NEW THIRD JERSEYS
This might be the greatest undertaking yet of the Icethetics Season Preview. All week it's been about logos. Today, I'm going to get you caught up on every detail of what has come and what is yet to come regarding the re-introduction of the NHL's third jersey program.
Four teams have unveiled third jerseys for this season — the Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins, albeit under sketchy circumstances but I'll get to that in a minute. Fourteen other teams are expected to release new sweaters from now until the end of November. So we'll do this chronologically.
On September 10, the Carolina Hurricanes became the first team to unveil their new third jersey. They did so before a large crowd both in person and on the web when they streamed the event live on September 10.
As you can see, the new sweater is black with the secondary storm flag logo on the front. This aspect alone has brought criticism. For the record, the National Weather Service describes it as simply a "storm flag." Technically a hurricane signal is two flags together. But that would be impractical for a logo like this, wouldn't it?
A black and grey version of the primary logo is on the shoulders. Thick red and grey stripes wrap around the elbows angled downward. Stylized storm flags, similar to the home and road sweaters, wrap around the waist above a thin red stripe. The collar is red and grey and the numbers are red.
The Buffalo Sabres unveiled their third jersey to fans at Puck Drop 2008 on September 20. The Sabres have gotten the best response so far.
Their new sweater is a modern update to the original sweater they wore upon joining the NHL in 1970, with a darker blue and the addition of silver. The striping is reminiscent of the triple yellow stripes from that original look. Vertical silver piping has been added to the front along with a drawstring collar and the updated crest. Numbers are yellow and the shoulders are blank, leaving the primary logo out of this look completely.
The St. Louis Blues followed a day later with their third jersey unveiling on September 21 at FANfest. Theirs was the most original third jersey yet featuring a completely new design and logo.
The prominent feature of the new logo is the Gateway Arch beneath the classic Blue Note and the team's name within in a blue ring wrapped around it. The primary logo is a patch on the shoulders. White stripes lined with gold wrap around the forearms and waist. The cuffs are white. There's a drawstring collar and the numbers are white.
The Boston Bruins seemed to unveil their third jersey to season ticket holders at the State of the Bruins event on September 10 when Milac Lucic walked out onto the stage wearing it. According to Reebok's official launch schedule, the official date for the Bs is November 24. There's no game on that date so they may be planning some sort of unveiling ceremony.
What Lucic wore that night was a black jersey with three stripes around the elbows, identical to Bruins' home jersey. The collar is yellow and on the front is the secondary logo that reads BRUINS arched above a bear. The primary hub logo is a patch on the shoulders. Overall, it was disappointing compared to the other third jerseys we've now seen.
Next, the Toronto Maple Leafs are scheduled for an unveiling on Monday. It's expected they'll be wearing the same white vintage third jersey they wore prior to last season. It will have two blue stripes around the elbows and waist. I'm assuming it will have the blue shoulder yoke.
The Edmonton Oilers will debut their new third jersey live on the web on Tuesday. Don't be surprised to see the Oil go retro. Their new third jerseys are alleged to come from the Gretzky-Messier era. Hard to go wrong with a look like that. The bright blue and bright orange will finally make their return.
The Atlanta Thrashers will be the last team scheduled to unveil a third jersey in October. They'll do so on Wednesday, giving us three straight days of new third jerseys. The rumors here suggest that the word THRASHERS will be arched above the sweater number on a maroon jersey. There will also likely be a lot of white in the design. I have high hopes for this one.
The New York Islanders will be first to debut their new third jersey in November. The Isles had a countdown to November 1 on their official web site. But two days after I reported it, the countdown suddenly changed to the home opener. Interesting. But this team will also be going retro, looking back to the 1980s for their new sweater. All blue with orange numbers. Great combination!
Two days later the Chicago Blackhawks will unveil a new third jersey. This is expected to be one of the least surprising of the bunch. The Hawks will likely go with their classic black sweater. If they try something new, I might actually lose my mind.
On November 6, the Pittsburgh Penguins plan to make last year's powder blue Winter Classic sweater their new third jersey. Not sure how much different this one will be. But rumors circulated that the Sabres would simply introduce a blue version of their Winter Classic jersey and it ended up being much different.
The Vancouver Canucks will be the next to unveil a third jersey — on November 15. This date was confirmed on local radio by team president Chris Zimmerman yesterday. Another blue jersey is expected with the modernized stick-in-the-rink logo. New rumors suggest the Johnny Canuck V logo introduced last year will appear on the shoulders.
The Dallas Stars are set to unveil their third jersey on November 18. No game is scheduled for this date so perhaps the Stars will have a big unveiling event for this jersey. However, this one has bad rumors — a white version of the current home jersey. The word DALLAS arched above sweater number. Let's at least hope the text is in green. I was hoping for a green jersey.
Three days later the Sharks will unveil their new third jerseys. They'll likely be black with the full-body shark logo on the front (you can currently see it on the shoulders of the home and road sweaters). Maybe the new fin logo will make an appearance on the shoulders. Personally, I think that one's the best of the new set.
November 22 will be a double-header in terms of new third jerseys. The Los Angeles Kings will debut theirs which is said to be black with a new logo on front. Purple will apparently be hard to come by as the Kings, like the Oilers, look to their Gretzky days for inspiration. This is one I'm looking forward to and really hoping they don't screw up.
The other half of that double-header is the Ottawa Senators, also probably introducing a black third. It's said to have the word SENS angled upward across the front of the sweater. When Howard Berger described the jersey, he said it looked sharp. Yet his description sounded nothing like that. This one I'll be interested in seeing.
To finish out that weekend, the Tampa Bay Lightning will, for the first time, unveil a blue jersey. This third will supposedly have the word BOLTS angled downward across the front. As a Lightning fan, this one has me worried. But like I've said, I'll reserve judgment until I see it. I do like the idea of finally have a blue sweater, though.
The Philadelphia Flyers will be one of the last two teams to unveil a third jersey, doing so in the final weekend of November. Images have leaked so we know the Flyers are also going retro, with an orange jersey from the 1970s. The interesting thing about their jerseys will be the white nameplate on the back. It's been a while, since a nameplate wasn't the same color as the rest of the sweater.
Along with the Flyers, the Phoenix Coyotes will unveil a brand new third jersey on November 28. And I do mean "brand new." This black sweater will have a leaping coyote across the front, a logo that recently leaked. I'm also expecting another new logo on the shoulders. It's got a paw print with the team name in a circle around it. This is easily one of the jerseys I'm looking forward to the most. So naturally, it'll come at the end.
And so ends the Icethetics Season Preview — or does it? If you noticed in the sidebar, there's a Part 6 to this series with a question mark next to it. The Preview's big finale comes next week with a surprise I know you'll all enjoy. But it's going to take me some more time and effort to put together. If you're interested in helping out with it and you can keep a secret, email me right away!