Archive (2008–2013)


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Chris Smith

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Loose Threads: Alternates & Adidas

It's not quite time for the first JerseyWatch 2014 yet, so consider this a warm-up.

Penguins pondering another retro third jersey

The Pittsburgh Penguins are considering a new third jersey for next season, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. And it could make a lot of fans' dreams come true. (I'm thinking of one regular reader in particular. He knows who he is.)

The only details came by way of an article published on Dec. 13, the day the Pens unveiled their Stadium Series jersey, which the article confirmed will only be worn once.

There are tentative plans for a new alternate jersey that could debut next season. A design is not finalized, but under consideration is a jersey similar to the ones the Penguins wore during their 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup runs.

Who's excited?

If they're smart, they'll move forward with these plans. Such a jersey would probably sell well, especially among Icethetics readers. But don't take my word for it. Check out the rating for the Penguins concept I posted yesterday.

Islanders' Stadium Series look may endure

While the Pens are ditching their Stadium Series jerseys after their big game, the New York Islanders are going in the opposite direction. Isles beat writer Chris Botta tweeted last week that we're certain to see at least the new crest sticking around.

That NY look on the Islanders' stadium jersey? Yeah, it's confirmed that you'll be seeing more of it in coming seasons.

He followed up with a few details.

Expectation is that the NY crest jersey, or something very close to it, will be the Islanders' 3rd jersey by 2015.

This effectively means the black third everyone loves to hate is on the way out. Perhaps only one more season of it — if that. Maybe the Isles will surprise us and have the new sweater ready by the fall. But it's more likely they'll wait and launch it with their move to Brooklyn.

By the way, check out their current Twitter profile image.

Ducks may promote third jersey, add white road version

If you don't follow me on Twitter, you may have missed this nugget. Orange County Register writer Eric Stephens says the Anaheim Ducks may have new home and road sweaters next fall.

This was his tweet back on Dec. 3:

Plan is for current Ducks third jersey to become main home sweater, perhaps next year. I figure next alternate will be orange-based.

No more wordmark! Wahoo!

Stephens doesn't specifically say there would be a white version added as a road jersey, but it makes sense the team would want matching sweaters.

That news followed the unveiling of the Ducks' Stadium Series jersey. It would be simple enough for that to become the new third — though it may not be popular enough among fans. But I've seen mixed reviews from Icethetics readers. You've got those that love it, hate it and are indifferent to it — in seemingly equal parts.

If the Ducks were to follow in the footsteps of the Penguins, what would you think of an orange Mighty Ducks jersey? Again, I'll point you to the Concepts page to see any number of ways that could work successfully.

Adidas may replace Reebok jersey branding

In the world of hockey jerseys, the word Reebok has become synonymous with repulsive to many. But that's not why parent company Adidas may soon swap out the name seen on the back of every NHL sweater.

CBC's Elliotte Friedman included an interesting tidbit in his 30 Thoughts article posted Monday. Specifically, he wrote:

Small business item: Reebok has the rights to make NHL jerseys. Its parent company, Adidas, apparently is considering putting its own name there instead of Reebok. As part of that, we may see an extension of the current contract, which runs through 2016-17.

This isn't totally unexpected. Adidas has been trying to reposition the Reebok brand back to its focus on runners — like it has been historically. From their mission statement:

At Reebok, our innovation focus is on fitness and training, where the priority is creating products that provide a material benefit to the consumer's fitness activities (e.g. flexibility or lightweight).

Hat tip to Matt Johnson for the link.

That said, I would've expected to see Adidas reposition CCM as the big name in hockey — as it has been historically. Plus, this is a brand that still has a very good reputation among folks who appreciate (and buy) hockey jerseys.

Then again, Adidas is a bigger name with better brand recognition — even if people like me associate them solely with soccer. Regardless of any branding changes, I would not expect the Edge uniform system to be replaced anytime soon.

Lots of news here tonight. Take your time digesting it all. I'm taking a long weekend in California!

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24/7 Finale's Sweater Treat

Hope everyone caught the finale of 24/7 on HBO last night. In case you missed it, though, check out the video above for the opening sequence. Beautifully shot and edited, it shows the process of turning blank Winter Classic jerseys into what would identify every man on the ice.

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Top 13 Concepts of 2013

After the Blog, the Concepts page has always been a favorite of Icethetics readers. It's updated daily with fresh concept art designed and sent in by fellow readers with a knack for the artistic. And at the end of the year I like to take a look back at the highest-rated designs.

13 ∙ Team Germany by Bastian Schmülling

If there was a list of the top rookie concept artists of the year, Bastian Schmülling would certainly be among the leaders.

His consistently solid work impressed many in 2013. But it was a design for his home country's national team, posted April 28, that earns him kudos on this list.

Now if only Germany had qualified for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Keep an eye out for more of Bastian's work later in this countdown to the top concept of the year. 

12 ∙ All-Stars in Anaheim by Matt McElroy

If you consider the IceHL Project to be Icethetics' premier concept design contest, then Matt McElroy was easily the breakout star. He was responsible for designing the winning visual identities for five teams over the summer.

But on July 23, we got a look at his take on what would be Anaheim's first shot at hosting the NHL All-Star Game. Of course, we now know Columbus will take on those duties in 2015.

Matt's excellent design is definitely in the same league with other NHL All-Star logos we've seen in recent years. And voters recognized his talent with their ratings.

11 ∙ Senator Stripes by Nevill Carney

In a season where the Ottawa Senators will participate in the NHL Heritage Classic, we got a look at a stripe-filled concept from Nevill Carney on Nov. 28.

