When it rains, it pours.
And although the recent bout of weather has been more of a drizzle than a deluge, today we're talking about the Columbus Blue Jackets, whose upcoming third jersey we know almost nothing about. Until now. Maybe.
Icethetics regular Glen C. wrote in yesterday with an interesting tip. After being inspired by the great finds on retail websites lately, he made a discovery of his own on a site that sells, among other things, a line of goalie masks for kids, including this one (right).
First of all, check out the forehead. It sure looks like a Blue Jackets logo, but not like any we've ever seen before. It features crossed cannon and a silver star.
Flashback to March 16. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch told us then that a cannon will be "the central part of the main logo" on the forthcoming alternate sweater. And we've heard nothing more about it in seven months.
In a moment I'll explain why this logo seems legitimate but first, something's been bugging me. There seems to be a general feeling amongst readers that the Blue Jackets are the most super-secretive organization in the NHL for theirs to be the only remaining jersey we have no details on. Not from where I'm sitting.
For one thing, the team isn't fully in charge of keeping the design under wraps. That's Reebok and the NHL, especially when it comes to e-tailers. Moreover, if you want to know why there hasn't been a leak yet, allow the attendance at last night's game to serve as some indication. With barely 9,800 souls in the stands in Columbus, it seems clear to me that the biggest problem is the lack of interest in this team.
By the way, this picture (right) isn't totally random. The Jackets skated out in purple jerseys for warm-ups as part of Hockey Fights Cancer Night. Beats pink.
Now back to why I'm not ready to dismiss this logo thing. The image/product in question turned up on HockeyGear.com. It is only one of many in a line by Franklin Sports, an NHL licensee, featuring various NHL teams. Each mask features official team logos, unlike that line of Zephyr hats, for example. Why would they make one up on only the Jackets mask?
That being said, I'm not 100% convinced. The biggest question: When was this product line created and introduced? If it's more than six months old, the logo probably wasn't ready to be licensed for third party products. For what it's worth, the Sabres mask still has the slug on it and the Oilers mask has the secondary oilman logo that hasn't been used since 2007. I'm not ready to call this a "leak," per se, but it sure fits the bill.
By the way, in case you missed it, the game night promotions schedule on the Blue Jackets' website says:
Friday, Nov. 26 vs. Detroit Red Wings Debut of new third jerseys: The Blue Jackets will take the ice wearing their new third jerseys for the first time to kick off a big sports weekend in Columbus as the Blue Jackets take on the Red Wings on the eve of the Ohio State/Michigan game in Columbus.
Portzline shot down the idea of a red jersey in his March article, but I'm not so sure. Also, and I know many of you won't want to hear this, but take note that the two cannon are black in this logo. The Blue Jackets actually used black on their first third jersey back in 2003. Just saying.
Let the countdown to Nov. 26 begin.
I'm not sure what value, if any, this holds, but these same masks are sold on the NHL's own online store. Interestingly, they don't list all of the masks on HockeyGear.com, most notably, the Blue Jackets version. However, Glen did track down a URL for the image on the NHL's servers where all of the other masks are stored.
Could it be that the Blue Jackets helmet is the newest in the product line, and because of the logo on the front, it isn't supposed to be on display yet? Of course I'm just guessing. Who doesn't love a good conspiracy theory?