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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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NHL JerseyWatch 2014: August Edition

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NHL JerseyWatch 2014: August Edition

Halfway between hockey seasons, it's time to update NHL JerseyWatch 2014

Ducks

THE FACTS
On draft day, the Anaheim Ducks unveiled new home and road uniforms to debut in the 2014-15 season. And they were just as expected.

The third jersey introduced in 2010 has been promoted with a slight change to the color. And a white version has been added for the road.

Both are a huge improvement.

THE RUMORS
If you're wondering whether a new third jersey is in the cards for Anaheim, check back next summer or the one after. I'm sure it's coming.

Coyotes

THE FACTS
The Arizona Coyotes used the NHL Draft in June to officially change their name. That's it for Phoenix.

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 throwback night this season.

Special pant shell produced by Warrior Sports for Coyotes throwback uniform. / Photo origin unknown

THE RUMORS
Prior to the draft, 3TV sports anchor Tyler Baldwin suggested the team may consider a new logo for the 2015-16 season. I'd consider that a long shot but it's something to keep an eye on for JerseyWatch 2015.

Kings

THE FACTS
The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will have a new sweater in their arsenal this year.

After wearing its "Forum blue" — purple — retro jerseys on special occasions over the last four seasons, the team will switch to the gold version in 2014-15. The change was revealed on March 12 by LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen, a writer for the Kings' website.

In Rosen's report, Kings exec Luc Robitaille weighed in on the delay in debuting the new colors.

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.

I'm sure it'll be well worth the wait.

THE RUMORS
The purple may be gone for now, but there's a big year coming up soon. The 2016-17 season will mark the 100th anniversary of the NHL as well as the 50th anniversary of the Kings.

I have little doubt we'll be seeing more than a few flavors of retro jerseys make an appearance during that season.

Islanders

THE FACTS
Chris Botta, Sports Business Journal, tweeted Dec. 31 that we'll "be seeing more of [the Islanders' Stadium Series jersey] in coming seasons." He followed up saying that it "or something very close to it, will be the Islanders' third jersey by 2015."

Islanders 2014 Stadium Series uniform

Three months later, Isles' much-maligned 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 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and it's possible the team will wear a special shoulder patch to commemorate this. They will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for 2015-16.

UPDATE · Aug 20 · In fact, they will wear just such a patch. The team is slowly revealing the design through teaser images on Snapchat.

THE RUMORS
For now, the only real question is whether the Isles will go without a third jersey this season or expedite the timetable on bringing back the Stadium sweater.

But that's not all. Last fall CEO Brett Yormark said the club's "new third jersey in Brooklyn will be black and white." An article published in June by Arthur Staple, Newsday, confirmed this is progressing.

Expect a new third jersey that looks more like the black-and-white Brooklyn Nets jerseys; Yormark said he's met with the Adidas/Reebok apparel makers to start the third jersey design process.

I have no doubt the Islanders will be part of NHL JerseyWatch 2015. Stay tuned!

Senators

THE FACTS
New! A source has confirmed the Ottawa Senators have retired their 2014 Heritage Classic jersey — which they wore against the Canucks in March. We won't be seeing it again in 2014-15.

2014 Heritage Classic uniform

This seems to go against what Sens owner Eugene Melnyk said on Twitter in April (right). However, bear in mind that the Senators also refer to their black third as a "heritage" jersey. That will return.

In fact, I'm told the team will market special "Throwback Thursday" games this season where those sweaters will be worn.

THE RUMORS
In recent months, retail discounts have raised questions about the future of Ottawa's red and white jerseys. But a sale isn't always indicative of a uniform redesign. In fact, it hardly ever is. It's usually just a way of increasing sales.

While I'm not expecting any major changes for the Senators in 2014-15, they're worth keeping an eye on in the seasons to come.

2011 "Heritage" third jersey

2011 "Heritage" third jersey

Flyers

THE FACTS
In July, the Philadelphia Flyers confirmed a new third jersey will be released this season.

Flyers COO Shawn Tilger stated as much at an event for season ticket holders, but that's about all we know. The team has kept quiet on the details of the design for now.

THE RUMORS
I've heard rumblings that management is amenable to incorporating Philadelphia's Liberty Bell into its uniform symbolism. Maybe this new sweater will offer the prime opportunity?

pit80.jpg

Penguins

THE FACTS
Rob Rossi, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, reported June 9 the Penguins will bring back their classic yellow in the form of a new third jersey.