In fact, Nevill originally submitted this design back in October 2011, so it took two years for him to get his proper due. (Sometimes my inbox gets backed up.)

He actually created these jerseys as companions to the black Heritage Jersey the Sens had just released at the time.

In the email, he wrote, "Hopefully, they can find a home on Icethetics at some point."

Sorry to him — and to you guys — for taking so long to get them posted.

10 ∙ Toronto Throwback by Victor You

Cracking the top 10 is Victor You with a well-received retro uniform set for the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 14.

Maybe it was the extra dark shade of blue. Maybe it was the updated to a classic crest. Whatever the reason, Icethetics readers loved this one!

Neonix called it a "wonderful piece of art." Etrusken Raider asked, "when will this be on the ice?" And Simon wrote, "my god, this is perfect."

High praise well-earned on this one.

9 ∙ Winnipeg Throwback by Bastian Schmülling

Back-to-back throwbacks mark this point of the countdown thanks to the efforts of the talented Bastian Schmülling.

On Aug. 22, he helped us imagine a great third jersey for the Winnipeg Jets. He matched the striping and number style of the existing uniforms, but wowed us with a classic crest and colors.

"Absolutely perfect," said DanC. "This one gets 6 stars out of 5," added Kevin Y.

By the way, I can't imagine it'll be too much longer before the Jets introduce us to a real third jersey.

8 ∙ Ohio Pride by Avi Stein

Avi Stein felt like the Columbus Blue Jackets should do more to promote themselves as "Ohio's team" so he came up with this simple alternate jersey idea.

He called it Ohio Pride and it went over huge with readers!

"Why isn't this already their regular white jersey?" asked jonathanc. "These are amazing," added d'sA. "The new best I've seen on this site."

Some readers were also keen to point out out the Ohio-shaped captain's patch — a great callback to the Cleveland Barons.

7 ∙ Heritage in Vancouver by Ryan Haslett

The highly-anticipated 2014 NHL Heritage Classic — being hosted in Vancouver's B.C. Place — was the subject of one of the best concepts of the year.

Coming in seventh in 2013 was Ryan Haslett's take on Canada's only outdoor NHL game of the season.

It was the middle of summer (Aug. 17) so it was pretty hard to think about outdoor ice hockey, but we found a way.

Ryan reimagined the opposing teams in more modern colors — the Canucks in blue and the Senators in a cleaner white. Though he did manage to keep the overall feel of the game we'll be seeing this March.

6 ∙ Fixing the Flames by Laurent Elbaz

Not long after the Calgary Flames debuted their new third jersey, we were reminded by Laurent Elbaz of what they were leaving behind.

His retro-inspired Calgary sweaters were among reader favorites in 2013. He also included a third jersey design that was strikingly similar to the Flames' new look — a design he came up with long before the leak revealed the design.

Of course, the black-free set is what got voters excited on Oct. 22. Shawn V said, "Love this. It's a perfect renewal of old style, making it worthy of a new team. Ken King needs to see this, in all seriousness. Well done!"

5 ∙ Retro Blues by Tristan Mani

In 2010, Icethetics readers voted the St. Louis Blues' logo the best in the NHL. So it's not surprising to see a classic jersey design featuring the Blue Note rounding out our top 5 concepts of the year.

Tristan Mani's simple yet stunning design garnered major acclaim from his fellow readers on Nov. 6.

Ryan M may have summed it up perfectly with the first comment on the post. "Where can I buy one!!!!!"

The design even broke down barriers. Joe wrote, "Love it! Not a Blues fan at all... but this sweater is great!"

Not to spoil anything, but don't bet on this being the last time we see Tristan in this countdown!

4 ∙ Minnesota's Winter Classic by Matt Madore

You may know Matt Madore as the designer of the IceHL's Milwaukee Lagers jersey — the only IceHL jersey that actually exists in the real world!

In fact, Matt also joins our 2013 concept countdown at number four with his idea for an NHL Winter Classic matchup hosted in Minnesota in 2016.

He not only designed jerseys for the Wild and their proposed opponent — the Blues — but also included a unique logo for the game. Click on the graphic to the left to see the full post.

The Dec. 7 concept also marks the debut of Matt McElroy's IceBorn jersey template in our countdown. Mr. Madore put it to great use here. And readers agreed.

"Both of those are absolutely fantastic," Tyler wrote. "Especially the Blues."

"That Blues jersey is absolutely perfect," said Kris K, "and I wouldn't mind it if they wore this full time!"

Take note of how the Blues seem to be taking over as we inch toward the top.

3 ∙ The Red Blue Jackets by Matt Madore

Look who's got back-to-back entries in the countdown! Matt Madore takes the third spot and it all started with an outside-the-box proposal for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 26.

As the title suggests, this concept post started with an unusual red jersey for a team with "blue" in its name. And while that design was well-received on its own, the numbers soared when Matt brought the blue with a revised design later in the day.

Icethetics readers loved this one!

"Matt Madore, bravo!" cheered Henry Stebbins. "This is a wonderful set. I hope this finds its way on to someone's desk in Columbus."

2 ∙ Christmas Sweater Redux by Matt McElroy

Readers felt a bit of deja vu this past Christmas Eve as the Concepts page played host to another holiday sweater by Matt McElroy.

And you might be feeling it again as it enters our countdown as the second most popular concept design of the year. (Matt's 2012 holiday sweater was seventh in last year's countdown.)

Apparently you guys really love a good holiday sweater. Who knew? But after two years in a row, will Matt do another for 2014? And will he be able to top himself?

