Saturday, 12 December 2009

UW Alternate Poll

I was contacted by Phil Hecken, bench boss over at Uni Watch Blog, about running a poll for their readers about the alternate jerseys in the NHL. Between myself, Phil, and James T. Huening, the three of us collaborated and racked our brains, and we finally have something that might be somewhat scientific in its examination. Please read through this chatter, and vote at the end. We want to see which uniforms rank highly as compared to which rank not so highly. With that, I turn the next few paragraphs over to Mr. Phil Hecken for the introduction.

So I turned on Versus the other day, hoping maybe they’d be broadcasting the Grey Cup or perhaps some college football, or even some bull riding, and what to my wondering eyes should appear? Hockey! I didn’t even realize they still played anymore, much less had a national TV contract, but lo and behold, there they were. But something was off… one of the teams (does it really matter which?) was wearing a sweater I’d never seen before. So, I immediately dialed up the Hockey Wing President, Teebz, to give me the run down. “Oh yeah, they still play hockey, slapnuts,” he began, “and some of the teams have new third jerseys this year. Don’t you remember our posts last year about the alternate jerseys?” Shaking off the cobwebs, I did in fact recall something to that effect. So I said to myself: “Self. We have to take a look at the new thirds. In fact, we gotta see what the readers think of them too — even last year’s efforts.”

So, I conscripted Teebz and my buddy and UW pollster James Huening to craft this post, in which Teebz will describe the new sweaters and then you’ll be asked to rate them, much as you did in the NFL Uniform Polls. Some of them are pretty sweet, some are kind of “meh,” and others will make you say, “what were they thinking.” Being that opinions are myriad, we thought you’d like to rank them. Without further ado, then, I bring you Pollster James, and the Chancellor of Canuckistan, Teebz, who’ll let you bear witness to the complete listing of NHL third jerseys. We’re gonna give you two chances to vote, both before and after the preview. James?

Here we are once again asking for you to answer a survey. The format this time around is similar to the surveys we did for the NFL uniforms. We’d like you to give each NHL third/alternate uniform a rating from 0 (terrible) to 5 (outstanding). We’d also like to know which one you think is the best and which one you think is the worst. There is a bit of a twist this time.. Please let us know your overall view of the NHL’s alternate uniforms.

OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can get on with it already. So at this time, I’ll turn things over to the Hockey Blogger in Canada (and unofficial president of the Uni Watch “Hockey Wing”) himself. Here’s Teebz.

So I went ahead and scribed a few lines about each alternate jersey in case you may have forgotten what each team was wearing.

Atlanta: Georgia is football country, and the Thrashers are trying to blend in.

Boston: The primary and secondary logos swap places as the Bruins stay in black.

Buffalo: Buffalo opts to go with their retro look with necessary gray armpit fabric.

Carolina: Carolina opts for black, and moves their secondary logo to the chest. The primary logo goes invisible on the shoulder. No explanation given as to why they use the “tropical storm” flag.

Chicago: The Blackhawks bring back their popular Winter Classic look with an added secondary logo on the shoulder. Officially, Dustin Byfuglien is wearing the Reebok logo.

Colorado: The Avalanche go baby blue and diagonal with the state’s name. Apparently, the Avalanche want to be glaciers.

Dallas: The Stars also adopt the football look with their alternate, helping to make the state of Texas proud.

Edmonton: The Oilers bring back the colours they wore when Gretzky & Co. were a major part of “The City of Champions”.

Florida: Florida incorporates the baby blue into their jerseys, and simplifies while modernizes the panther in their logo. Shoulder logo has been updated so senior citizens and Canadian snowbirds aren’t afraid of the evil panther. Milk cartons across Miami ask “what happened to red”.

Los Angeles: Los Angeles returns to the black-and-silver, but not this black-and-silver. The logo is brand-new, but somewhat inexplicable as to why it looks like a pencil.

Minnesota: The Wild decided to go with the scripted name across their chests. No explanation given as to why their current primary logo is absent. The Wild bring back a green jersey.

Nashville: The Predators go black-and-blue with their alternate jersey. Checkerboard patterns on the shoulder logo and the hem stripe honour Nashville’s rich motorsports history. Nashville changed their font to something more basic.

