Halfway between hockey seasons, it's time to update NHL JerseyWatch 2014!
On draft day, the Anaheim Ducks unveiled new home and road uniforms to debut in the 2014-15 season. And they were just as expected.
The third jersey introduced in 2010 has been promoted with a slight change to the color. And a white version has been added for the road.
Both are a huge improvement.
If you're wondering whether a new third jersey is in the cards for Anaheim, check back next summer or the one after. I'm sure it's coming.
The Arizona Coyotes used the NHL Draft in June to officially change their name. That's it for Phoenix.
As part of the name change, the club introduced new secondary and wordmark logos. The shoulder patch on the jerseys now reads "AZ" instead of "PHX."
In addition, the Coyotes' black third jersey has been retired. But that doesn't mean they're completely wiping away the Phoenix era. Far from it, in fact. The club's original 1996 jersey will return for at least one throwback night this season.
Prior to the draft, 3TV sports anchor Tyler Baldwin suggested the team may consider a new logo for the 2015-16 season. I'd consider that a long shot but it's something to keep an eye on for JerseyWatch 2015.
The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will have a new sweater in their arsenal this year.
After wearing its "Forum blue" — purple — retro jerseys on special occasions over the last four seasons, the team will switch to the gold version in 2014-15. The change was revealed on March 12 by LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen, a writer for the Kings' website.
In Rosen's report, Kings exec Luc Robitaille weighed in on the delay in debuting the new colors.
As Robitaille shared with LA Kings Insider, the process of incorporating new jerseys is a two-year process that includes gaining league approval, and then having the jerseys made. As such, the first Legends Night in 2014-15 won’t be held until the second or third week in December.
I'm sure it'll be well worth the wait.
The purple may be gone for now, but there's a big year coming up soon. The 2016-17 season will mark the 100th anniversary of the NHL as well as the 50th anniversary of the Kings.
I have little doubt we'll be seeing more than a few flavors of retro jerseys make an appearance during that season.
Chris Botta, Sports Business Journal, tweeted Dec. 31 that we'll "be seeing more of [the Islanders' Stadium Series jersey] in coming seasons." He followed up saying that it "or something very close to it, will be the Islanders' third jersey by 2015."
Three months later, Isles' much-maligned black third jersey was officially retired. It made its curtain call on March 23 in a 2-0 shutout win over Columbus.
This will be the Islanders' final season at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and it's possible the team will wear a special shoulder patch to commemorate this. They will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for 2015-16.
UPDATE · Aug 20 · In fact, they will wear just such a patch. The team is slowly revealing the design through teaser images on Snapchat.
For now, the only real question is whether the Isles will go without a third jersey this season or expedite the timetable on bringing back the Stadium sweater.
But that's not all. Last fall CEO Brett Yormark said the club's "new third jersey in Brooklyn will be black and white." An article published in June by Arthur Staple, Newsday, confirmed this is progressing.
Expect a new third jersey that looks more like the black-and-white Brooklyn Nets jerseys; Yormark said he's met with the Adidas/Reebok apparel makers to start the third jersey design process.
I have no doubt the Islanders will be part of NHL JerseyWatch 2015. Stay tuned!
New! A source has confirmed the Ottawa Senators have retired their 2014 Heritage Classic jersey — which they wore against the Canucks in March. We won't be seeing it again in 2014-15.
This seems to go against what Sens owner Eugene Melnyk said on Twitter in April (right). However, bear in mind that the Senators also refer to their black third as a "heritage" jersey. That will return.
In fact, I'm told the team will market special "Throwback Thursday" games this season where those sweaters will be worn.
In recent months, retail discounts have raised questions about the future of Ottawa's red and white jerseys. But a sale isn't always indicative of a uniform redesign. In fact, it hardly ever is. It's usually just a way of increasing sales.
While I'm not expecting any major changes for the Senators in 2014-15, they're worth keeping an eye on in the seasons to come.
In July, the Philadelphia Flyers confirmed a new third jersey will be released this season.
Flyers COO Shawn Tilger stated as much at an event for season ticket holders, but that's about all we know. The team has kept quiet on the details of the design for now.
I've heard rumblings that management is amenable to incorporating Philadelphia's Liberty Bell into its uniform symbolism. Maybe this new sweater will offer the prime opportunity?
Rob Rossi, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, reported June 9 the Penguins will bring back their classic yellow in the form of a new third jersey.
The Penguins expect to introduce an alternate jersey to be worn for select games next season. One confirmable detail about the third jersey is the return of Pittsburgh Gold to the team's uniforms for the first time since 2001-02 season.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said he has ordered yellow leg pads and gloves to be worn when the Penguins' don the alternate jerseys.
This only adds to a previous report from Rossi and Josh Yohe on Dec. 13.
There are tentative plans for a new alternate jersey that could debut next season. A design is not finalized, but under consideration is a jersey similar to the ones the Penguins wore during their 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup runs.
It's the news Pens fans have been eager to hear!
What's still unknown is whether the new sweater will be an exact replica of one the black or yellow jerseys worn by Pittsburgh in the 1980s and early 90s. There are certainly a few for them to choose from.
Believe it or not, I expect a yellow jersey is very possible. Decades from now, we may look back on this era with some eye rolling, but yellow has been on the upswing in recent years.