The Penguins expect to introduce an alternate jersey to be worn for select games next season. One confirmable detail about the third jersey is the return of Pittsburgh Gold to the team's uniforms for the first time since 2001-02 season.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said he has ordered yellow leg pads and gloves to be worn when the Penguins' don the alternate jerseys.

This only adds to a previous report from Rossi and Josh Yohe on Dec. 13.

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.

It's the news Pens fans have been eager to hear!

THE RUMORS
What's still unknown is whether the new sweater will be an exact replica of one the black or yellow jerseys worn by Pittsburgh in the 1980s and early 90s. There are certainly a few for them to choose from.

Believe it or not, I expect a yellow jersey is very possible. Decades from now, we may look back on this era with some eye rolling, but yellow has been on the upswing in recent years.

The Bruins got the trend started with their 2010 Winter Classic threads — the NHL's first gold jersey since Boston's original third was retired in 2006. In 2011, the Nashville Predators introduced their gold home jersey. The Sabres launched a controversial gold third last fall. And as you saw above, the Kings are switching to gold for their Legends Night look.

Everybody's investing in gold right now. Why shouldn't Pittsburgh?

Penguins road jersey, 1988—1992

Penguins home jersey, 1988—1992

Blues

THE FACTS
The St. Louis Blues will sport redesigned home and road uniforms this season.

While the team has been extremely tight-lipped about that fact alone, I was able to get a peek at the new home jersey — the rendering seen above.

The team is going with a more traditional design, dropping the apron-string piping that has been the subject of much mockery.

It's expected the navy blue third jersey will be back.

UPDATE · Aug 14 · The new uniforms will be unveiled at a special fan event on Mon., Aug. 25.

THE RUMORS
I haven't yet seen the new road jersey, but I'd be surprised if it's anything other than a white version of what you see above.

This concept by Nick Burton is probably a safe bet.

Blues primary uniforms, 2007—2014

Lightning

THE FACTS
The Tampa Bay Lightning will debut a brand new third jersey next season. This has been revealed through the announcements of special season ticket packages — which began on TV in March.

New! Since the last JerseyWatch update, I've been told the sweater will be black. According to reporter Erik Erlendsson, Tampa Tribune, it's unlikely we'll get a look at it before September.

UPDATE · Aug 18 · While an unveiling date has yet to be revealed, the dates when the jersey will be worn this season were leaked by the team.

THE RUMORS
A Lightning prototype jersey from 2006 showed up on ebay back in April. It was black. But don't worry. It was consigned to the scrap heap for a reason.

Will the Lightning dig into their history for a throwback jersey from the '90s? Or will they buck the retro trend in favor of a fresh new design?

Canucks

THE FACTS
New! Despite what you may have heard, the Vancouver Canucks will not have new uniforms this season.

A radio interview with Canucks president Trevor Linden in late July prompted speculation that  the team was considering new uniforms with Johnny Canuck replacing the orca.

In fact, if you listen to the brief portion of the interview in which Linden discusses sweaters, he mentions it almost in passing — not to say that it's a direction they're determined to go.

To me, it sounds like they considered the idea the way they would consider any idea. The wise dismiss nothing out of hand, but it wouldn't take long to figure out this is the wrong way to go.

THE RUMORS
While a Johnny Canuck jersey isn't in the cards for 2014, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Canucks in NHL JerseyWatch 2015 or 2016.

This franchise has always struggled with its identity, but it still hasn't quite nailed it. The Haida orca may represent Vancouver well, but not a "Canuck."

Winter Classic

THE FACTS
The 2015 NHL Winter Classic will see the Washington Capitals hosting the Chicago Blackhawks in D.C. on New Year's Day.

However, a venue has not yet been announced. Nor have any uniforms or logos.

Both teams have played in previous outdoor games. The Blackhawks hosted the second Winter Classic in 2009 at Wrigley Field and faced Pittsburgh in a Stadium Series game last season. The Capitals also played the Penguins in 2011 at Heinz Field.

THE RUMORS
The best part of any Winter Classic for many Icethetics readers is the sweaters. It's a chance to see teams to dig into their histories a bit.

New! According to a source, the Capitals have considered at least two design options. The first was described as a red version of the jersey that featured the U.S. Capitol building logo.

