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Lightning return to black with new third jersey reveal

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Lightning return to black with new third jersey reveal

The Tampa Bay Lightning officially revealed their new third jersey today, and the theme song was "Back in Black" — literally.

Fans have been itching to have black back in the team's palette and the team has listened. The color was initially lost in the 2011 rebrand — despite the fact that the Lightning were the NHL's first and only black and blue team from the beginning. 

But now a wrong is being righted to an extent.

The new sweater is almost completely black. It deviates only with minimal white trim and a blue collar and shoulder patches. The BOLTS crest, however, is the one element carried over from the previous third.

If you're wondering how I feel about the jersey as a longtime Lightning fan, it's late at night and I need time to collect my thoughts. I'm going to go into more depth in a separate blog post which will include my interview with Lightning president Steve Griggs.

For now I'll admit that on first glance, my reaction wasn't too far from many of the comments I read on Twitter and Instagram throughout the day. I was underwhelmed and somewhat disappointed.

That isn't to say this is a bad jersey. But we all have our expectations and they can't all be met.

Meantime, flip through the photos and feel free to share your take below. I'd love to get a better sense of what you guys think.

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Bolts prank players with fake palm tree third jersey

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Bolts prank players with fake palm tree third jersey

The Tampa Bay Lightning pulled an awesome practical joke on a handful of players regarding their third jersey. And the video evidence is priceless.

As I may have mentioned, I'm in Tampa this weekend for the unveiling of the Bolts' new third jersey on Saturday. So I decided to catch Friday's preseason game against the Dallas Stars — which was excellent, by the way. I'll take a 6-3 win any day, exhibition or otherwise.

During the first period, the in-game host came out wearing a black jersey with the Lightning bolt on the front and stripes formed by rows of palm trees. To anyone reading this blog, it would've been obvious it wasn't an actual game jersey.

But it seems Lightning players are a bit easier to fool.

The hidden camera footage reveals player reaction to being told this is the team's new third jersey. Highlights include Radko Gudas saying, "That's sick! We have palm trees on the jerseys? That's amazing!"

Really, Radko?

Another guy called it a "Christmas sweater with palm trees on it." When asked how to fix the design, another said "maybe one row" of palm trees.

Yeah, that'll do the trick.

In all, a good joke, well-executed. If anything, it tempers expectations for tomorrow. No way to be disappointed when we can say, at least it doesn't have three rows of palm trees on it.

Be sure to keep an eye on the home page with my Twitter and Instagram updates all day tomorrow. I probably won't get around to putting together a blog post until later Saturday night.

Hope you enjoy the coverage!

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Lightning release third teaser photo, set unveiling time

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Lightning release third teaser photo, set unveiling time

This morning, the Tampa Bay Lightning shared a third teaser photo of their forthcoming third jersey.

In the progression of the pictures, we're slowing revolving around Stamkos. This latest shot gives us a glimpse at the back. We get a better look at the thick white stripes running down the sleeves and across the shoulders.

It also appears the name and number fonts are not changing from the primary uniforms.

The Bolts also announced the schedule for Saturday's Fan Fest. The third jersey unveiling is scheduled for 11:45am ET.

I'll be there with camera in hand to get photos to you right away. I'm also working to get an interview with someone from the team involved in designing the jersey. Can't wait!

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NHL JerseyWatch 2014: September Edition

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NHL JerseyWatch 2014: September Edition

We've seen a lot of new sweaters since the last NHL JerseyWatch 2014 report and there are still more on the way. In fact, I'm traveling to Tampa this weekend to cover the Lightning's third jersey unveiling myself. So let's get caught up on everything we know so far.

Ducks

On June 27, the Anaheim Ducks revealed new home and road threads for the 2014-15 season.

The new home jersey is a modified version of the third that debuted in 2010. A matching white away jersey saw its first game action during the preseason this week. See photos in the slideshow above.

We will once again be seeing that original Mighty Ducks logo 82 times a year since it now appears on both shoulders of both jerseys. Nostalgic Anaheim fans will be excited about that.

Anaheim Ducks primary uniforms, 2006—2014

As is often the case, when new jerseys arrive, old jerseys are retired. These dull, wordmark-marred monstrosities are officially a thing of the past.

Coyotes

Also on June 27 — NHL Draft Day — the team from Phoenix made a splash, officially changing its name to the Arizona Coyotes.

As part of the name change, the club introduced new secondary and wordmark logos. The shoulder patch on the jerseys now reads "AZ" instead of "PHX."

In addition, the Coyotes' black third jersey has been retired. But that doesn't mean they're completely wiping away the Phoenix era. Far from it, in fact.

The club's original 1996 jersey will return for at least one special game this season.

