Monday, 21 November 2016

Not Bad At All

Having lived through one outdoor game this season, I was hoping that the next outdoor game to be played in Canada would take on a rather historic look. The logo to the left is actually pretty classy when it comes to promoting the Centennial Classic, and it appears that the NHL is keeping with the heritage theme when it comes to these outdoor games in Canada. While I still think the Jets' look for their outdoor game might be the best jersey worn this season, the Maple Leafs and Red Wings are doing things right with their looks for the big game in The Big Smoke on New Year's Day!

Admittedly, first glance had me a little taken aback because I don't see anything too off-putting about these jerseys! They're clean with good contrasts, they've been kept simple without any gaudy use of the silver that the NHL has been incorporating into everything, and they look like a traditional hockey sweater. It's as if the NHL has been reading this blog!

All jokes aside, let's take a look at both uniforms a little more closely as we prepare for January 1, 2017.

This jersey design used by the Leafs is about as traditional as one can get when it comes to hockey jerseys. The middle stripe has been used for years by many teams, and the only addition the Leafs made was to outline the white with two small silver stripes that don't take anything away from the overall aesthetic of the jersey. The logo contrasts beautifully against the blue background, and I really like the off-blue colour used for the number to make it stand out as well. By reducing the use of the silver colour and utilizing the white as an outline colour, the numbering on the back looks sharp!

No. Just no. I still don't know why the NHL insists on putting messages of any kind on an area of the jersey that no one will see on the ice. While those three words mean a lot to the men wearing the jersey and every player who wore the jersey before them, it's entirely unnecessary. Stop doing it. And do the Leafs really need a lace-up sweater? These two trends need to stop sooner than later.

The Red Wings, at first glance, have a very clean white jersey. The logo pops well as it always does on the white jersey, and I like the simple striping. Yes, that silver stripe does look a little out of place, but I'll address this below. I cannot thank the Red Wings and the NHL enough for making this jersey with a normal collar instead of the lace-up collar. The jersey resembles a traditional sweater so much more with the rounded collar that the Red Wings are employing. If there is a drawback to the jersey, it's the NHL logo right below the collar as it looks sorely out of place on this rather clean and simple jersey. I get that's where the logo appears on all jerseys, but can we not make allowances for special games and jerseys?

That silver stripe, as seen above, contains all the years that the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. Again, this is something that will never been seen on the ice by fans, so why even include it? Better yet, could they not make the top stripe of the three arm stripes into this silver stripe so that the arm stripes match the two stripes on the hem? Everything looks a little bit off with that extra stripe on the arms, and they went and doubled that problem by tossing on this silver stripe. Sometimes, less is more.

Here's where the Red Wings fail the test. If the back of the jersey is as shown by the NHL Shop, there's a significant problem. The silver outline on the red numbers do nothing. Just go straight red and be done - less is more, remember? Secondly, that massive gap between the player's name and the number better not exist when these jerseys hit the ice because that looks awful. I'm quite certain that it will look appropriate, but we've seen the NHL Shop do some crazy things in the past. Knock on wood for this one, kids.

Overall, not a bad day at the office for the jersey designers. I hate to say it because I'm firmly in the ABT (Anybody But Toronto) camp, but I'd actually consider wearing one of these Toronto Centennial Classic jerseys. It makes my skin crawl to say that, but they do look quite fine. If there's one thing to look forward to when it comes to the big game on January 1, at least the two teams will look pretty spiffy on New Year's Day.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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