The second was another red sweater with the "Weagle" front and center — the Caps' secondary logo and shoulder patch.

In 2011, the Caps wore their original white jersey from the 1970s. It wouldn't surprise me to see them simply go with the red version this time around.

And imagine the possibility of white pants! They were a blip in Caps history but will never be forgotten.

As for the Blackhawks, they had a great jersey in 2009 which they later adopted briefly as an alternate. Maybe they could go back to their very first black and white jersey from 1926?

I'm excited to see where both teams end up!

Stadium Series

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

On Feb. 21, 2015, the clubs will meet at the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.

The Kings join the Blackhawks to become the second NHL club to play outdoor games in back-to-back seasons, having faced the Ducks at Dodger Stadium in January. Way to spread the love, NHL.

THE RUMORS
It's believed the NHL has more up its sleeve for the Stadium Series — after all, how can you have a "series" if there's only one game?

Among the rumors are 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 JerseyWatch series.

THE FACTS
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 T-shirts. The player shirts, specifically, featured the striking color scheme as well a chrome version of the All-Star jersey shield.

The league has yet to officially unveil any jersey designs at this point. But since the game is set for Jan. 25, 2015, I wouldn't expect them anytime soon.

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

THE RUMORS
Presumably, the NHL will continue to employ the fantasy draft format introduced in 2011, where two captains choose their teams.


Final Thoughts

This week, we're halfway between the end of last season and the beginning of next season. While we wait, we have plenty of speculation ahead of us. There's always a lot out there but I do my best to separate fact from wishful thinking where possible. History has shown the JerseyWatch series to be pretty reliable. Hoping it continues!

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NHL JerseyWatch 2014: June Edition

Let's have a new edition of NHL JerseyWatch 2014! I can't think of a better way to get back to blogging. A lot has happened in the four months since the last update. In this edition, I'm breaking all the details down into "facts" and "rumors" — there are plenty of both!

ana10a.jpg

Ducks

THE FACTS
In their 2014-15 retailer catalog, Reebok listed Anaheim's home and road sweaters as "TBD" — foreshadowing changes on the horizon.

Eric Stephens, Orange County Register, tweeted Dec. 3 that the "plan is for [the] current Ducks third jersey to become [the] main home sweater, perhaps next year."

THE RUMORS
In addition to the promotion of the third jersey — which debuted in 2010 — a new white version will be introduced for the road. And we could get our first look in just a few days.

On June 21, HFBoards user "Ducks DVM" reported on the team's open house event held for season ticket holders last week. He wrote briefly:

No more "Ducks" on jerseys. White jersey will be unveiled at draft.

Makes sense to me. Remember, the NHL Draft starts Friday night.

Also intriguing is the artwork on goalie Frederik Andersen's new lid, revealed June 17. Designer Dave Gunnarsson said:

When you're a goalie from Denmark in the NHL, Denmark the land of LEGO, of course a LEGO goalie is helping you building a LEGO wall on the mask.

Not sure a LEGO wall would do much against a slapshot but take a closer look at LEGO man's jersey. It's orange and features the classic Mighty Duck front and center.

This has led many to wonder whether it's a sneak peek of a new Ducks third jersey. My honest guess is it isn't. In a Q&A with the team website, Andersen said:

I think it was originally meant for the Stadium Series game, but [Gunnarsson] went with a different design for that and decided to save the LEGO idea for later. 

In other words, the 2014 Stadium Series jersey probably dictated LEGO man's palette. The Mighty Ducks logo, however, I can't explain.

But there's still an open question. Will the Ducks have a new third this year? As the Magic 8 Ball would say, don't count on it. From a marketing standpoint, it makes more sense to introduce one jersey at a time.

That said, I might expect a shiny new alternate uniform from the Ducks by 2015 or 2016.

Don't count on an orange third jersey quite yet. — Photo from @davidofdaveart via Instagram

Don't count on an orange third jersey quite yet. — Photo from @davidofdaveart via Instagram

UPDATE · Jun 27 · The new look is official! The Ducks unveiled their new home and road jerseys on the morning of the draft.

Among the changes to the original third jersey design are the new Stadium Series style collar laces and numbers outlined in orange.

