Thursday, 12 November 2009

Three Strikes For Colorado

I wasn't overly enthusiastic about the new uniforms that the Avalanche rolled out when they switched to the Rbk EDGE material. I did reserve hope for an alternate jersey that brought back some respectability to the franchise in terms of their look. When the Avalanche announced that they were indeed creating an alternate jersey to be used in the 2009-10 season, I held my breath for something that would represent the power and destruction of a real avalanche unlike their normal home and road uniforms. After all, they are one of nature's most powerful events, and they usually leave a swath of destruction for miles. Kind of like this year's version of the Colorado Avalanche.

The Avalanche wore an alternate from 2001 until 2007 that had a number of people slightly disappointed in that the Avalanche weren't more creative. After all, they had a fairly unique secondary logo, and some would have liked to see it used more prominently in their schemes. Or at least built upon in terms of being included in the Avalanche's look.

It was announced some time ago that the Avalanche would be unveiling their new jerseys on November 12, so I was literally counting down the days. They announced that they would take to the ice in their new threads on Saturday, November 14 when the Vancouver Canucks rolled into town. Again, I waited with the hope that the Avalanche would eliminate the apron strings on these new jerseys while restoring the pride and respect that they had built and earned throughout the 1990s with their bold burgandy jerseys.

Today, the Avalanche had this image as their splash page on their website. Let me just say that this is one of the most unoriginal efforts yet in the alternate world. And that's me being nice. Just before we continue, I want to credit Michael Martin for all the photos from here on.

Sure, there are no apron strings. That's a bonus, and I can't fault the Avalanche for getting rid of something that looked dumb. Or even worse when your captain's "C" is sewn over top of the piping.

I'm also a fan of the lace-up collar, but that trend is pretty much dead now. Almost every team has a lace-up collar, so it's time to look at something else to make your look unique. There are other design elements that teams can look to in terms of both historical and effective collar designs.

The only other thing that I can effectively say that I like is the font consistency. The rear lettering and numbering are consistent through the three sets of uniforms worn by the Avalanche, so there should be no additional costs for people who may buy this new alternate uniform and have it customized. I can't say that with any certainty, but it seems reasonable, right?

What seems unreasonable is that the Avalanche will wear these jerseys as a professional hockey team in the NHL.

What is with the light blue jerseys? The Thrashers look ridiculous in their blue jerseys, and now the Avalanche are trying to score with that colour. The only light blue jersey that has worked thus far is the Penguins' alternates. But they have history with that jersey, so it's not surprising that it was and is a hot seller. I have no idea why other teams think that this powder blue colour is an effective colour to use. It fails here.

It's not like the Avalanche did anything new, either. Here is a comparison between the old alternate jersey and the new alternate jersey. Aside from a change in colours, the addition of a shoulder yoke, and the removal of the bottom hem stripes - some significant changes at first glance, I admit - what is really different between the two jerseys? Both have the lace-up collar. Both sport the Avalanche's primary logo on the shoulder. Both have the state's name running diagonally across the chest. Both have the elbow stripes. It's not a "new" alternate as much as it is simply a redesigned alternate. It's an alternate alternate jersey. And that, to me, is entirely disappointing.

Is it a different look than what we're used to seeing from the Avalanche? Absolutely. Without doubt. But when it comes to the aesthetics of the uniform, I see them as a fail. Kyle Quincey may disagree with me, but these will rank quite low on my "must-have" jersey list.

Again, I will stress this: sometimes less is more. Less light blue and more creativity would result in me liking these jerseys a lot more. After all, "it's all about commitment" in Denver. I just wish someone would commit to common sense.

And just before we break away from a look at new jerseys, the Florida Panthers are gearing up for their new alternate jerseys as well. Later this month, the Panthers are to reveal their newest threads, but they may have jumped the gun with a small preview in a flash video.

I see more light blue which I don't understand, but I do like the old-time logo if that is truly the new alternate jersey. There is a distinct absence of red on this previewed jersey, but that is probably a good thing since they already have one navy blue jersey. More on these as we get closer to their unveiling.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Sean said...

This isn't the greatest jersey in the world, but its not that bad, Teebz.

There are 22 NHL teams with an alt right now. Its better than 8 of them.

It doesn't include a number on the front, which puts it ahead of Atlanta and Dallas.

Its not black (for no reason), which puts it ahead of Carolina, Phoenix and San Jose.

It doesn't feature a team nickname, which puts it ahead of Ottawa and Tampa Bay.

And it isn't exactly the same, with a different logo on the front, which puts it ahead of Vancouver.

So its a middle of the pack alternate.

Teebz said...

So there are 13 teams better?

"And it isn't exactly the same, with a different logo on the front, which puts it ahead of Vancouver."

No, it's exactly the same as what they had before. Which makes it lamer than Vancouver. The last burgandy ones were horrible, and these are worse due to the fact that they are light blue - a colour totally associated with the Avalanche.

These are absolute crap.

JTH said...

Is it just me or have they changed their blue color over the years? I know the burgundy has gotten darker, but I seem to recall a blue that had a lot more gray in it, more of a gunmetal-ish color.

The shade of blue they're using now seems to be trending more toward teal.

It could just be the lighting, etc. but this blue looks a lot different to me than what they have in today's unis.

Anonymous said...

To your point about the light blue, I dare say that the Avalanche do have some extended history with light blue, so I would argue - in that respect - it works here.


Teebz said...

Tell me where they have history with it, Anonymous. If you mean as an accent colour, why is it now a primary jersey colour? I get that the blue was to represent ice, but to say they have history with it is the same as suggesting the Islanders have history with teal because they wore it on their Fisherman jerseys.

And you don't see the Isles in teal, do you?

Teebz said...

JTH - you are exactly right. It is significantly different.

mtjaws said...

I think this new Avalanche jersey is lazy and uninspired. I'd like to see that bigfoot paw on the front, although that doesn't quite relate to an "avalanche".

As for the Panthers, there were rumors about powder blue, and I just hope they don't use it. Like you said, it just doesn't work on anyone else, especially since the Panthers have only used navy, red, gold, and white. I wish they'd bring back the all red again.

Unknown said...

I agree with you Teebz. This jersey is an epic faily. Even if they had gotten rid of the black stripes and opted for another colour or white the jersey would have been light years better than it turned out being. But this is such a lazy design it is shocking. Seriously, you have an opportunity to give your entire organization an expanded identity with which to be associated and you have virtually no boundaries. I would have relished in the effort and like The Blues or The Wild put a great deal of effort into my team's new look. This looks like it was banged out by some 10 year old in MS Paint. Such a let down.

Sean said...

As you’ll see on Sat night, it’s not “light blue” its “steel blue”. This blue has been a significant part of the Avs ‘team color’ jerseys since day one. For whatever reason, this “steel blue” seems to look darker when next to a larger portion of burgundy (and it doesn’t help that Avs merch seems to use 100 different shades of blue) – but I promise you, this is the same shade of blue used on the team color jersey today. ( backs me up on this)

Teebz said...

You can call it whatever you want, but the two colours are entirely different.

Much in the same way that the burgundy changed when the Avs jumped from CCM to Starter.

It's different. Very different.

Here's your proof. Now do you believe me that it is significantly different?