Preseason Update

I'm taking a one-night detour from the Icethetics Season Preview to catch up on some news from around the NHL.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have a third jersey in the works, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Initially reported an online chat last Thursday, further confirmation came today via another session with beat writer Aaron Portzline.

The report include anything about elements of the design, just that it will make its debut for 2010-11 — meaning Icethetics is apparently not yet finished following third jersey news after this season.

First, the question posed to Portzline on Thursday, September 17.

[bucknuts07] Any word on the Jackets unveiling a third Jersey anytime soon?

[Portzline] It won't happen this season. But it's already in the works, I'm told, and it'll be out next season. They really like the current look and want to let it develop roots in the marketplace, which makes good sense to me. 

Also makes sense to me. But that didn't stop the Sharks, Lightning, Senators, Bruins or Canucks — all of whom introduced new logos in 2007 only to immediately launch new third jerseys the following season.

But everybody's trying to make a buck, as Portzline pointed out in Wednesday's chat.

[Moe Bartoli's Ghost] I would love to see the Jackets wear their white jerseys at home in order to see all the other teams colors, sort of like the Browns do. Any chance of suggesting this?

[Portzline] The NHL is always looking for ways to sell sweaters. (By the way, the Blue Jackets will have a third sweater next season, it looks like.) I don't know about always wearing the whites at home. I prefer the blues. As for the Browns ... those brown pants should be put away forever. 

I also agree with not wearing whites at home. Best move the NHL has made in the last several years. Why would you want your team to blend into the ice? Anyway, it's not even that great for most fans since the majority of teams wear red, dark blue or black at home.

It'll be nice to see the Flyers finally make that switch to orange this year. Lucky Wild fans will be treated to green sweaters for a handful of games this season. Unfortunately, there's not much else to look forward to until the Winter Classic — unless the Panthers whip out a yellow alternate.

Now onto our next subject. I get scores of emails every year during the preseason from irate Red Wings fans wanting to know why they've ditched the classic arched lettering style on the back of the jerseys.

The emails are already starting to come in again this year so I thought I'd head them off but informing the Icethetics public. First, see the following photo from Tuesday's game between Detroit and Philadelphia.

Chris Osgood in his preseason only sweater

So what's with the nameplate? It's the wrong font and it's not arched! Fear not, Wings fans. It will only last as long as the preseason. Once the regular season hits, everything will go back to normal. They do it every year.

Why? Glad you asked. First, think about what it takes to make an arched nameplate. Every letter has to be set and cut individually. An L in the middle of the name would be shaped differently from one on one of the ends. This requires extra time and energy on the part of the person in charge of that.

Now think about how many players see action during the preseason — certainly more than the 25 or 30 that may play during the regular season. As many as 50 or 60 guys can dress over the two-week span. And since the preseason doesn't really count anyway, why the hassle? 

They use a simple, straight nameplate to get through the September matches and the guys who actually make the team are treated to the fancy arched surnames in October.

I'm sure there was more I meant to write about tonight, but I cannot think of anything. If you've got any related questions, I'll expand this post tomorrow. Meantime, Part 4 of the Icethetics Season Preview will slide to Friday and Part 5 will go up on Saturday. Finally, a reason for you to visit Icethetics on the weekend!