Coyotes

THE FACTS
The Phoenix Coyotes will be officially renamed the Arizona Coyotes on Friday, June 27 at the NHL Draft. Also from Monday's press release:

As part of the name change, the Coyotes are introducing a new shoulder patch (alternate mark) for their home and road jerseys in 2014-15. The Coyotes are also unveiling a new wordmark for this season.
The rest of the Coyotes uniform will not change in 2014-15.

Craig Morgan, FOX Sports Arizona, reported in January that the Coyotes would bring back their 1996 jersey for a special throwback night next season.

Photo origin unknown

This photo of a pant shell produced by Warrior appears to be confirmation. Check out the retro desert dog.

THE RUMORS
By the way, what the team's statement did not address was the black third jersey. Will it stay? Not according to Sarah McLellan, Arizona Republic, who says the thirds will be phased out. However, she doesn't specify a timeframe.

In the winter, Reebok told retailers that the Coyotes' third was "TBD" for 2014-15 which may denote it's being retired. My bet is we probably won't see it next season. Could mean extra opportunities for the throwback, right?

Looking down the road, Morgan and McLellan both reported that redesigned home and road jerseys are a possibility in Arizona as early as 2015-16. But I don't expect the logo to change.

Tyler Baldwin, 3TV in Phoenix, on the other hand, seems to think it's a possibility.

lak14t.jpg

Kings

THE FACTS
The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will have a new sweater in their arsenal before the end of 2014.

The team has been wearing their "Forum blue" (purple) retro jerseys on special occasions since 2010-11. The sweaters throw back to the club's formation in 1967.

Starting next season, the team will switch to the gold version of those early jerseys. The change was revealed on March 12 by LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen, a writer for the Kings' website.

This is what the Kings' new retro uniforms will look like next season.

In Rosen's report, Kings exec Luc Robitaille weighed in on the delay in debuting the new colors.

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.

I'm sure it'll be well worth the wait.

THE RUMORS
The purple may be gone for now, but there's a big year coming up soon. The 2016-17 season will mark the 100th anniversary of the NHL as well as the 50th anniversary of the Kings.

I have little doubt we'll be seeing more than a few flavors of retro jerseys make an appearance during that season.

By the way, as the NHL Draft nears, don't forget this gem from four years ago. Could it happen again?

Islanders

THE FACTS
Chris Botta, Sports Business Journal, tweeted Dec. 31 that we'll "be seeing more of [the Islanders' Stadium Series jersey] in coming seasons." He followed up saying that it "or something very close to it, will be the Islanders' third jersey by 2015."

Get ready to see more of this, Isles fans.

Three months later, Isles' much-maligned black third jersey was officially retired. It made its curtain call on March 23 in a 2-0 shutout win over Columbus.

THE RUMORS
Now the only real question is whether the Islanders will go without a third jersey in 2014-15 or expedite the timetable on bringing back the Stadium Series sweater.

Either way, this will be their final season in Uniondale. The Isles will skate in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center starting in 2015-16.

And don't forget that just last fall CEO Brett Yormark said the "new third jersey in Brooklyn will be black and white." Has that changed? Time will tell.

UPDATE · Jun 24 · And we already have our answer. It has not changed. A piece just published Monday from Arthur Staple, Newsday, cleared that up.

Expect a new third jersey that looks more like the black-and-white Brooklyn Nets jerseys; Yormark said he's met with the Adidas/Reebok apparel makers to start the third jersey design process.

I have no doubt the Islanders will be part of NHL JerseyWatch 2015.

Senators

THE FACTS
Responding to fan questions on Twitter back in April, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk discussed jersey options for next season.

Nevill Carney — whose name you may recognize from his Concepts page contributions —  asked specifically whether the Sens' Heritage jerseys could be promoted to home and road uniforms.

Melnyk didn't answer directly but did say they are looking into using them during the 2014-15 season. The black jersey is already the go-to third, but perhaps there's also an opportunity to use the beige Heritage Classic version on occasion. 

THE RUMORS
In recent months, retail discounts have raised questions about the future of Ottawa's red and white jerseys. But a sale isn't always indicative of a uniform redesign. In fact, it hardly ever is.

While I'm not expecting anything major for the Senators in 2014-15, they're worth keeping an eye on in the seasons to come.

Flyers

THE FACTS
Reebok's catalog suggested the possibility of a new third jersey for Philadelphia. The alternate was listed as "TBD" while the team hasn't had a third since 2010.

