Without a lot of fanfare, the 2016 NHL All-Star Game jerseys were unveiled today. And they are quite an interesting sight — and nothing like any other previous NHL All-Star sweater.
In fact, on first glance it's difficult to tell they're All-Star jerseys at all. But for the shoulder patch, I might still be in the dark on that fact.
The yellow trim? It's of course a nod to the host club but it's hard to see them sticking with this design for another year — particularly when that year will be the NHL's 100th anniversary anyway.
I don't want to call them ugly. They aren't. But they aren't exactly pretty either. They're just sort of... there. Big blocks of solid color. Eye candy for pre-schoolers, in essence.
And that is the trend in NHL jerseys these days, isn't it? It seems to have started with last year's Stadium Series jerseys and is continuing this season. Large, blocky chunks of bright colors. But we could do worse. It's better than the black-for-black's-sake third jersey trend of the '90s.
In fairness, it does give the jerseys a bit of a timeless feel. It also leaves them lacking in any personality or character. To my eye, anyway.
But that's all before you add the numbers. I haven't actually seen the numbers yet, but the press release describes them as "reminiscent of traditional country music poster lettering."
For what it's worth, the design package for the All-Star Game includes a custom typeface (below) that's used in the logos and other supporting art. I'm not sure whether they are what will be on the jerseys — but it's likely in the same vein.
Then there's the issue of the number of teams participating in the 3-on-3 All-Star tournament. Four teams. Two jerseys. Leaves a little something to be desired there. Basically, all three mini-games will be black-vs-white, but which team wheres what color is probably a coin toss.
I'm interested to see how this new format works so I'll definitely be tuning in. How about you?
UPDATE · Jan 6 · On the question of the type design on the sweaters, see this helpful tweet.
UPDATE · Jan 15 · On the subject of All-Star jerseys, the AHL unveiled theirs yesterday.