He's got 354 days to figure it out.

As for now, it's time to reveal the top concept design of the entire year...

1 ∙ Retro Blues (revised) by Tristan Mani

The last stop in our countdown brings us to a familiar place. Remember Tristan Mani's retro St. Louis Blues concept back at number five? Apparently, you loved his encore even more!

The highest-rated concept of 2013 was the white version of Tristan's Blues jersey from Nov. 6. As a matter of fact, it's the only design on the entire site that still averages a full five stars after almost 700 votes! That's unheard of!

Big Jim Sports wrote, "I don't know about anyone else, but I tweeted the Blues directly about this concept. You deserve to have them see this. THIS is what the blues should be wearing. These are gorgeous. Amazing work!"

The praise was well-deserved. Congratulations Tristan on having some of the best concepts of 2013!

Who will be on this list at the end of 2014? Stay tuned to the Concepts page all year long.

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Bolts Represent Formative Clubs

Photo from Tampa Bay Lightning (via Facebook)

Players sport junior and college jerseys on road trip

Hey look! A reason for me to write about the Tampa Bay Lightning! The team posted a Facebook photo on Monday morning that any Icethetics reader should love.

The Bolts assembled for this week's west coast road trip, each sporting the jersey of their junior or college level team. It made for an amazing photo and I'd love to see other teams do this. (Although maybe they have and I wasn't paying attention because they weren't the Lightning.)

If my homerism is showing a little today, I hope you can understand. The Lightning are visiting Vancouver (my nearest NHL city) this week for the first time since December 2010. And it'll be the first time I get to see my team in person since January 2012 (weirdly, that game was also against the Canucks). Thank goodness for realignment!

By the way, I've got a lot of great blog post plans in the pipeline, but expect a bit of a lull through the first couple weeks of January as I use up some of my much-needed vacation time. I anticipate JerseyWatch 2014 will debut by the end of the month!

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All 7 Stadium Sweaters Revealed

Screen shot via NHL

Promotional email seems to confirm Devils throwback

An email sent out by the NHL Store in New York City shows the seven jerseys that will be worn for the 2014 NHL Stadium Series. And interestingly, it includes a photo of a non-game version of the New Jersey Devils' 2010-launched throwback sweater.

Check out the screen shot above, courtesy of Icethetics reader Ryan Holmes. We know it's a "non-game version" pictured because since 2007, every NHL game jersey has featured that little NHL shield on the collar. No exceptions.

Of course a game version does exist. The Devils have worn it a couple of times in recent years for St. Patrick's Day games. But because this graphic doesn't show us the exact jersey the team will wear, we're still left to wonder whether they've really avoided the chrome crest catastrophe.

I'd say one of our New York-area readers should pop into the store and snap some photos for us, but in all likelihood the jersey pictured is probably the one you'll find on the shelf. It just won't be the one the Devils wear at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26.

All that aside, what do you think of seeing all seven of them together? Should be easier to compare and contrast now.

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Jersey Cookies Star in HBO's 24/7

Part 2 of 2014 Winter Classic documentary airs tonight

Perhaps one of the best things about the NHL Winter Classic in the last few years is HBO's contribution. Their 24/7 camera crews are granted unlimited access and present the game in a way you've never seen before — unless you've played it professionally.

In last week's premiere episode, we got a quick glimpse at how well the Detroit Red Wings are treated while on the road. For example, every player received a specially made cookie with his name (and number) on it — literally! These jersey cookies were too cool not to share.

The second installment of the four-part series, 24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic, airs tonight at 10 PM on HBO. This show alone is worth the subscription fee for any hockey fan.

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Rangers, Hawks Reveal Stadium Jerseys

Photos from New York Rangers

Rangers set to sport white at Yankee Stadium

The New York Rangers unveiled their NHL Stadium Series uniform today. And if you read last night's blog post, you weren't surprised by what you saw.

Our first taste came by way of a goofy video starring Dan Girardi. He enters the Rangers locker room to scope out the new jerseys hanging in the stalls. He's then horrified to find that in his stall is a Yankees jersey — not again! Yuck, yuck, yuck. No.

For a white jersey, it's pretty slick. White jerseys tend to be bland, if you ask me, so I was impressed by how this one turned out. (Not so much with Pittsburgh.) I really like the sleeve striping. It's a style not seen with any other team and it's uniquely New York.

Photos from New York Rangers

On seeing the full uniform, one of the comments that was repeatedly expressed on Twitter was how much it reminded folks of the Hartford Wolf Pack — the Rangers' AHL affiliate. Well, yeah. The Wolf Pack's original uniforms were modeled after the Rangers' Lady Liberty jerseys in 1997.

In other words, they're not copying a minor league team so much as digging into their own recent history a little. Personally, I wish they would've gone a little farther.

This was the perfect opportunity to resurrect the Statue of Liberty logo that graced the team's third jersey for 10 great years between 1997 and 2007. The perfect opportunity! One game, not intended for throwbacks. Plus in terms of striping and colors — navy blue, specifically — this jersey was tailor-made for Lady Liberty.

Like I said, it's not a bad jersey, but I might've actually paid for one myself if it had that logo on it. (A Brad Richards one, of course!)

Photos from Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago goes "back in black" for outdoor game

The Chicago Blackhawks caught us by surprise this morning when they suddenly announced plans to unveil their Stadium Series jersey later in the day. Two hours later came a teaser photo. Two hours after that, we got the whole jersey. (They just beat Sharking at its own game. Remember Hurricaning and Sabering?)