THE RUMORS
If the Flyers really are going to have a new third jersey next season, they've done an extremely good job of keeping quiet. I have not seen details reported anywhere else since January.

That tells me it might not be happening after all. But I'm not ready to call it just yet.

Philly's last third jersey was introduced in 2008 and became their home sweater the following season.

The Flyers used a black jersey from 2007 to 2010. Could they be planning to try black again next season? Stay tuned for updates.

pit71.jpg

Penguins

THE FACTS
Rob Rossi, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, reported June 9 the Penguins will bring back their classic yellow in the form of a new third jersey.

The Penguins expect to introduce an alternate jersey to be worn for select games next season. One confirmable detail about the third jersey is the return of Pittsburgh Gold to the team's uniforms for the first time since 2001-02 season.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said he has ordered yellow leg pads and gloves to be worn when the Penguins' don the alternate jerseys.

This only adds to a previous report from Rossi and Josh Yohe on Dec. 13.

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.

It's the news Pens fans have been dying to hear!

THE RUMORS
What's still unknown is whether the new sweater will be an exact replica of one the black or yellow jerseys worn by Pittsburgh in the 1980s and early 90s. There are certainly a few for them to choose from.

Believe it or not, I'm expecting a yellow jersey. Decades from now, we may look back on this era with some eye rolling, but yellow has been on the upswing in recent years.

The Bruins got the trend started with their 2010 Winter Classic threads — the NHL's first gold jersey since Boston's original alternate was retired in 2006. In 2011, the Nashville Predators introduced their gold home jersey. The Sabres launched a controversial gold third last fall. And as you saw above, the Kings are switching to gold for their Legends Night look.

Everybody's investing in gold right now. Why shouldn't Pittsburgh?

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Blues

THE FACTS
Reebok listed new home and road jerseys for St. Louis back in January. Lending further credence to this was a question posed by a reporter to the team owner.

Jeremy Rutherford, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, wrapped up a Q&A with Blues owner Tom Stillman on the subject, published June 2.

Q: There’s been fairly strong speculation that the Blues will change their uniforms for the 2014-15 season. Is that true?
Stillman: Yeah, I think we should break some news right here. We’re going back to the clown uniforms (with the diagonal red stripes that the Blues wore in the mid-1990s).
Q: Your smile tells us that you’re kidding about that. So is it true? Will there be a uniform change?
Stillman: Let’s talk about that another time.

Can't say I care much for Stillman's sense of humor. That's just downright mean. But seriously though, he sure didn't deny it, did he?

THE RUMORS
All right, new sweaters are on the way in St. Louis. So what do they look like? When we will see them? These are questions we can't answer yet. All I know is I'll be watching the draft on Friday just in case.

Given the current trends in hockey uniform design, the Blues are probably giving up their apron-string appearance for something a little more timeless. Prior to their Reebok overhaul, St. Louis had perhaps the best non-Original Six uniforms in the NHL.

If I had to put money on it, I'd say we see something more traditional this fall. Maybe it'll be a better fit with their superb third jersey.

Rumor has it this blue is lighter than it should be. Or can we blame it on computers?

Rumor has it this blue is lighter than it should be. Or can we blame it on computers?

By the way, another rumor floating around is that the Blues leaked a new, recolored version of their logo in the press release announcing their new CEO on June 16.

The claim is that the light blue is much lighter than it should be, not unlike the shade the team wore during the 1960s and 70s.

However, given the issues with varying digital color spaces and CMYK to RGB conversions, this sort of color shift is hardly uncommon on the web. And while the light blue may be lighter, the dark blue and yellow are as well. It's just not as obvious.

In-house graphic artists usually catch this sort of thing, but it is the summer and a lot of those jobs are seasonal. Or maybe somebody was on vacation.

Yes, it's entirely possible the Blues' next jersey will be a lighter shade of blue, but I wouldn't call this graphic the smoking gun.

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Lightning

THE FACTS
The Tampa Bay Lightning will debut a brand new third jersey next season. This has been revealed through the announcements of special season ticket packages for 2014-15 — which began on TV back in March.

The above graphic is the first hint at a possible color for the new sweater. Are the Bolts finally bringing back the black?

According to reporter Erik Erlendsson, Tampa Tribune, it's unlikely we'll get a look at the new threads before September.

