The Pittsburgh Penguins are preparing to unveil their brand new 2011 Winter Classic sweater, according to the Tribune-Review.
An article published this morning goes into little detail about the new threads, except to say that they're blue and the scarf-wearing penguin will finally see its way onto a sweater. The story is more of a retrospective on Bob Gessner, the man who created that original Pens logo.
First, the good bits in a quote box:
A new blue-colored alternate uniform is soon to be unveiled by the team. It will debut at the outdoor game against Washington, and the Penguins plan to adopt it next season as a "third" uniform. Also, the first day of 2011 will mark the first appearance of the Penguins' original logo on a uniform.
If you managed to catch my radio interview last weekend, you heard me make a bold prediction I didn't have much basis for. That being, my guess is the Penguins will go with a mish-mash jersey, like the Bruins did at the last Winter Classic.
Rather than recreating a past look, I wouldn't be surprised if they combined elements of several looks and got a little creative with it. Based on this article's assertion that the 1967 scarfed penguin will be on the jersey, it sounds like I could be right. How rare.
There's no date set for the unveiling, but the story does say the new sweater will "resemble uniforms worn by Mario Lemieux's son's local youth team." If anyone reading is involved with that team, maybe you have a photo or two you could provide to give us an idea of what to expect.
For the record, a quick Google search turns up this photo of Austin Lemieux's team in action from February 2008. They are wearing the Pens' current third jersey — which debuted in the NHL just a month earlier at the 2008 Winter Classic. Perhaps they've redesigned their uniforms since?
Anyway, this post is already getting long so I won't harp on the last bit. If you want the inside scoop on the design of the Penguins' logo, you should really read the rest of the article. Gessner says he never liked the scarfed penguin and he doesn't think he'll be impressed with the new sweater.
After this post went up, I got an interesting email from Icethetics reader Jeff S. who tells me a site called NHL Snipers posted what it claims will be the 2011 Winter Classic jerseys — for both the Penguins and the Capitals.
The post featuring these images gives no details as to where they came from, who designed them or even whether they're believed to be real or not. Still, I can't help but feel like there's an inkling of plausibility to the designs.
Perhaps I'm leaning in that direction because they fit my predictions perfectly. This powder blue Pens sweater borrows from a number of eras in team history. And it comes together spectacularly.
The sleeve stripes and shoulder number placement call back to the black-and-gold look of the 1980s. The dark blue in the uniform was part of the 70s design. And the numbers match the original sweater worn in 1967.
It's the Caps' original sweater from 1974. And seeing Alex Ovechkin wearing it will be surreal. It's littered with red and blue stars and features the retro logo previously unveiled at the announcement of the 2011 Winter Classic.
The only real question is whether the players will sport the criminally hilarious white pants for the game.
Anyway, these drawings are all well and good to give us an idea of what we might expect on New Year's Day, but it doesn't really matter until we see photos of the actual uniform.
Remember, the Caps unveil theirs a week from today. The Pens... "soon." Maybe we'll get theirs in the next week or two as well.