As you know, I hate to post rumor and gossip. I prefer actual facts to back up my information so naturally I was unsure about posting this at all. But since I started this blog, I've made contacts with a lot of great people inside the NHL and Reebok. (Honestly, how do you think I was able to get much of the information I did over the summer?)
I was asked not to write about this, but I can't do that to you guys. As NHL fans, you have the right to know. I've been told the league will be dropping the Rbk EDGE uniforms entirely next season and is cutting all ties with Reebok. Naturally, this news comes as quite a shock considering all the time and money that was put into the project in the first place. My Reebok rep called it a "failed experiment" and said the split with the NHL was "best for both parties."
What might be most surprising is the league is discussing redesigning all 30 uniforms once again! (Like once wasn't enough.) A new deal is still being worked out, but right now it appears league commissioner Gary Bettman would consider having the folks at Bravo TV series Project Runway design the new sweaters in one of next season's new episodes. Manufacturing would then be handled by Nike, believe it or not.
My source (who I unfortunately can't name due to legal issues) inside the league says Bettman is "delighted" at the prospect of getting the league this sort of national television recognition. I'm tempted to take him at his word as that sounds just like Bettman to me. Not surprisingly, this is going to make the NHL look like a complete joke on the national stage.
Personally, I really think they should have just stuck it out for at least one more season. Sure, the Rbk EDGE system had its issues, but so do most new things. On the other hand, the prospect of new uniform designs is kind of exciting. But we just went through it last year. This is just overkill and rather annoying.
Finally, I just wanted to take the time to thank you guys for continuing to visit the blog. Without you, I certainly wouldn't be where I am. News regarding these uniform changes will supposedly start trickling out as the playoffs wind down. Looks like we'll be doing the uniform re-design watch for yet another summer.
I'll post more information on this as I get it.
UPDATE (4/2 2:12 AM): Happy April Fools' Day! I love you guys!