Like the Rangers, the Hawks gave us a cheesy video — this one set to the first 20 seconds of AC/DC's "Back in Black." The music plays under behind-the-scenes video of Patrick Sharp and Andrew Shaw sporting the new sweater for a photo shoot.

Once again, though, last night's post previewed this look. The Hawks are essentially bringing back their black third jersey from the late '90s. It was a good one. The biggest difference here is in the striping.

Photos from Chicago Blackhawks

Some will no doubt bemoan the half-stripes on the sleeves. But for whatever reason, I think it works here. Those colors really are striking. The only thing I'm still not sold on is the whole angled thing. Will it really make a difference in terms of visibility, as all the marketing mumbo-jumbo claims?

But there is one thing I really dislike about this jersey. It's front and center.

Compare this screen-printed mess with the traditional stitching of a Blackhawks crest. You're right, there is no comparison. If Reebok is trying to cheapen their product, they're on the right track. Good luck getting anyone to drop $300 on something that looks like it came out of an ink-jet. I hope this doesn't become a trend.

For now, I'll chalk it up to the rush job. As we heard from L.A. Kings management, these jerseys were all pumped out within a matter of months by the same design team. That's just asking for a poor product. Hopefully future events like this will be better planned.

Your turn to weigh in! What do you think of these new sweaters?

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Stadium Series: What's Left?

Rangers to unveil Stadium jersey Friday afternoon

The time has come to catch up on the three remaining NHL Stadium Series jerseys that have yet to be released. I'm now able to share with you some details about what's to come.

To begin, the New York Rangers announced this afternoon that they will unveil their outdoor jersey on Friday afternoon. It's been rumored it would come this week. Now it's official. Word is, the release will happen online around 3 PM ET via their website. I assume we'll get some photos and a nice video — like the other teams have done.

Fan snaps sneak peek of jersey ahead of unveiling

But you don't have to wait until tomorrow to get your fill of pre-release details.

Photo by Reddit user SMIRTLE

For one thing, a photo of the jersey was leaked tonight by Reddit user "SMIRTLE," who wrote: "At MSG for a basketball game and happened to pass by a gift store where the unreleased winter classic [sic] jerseys are lying on the floor!"

He obviously meant Stadium Series, not Winter Classic. But the point is, you can see parts of the jersey from his cell phone shot. A nice little sneak peek.

New sweater includes mix of past jersey features

As it happens, I was able to get a look at the full front and back of the Rangers' Stadium Series jersey today. So I'd like to give the diehards an idea of what to expect tomorrow.

Photo (left) by @CJ_Matthews

The jersey features elements of each of the above uniforms previously worn by the Rangers. I'll explain with some bullet points. 

  • It's white. (That's obvious from the leaked photo.)
  • The Rangers' tradition of diagonal text running down the chest continues. But instead of "RANGERS," it says "NEW YORK." (That design was used back in the early '80s as well as for a 9/11 tribute sweater.)
  • In this case, "NEW YORK" will be blue, outlined in silver and red. It's been chrome-ified.
  • The color scheme harkens back to the Lady Liberty third jersey from the 2000s. That is, the navy blue and silver are back. No royal blue on the jersey.
  • Also, the sleeve striping is based on that NYR sweater. In this case, a thin red stripe lies between two thick navy blue ones with some white space between them. (That's also visible in the leaked photo.)
  • The template most closely resembles the Ducks' jersey. Navy blue on the shoulders and down the sides with one solid blue stripe at the base. The new lace-up collar style.
  • The Rangers' shield logo is featured on the left shoulder. The Stadium Series patch on the right.
  • The name and number style matches what we saw on T-shirts last month. (And on the white version of the Lady Liberty jersey above.)
  • The back numbers are elongated and the sleeve numbers are angled.

One more note. You may recall the Rangers — despite playing on their "home field" at Yankee Stadium — are designated as the "visiting team" for both outdoor games. Their opponents, the Islanders and Devils will count these as "home" games. And as is standard, the road team wears white while the home team dons their dark uniforms.

I can't imagine I've left any stone unturned here, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Or, you know, just wait until tomorrow afternoon.

Devils fight back against Stadium Series modernization

Speaking of the New Jersey Devils, they are the one team I don't have solid information on. But in this case, I trust the rumors. And you probably will too once I lay it all out.

Knowing as we do Lou Lamoriello's stance on jerseys — that is, the Devils wear red, white or, begrudgingly, a throwback and NOTHING else — it's no surprise to hear that New Jersey will apparently be sporting their red and green retros this winter.

They've been used on or around St. Patrick's Day in recent seasons since 2010.

Photo from New Jersey Devils (2010)

This goes against the decidedly modernized jersey designs being implemented for the Stadium Series. And it's speaks to Lamoriello's sweater conservatism in a big way. Was he able to fight back against the powers at Reebok and the NHL?

But there's a twist. Even if the colors and striping survive, it sounds like we're still getting that chrome crest. There are some battles you just can't win, I suppose. I'm eager to see how it all comes together. The Devils have not announced a public unveiling date yet.

Neither have the Blackhawks.

UPDATE 12/20 (10:34 AM): The Blackhawks tweeted this morning that they're "gearing up for a special unveiling this afternoon!" So it looks like we'll get the Rangers' and Hawks' jerseys around the same time — today.

Hawks bringing back black for Stadium Series

Here's one we should've seen coming. Instead of a red Stadium Series jersey for the Chicago Blackhawks, they'll actually be wearing black. (That's going to be one dull-looking game at Soldier Field, I'm afraid to say.)

