This one is an Icethetics exclusive! We've known for some time that the Ottawa Senators will launch a Heritage Jersey for their upcoming 20th anniversary season. Folks, here's your first look at it.
An Icethetics reader was kind enough to pass along the above image along with several others I'll get to in a moment. I'm playing the anonymous card here so as to keep from getting anyone in trouble. So I guess you'd have to call it a leak.
Now what are we looking at exactly? I'm told the above image originates from a Senators alumnus. It's black and white because it's a photocopy, but I think it's safe to say you can mentally replace the grey with red. It's part of a packet that outlines the club's grand plans to celebrate its heritage this season. And the plans sound just as great as this uniform looks!
I'll get to all of it shortly but first, the jersey design itself. It's very close to the concept Jacob Barrette designed some years ago. The key difference is the striping around the waist. Plus, the above image fully lines up with the sneak peek the team showed us back in March, right down to the new shield logo on the shoulder — though we're not getting a good look at it in this image, obviously.
My take? Absolutely brilliant. This is precisely what the Senators needed to do with a Heritage Jersey. They recognized that and executed it deftly. I can only imagine how good it will look in action this fall. I'm a huge fan. And to be honest, I can't imagine we'll hear from any true dissenters. Who could really dislike this? It will be the perfect replacement for one of the ugliest third jerseys in the NHL.
What I've cropped off the top of the photo for aesthetic purposes is the following text: "New Heritage Jersey" in bold at the top; followed by "Worn at all 11 home heritage games and 2 national broadcast away games."
Now onto the rest of the packet. As I said, it basically talks about what the team is planning for this season in terms of marketing. Below you'll find transcripts of the photos I received. (Rather do it this way than posting a bunch of blurry photos. Spelling and grammatical errors attributed to original text.)
The Game Everything starts with the game and we'll celebrate the game over the entire season as well as having specific focus on some key areas for 10 games.
- All-Star — games leading up to All-Star game recognize Ottawa All-Stars, All-Star moments
- Legends Nights — Orr, Howe, Potvin, Lemieux, Yzerman
- Team Canada 72 — Henderson, T. Esposito, Cournoyer
- Women's Hockey — Cassie Campbell
- World Juniors — 2009 Gold Medal win
- Minor Hockey — tell the stories of the passion that kids have for the game, recognize the volunteers that give so much to our game. Bell Capital Cup.
Heritage Other heritage elements will include:
- Jerseys worn for away game in Montreal and Toronto on National TV. Have team travel by train in heritage look (fedoras) and sell packages for fans.
- Hockey Hall of Fame displays at Scotiabank Place at NHL All-Star Fanfest and at Governor General's Residence (leading up to and during All-Star)
- Citizen special pages tied to each heritage game
- Tickets for heritage games designed with heritage look/images
- New heritage merchandise location at section 328
- Opening Week — luncheon with 92-93 team at Aberdeen Pavilion
- Opening Night — celebrate 92-93 team
- Game Nights — 20th Anniversary, Heritage, The Game
- Fan and player stories — game, team
- Interior / Exterior Exhibits and Installations
20th Anniversary 4 Key games to highlight significant moments in the modern era. Programming to include pin or handout, alumni/VIP appearances, luncheon, special merchandise.
- 1992-93 Team — Boschman, Marsh, Turgeon, Brady, Shaw, Archibald, Lamb, Loewen, Smail, Sidorkiewicz, Rumble, Peluso, Murphy, McBain
- First playoffs — Duchesne, Tugnutt
- Wayne Gretzky's last game in Canada
- 2007 Stanley Cup Finals
That's what has been sent to me — unofficially, of course. Sounds like there's a lot for Sens fans to get excited about this season — their new sweater especially. I can't get over how great it is that an NHL team is actually doing something that all of us jersey geeks have been hoping for.
The two road games in which the Senators will sport the Heritage Jersey are against the Maple Leafs and Canadiens. A quick glance at the schedule tells us the Sens are in Toronto on Oct. 8, Nov. 12 and Jan. 17 and in Montreal on Jan. 14, Mar. 14 and Mar. 23.
Their home opener is on Oct. 11 against the Minnesota Wild, which is when the Heritage Jersey is likely to make its game debut. That should be the first of 13 total games in which it will be used during the 2011-12 campaign. I'm guessing the full schedule will be released at a later date.
If you've got questions, feel free to ask, but I've pretty much exhausted my knowledge on the subject with this post. If it's not here, I probably don't have an answer to give. I suspect my inbox will start filling up with concepts based on the above image, so it won't be long before you'll be able to see it in full color.
Related: Check out these Senators concepts from early March. I think you'll find Tex Fischer's is the closest to the striping pattern seen in the actual design. But they're all very similar to the real thing.
I've got some replies to questions that have come in via email, Twitter and the comments below.
Heritage defined This Heritage Jersey has nothing to do with the Heritage Classic outdoor game. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has already said there will not be one this season. "Heritage," in this sense, refers to the Senators' 20th anniversary celebration during the coming season. In fairness, it's not only about their own two decades of existence but the old Ottawa Senators from the 1920s as well.
Vintage white Back in March the Senators gave us a sneak peek at the new sweater. From the photo, it appeared to be true white, not this beige color that's been called "vintage" white. But then we were looking at a projector screen image so I can't say the colors were spot on. Then more recently, I was told that it would be vintage white on this uniform. Once again, nothing has been made official yet, so I can't speak with any certainty. And the above image is black and white, so that doesn't tell us anything.
If you have any other questions I can answer, I'll do so here.