Wednesday, 22 September 2010

More Wardrobe Changes

There have been a pile of new uniforms that have been unveiled thus far this off-season, and we're far from being done with all the new threads being worn in this upcoming season. There are Heritage Classic jerseys, Winter Classic jerseys, throwback jerseys, alternate jerseys, and every other imaginable reason for new jerseys causing Reebok much havoc in the design and manufacturing departments. Not that I'm concerned much about Reebok, but they do have the contracts for just about every professional and junior hockey league in North America. We have a bunch of new looks to examine today, so let's get to this as we'll cover several leagues worth of new uniforms.

If you happened to poke through the Sean Avery website that Justin St. Louis brought to our attention the other day, you may have caught this information. If not, the Icethetics blog did. While the page might be dead, Icethetics kept the image alive by capturing Sean Avery in what appears to be the new New York Rangers alternate jersey.

I'm almost 100% certain that the page is dead because the Rangers have yet to show off the new threads, and since Avery's page URL includes "feels nice", one should feel confident that the jersey that Avery is wearing is indeed the new uniform. I'm not sure when the page was taken down, but the Icethetics page is dated September 16, so the picture is fairly recent.

The next jersey comes from the AHL, and is another New York-based hockey team. The Rochester Americans are part of the opening weekend of throwback games, and we're still waiting for these new jerseys to be unveiled. However, they did get the jump on showing off their new alternate jerseys for the 2010-11 season, modeled here by American Spirit Dance Team members Jillian, Allison and Stephanie.

Personally, I don't mind the throwback to the 1960s, but they look a lot like their home uniforms. I much preferred these alternates that the Americans wore, but to each their own, I suppose.

While there was no jersey unveiled, the Hartford AHL franchise announced major changes to their operations yesterday. The Wolf Pack will eventually change its name to "the Whale", but no dates have been set yet as Howard Baldwin takes over.

My take on this is that the name may draw people back to the idea of the Hartford Whalers, but the Connecticut Whale are still the Wolf Pack. I believe William Shakespeare had it correct when he wrote, "What's in a name? that which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet". In other words, it doesn't matter how you dress up the AHL franchise, they are still the same AHL franchise. Unless Baldwin has some sort of magic power that endears the community to the team, he's simply playing on the fans' passion for the Whalers. The name will only carry the team so far.

The WHL's Red Deer Rebels also jumped on the throwback alternate bandwagon today when they introduced their new alternate jerseys for the upcoming season.

From the Rebels' website (along with some grammar and spelling corrections done by me):

The most noticeable change from the previous "R" uniform is the base color. The predominant burgundy has been replaced by a beige color that adds both a retro tone, along with a western feel. The standalone "cow skull" shoulder path, taken from the teams' primary logo, reinforces this western concept. The striping has been moved to the middle of the jersey, and a burgundy shoulder "yolk" added to the top of the sweater.

The most predominant feature of the jersey, the popular "R" logo which the team has worn since 2001, has been madeover. The black fill adds strength to the logo, and compliments the neck collar. The team will wear black pants and black helmets to complete the look. Player socks will be beige with two burgundy stripes through the middle.
Count me as one who likes them. The Rebels look like a collegiate team, but they wear the throwbacks well. These jerseys should be a big seller in the Alberta city!

The OHL's Kingston Frontenacs got into the throwback alternate business today when they debuted their new alternate jerseys for the 2010-11 season.

"We went for a retro look and they turned out better than what we ever imagined," said Jeff Stilwell, Director of Marketing and Communications. I have to agree. I love the yellow jerseys, and the socks are an added bonus with the bold striping. The Frontenacs will look good in their alternates this season!

While it wasn't an announcement about new jerseys, it still was a big announcement for Penn State University as they join NCAA Division One hockey this year! To add to the event, Penn State showed off the uniforms they will be wearing. Unfortunately, they are the same as their non-D1 days, but it's still a big day for the Nittany Lions.

There are some of the major uniform updates through to today. Tomorrow, we'll take a look at the hockey history of Des Moines, Iowa. I happened to stop there for the night, and it was interesting to hear people talk about the Stars, the Chops, and a few other teams that have called the city home.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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