The Bruins got the trend started with their 2010 Winter Classic threads — the NHL's first gold jersey since Boston's original third was retired in 2006. In 2011, the Nashville Predators introduced their gold home jersey. The Sabres launched a controversial gold third last fall. And as you saw above, the Kings are switching to gold for their Legends Night look.
Everybody's investing in gold right now. Why shouldn't Pittsburgh?
The St. Louis Blues will sport redesigned home and road uniforms this season.
While the team has been extremely tight-lipped about that fact alone, I was able to get a peek at the new home jersey — the rendering seen above.
The team is going with a more traditional design, dropping the apron-string piping that has been the subject of much mockery.
It's expected the navy blue third jersey will be back.
UPDATE · Aug 14 · The new uniforms will be unveiled at a special fan event on Mon., Aug. 25.
I haven't yet seen the new road jersey, but I'd be surprised if it's anything other than a white version of what you see above.
This concept by Nick Burton is probably a safe bet.
New! Since the last JerseyWatch update, I've been told the sweater will be black. According to reporter Erik Erlendsson, Tampa Tribune, it's unlikely we'll get a look at it before September.
UPDATE · Aug 18 · While an unveiling date has yet to be revealed, the dates when the jersey will be worn this season were leaked by the team.
A Lightning prototype jersey from 2006 showed up on ebay back in April. It was black. But don't worry. It was consigned to the scrap heap for a reason.
Will the Lightning dig into their history for a throwback jersey from the '90s? Or will they buck the retro trend in favor of a fresh new design?
New! Despite what you may have heard, the Vancouver Canucks will not have new uniforms this season.
In fact, if you listen to the brief portion of the interview in which Linden discusses sweaters, he mentions it almost in passing — not to say that it's a direction they're determined to go.
To me, it sounds like they considered the idea the way they would consider any idea. The wise dismiss nothing out of hand, but it wouldn't take long to figure out this is the wrong way to go.
While a Johnny Canuck jersey isn't in the cards for 2014, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Canucks in NHL JerseyWatch 2015 or 2016.
This franchise has always struggled with its identity, but it still hasn't quite nailed it. The Haida orca may represent Vancouver well, but not a "Canuck."
The 2015 NHL Winter Classic will see the Washington Capitals hosting the Chicago Blackhawks in D.C. on New Year's Day.
However, a venue has not yet been announced. Nor have any uniforms or logos.
Both teams have played in previous outdoor games. The Blackhawks hosted the second Winter Classic in 2009 at Wrigley Field and faced Pittsburgh in a Stadium Series game last season. The Capitals also played the Penguins in 2011 at Heinz Field.
The best part of any Winter Classic for many Icethetics readers is the sweaters. It's a chance to see teams to dig into their histories a bit.
New! According to a source, the Capitals have considered at least two design options. The first was described as a red version of the jersey that featured the U.S. Capitol building logo.
The second was another red sweater with the "Weagle" front and center — the Caps' secondary logo and shoulder patch.
In 2011, the Caps wore their original white jersey from the 1970s. It wouldn't surprise me to see them simply go with the red version this time around.
And imagine the possibility of white pants! They were a blip in Caps history but will never be forgotten.
As for the Blackhawks, they had a great jersey in 2009 which they later adopted briefly as an alternate. Maybe they could go back to their very first black and white jersey from 1926?
I'm excited to see where both teams end up!
The San Jose Sharks will make their first outdoor appearance in the 2015 NHL Stadium Series when they host the Los Angeles Kings.
On Feb. 21, 2015, the clubs will meet at the new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.
The Kings join the Blackhawks to become the second NHL club to play outdoor games in back-to-back seasons, having faced the Ducks at Dodger Stadium in January. Way to spread the love, NHL.
It's believed the NHL has more up its sleeve for the Stadium Series — after all, how can you have a "series" if there's only one game?
Among the rumors are the Canadiens and Bruins at Gillette Stadium and even the Avalanche and Red Wings at Coors Field — the perfect place to revive Colorado Rockies hockey sweaters.
Looking beyond this season, it's been reported the Minnesota Wild will host an outdoor game in 2016 while the Winnipeg Jets are expected to have the Heritage Classic the same year. But all that is for next year's JerseyWatch series.
In July, we learned the NHL may introduce neon green and black jerseys at the 2015 NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio.
Reebok's spring 2015 catalog spilled the beans on that bit of info. The document showcased designs for various apparel such as T-shirts. The player shirts, specifically, featured the striking color scheme as well a chrome version of the All-Star jersey shield.
The league has yet to officially unveil any jersey designs at this point. But since the game is set for Jan. 25, 2015, I wouldn't expect them anytime soon.
Until then, the Columbus Blue Jackets will wear an All-Star Game patch on their jerseys this season, as seen in the photo above.
Presumably, the NHL will continue to employ the fantasy draft format introduced in 2011, where two captains choose their teams.
This week, we're halfway between the end of last season and the beginning of next season. While we wait, we have plenty of speculation ahead of us. There's always a lot out there but I do my best to separate fact from wishful thinking where possible. History has shown the JerseyWatch series to be pretty reliable. Hoping it continues!