During Thursday night's Tampa Bay Lightning telecast came confirmation that the team will indeed have a new third jersey for the 2014-15 season. It was mentioned as part of a promo for season ticket packages.
The broadcasters made no specific mention of details regarding the jersey or its design, saying only what we see on screen — that it will be part of this new Blue Line Club package.
Icethetics first reported on a new alternate uniform for Tampa Bay in the NHL JerseyWatch 2014 cover story in February. The information was based on retail planning documents from Reebok.
This is the first official confirmation of a new sweater coming directly from the team. Speaking as a Lightning fan myself, I'm definitely eager to see what's in store. So let the speculation officially begin!
The Los Angeles Kings will have a new look for their Legends Night events in 2014-15. Beginning next season, the club is swapping their "Forum blue" throwback jersey for the gold version.
This change was revealed Wednesday by LA Kings Insider with Jon Rosen, a blog associated with the Kings' official website.
The design is based in the jersey the Kings wore during the 1969-70 season — after adding a white outline to the crest but before switching to gold pants.
Rosen shared some interesting quotes from Kings business operations president Luc Robitaille.
As Robitaille shared with LA Kings Insider, the process of incorporating new jerseys is a two-year process that includes gaining league approval, and then having the jerseys made. As such, the first Legends Night in 2014-15 won’t be held until the second or third week in December.
“We’re not trying to tweak or redesign the jersey, so it’s a little bit easier,” Robitaille said.
“There are so many jerseys, so many teams, and Reebok has to have enough time to be able to make them. It’s a process. It takes about two years. But on this one, it’s basically our old jersey, so everybody’s aware of the style and everything.”
At this point, it doesn’t appear as though the team will use the gold jerseys as a more traditional alternate jersey.
“We don’t want to overdo it,” Robitaille said. “I’d prefer just having it three, four times a year and making it special.”
Personally, I love the idea of seeing special throwback jerseys like this just a few times a year. We still get to see them, but they aren't so common that they lose their novelty.
Due to the production timeline, it sounds like it will be mid-December before we actually see the Kings' gold jersey on the ice.
Rosen indicates that the famous "Forum blue" — or what our eyes clearly see as purple — will be worn for the final time tonight as the Kings honor Jim Fox. But all bets are off a few years from now.
Though it’s several years away, ideas are being proposed about ways to commemorate the 2016-17 season, the team’s 50th in the National Hockey League. An idea Robitaille shared would be to use multiple jerseys from the team’s history, similar to what the Montreal Canadiensdid in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
“I’d love to find a way to bring back probably not every one of our jerseys, but a bunch of them,” he said. “Montreal did a great job with their 100th year anniversary. For us, it’s our 50th coming, so we’d love to do something where we’re able to bring at least one jersey from each era, and play one or two games within that year. We think it’s going to be pretty special.”
It's great to hear Robitaille thinking like an Icethetics reader! Bring on the throwbacks!
I get the feeling that Icethetics' 10th anniversary in 2016-17 will be an interesting one as it coincides with the NHL's 100th and the 50th of the original expansion teams — the Kings, Penguins, Flyers, and Blues. (The Golden Seals moved to Cleveland and merged with the North Stars, who are now in Dallas and just celebrated their 20th anniversary there.)
Looking forward to all the potential retro sweaters!
Finally, as tonight will be our last time seeing the Forum blue for a while, I'll leave you with some photos of it in action. This season's previous Legends Nights were held on Oct. 27 and Dec. 7.
On Saturday, Mike Modano had his jersey retired by the Dallas Stars. But the night before, March 7, the Calgary Flames honored his 1999 Stanley Cup championship teammate and playoff MVP Joe Nieuwendyk.
Instead of retiring numbers — which becomes limiting as years pass — the Flames have taken to honoring certain players with their Forever a Flame program. A special banner is raised to salute players who have made a lasting contribution to the franchise. Lanny MacDonald, Mike Vernon and Al MacInnis have earned the tribute.
In the slideshow above are photos from Nieuwendyk's ceremony and the Flames' pre-game skate, in which the players all wore No. 25 jerseys with the captain's C on the chest.
The Forever a Flame "25" logo was also worn as a patch on the players' jerseys during the game. And befitting the nostalgic night, the Flames skated against the New York Islanders wearing their classic throwback threads — based on the sweater Nieuwendyk wore in 1989 when he won his first Stanley Cup. He won two more in his career, in 1999 with Dallas and in 2003 with New Jersey.
Seeing the Flames in their retro jersey was a relief to fans worried it would be permanently replaced by the new third jersey. It's nice to see the Flames leaving themselves the option of a fourth jersey as a handful of teams are beginning to do — Anaheim, Los Angeles and Vancouver among them.
But what I'd really like to see is a fifth Flames jersey — this white throwback!
By the way, the Flames were not the only team to sport their red retro jersey this season. Anyone know who it was? That'll be the subject of another blog post this week.
Next season, the Phoenix Coyotes will be renamed the Arizona Coyotes. It'll require the team to have new secondary and wordmark logos.
The team previously said the new shoulder patch would be unveiled at the first pre-season game of 2014. But it seems we don't have to wait that long.
The team recently launched a new microsite to promote 2014-15 season ticket renewals. The site's splash animation introduces us to the new wordmark, seen above.
It's the same as the old wordmark, but with "Phoenix" swapped for "Arizona." Easy.
Also fairly easy was a new secondary mark, seen at the top of the page. The resolution is low but it's the existing shoulder patch with PHX replaced by AZ. Whether that ends up being the shoulder patch next season is not yet confirmed. But it's pretty likely.
Thanks to Ross Elliott for pointing out the new logos to me via Twitter.