THE RUMORS
At this point, it's probably beyond a rumor that the jersey will be black. It certainly won't be blue. The home jersey is blue and the Lightning just retired a blue third.

That in mind, there was this 8-year-old prototype jersey that showed up on ebay back in April. It was black. But don't worry. It was consigned to the scrap heap for a reason.

Will the Lightning dig into their history for a throwback jersey from the 90s? Or will they buck the retro trend in favor of a fresh new design?

2015 Winter Classic

THE FACTS
On Sunday, the NHL announced the 2014-15 regular season schedule, including — at last — the Washington Capitals' opponent for the 2015 NHL Winter Classic.

The Caps will host the Chicago Blackhawks on New Year's Day in each team's second appearance in the big outdoor event.

The Blackhawks hosted in the second Winter Classic in 2009 at Wrigley Field. The Capitals faced the Penguins in 2011 at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.

The nation's capital was awarded the event last September. The new Winter Classic logo, venue and uniform designs will be revealed at a later date, according to the NHL.

THE RUMORS
The best part of any Winter Classic for many Icethetics readers is the sweaters. It's a chance to see teams to dig into their histories.

In 2011, the Caps wore their original white jersey from the 1970s. It wouldn't surprise me to see them simply go with the red version this time around.

And imagine the possibility of white pants! They were a blip in Caps history but will never be forgotten.

As for the Blackhawks, they had a great jersey in 2009 which they later adopted as an alternate briefly. Maybe they could go back to their very first black and white jersey from 1926?

I'm excited to see where both teams end up!

Stadium Series

THE FACTS
After a winter packed with six outdoor games, the NHL will scale back to just one during the 2014-15 season — the Winter Classic in D.C. Clearly the 2014 Stadium Series didn't get the kind of response the league was hoping for. But that doesn't mean they won't try again.

Michael Russo, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, said June 21 the Minnesota Wild will host a game at Target Field in 2016. But various logistical problems kept it from happening in 2015. An interesting aside from Russo:

Personally, I still hear there's more to this Stadium Series thing that has nothing to do with the Wild and that's why the Stadium Series games were scaled down this year to one. Next year, I'm told we're going to see more than one game again.

If the Wild end up hosting the Stars for that game, as intended, who gets to wear the North Stars jerseys?

THE RUMORS
On June 2, Kevin Kurz, CSN Bay Area, reported the San Jose Sharks would be among the teams hosting a Stadium Series game in 2014-15. That seems to be wrong unless the league is holding back on an announcement. But like the Wild, they should be high on the list for 2015-16.

UPDATE · Jun 24 · Or maybe I'm jumping the gun. On Sunday, Eric Duhatschek, The Globe and Mail, said that the Sharks are still planning to play outside.

It is believed that a Feb. 21 date between the Kings and the Sharks will also be played outdoors in the Bay Area, after the NHL successfully pulled off an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium last January.

Perhaps the league is indeed holding back on an announcement to firm up the details. We'll have to wait and see on that one.

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2015 All-Star Game

THE FACTS
After a failed attempt in 2013, the Columbus Blue Jackets will finally host the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25, 2015.

The logo has been around in some form since the original announcement 2012. A decision on the format and jersey designs has yet to be announced.

THE RUMORS
Presumably, the NHL will continue to employ the fantasy draft format introduced in 2011, where two captains choose their teams.

A new jersey design was introduced for that game and was recycled in 2012. They're blue and red — a color palette that would fit nicely in Ohio's capital city.

However, there's been no official word yet regarding jerseys. So stay tuned.

One thing we should keep an eye out for this Friday at the draft is the Blue Jackets' updated jersey patch. The 2013 version was on the jerseys given to draftees in 2012. Look for 2014 draftees to wear the 2015 version. (Did you follow all that?)

The Blue Jackets introduced their 2013 All-Star Game patch at the 2012 NHL Draft. Expect to see the 2015 version this Friday.


Final Thoughts

At this point, the most exciting date on the calendar in the near term is Friday. The NHL draft opens on June 27 and with it we'll be treated to at least one new sweater — possibly more — as well as the renaming of the team from Arizona.

These JerseyWatch articles are always tricky. Decisions have been made in some room somewhere but we're not privy to them just yet. There's a lot of speculation out there but I aim to do my best to separate truth from fiction where possible. History has shown Icethetics' NHL JerseyWatch to be pretty reliable. Hoping it continues!

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