The Coyotes announced "Throwback Night" is scheduled for March 5, 2015, when we'll get to "watch the team play in one of the franchise’s original uniforms." Of course they're cryptic about which one just to keep us guessing.

Which one do you want to see? Vote in the poll. 

Since they'll be hosting the Vancouver Canucks, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed we see both teams in 1990s throwbacks.

Coyotes jerseys, 1996—2003

Throwback pant shell by Warrior / Photo origin unknown

Kings

The Los Angeles Kings will defend their Stanley Cup championship clad in gold for a handful of games late in the 2014-15 season.

The news was revealed way back in March by LA Kings Insider writer Jon Rosen, who shared this graphic as a preview of what's to come.

Kings Legends Night uniform, 2015—

The team has been wearing purple throwback jerseys for special Legends Night games going back to 2010. They'll continue paying tribute to those original uniforms while they transition to the brighter gold version this season.

It'll be a long wait, though. The first Legends Night game is slated for Feb. 12, 2015. Two more are planned for Feb. 24 and March 7.

For those of you that loved the "Forum blue," don't despair. The Kings are two years away from celebrating their 50th anniversary. I bet it'll be back.

Islanders

At least one of the 2014 NHL Stadium Series jerseys will survive into 2015, chrome crest and all. The New York Islanders have designated those outdoor duds as their new third jersey this season.

In related news, the Isles' widely disliked black third jersey was officially retired. It made its curtain call on March 23 in a 2-0 shutout win over Columbus.

This will be the Islanders' final season playing at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and a special commemorative patch was created. It will be worn on the right shoulder of the jerseys this year. Take a look at it in the slideshow above.

The team will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next year and it's possible a new third jersey is in the works for that. Isles CEO Brett Yormark keeps talking about a black-and-white sweater.

In all likelihood, the Isles will be back here for NHL JerseyWatch 2015.

Flyers

On Sept. 20, the Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new third jersey, confirming rumors about the return of their 2012 Winter Classic sweater.

The unveiling came out of nowhere last Saturday morning without any big build-up or hype.

The Flyers announced a list of 10 home games and two road games where there jersey will be worn. It'll be seen for the first time since 2012 on Sat., Oct. 11.

However, it won't be the first time seen indoors — despite what I may have said previously. The jersey made its debut outdoors on Jan. 2, 2012. But the Flyers did use it one more time for an indoor game on Feb. 11, 2012 — against the Rangers once again.

The Rangers will see that jersey two more times this November, including a game at the Garden.

Penguins

Legions of Pittsburgh Penguins fans everywhere were beside themselves last Friday upon seeing Sidney Crosby sporting the same jersey Mario Lemieux wore while lifting back-to-back Stanley Cups.

On Sept. 19, the Pens unveiled their new third jersey — a modernized version of the black sweater the club wore between 1988 and 1992. Most notably, it marks the return of classic Pittsburgh gold.

The new look will be worn for 11 home games and once on the road this season. We'll see it for the first time on the ice on Wed., Oct. 22.

An alternate like this paves the way for new home and road jerseys in the future, not unlike what we're seeing with the Ducks.

Blues

Like the Ducks, the St. Louis Blues unveiled new home and road uniforms this summer. We got our first look during a special fan event on Aug. 25.

The team returned to a more traditional jersey design — similar to what they wore prior to the Reebok redesign of 2007.

Gone is the unsightly apron-string piping. Back are the horizontal waist and sleeve stripes. And remaining unchanged is the classic Blue Note on the chest. They know better than to mess with that.

Let's take one last look at the old sweaters before consigning them to the scrap heap for eternity.

St. Louis Blues primary uniforms, 2007—2014

The Blues' navy-colored third jersey, which launched in 2008, will remain unchanged.

Over the last two weeks, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been preparing us for the unveiling of their new third jersey by offering up a few teaser photos.

The pictures don't show much apart from the fact that the uniform will be black. Many Lightning fans are excited for that to return, myself included.

The Bolts will reveal the new jersey at Fan Fest this Saturday, Sept. 27. I will be in attendance to share exclusive photos. Yes, I'm excited!

My flight leaves Friday morning so I'll arrive in time for the preseason game against the Stars. I'll let you know if I spot anything around the arena.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @icethetics for the latest updates from my trip.

In the meantime, the Lightning have released their third jersey schedule if you're interested.

Tampa Bay Lightning third jersey, 2008—2014

Regardless of what we see this weekend, we have seen the last of the blue Bolts jersey.

Capitals

The Washington Capitals will be the lone NHL club with a special anniversary patch this season. The team marks four decades with the logo seen above.

But that's not all the Caps are up to this season...

Winter Classic

On Tuesday, the NHL revealed the logo for the 2015 NHL Winter Classic along with the uniforms to be worn by the Capitals, who will host the game at Nationals Park in D.C. on Jan. 1.