As far as the design itself, there's good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad. The template lives on and it does some unpleasant things to one of the game's most universally loved sweaters. The good news — it's still kind of a throwback and it's one of the best-looking Stadium jerseys!

Remember the Hawks' black third jersey? It debuted in 1996 (like the Burger King and Wild Wing monstrosities, in fact) and lasted until the Age of Reebok in 2007. It was brought back the following year in the Edge cut before being replaced by the 2009 Winter Classic jersey.

It's back! Imagine this jersey on the new Stadium Series template. It doesn't totally ruin it, but it does make it less awesome. The stripes don't wrap completely around the sleeve and there's no black space at the very bottom of the jersey. Then there's the chrome thing. And the angled and elongated numbers.

The classic yellow "C" patch is emblazoned on the left shoulder — although I believe it was spared the chrome treatment. Of course, the Stadium Series patch is on the other shoulder. The new modern collar laces are also in play here. They're white.

This one will easily be the least-hated jersey among traditionalists who dislike the new-fangled template. And I'd say it was the best thing the Blackhawks could've hoped for given the parameters of it.

Which of the three jerseys are you looking forward to most?

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ECHL Opens All-Star Jersey Voting

Three finalists selected; voting ends Monday

Polls have officially opened on the 2015 ECHL All-Star Classic jersey design contest hosted by the Orlando Solar Bears. Last week, the Solar Bears began accepting submissions from fans. Today, the three finalists were revealed as voting began. Take a look at the options presented to voters.

Image from Orlando Solar Bears

According to the press release, the Solar Bears received more than a hundred entries and the finalists were selected by "a group made up of individuals from the ECHL, CCM, the Joe Bosack Design Co. and the Orlando Solar Bears."

Polls close Mon., Dec. 23 at noon ET so VOTE NOW!

Icethetics contributor's design among finalists

Unfortunately, the Solar Bears elected not to include the designers' names with their entries in the poll of finalists. However, we do know "C" was designed by frequent Icethetics concept contributor Matt McElroy, who tweeted about it earlier today. It also showcases his IceBorn concept template, which is featured here on Icethetics. Good luck to Matt!

For a look at some other all-star jersey submissions which were not among the finalists, check out yesterday's post on the Concepts page.

What do you think of the finalists? And which one will you be voting for?

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Frozen Frontier Sweaters Shine

All photos by Micheline Veluvolu

AHL's Americans and Monsters meet at Frontier Field

The first outdoor game of the hockey season happened Friday night in Rochester, New York. The Rochester Americans hosted the Lake Erie Monsters in a game with a very distinct look. In typical outdoor fashion, the opponents sported throwback jerseys.

The Amerks were dressed to look like they did back in the late 1950s. The Monsters, meanwhile, took on the look of an even older team that preceded them in their hometown of Cleveland — the Cleveland Barons.

A photo gallery posted on the Amerks' Facebook page allows us to enjoy the aesthetics of the game in all their splendor. I recommend spending some time there.

What do you think? Are you over the throwback trend? Or is it a welcome relief from the onslaught of modern Olympic and NHL Stadium Series jerseys?

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Penguins Unveil Stadium Sweater

Jersey utilizes same template as others from Stadium Series

Just as they promised, the Pittsburgh Penguins unveiled their 2014 Stadium Series jersey this afternoon. Compared with the other Stadium sweaters we've seen so far, this one is the most similar to its team's existing uniform set.

No alternate colors. No alternate logos. Just more of the same. Only slightly different.

Photos from Pittsburgh Penguins

I will say I like the black and Vegas gold better as distinct stripes than as amorphous splotches across the sweater. So I'll give them points for that. And I won't take away points for the similarities to the other Stadium Series jerseys. Reebok wants a template. Reebok gets a template. Hard to fight that battle.

But at least we got another new collar design. No laces for the Pens.

Photo from Pittsburgh Penguins

Where I will take away points is that crest. Combine the silly chrome Photoshop effect with the screen printing process and all you can do is shake your head. At no point should professional hockey players be wearing anything screen printed on their sweaters. And I think that's just a universal law.

Here's a look at the back from a few different angles.

Video stills from Pittsburgh Penguins (composite)

I haven't seen a really great shot of the pants and socks yet, but what we have seen suggests it won't be a big deparature from what the Islanders, Kings and Ducks are doing.

The Penguins visit the Chicago to play their third outdoor game on March 1 at Soldier Field. By the way, we're still waiting to hear when the Blackhawks will show us their Stadium look. (No way they'd share the spotlight with Pittsburgh.)

So what do you think of the newest Penguins jersey? And what do you expect from the Hawks?

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Penguins Tease Stadium Jersey

Photos from Pittsburgh Penguins (via Twitter)

Friday will bring Pens' third outdoor jersey in five years

The Pittsburgh Penguins hopped on the jersey teaser bandwagon today — seems like they've been coming nonstop from around the league since last spring. The Pens offered up a pair of photos today that, frankly, don't tell us very much.

The team will travel to Chicago after the Olympics to face the Blackhawks at Soldier Field. It'll be the Pens' third outdoor appearance since the NHL started making a habit out of it in 2008. Earlier today, the Penguins announced they will unveil their 2014 Stadium Series jersey on Friday at 2 PM ET.

No word yet on whether the Blackhawks will join them.

The Pens followed up their Twitter announcement with a sneak peek of the jersey — if you can call it that. We got a close-up of the Stadium Series shoulder patch (above, left). Then a few hours later came a second teaser photo. It showed a gold triangle over a swatch of black.