New York Islanders: The Islanders debuted their new alternate jerseys this season. You know I had to work the Fisherman in there! In all seriousness, the Islanders have stuck with their retro look, and will be wearing them all season starting in 2010-11.

Ottawa: The Senators go black and are wearing their nickname proudly. Because the Ottawa Sens are a heck of a hockey club.

Philadelphia: The Flyers actually did good by maintaining a trend. The Flyers swapped last year’s alternate jersey with their home jersey, making the black jersey their alternate for this season. Dan Carcillo is far too excited about this.

Phoenix: The Coyotes went for a black jersey with a leaping coyote on their chests. The shoulder logo on the left side is a paw print rather than their primary logo as they have on the right side. How many logos can one team wear?

Pittsburgh: The Penguins continue to wear their Winter Classic jerseys as their alternate jerseys. Rumour has it that this jersey will be retired after this season in favour of a new alternate design.

San Jose: The Sharks love their black alternate jerseys featuring the “SJ” shoulder logo. Just so we attract the animal lovers out there, this is a black shark, known by its Latin name labeo Chrysophekadion. It is normally found in freshwater aquariums and is quite docile. It’s also a member of the carp family. Ergo, ladies and gentlemen, here is a school of San Jose Carps.

St. Louis: St. Louis goes a little darker in their alternate uniform. The chest logo incorporates that famous St. Louis landmark.

Tampa Bay: The Lightning, like their expansion cousins in Ottawa, decided to put their nickname prominently across their chests. The Tampa Bay Bolts also wanted to be different, so they put the region’s name on the hem. So when the players sit down, Tampa Bay is looking right up someone’s... well, you know.

Toronto: The Maple Leafs brought back the old-style Leafs jersey as their alternate. It’s too bad that the Leafs are playing like the Maple Leafs of the mid-1980s instead of the Maple Leafs of the 1950s.

Vancouver: The Canucks went retro as well, keeping the stick-in-rink alternate. Yes, it has been changed slightly, but it’s still better than some of the other options. Much better.

But we’re not done yet — now that you’ve seen the thirds, we need you to vote on them. Yeah, Phil posted the link to the poll above, but that was before I had an opportunity to influence your vote. So, if you haven’t already done so, please

We’ll tally the votes and be back with the results real soon. Thanks! For more chatter on the voting and my somewhat jaded views on the alternate jerseys, please check out Uni Watch Blog and join the discussion!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Unknown said...

I read your explanation for rejecting the Flames' thirds but I still think they should be included. Given the tremendous response they've received you can practically guarantee we'll be seeing them become 'officially snactioned' (whatever that means) thirds if not their new home jerseys very soon. It's no secret that Edmonton currently have one of the poorest designed set of uniforms in the league and I'm sure the team has heard enough of that from their fans.
But keeping with the thirds, what does it mean for a jersey to 'officially sanctioned' as a third? Is there a minimum number of games both home and away that it needs to be worn? Does it have something to do with a contractual obligation to wear the jersey for consecutive seasons? Just curious.

Teebz said...

Great question, Blake.

The NHL allows teams, like the Canadiens, to have nights where they can wear jerseys that celebrate anniversaries. This must be cleared through the league offices one year prior, however. This is what I believe the Flames did in celebrating their 30th anniversary.

Alternates are cleared with the league before the design process even begins, I've been told. Essentially, the NHL has to be onboard with the design before the dates are selected, and can be worn no more than 15 times in one season.

The throwbacks for the Flames would get an automatic endorsement from me if they went the alternate route with these. I think they are the best in their uniform set.

Unknown said...

I really wish the stars had an alternate. As far as I'm concerned making the same uni and changing it to white doesn't count. Why oh why can't someone bring back the old Star pattern form the 90's. That was the thing I hated about the new edge jerseys was that Dallas had great distintive jerseys. Now they're boring. Star's fans already wear the old jerseys as "alternates" anyway. I miss the old Star pattern! :(

Teebz said...

I thoroughly agree, Kate.

The star-patterned jersey was, and still is, one of the best designs of all-time, IMO.