Something interesting arrived in my email tonight. Something you might like to see.
An anonymous sender tells me these images below depict the Edmonton Oilers' new Adidas home jersey. But do they? Let's take a look and then dig into it a bit.
At first glance, it seems like the real deal. It's got the darker blue that's been long reported. There's even a new striping pattern modeled after the club's classic design.
But for me, it all sort of hinges on the collar. Obviously it's an eyesore, but it does match what we saw at the Adidas/NHL coming out party last fall — also known as the World Cup of Hockey. So that's promising.
However, it's pretty obviously white in this photo. But does it align with the official teaser photo released by Adidas yesterday that seems to show no white at the back of the collar?
I'll let you be the judge but it's worth noting that the Adidas collar does sometimes change color between the front and back. We saw it with several World Cup jerseys, including Sweden's.
But is that what we're seeing with the purported Oilers jersey? The view from the side seems to indicate that the white goes all the way around. But because we're not seeing the full collar in the teaser, it's tough to say with any certainty what's going on there.
There's another rub. That same teaser image also shows a nameplate with white letters and a blue outline. One would expect the numbers to match since they normally do. In the alleged leaked images, we see blue outlined in white — the reverse. But keep in mind that Calgary's red jersey uses white letters outlined in black with black numbers outlined in white and yellow. So it's not a deal breaker.
Regardless, I'm not here to say whether this leak is legitimate or not. Decide for yourself. But if you can't get over these apparent inconsistencies, consider the possibility that these photos depict a camera test of a prototype that was later discarded. (I have no idea when the pictures were taken.)
Or consider that we have a very limited view of details in both the official teaser images as well as the photos above. We can't see everything so it's not worth making a final judgment yet.
A question that's come up repeatedly among fans is whether Adidas will force it's three-stripe branding onto NHL jerseys they way they did under the arms at the World Cup. That doesn't appear to be the case here but the sleeves are hiding the sides of the jersey in these photos.
For what it's worth, my sources tell me there's not a huge appetite from Adidas to brand these jerseys that way. Selling them to NHL fans is more important to them than highlighting a particular branding element. And the triple-stripe would alienate a lot of NHL traditionalists — that much we know.
So I'll leave it there. We'll find out for sure one way or the other on Tuesday. For now I'm eager to see further discussion in the comments.
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