The Boston Bruins are hard at work right now deciding what they'll wear when they take to the frozen pond against the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park this January.
The Boston Globe had some interesting notes regarding the discussions and a few quotes worth repeating. You can find the full article by Fluto Shinzawa here or read it with the Icethetics commentary that follows.
Sizing Up a Classic Jersey
The Bruins, deep in discussions about the sweater they’ll wear for the Winter Classic, are hoping to create a jersey that can catch a piece of the magic the Penguins created two years ago. For the 2008 outdoor game at Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Penguins went retro, pulling their 1968-69 jersey design out of mothballs. Today, the powder blue sweater —the Penguins switched to black and gold in 1979-80, following in the footsteps of the Steelers and Pirates — remains one of the league's top-selling items.
"That worked," said Bruins principal Charlie Jacobs, "because they’re not necessarily their team colors. There's no black or gold. It's a powder blue jersey, and that made it unique. It's certainly recognized in their market. It's not like the Pirates, Steelers, or anything else. It's unique."
No one has hit it as big as the Penguins with an alternate jersey. I think the Chicago Blackhawks are hoping to grab a little piece of their success by turning their Winter Classic uniforms into an alternate for the upcoming season.
Jacobs hopes that by the end of August, the Bruins, in conjunction with Reebok and the NHL, will settle on a design that will serve multiple purposes: capture the Bruins’ heritage, stand out as a unique item for the New Year’s Day game against the Flyers at Fenway Park, and convince fans to hand over their money.
"We've had some really good meetings with Reebok and the NHL regarding what we think will be most appropriate to our market," Jacobs said. "We’ve looked at some traditions of our organization and our storied history."
Jacobs keeps using the word unique and likes that the Penguins went with a color that is no longer part of their regular uniforms. This leads me to think he'd be a fan of brown jerseys for the 2010 Winter Classic.
So far, the Bruins have audited every jersey in team history, looking at elements they like and ones that, in retrospect, might have been tweaked. Jacobs said the final product could be a retro jersey, or it could be a new uniform that incorporates different treatments. Black and gold would most likely be involved in the final design. But the Bruins also have worn jerseys featuring dark brown and mustard yellow tones.
The mustard yellow could work in the context of the Winter Classic but I say they go with something out of the ordinary. Brown is definitely out of the ordinary. I also think that some version of the logo currently seen on the third jersey should not be out of the question. After all, it too is based on the Bs' logo history.
It needs to stand out from the Bruins' current home and road sweaters, which are widely considered to be among the best in the league right now. That being said, it needs to be better than or on level with these. A disappointing design will take a lot of the steam out overall feel of the game.
But that's only my point of view. I know you have one too. Share it and share any concept designs you may have put together. Email them to me if you want them added to this post.