The new 2018-19 NHL season is nearly upon us, and that only means one thing: JERSEY UNVEILS!
Like during the transition to Reebok a decade ago, Adidas decided to forego alternate jerseys during the first year of their new Adizero system. Some say that this was to avoid overloading the production line with too many variants, although the cynics would suggest that this was done for all the alternate jersey sales in the second year.
But I digress. Point is, with a year under Adizero’s belt, the much-awaited alternate jerseys are finally here. Let’s take a closer look:
Unveiled the morning of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the Arizona Coyotes turned back the clock with their 1996 Kachina jerseys – only this time on the Adidas template. The familiar masked coyote sits front-and-centre, flanked by Southern-style detailing in the stripes and collar.
👍 Thumbs Up: I love how true these throwbacks are to the original design, even down to the pattern on its collar. Really, the only difference are template-specific things like the black stripe around the neck.
👎 Thumbs Down: Nothing really. Maybe I’m a little disappointed we do not get to see a brand-new design but there’s no way I can complain about bringing these classics back. They’re just so Arizona.
Like the Coyotes, the Carolina Hurricanes also unveiled their alternate jersey prior to the 2018 draft, going with a new – yet familiar – design. The jersey features a hurricane warning flag surrounded by deep blacks and classic striping.
👍 Thumbs Up: I love when alternate jerseys are able to stick to the team’s brand without looking identical (cough Canucks, Leafs). Black is not my favourite jersey colour, but I think it works well here paired with the bright red stripes. Oh, and they finally have the correct flag (although I wasn’t as bothered as others seemed to be).
👎 Thumbs Down: While Carolina’s previous alternate logo was criticized for being merely a storm warning flag, its proportions allowed for a more solid structure especially with the triangle behind it. The new, taller crest however, is way too vertical and imbalanced when matched with the horizontal stripes. I’m also not a huge fan of the grey shoulders, red piping, or blacked-out patches. I get that it kind of gives an Tron-ish, modern vibe (like the cross-check jerseys of yesteryear), it really detracts from the otherwise solid sleeve and hem striping.
For its Silver Anniversary, the Anaheim Ducks took notes from its Mighty past and unveiled a retro-inspired alternate. Accompanying the classic logo and teal colour, modern twists include a new shoulder yoke and black torso.
👍 Thumbs Up: This jersey takes most of what we love from the Mighty Ducks jerseys, including the badass crest and diagonal hem stripe. Contrary to other opinions, I actually like the shoulder yokes. They balance out the diagonal hem that used to dominate visually. I think once you get past the fact that it’s not supposed to be an exact replication of the older jerseys, things start looking better.
👎 Thumbs Down: I would have preferred the old eggplant base, but the change to black is slight and really isn’t too detrimental to the jersey’s design. What is, however, are the bright-orange sticks that draw so much attention away from the rest of the crest. Yes, orange is a major component of the Duck brand, but come on, so is the more understated gold which would have looked much better and matched the shoulder patches.
The storied Philadelphia Flyers continue their unimaginative practice of taking previously-used specialty jerseys and turning them into regular alternates. This time, they have adopted the black and orange from their 2017 Stadium Series uniforms.
👍 Thumbs Up: This jersey is incredibly clean, with just a few orange stripes on the black base. Like the Carolina alternate jerseys, the Flyers were able to create a distinct uniform while maintaining brand identity, which is awesome.
👎 Thumbs Down: Although I’m usually a huge fan of two-tone jerseys such as these, I’m not sure if orange and black has enough contrast to really stand alone. The striping would look a little more balanced if there was a high-contrast stripe flanking the orange, but then you lose the outstanding simplicity.
…more to come as jerseys are unveiled!