I'll be honest. I have absolutely no idea what we're looking at there. There is a small white triangle at the top of that photo, which could be a patch. But is it on the shoulder? There's something going on at the bottom edge of the photo. Maybe a sleeve number?

What do you see in these photos? Share your theories below!

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More on the L.A. Stadium Game

Taking another look at the new Kings, Ducks uniforms

It's been a bit slow around here lately. Not necessarily because there's nothing to report, but rather I've been a little busy away from the blog. While I try to make time to put together a few more posts this week, I wanted to look back at the Ducks/Kings Stadium Series jerseys.

First, the images above are the official artwork from Reebok. They show the full jerseys, including the waist stripes (or lack thereof) which weren't visible in the images posted on the blog last week. The TEAM LA Store is currently taking pre-orders online if you're interested in buying.

I also wanted to do a bit of a link dump. Both the Ducks and Kings shared a lot of information related to these Stadium jerseys.

If you're not interested in reading through all those articles, I've pulled a few fascinating facts below.

Stadium Series jerseys available in January

While you can currently pre-order any of the three unveiled Stadium Series jerseys, you can't take any of them home yet. According to the Ducks' press release, the jerseys will be available in stores and to ship in January. The Islanders' Stadium Series jersey order form, says "early January." No specific date has been made public yet — that I'm aware of.

Elongated numbers intended for fans in the cheap seats

The Kings' "The Facts" article explains the elongated numbers on the jerseys.

Player numbers on the back of the jersey are enlarged, making them more visible to fans in outdoor venues. Sleeve numbers are angled on five of the Stadium Series jerseys aligning player arm position with visual angles typical for fan viewing of the game in motion.

Honestly? I've never had a problem reading the sleeve numbers because of the angle. Let's just admit this is more about form than function. I guess the idea is that when the player is bent forward with arms outstretched to grip his stick, the angle of the numbers will be more horizontal. I have my doubts.

On the other hand, the elongated numbers make perfect sense now. There's so much real estate on the backs of jerseys that isn't being used. And because these stadiums weren't designed with a 200-foot hockey rink in mind, fans are forced to sit pretty far away from the action. The numbers can't be any wider, so making them taller makes sense.

The chrome crests use "high tech" printing

The chrome logos are cheesy but I suddenly understand the need. From the Kings' "The Facts":

This new technology fuses print and embroidery manufacturing process, allowing the logo to be displayed as a high-resolution image incorporated into the crest. This technology also reduces the weight of the crest, promoting a lighter jersey for improved athlete performance.

Ok, "weight of the crest" again? First the stripes weigh too much (San Jose!) and now it's the crests. Come on. But whatever it takes to make the players happy, right?

The first line of that quote is a crock. "Fuses print and embroidery"? No. Look at the photos. It's a printed crest stitched onto the jersey. Nothing about these crests are embroidered. And that explains the chrome logos. I'm guessing when Reebok experimented with printing crests, they realized it looked cheap.

So the logos required a little digital texture and beveling to give the same impression you get when looking at an embroidered crest. Unfortunately, however, it's probably a safe bet that printed crests are the way of the future when you take cost and player comfort into consideration.

The odd lace-up collar design explained

Once again, we'll turn to the Kings' "The Facts" piece:

The construction of the lace-up collar streamlines the cut and sew cosmetics of the collar for a seamless feel and better wear and performance, while still delivering the timeless style of the traditional hockey visual cue.

Now they're not even trying to hide their manipulation of us. It's just a "visual cue." But if we're being honest, the lace-up collars we see today are form over function anyway. They don't serve any purpose other than aesthetics. Which is fine.

I actually like the look of these new collars. They're just clean and unique.

Stadium Series jerseys were designed in 3 months

Teams usually spend a year or two developing new jersey designs. These were slapped together in just three months, according to Kings COO Kelly Cheeseman (a real name!). He was the focus of the Kings' "Q&A" article. He says the Kings' jersey design was a collaboration between the NHL's marketing department, Reebok, and the team's staff. (Note the lack of fan input. Not unusual, but the design seems to be going over well anyway.)

Feel free to weigh in on these new details in the comments.

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ECHL Hosts All-Star Design Contest

League accepting fan jersey submissions for 2015 event

Feel like designing a couple of hockey jerseys this weekend?

Players participating in the 2015 ECHL All-Star Classic could be wearing uniforms designed by you! This week, the ECHL and the Orlando Solar Bears (the 2015 All-Star host) announced a jersey design contest for the big event.

They are accepting submissions from fans until next Friday, Dec. 13. Three finalists will be selected and posted to the Solar Bears' Facebook page the following week, when the designs will be put to a public vote. Voting runs Wed., Dec. 18 through Mon., Dec. 23.

All finalists will receive autographed replica jerseys. The grand prize winner gets a game-worn jersey and, of course, the opportunity to see his design in action. The winning jersey will be worn by the ECHL All-Stars team, which will face the Solar Bears.

If you're interested in participating, you can find more information and rules for entering on the ECHL's official website. That link also includes a handful of official all-star logos you can download to include in your design. I know we have a lot of younger readers here, but you must be 18 or older to enter.

Also, feel free to send your submissions to me as well and I'll put together a post on the Concepts page.

Finally, in case you're wondering, there will not be an ECHL All-Star game this season. According to the league, there were no bids to host. The first time league skipped the event was 1993. Prior to that, it had been held annually since 1993.

Last year, the Colorado Eagles hosted. In 2011, it was the Bakersfield Condors.

If you need a jersey template, try our new Templates page. Good luck!

