I'm writing tonight from Idaho Falls, amid a weeklong road trip Yellowstone and back. It's been an incredible trip so far and it's given me time to assemble another edition of NHL JerseyWatch 2015!
The Ducks will have a new third jersey this season and last week, months of speculation ended when Icethetics shared an exclusive sneak peek!
Reaction to the design, which features the return of the old Mighty Ducks emblem, this time in orange and gold, was extremely positive.
Anaheim wore their original eggplant and jade jerseys for one night during the 2013-14 season to celebrate their 20th anniversary.
Though I trust the source of the information, it all remains unofficial for now. The Ducks will unveil the jersey officially on Fri., Oct. 16 prior to facing the Avalanche.
The only other noteworthy item for Ducks fans is a possible color change to the collar laces on the home jersey. They were black last season, but we noticed they switched to white on the jerseys handed out at the draft in June, likely for improved visibility.
On draft day the Coyotes made a splash with a semi-rebrand under a cloud of uncertainty with regard to their home in Glendale.
Despite the ongoing legal issues, the club will continue to play in Arizona next season and will do so while wearing new uniforms — an attempt to reinvigorate the brand.
Everything apart from the primary logo is new or refreshed here. The centerpiece is the new paw-shaped shoulder patch with an "A" hidden in the negative space. That design will be seen only on the red home uniform.
The white road jerseys are getting an updated version of the existing patch inspired by Arizona's shape and flag. On top of that, there's a new wordmark — the franchise's fifth since moving from Winnipeg in 1996.
Also, for the first time on the blog, you can get a closer look at the southwestern-style design element on the inside of the collar of both jerseys. See the mini-gallery above.
As host of next season's Winter Classic, the Bruins will have a special jersey. While it hasn't yet been revealed, we have gotten a look at the logos that will be used.
The Bruins are going all the way back to their inaugural season in 1924 for the primary logo. Does that mean they'll wear a brown jersey like they did back then? I've still got my fingers crossed!
Boston previously hosted the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park wearing gold sweaters with brown trim. Will this be a reversal?
In February, the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks will land in Minnesota to participate in the first of two 2016 NHL Stadium Series games.
For Chicago, it will be their third outdoor game in as many seasons. For Minnesota, its first ever. That should make for an interesting dichotomy.
What sort of sweater will the Hawks go with? Well, two years of Stadium Series games have yielded futuristic jerseys unlike anything we'd previously seen in the NHL. It's likely a safe bet that trend will continue.
So let your imagination run wild.
The Avalanche seemingly have it all going on this year from an Icethetics perspective. Two new logos have been unveiled and two new jerseys are on the way.
And yet, the biggest thing that needs changing — the awful apron-string piping on the home and road sweaters — has been left entirely untouched. Go figure.
On the day of the NHL Draft, the Avs showed us their new shoulder patch — a stylized version of the "C" seen in the Colorado state flag and the logo of the old Colorado Rockies NHL team. And your eyes aren't fooling you, the new logo adds navy blue to the Avs color scheme. It's not the same blue seen in the rest of the uniform.
In addition, we got confirmation that two 20th anniversary logo patches will be in use this season. The version without the primary logo at the top will be seen on the home and road jerseys. The other is expected to be used on the new third jersey.
Speaking of that new third jersey, Icethetics provided an exclusive first look at the design last week. It will be navy blue — a first for the Avs — with a new crest seemingly inspired by the old Colorado Rockies.
That just leaves us waiting on the club's 2016 NHL Stadium Series jersey. We may have to wait until November or December if last season is any indication.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Among the many draft day reveals was the new shoulder patch that will be worn on Blue Jackets uniforms beginning in the fall.
If it looks familiar, it should. It's a recolored version of the cannon logo that's been used as the third jersey crest since 2010. The team feels it better represents the brand going forward than the Civil War era cap previously used as a secondary logo.
The Jackets also confirmed this is the end for the Union Army cap logo that has been used as the shoulder patch since 2007.
