Over the last few years, jersey geeks like us have counted on the NHL Entry Draft to see the league's newest members sporting its newest looks. But after years of upheavel and change in team branding, I'm sorry to report that we're in for a bit of a lull in 2012.
That, of course, means the 2012 draft, held over the weekend in Pittsburgh, was kind of a disappointment in that regard. There really aren't any new sweaters coming this year apart from Winter Classic threads for Detroit and Toronto as well as rumors of a new alternate in Tampa.
Still, even if there weren't any teams debuting new sweaters, at least there were a couple new sweater patches that will be in use for the coming 2012-13 season.
On Friday, the jerseys handed to Lightning draftees featured the new 20th anniversary patch. It's a simplified version of the 20th anniversary logo that was officially unveiled at the team's draft party that night.
In addition to that, the 2013 NHL All-Star Game logo could be seen on the sweaters being donned by Columbus Blue Jackets picks. They're both nice looking patches. I don't think any other teams are planning special event patches for their uniforms this season.
It is odd that while the Lightning and Ottawa Senators both joined the league 1992, they chose to celebrate their 20th anniversaries a year apart. The Sens were marking the years while the Bolts are just counting the seasons played (we all know 2004-05 was canceled due to the international shock of Tampa Bay winning the Stanley Cup).
Depending on how the Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks interpret anniversaries, they could both be marking 20 years either this season or next, having both been founded in 1993. Kind of straying from the topic now. Back to the draft...
Really, the only other thing worth a mention (and that's only because there's nothing else to talk about) would be these three jerseys. The Ducks and Minnesota Wild both opted for third jerseys at this year's draft. It's nothing new for the Wild, but it was a first for Anaheim.
Also, it's the first time the new Winnipeg Jets jersey has appeared on the draft stage. Famously, you'll recall that Mark Scheifele was given a generic NHL jersey last year, only moments after team owner Mark Chipman announced the team's name. Jerseys had yet to be designed.
In past years, I've outlined which jerseys were handed out to draftees by the teams. This year, there's not much to say. All but four teams gave out their home jersey, keeping the draft nice and colorful. As reported above, Anaheim and Minnesota used third jerseys. That leaves Nashville and Colorado doling out the white road sweaters — also known as the uglier ones.
By the way, the next two draft hosts were announced as well. New Jersey will handle things in 2013 while Philadelphia gets it in 2014. Logos to come at a later date.
Hope this draft recap was as fun for you as it was for me.