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Kings, Ducks Unveil Stadium Jerseys!

Video stills from NHL

Dodger Stadium game will feature orange versus grey

The 2014 Stadium Series jerseys to be worn by the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings were unveiled this morning. While we await more photos, check out this unveiling video. Or if you can't watch the video, I grabbed some stills for all to enjoy.

Both teams are sticking with their recently unveiled chrome logos. This suggests the other Stadium teams will likely do the same. However, that may not be the case with the Rangers and Devils. I've heard the Rangers will have a "NEW YORK" script on their jersey while the Devils will simply wear their red and green throwbacks. But I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

As rumored, both jerseys have new ligature shoulder patches. We saw L.A.'s on a T-shirt not too long ago. And Anaheim's "OC" logo was barely visible on another shirt. Both are great extensions of the existing brand identities. But you can definitely tell these two jerseys were designed together. That's good if they were only intended for use during this one game. But if the two teams continue to use them as alternate uniforms, it could be awkward.

The close-ups of the sleeve numbers look a lot like the teaser videos released over the weekend. 

And here are the nameplates. Anaheim's is unique with the letters looking very thin on the inside.

Looks like this new collar style is here to stay. We first saw it on the Islanders' Stadium Series jersey. Now the Ducks and Kings are repeating it. It's modern with a hint of retro. Personally, I like it.

Remember, the big game is Jan. 25, 2014. Don't miss the NHL's first orange-versus-grey game!

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One More L.A. Stadium Preview

Video stills from Anaheim Ducks (via Instagram)

Ducks, Kings release new jersey teasers a day before unveiling

The Anaheim Ducks released a video clip via their official Instagram account tonight, showing details of their 2014 Stadium Series jersey. The full uniform will be unveiled Tuesday morning at 9 AM — just like the Kings' — according to the video.

The first shot is a close up of the sleeve, not unlike the teaser we got from the Kings on Friday. And if the knit of the jersey is anything to gauge by, it seems the Ducks may be sharing the Islanders' angled sleeve numbers and stripes. It's hard to say for sure.

Video stills from Anaheim Ducks (via Instagram)

The next shot shows the front of the obviously orange jersey just below the crest. A sliver of it is slightly visible at the top of the frame. Take note. It doesn't look liked the chrome webbed "D" we've been seeing. One rumor suggested the shoulder patch from the Ducks' third jersey would be used here. Could that be what we're seeing? Or will it be something entirely new?

The final shot seems to show the back of the jersey — though it's not clear to me. It could be the back of the sleeve. But some gold and white stitching is visible on the orange fabric, leading me to think we're looking at an area with numbers.

But that's not all...

Video stills from Los Angeles Kings (via Instagram)

The Los Angeles Kings also released another teaser video on Instagram — that's the place to be for jersey teasers these days! It's one shot, five seconds. A rack focus on what looks like the sleeve.

A lot of fans have been saying they see grey in the Kings' teasers. I didn't at first, but more and more I'm seeing how that could be possible. A game of orange and grey jerseys would definitely be unique in the history of the NHL. Could look really sharp.

Both jerseys will be released just over 12 hours from now on their respective teams' websites. Check back tomorrow after 9 AM PT as I hope to have photos up right away.

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New Kings, Ducks Sweaters Coming

Both teams will unveil Stadium Series jerseys on Dec. 3

The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks will unveil their 2014 Stadium Series jerseys on Tues., Dec. 3. We now have confirmation of this from both teams as well as an Instagram teaser video from the Kings. I grabbed a couple of stills to share.

Video stills from Los Angeles Kings (via Instagram)

There are only three shots in the 14-second video clip. The first seems to show the side and under arm of the jersey. The color and lighting seem to suggest the jersey is primarily white — rather than black as we suspected. The final shot of the video is a graphic confirming the day and time of the unveiling on the Kings' website.

Video still composite from Los Angeles Kings (via Instagram)In between was another shot where the camera tilts down the sleeve of the jersey. It's a close-up, so for all the details we see, we don't get to see much of the bigger picture.

The image to the right is the first and last frame of the camera move stitched together — so you can see all of what was shown in a single image.

The lighting is very dramatic and makes it difficult to distinguish colors. But given the outline stitching on the numbers and the visible stripe below, it looks like part of the sleeve is black.

It's probably not unlike the sleeve design we see on the Avalanche and Panthers uniforms.

The sleeve stitching seems to be similar to what we saw on the Islanders' Stadium Series jersey, but I'm really hoping Reebok hasn't decided to paint all the teams with the same brush (i.e.: template).

I'm definitely hoping the tilted sleeve numbers and stripes don't become a thing. As a one-off, it's fine. But it's not something to be repeated over and over.

If you can make more sense than I can out of what we're seeing, please feel free to share in the comments.

Let's move on to the Kings' Dodger Stadium opponent now.

Prior to the holiday weekend, all we knew about the Ducks' Stadium Series jersey is that it will be orange — as confirmed by Ducks' media guy Adam Brady. Then Thursday afternoon, Brady confirmed the unveiling date after being asked by a fan.

This morning, Icethetics reader @EricTheHawk tweeted some details he'd heard about Anaheim's new threads. He wrote the following:

Potential scoop? I spoke w/ employee at Ducks team store yesterday who said Stadium jersey essentially an orange version of 3rd.

Said he'd seen designs, and the one Ducks most likely went with basically flips the orange and black on the current third look.

Take it for what it's worth, but he seemed knowledgeable & was excited to see (didn't know) when final design would be released.