This is a brilliant decision by Columbus. The Army cap never meant as much to the brand as the cannon does. I've never been to a game at Nationwide Arena, but I hear nothing can prepare you for the boom of that cannon when the Blue Jackets score a goal.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings will participate in their third outdoor game next February for the Stadium Series game in Denver.
They previously played outside for the Winter Classics in 2009 and 2014. Sweaters from both of those games were inspired by historical designs.
This one probably won't be.
Draft day usually holds a cool surprise or two and this year's coolest was the revealing of the Oilers' orange throwback jersey — given first to Connor McDavid.
As the club embarks on its final season at Rexall Place, it will pay tribute to its WHA days with a replica of one of its original jerseys.
The Oilers have not worn orange since joining the NHL, but fans have been hoping for it. The seven games when it will be worn this season should be a real treat.
In addition, the team has revealed a "final season" tribute patch for Rexall Place. It's not clear yet whether it will be worn on the uniforms during the season.
This fall, the Wild will set out on their 15th season of NHL action and plan to mark the occasion with a special logo.
It's hard to believe they've been around that long. But it's not at all hard to like the logo they've come up with. Time and time again we've seen the best designs tend to be the simplest ones.
As part of what should be a memorable season, the Wild will play in their first outdoor game, hosting Chicago on the University of Minnesota campus for their entry in the 2016 NHL Stadium Series.
The trend has been create progressive and futuristic sweater designs for these outdoor games in contrast to the traditional designs seen at the Winter Classic.
Another surprise on draft day was the unveiling of changes to the timeless and untouchable Canadiens sweaters. But fittingly, the changes only served to further cement the jerseys as classics.
The club added collar ties and the home sweater — worn almost exclusively in the French-speaking city of Montreal — now features the LNH shield in place of NHL.
These revisions, subtle as they are, take these jerseys even closer to the realm of perfection.
In addition, the Habs will meet the Bruins in Foxborough for the 2016 Winter Classic. In both of their previous outdoor appearances, via the Heritage Classic, their regular jerseys were worn.
However, for their 100th anniversary in 2009 and 2010, they launched a series of pre-NHL throwbacks. Could one of those be repurposed or will we get a new design?
A partial answer came by way of the logos unveiled during the 2016 Winter Classic press conference. The design comes from the same time period as Boston's retro logos.
Saturday nights will be gold helmet nights for the Predators in the 2015-16 season.
The team made the announcement via Twitter last week, complete with photos! This is the closest Nashville has come to an alternate uniform since their rebrand in 2011.
These Saturday games could give the team a chance to see the yellow lids in action and decide whether it might make sense to do a full-time switch.
New York Islanders
New third jerseys are coming to Brooklyn very soon and, like it or not, they will be black. Team officials have been telling us this for months.
From a BloombergBusiness article in March:
After the move the Islanders will have a black-and-white third jersey as a way of incorporating Brooklyn, [Barclays Center spokesman Barry] Baum said.
Then last week, Newsday writer Arthur Staple tweeted some new tidbits on the subject, including a timeframe.
He also confirmed the 2014 Stadium Series jersey, worn by the Isles as an alternate last season, is finished.
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks will celebrate their 25th anniversary this season. We first saw the logo itself months ago, but the draft was our first chance to see it on a jersey.
We wondered how it would fit onto the already covered shoulders of San Jose's sweaters. As it turns out, the small number on the upper chest has been replaced by the new teal diamond. Thank goodness!
The question now is whether the Sharks will wise up and keep those numbers off after next season.
Following the draft came some big news. The Sharks will, in fact, wear a "Heritage Jersey" for a handful of games during the anniversary season.
Disappointing to many fans hoping for a true throwback was that the team described the jersey as representative of "the present of the Sharks franchise while paying stark homage to its past."
The Canucks gave us some exciting news last week. Next season they'll be throwing back to a logo and colors they haven't worn since 1997!
