear the old Falcons jerseys for those two nights or if they have some mocked-up Thunderbirds jersey that were made by local silk screening company. In any case, the real Thunderbirds jerseys, as shown above, will be ready for the opening of the AHL season on October 15 when the team travels to Lehigh Valley, and fans can purchase the new threads sometime in October as well.
Overall, the Thunderbirds get a passing grade for their new jerseys from this writer. They aren't the best jerseys out there, but the negatives certainly aren't as glaring as they seem to be. For that, Springfield should look fairly good on the ice as a team.
The AHL is really improving its look this season with these three jerseys. I'm excited for the season to start so we can see these teams wearing their new threads on the ice! Head down to an AHL arena this season, and maybe you'll be able to catch one of these new uniforms in action!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!