If true, this would definitely get us out of the common template issue, but it doesn't sound all that creative. Bear in mind this is only one report from someone who was unsure of the final look.

That brings us to speculation. Some fans have started looking a little more closely at a piece of Stadium Series merchandise for answers. The Ducks' "Hockey Bear" T-shirt, to be specific.

Image from Shop.NHL.com

Folks have been wondering whether the bear is wearing the Ducks' Stadium jersey. It's orange. And it has sleeve and waist striping not unlike what we saw with the Isles. This doesn't sync up with the report of it being an orange version of the third jersey — unless the employee was merely referring to the webbed "D" crest.

Another thing to note on this T-shirt is the shoulder of the bear's jersey. This is the highest resolution I could find, but if you look closely, it looks like "OC" in the Ducks' font. An orange jersey. Orange County. May be extrapolating a bit, but who knows.

Now, two questions for Ducks fans: 1) Has anyone bought this shirt? If so, would you mind sending me a better photo of the bear? And 2) have you ever seen the team use this "OC" logo anywhere before?

We have 72 hours to speculate. All will be revealed on Tuesday morning.

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Heritage Classic Uniforms Unveiled!

Photos from Ottawa Senators

Senators officially reveal new outdoor jersey

The Ottawa Senators unveiled their 2014 NHL Heritage Classic jersey at a special press event this morning in Ottawa. And it looks even better than it did in yesterday's leaked photo.

In essence, though, it's nothing more than a light version of the black Heritage jersey the Sens debuted two years ago — which is all it needs to be. Here's a look at the full uniform.

Photos from Ottawa Senators

The third Heritage Classic will take place at B.C. Place in Vancouver 99 years after the original Senators club met the Vancouver Millionaires for the 1915 Stanley Cup series. The Millionaires swept them. Will history repeat itself this winter?

We were treated to a few sneak peek photos of this jersey over the past week, but one aspect we hadn't seen was the shoulder patches. They are, of course, the same as what we find on the black jersey. The team's name in English on the right shoulder, in French on the left.

Photo from Ottawa Senators

Canucks will reprise Millionaires sweater

The other big news to come out of this morning's announcement was confirmation that their opponent, the Vancouver Canucks, will indeed bring back last year's Millionaires jerseys for the big game. Jason Spezza and Henrik Sedin were on hand to model the throwback-inspired sweaters.

Photos from Ottawa Senators (via Instagram)

Should be a great-looking, stripe-filled game! And I'm looking forward to being there.

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Senators' Heritage Jersey Leaks

Photo by Kevin Daly

New Ottawa sweater seen in sports store a day early

Icethetics ready Kevin Daly spotted the Ottawa Senators 2014 Heritage Classic sweater in an unnamed sports store today and snapped a picture for us. The jersey is scheduled to be unveiled by the team tomorrow — so it probably shouldn't be hanging out in the open like this yet.

As you can see, it's exactly the reverse of the black Heritage jersey launched two years ago. It even includes same the shoulder patches designed by Jacob Barrette. No surprises at all. It's worth noting there's no Heritage Classic patch. But that could simply be because this is only a replica — not what the players will actually wear.

Overall, what do you think?

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Islanders' Stadium Look Revealed

Newsday provides uniform sneak peek 10 hours early

Photo from Newsday (via New York Islanders)Late tonight, the Long Island newspaper Newsday presented an early look at the uniform the New York Islanders will wear for their 2014 Stadium Series appearance on Jan. 29.

The photos appeared on the paper's website just after midnight ET, presumably with the team's permission (a reporter announced it was coming earlier in the day).

According to a later tweet from @NewsdaySports, the official unveiling is scheduled for Wednesay morning at 10 AM ET. What's unclear is whether the Isles will go it alone or if the league plans to unveil all seven Stadium Series uniforms in one shot.

But as we're now just hours away, it won't be long before we find out.

Regardless, the Isles' newest uniform is here now. So let's discuss. Here are a few details I noticed: 

  • The crest — believe it or not — is the chrome logo the NHL recently unveiled. So that's an interesting development. My guess: It's not embroidered. It may be screen printed like the guitar-string numbers on the Predators' uniforms.
  • A flat version of the NY logo, however, is also visible on the pants — bigger than most pant logos.
  • The shoulder yoke is unusual, not unlike what we see on the Blues' uniforms — though without the piping on the front.
  • The right shoulder bears the Stadium Series patch while the left shoulder has the classic primary mark to remind us all it's not going anywhere.
  • Looks like everything is on an angle. The pant detail is new and different as is whatever is happening on the sleeves. Hard to judge based on this.
  • What is clear on the sleeves is the stripes do not wrap all the way around the arm (probably because they can't if they're angled).
  • The elongated numbers we talked about last week do not appear on the sleeves. They do, however, appear on the helmet.
  • Haven't seen the back of the jersey yet. That'll come in the morning.
  • The collar laces seem to be tied on the inside of the jersey rather than outside. Player preference or design feature?
  • The CCM branding is very prominent in this photo, clearly seen on the helmet, gloves, pants and skates. The only Reebok logo is on the stick and barely detectable. Of course, CCM is Reebok, but I have to wonder if this is significant beyond Tavares' own deal with the company.

I don't like to make instant judgments on the blog, but my initial reaction to the overall design is positive. There are certainly some unique aspects to it, but that only makes me like it more.

In an NHL being overrun by "traditional" and "retro" uniform designs, it's refreshing to get something out of left field every so often. If the look of this uniform is any indication, I'm really going to like the Stadium Series.

Check back tomorrow for more on the official unveiling.

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