The "spaghetti skate" as it's affectionately known is returning for one night only on Sat., Feb. 13 when the Canucks host the Maple Leafs.
Vancouver wore black and red when Rogers Arena, previously known as General Motors Place, first opened in 1995. The throwback jersey will mark the building's 20th anniversary. No matter the reason, retro sweaters are always welcome if you ask me.
The Canucks promise more details in the coming weeks — including, hopefully, some photos!
They may be the last team on our list, but they were the first to unveil a new jersey for the 2015-16 season.
Making it easier to wear their retro sweater in front of their home crowd, the Capitals revealed a new design a few days prior to the NHL Draft.
Beginning in the fall, the Caps will don their original red jersey a dozen or so times a year. Of course this means at least another two years without that blue "Weagle" jersey we keep hoping for. But I'll take it.
2016 NHL ALL-STAR GAME
All-Star Weekend hits Music City next winter when the Predators host the NHL's elite. Back in May, the club unveiled the logo that will represent the big event.
The NHL hired Fanbrandz to create the design collateral. For more on the genesis of the 2016 All-Star look, head over to their web site and read up.
As for the uniforms, the previous set of All-Star jerseys was used in back-to-back seasons. Does that mean an encore for the neon green numbers we got this season? Needless to say, they were not exactly greeted warmly. Let's hope the NHL tries again in 2016.
2016 NHL Winter Classic
At the end of July, the NHL unveiled its newest Winter Classic logo, turning again to the talents at Fanbrandz. Check out their website for more on the inspiration behind the designs.
The main logos were unveiled at a press event but the sweaters were not on hand. However, the logos do hint at what era of jerseys we should expect to see on Jan. 1.
It seems the NHL will resurrect looks not seen on the ice in more than 90 years — going way back to 1924 or 1925.
2016 NHL Stadium Series
With two games on the docket next season, the Stadium Series will take place in both Minneapolis and Denver in late February.
Two weeks ago, the NHL unveiled the logo for the Minnesota game. And a week later, we got a peek at the Colorado version via Ticketmaster's website. You can see both in the images above.
Yet again, Fanbrandz masterminded the designs. There's no story on their blog, but they could be waiting for the official reveal of the Colorado logos.
Unlike in past seasons, each game has a unique logo that goes beyond just changing the name of the location. The Minnesota game gets a green accent with a forest of trees while Colorado's gets a powder blue treatment with snow-capped mountains.
To recap, these are the games:
- Wild vs. Blackhawks
Feb. 21 · TCF Bank Stadium · Minneapolis, Minn.
- Avalanche vs. Red Wings
Feb. 27 · Coors Field · Denver, Colo.
As with the Winter Classic, jersey designs have not yet been revealed but it could be a few months more.
Adidas coming in 2017
Last thing. It doesn't impact this season or next season whatsoever and as of now it's unofficial, but I'm already getting a lot of questions so it's an elephant I need to address.
TSN reported today that the NHL has agreed to a deal that will have Reebok's parent company Adidas taking over jersey design and production for the league and all 30 teams beginning in 2017-18. It seems obvious, but they did beat out Bauer and Under Armour for the contract. Apparently, the agreement will be officially announced next month.
What does this mean? TSN will tell you it paves the way for advertising on NHL jerseys. But that was coming no matter who won the contract. They also suggest it will mean new jerseys for every team with Adidas' trademark three-stripe design. Don't bet on it. Without knowing the terms of the deal, I'm still positive the teams will still be making their own design decisions.
I am curious to see if Adidas will launch its own line of jersey styles, including new templates or if they'll simply build on what Reebok began. I'd bet on the latter for simplicity's sake. However, a great way to convince fans to give you their money is to make their team's existing jerseys obsolete.
That being the case, a new jersey manufacturer is often a good reasons for teams to freshen up their look. Seven teams introduced new logos when Reebok took over in 2007. Down the road, we can talk about what teams should strongly consider that.
That's all I've got for now. Back to my road trip!