All three Empire State teams have third jerseys on the horizon. Some sooner, some later. We'll start with the Sabres, who I glossed over last week as word came down while I was busy packing for my trip.
Sabres to unveil third jersey Sept. 18
The Buffalo Sabres announced last week that a new third jersey will be unveiled on September 18.
The new sweater is meant to celebrate the team's 40th anniversary and will make its official introduction at Puck Drop 2010, the team's 2010-11 season kickoff party.
Specific details of the design were not made available, but the following description was included in the press release on the Sabres' website:
The Sabres will unveil the team’s new 40th anniversary third jersey at an open practice that morning. This classically-designed uniform is a tribute to not only the history of Buffalo hockey, but early NHL jersey designs. The 40th anniversary jersey will now serve as the team’s alternate jersey.
Fans will be able to purchase the 40th anniversary jersey in the Sabres Store beginning that day. The team is also scheduled to take part in a scrimmage following the jersey unveiling.
That's all we really have to go on at this point, so let's break it down. It's described as a "classically-designed uniform" that's a "tribute to not only the history of Buffalo hockey, but early NHL jersey designs." That all but confirms some sort of textual element as the primary feature of the sweater. Those old-timey hockey sweaters were always using words over symbols.
Pair that with the part about the history of Buffalo hockey, and a picture starts to emerge. Rumors have swirled for a long time that the Sabres may look to their AHL predecessor, the Buffalo Bisons, who played from 1940 to 1970. This concept (right) probably best exemplifies what we're likely to see based on the above release.
Having said that, it goes against the description leaked to Icethetics back in March. But a lot can change in that amount of time. Luckily, we only have less than a month to wait before we see it.
And of course, we can't talk about Sabres jerseys in 2010 without talking about the standard home and road sweaters. It's practically a foregone conclusion that the "Buffaslug" is dead. However, he still appears on the team's website so I'll hold off on calling it just yet.
That being said, we're expecting last season's third jersey to be the new home sweater while a white version of it will be worn on the road. We've said this over and over. My guess is that this will be made official as sort of an "oh, by the way..." type of thing at the Puck Drop event.
If I hear or see anything before then, you know where to find it. And by the way, this expectation that I "should" have a "leak" by now... laughable, folks. We'll see the jerseys when we see them. What's the rush?
Rangers' third rumored to arrive in November
SNY Rangers Blog said on Tuesday that the New York Rangers will unveil a new alternate jersey in mid-November. The writer cites an anonymous source for the approximate release date and offered no details on the design.
However, if you've been keeping up with JerseyWatch 2010, you already know that Bleacher Report blogger Greg Caggiano claimed in March to have seen a mock-up. He says it will be almost identical to the current home jersey except that RANGERS is replaced by NEW YORK in diagonal text running down the front.
The rest of us are hoping the "Lady Liberty" jersey from the '90s makes some sort of comeback. That was truly a cool sweater — regardless of whether the statue is technically in Jersey or not.
And let's not bee too closed-minded here. It's entirely possible that the Rangers could come up with a totally new sweater design. Likely? Maybe not. But certainly possible.
Islanders plan third jersey for 2011-12
Now that the New York Islanders have fixed their jersey design failures by reverting to their original design twice since 1997 — they're going to mess with it again.
A new article posted yesterday on the Isles' website follows a day in the life of the team's director of retail operations, Terry Goldstein. It's a fun read for jersey geeks like us. Among other things, Goldstein says work began in April on the design of a new alternate sweater which will launch in 2011 — assuring that Icethetics will never ever run out of content. Ever.
He's a little cocky...
“As the Director of Retail Operations, my design ideas are the ones that help create new player jerseys and the different items found in our Team Stores,” Goldstein said. “In the past six years, every Islanders apparel item that you have seen our players or our fans wear at the games, on television or in print has began with my ideas.”
...but at least now we have a legitimate scapegoat for the striping atrocity that was the Islanders' original Reebok Edge uniform. Mike Milbury is still to blame for Fishsticks.
As we all know by now, the Isles are returning to their original colors and uniform design, featuring that classic royal blue and orange combination. It's nice seeing bright colors making their way back into the NHL. Now to the part of the article about the upcoming alternate uniform.
By returning to the team’s original colors, the Islanders now have only two jerseys for this coming season and Goldstein is looking to create a new third jersey for the 2011-12 season.
“The planning started 4 months ago to re-introduce a third jersey. We currently have a committee of people that are deciding on the style,” Goldstein said. “We have all types of designs. We’ll make samples of the jerseys, then make the final decision. This will become part of what you see on the ice in the 2011-12 season.”
With the way things have been trending lately, I shudder to think the final design may be some scripty text. But next season is still a long way off.
Meantime, the article also includes this gem:
More than 15 months ago, Goldstein started working to create a camouflage practice jersey for this coming season. The Islanders will debut the practice jersey on the ice for pre-game warm-ups, prior to facing off against the Flyers on November 6 in honor of Military Appreciation Night. Once the pre-game skate is over, fans will have the opportunity to bid on the jerseys with the proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors Project.
“Tied in with the warm-up jerseys, we are creating four other military camouflage items for our team stores,” Goldstein said. “We are going to have a John Tavares camouflage shirt, a hat and a generic shirt. We are trying to create some fun items that we have never done before.”
Dude, over a year for a camouflage warm-up jersey? Really? Anyway, if you want to know more I recommend giving it a read.
And yes, I have minor league jersey news to get to as well. But that'll be for another day. I have to go to work some time.
Quick follow-up to this post. Icethetics reader Jeremy M. pointed out to me that it seems Reebok has redesigned the standard NHL practice jersey. All 30 teams now have replicas for sale. I've posted pictures in a brand new Jersey Gallery.
Of course the "Buffaslug" is nowhere to be found on the Sabres' new jersey, but what's interesting is that the Lady Liberty logo is on the Rangers' practice jersey! An awesome sign of things to come perhaps?
Even if they don't end up using it on the new third jersey, I'm at least glad to see it's not completely dead. Also worth noting is that the Canucks are using their secondary logo, the modernized "stick-in-rink," while the Predators going with the simplified version of their primary mark — introduced on the third jersey, and expected to be on the new home uniform.
That is all.