The uniforms caught fans by surprise, as most expected to see the red 1970s throwback. Instead, the team opted for a completely new sweater design that honors the city's pre-Caps hockey history.

Absent from the proceedings this week was any mention of what the Chicago Blackhawks will wear on New Year's Day.

Photo from Washington Capitals

The logo representing the team on signage around the ballpark was their standard primary mark — rather than any sort of retro design. We'll have to wait a little longer to find out what they have in store. No unveiling date has been set yet.

By the way, the Blackhawks will become the first NHL franchise to play outdoor games in back-to-back seasons, having hosted the Penguins in the NHL Stadium Series last year.

Stadium Series

The San Jose Sharks will make their first outdoor appearance in the 2015 NHL Stadium Series when they host the Los Angeles Kings.

Unfortunately, there's nothing new to report on the league's other outdoor event at this point. We only know of the one game so far — which doesn't really make a "series."

No jerseys, no special logos. All we know is that on Feb. 21, 2015, the two clubs will meet at the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.

But rumors still abound. It's believed the NHL has more up its sleeve for the Stadium Series.

Possibilities include the Canadiens and Bruins at Gillette Stadium and even the Avalanche and Red Wings at Coors Field — the perfect place to revive Colorado Rockies hockey sweaters.

Looking beyond this season, it's been reported the Minnesota Wild will host an outdoor game in 2016 while the Winnipeg Jets are expected to have the Heritage Classic the same year. But all that is for next year's NHL JerseyWatch.

All-Star Game

In July, we learned the NHL may introduce neon green and black jerseys at the 2015 NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio.

Reebok's spring 2015 catalog spilled the beans on that bit of info. The document showcased designs for various apparel such as hats and T-shirts. The player shirts, specifically, featured the striking color scheme as well a chrome version of the All-Star shield.

The league has yet to officially unveil any jersey designs at this point. But since the game is set for Jan. 25, 2015, it could be a while.

For now, the Columbus Blue Jackets will wear an All-Star Game patch on their jerseys this season, as seen in the photo above.

Reebok T-shirt design for 2015 NHL All-Star Game


Final Thoughts

This should be it for the speculative portion of NHL JerseyWatch 2014. The next update will be in October or November once all of the new uniforms for this season have been made public. (I can't imagine anything will come after the Black Friday shopping rush.)

Once we've seen everything, we can talk about the best and worst of the season.

In the meantime, how do you think it's all shaping up?

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Capitals unveil all new 2015 NHL Winter Classic uniform

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Capitals unveil all new 2015 NHL Winter Classic uniform

The Washington Capitals surprised us by opting against their original red jersey for the 2015 NHL Winter Classic. In fact, the sweater they unveiled this morning at Nationals Park is unlike anything the franchise has ever worn.

As you can see in the photos above, the Caps went with a look that's much older than the team itself. But according to the press release, they're celebrating all of D.C.'s hockey history.

The primary color for the Capitals’ Winter Classic uniform is vintage deep red to symbolize hockey’s deep roots in Washington.
The stripes on the shoulders, waist and legs bring in elements of Washington professional hockey jerseys from the 1930’s, predating the Capitals’ formation in the 1970s.
A large “W” on the front of the jersey is offset in blue to contrast the white Capitals wordmark and features a silhouette of the Washington Monument, offering a unique look never seen before in franchise history.

I love seeing teams introduce new jerseys, so I am a big fan of this design. As much as I would've liked the red throwback, I still would've found it a bit lazy.

More than that, this is a great design. It incorporates historical elements and looks like no other NHL sweater. What's not to love?

One element I like is the many nods to the Washington Monument. The middle of the W and and all the As have it — even the alternate captain's patch.

So much about this jersey is incredible. I swear it's like something I've seen on the Concepts page before. Now that I mention it, we should really revisit a couple designs by Nick Sample and Brian Brideau. Those guys were obviously on to something.

By the way, Dump 'n Chase has an interesting read on the uniform's yearlong design process.

2015 NHL Winter Classic logo

Also revealed today for the first time was the 2015 NHL Winter Classic logo itself. It's a solid design and even has a bit of a holiday feel which will fit in perfectly leading up to the big game.

Conspicuously absent from this morning's unveilings was the uniform the Chicago Blackhawks will wear on New Year's Day. 



Photo from Washington Capitals via Twitter

Signage around the ballpark clearly showed the Hawks' current primary logo rather than any kind of retro version like the one they used at Wrigley Field in 2009. Is that just a placeholder until they can stage a reveal of their own? Or will their jerseys simply feature that logo?

We'll have to wait a little longer to find out. The Blackhawks have not yet set an unveiling.

Until then, what do you think of the Capitals' new Winter Classic jersey?

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