What's been called the worst hockey jersey design in history has become the NHL's worst kept secret of the year. And now there's another leak of the New York Islanders' forthcoming third jersey.
This time it's a photo I can actually post on the blog. According to Glen Cuthbert, who tweeted it tonight, it comes to us by way of River City Sports. Looks like a page from the retailer's catalog — and it probably shouldn't feature that unreleased jersey quite yet.
Over the summer, I posted a image that depicted the sweater's design. It was based on a photo from Reebok — the same photo seen on the catalog page above. I was not permitted to put that particular photo on the blog but I was able to provide my own graphic rendition of it.
It's believed the Islanders will officially unveil the jersey in late November. Every year since third jerseys came back, there has always been a team or two that holds out until Thanksgiving (US) or Black Friday for the big reveal — obviously hoping to capitalize on the Christmas season.
As for the design itself. It's been widely criticized primarily by Islanders fans. As you'd expect. It has black and grey in it. (Perhaps they're just using those colors to maintain balance in the universe since the Lightning dropped them.) It's very much untraditional and that tends not to sit well with Icethetics readers.
Now the opinion part — which you're highly likely to disagree with. So stop reading if you're not interested in an alternative perspective. Fair warning.
I like it. Not the jersey design, that's pretty hideous. But I like that a team like the Islanders is still willing to experiment with their uniforms even after all the trouble that's gotten them into in the past. Now that they've perfected their home and road uniforms, why not use the third jersey for which it was originally intended? Showcasing an alternate color.
If it doesn't catch on, so what? Try it for a year or two and surrender it to the pages of history. Wouldn't be the first time. Won't be the last. Yeah, maybe black was the wrong way to go, but maybe it's just bold enough to gain traction with the nontraditional fans and build up a struggling market. Or maybe I don't know anything at all. Wouldn't surprise me.
Clearly the Islanders are no longer interested in catering to the traditionalists. And good for them! They've done that for the past few years and it made everyone very happy. Myself included. Now why is it so wrong that they want to try something new? The world doesn't move forward without things trying new things.
So... I like it. A lot. I know this won't be a popular stance, but when have I ever spoken for the majority? But rather than going on, I'll just leave you with another look at the Isles' newest ugly sweater.