Nothing gets a hockey fans mouth watering like a beautiful, cleanly stitched jersey. We've seen the best of the best and the absolute WORST of the worst. Yeah, thats right....I'm talking to you 1995-97 New York Islanders. But hey, times have changed and even as a Rangers fan I can say they don't look that bad in their current jerseys. Hockey sweaters hold a tradition like no other, with heritage written all over them. Logos have changed, but team colors can date back to the 1920's, when the NHL came about. With the uprising of social media in the past decade, it became more clear that the fans wanted an upgraded look. Gary Bettman and the NHL stepped up to the plate, making a deal that would change the way we look at hockey jerseys for a long time.
In September of 2015, just three months after the NBA signed a MONSTER jersey and apparel deal with Nike, the NHL decided they wanted to put Adidas in the drivers seat. A seven-year deal in which Adidas outbid Under Armour at a whopping $70 million per season, meant that they would now have full control of NHL jerseys and merchandise. Personally, I felt this deal was perfect for the league. Instead of going with a company like Nike, who is already handling the NBA and the NFL, you go with the next man up. The hockey world knew that it would take a couple years to see the final product, but we got our first taste of beauty at the World Cup of Hockey in 2016.
In their first big test, Adidas did no wrong with these jerseys. The colors, design, and stitching got everyone really excited for the next hockey season. Some people don't like change, but others love new. New cars, houses, boats, you name it. This was our new and as a hockey fan I felt something special beginning to happen. The NHL's jerseys were about to get a serious makeover.
Lets flash forward to June 2017, shall we? THEY ARE FINALLY HERE. IT'S NOT A DRILL. Adidas, after almost two years of keeping us in the dark, released the brand spankin' new 2017-18 hockey jerseys. *uplifting choir sound effect plays.* Although there were a couple of leaks floating around twitter, I know from recent experience to wait until the official release, and boy was it worth it. The pictures don't even do the diligence. If you're a hockey fan I'm sure you've already had the chance to wear/feel one of these, but if not WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Now it's time to take a moment to really appreciate the changes Adidas made to the hockey jerseys and talk about why they are so cool. First off lets talk about the NHL logo, or the crest as they like to call it. Adidas dummied the idea of that garbage patch that Reebok called a logo and came up with a brand new, sleek metallic design:
On the old Reebok jerseys, the crest was just a separate piece to the actual jersey and had this look as if it had no place being there. The new crest pops and has a whole new meaning. It brings a more modern look to the table, something that the NHL was aiming for with the new deal. You know when something looks so clean that you just have to sit there and admire it? That's me in this situation.
Anyways, moving on.
Next, we look at the laces. Not every jersey in the league has laces, but Adidas made some really awesome changes that are noteworthy. I love the fact that they went away with the tubular and went with more of a flat/wider lace. Its something so small, but makes for such a better look on the jersey. For example here are two of the options Adidas gave teams for their laces. The New York Rangers went with the traditional hanging look, while the Calgary Flames came up with a tucked laces approach:
Honestly, at first I was not a big fan of the tucked laces, but after a while it grew on me. I'm all for the originality that it brings. Oh and one more thing about the laces, there is absolutely no way you can tell me the old ones look better. The wide ones are SO clean and don't look like a jumbled up pair of Apple earbuds. The comment section will be open to any people who feel other wise.
Lets talk about those shoulders, eh? My thought is that they separate the jersey from being just a lone sheet of fabric. For instance, I always liked how the Oilers had blue on their shoulders and white as the base color. It adds a really cool two tone look. Thats the way I think of the new shoulders on these jerseys. Even if the base color is only one color, the fabric is separated in two parts and for me, thats enough to say hey that looks pretty awesome.
You gotta love the Nashville colors, I mean come on. Embrace the beauty in front of you. Ugh, I think my bank account is going to take a hit after I'm done with this blog. But seriously, the indented circles and the crisp Adidas logo on the back makes the upper half of these sweaters look BEAUTIFUL.
Lastly, it would only be right to go over the jersey as a whole. Adidas, you really out did yourselves. The big thing is that you didn't mess up. You took something so close to the hockey fans and their organizations and made it even better. The turnaround time was incredible and I'm glad it got done the right way. Obviously, theres going to be people out there who don't like it. I mean there are five-star restaurants where people leave bad reviews. But, it seems the majority of hockey fans love the jerseys.
From top to bottom, these jerseys are incredible. Thank you so much Adidas from the bottom of our hearts.
- Fans of the National Hockey League
BEFORE YOU GO. This blog isn't over yet because Adidas decided that they weren't done. They knew the hockey fans wanted more, so they delivered. ALTERNATE JERSEYS. Oh yes they did. Since there's not that many so far and people continue to speculate that there will be more, heres my grades on what has been released so far.
Before we start these grades on what jerseys we already have in front of us, heres the list that got the buzz started. A reddit user "humanpizza" posted a picture of what appears to be this years Adidas catalog:
So to be clear, only five of the NINETEEN jerseys have been released so far. Technically seven if you count the Blues (revealing on August 26th) or the Canucks (revealed jerseys, but not releasing until 2019-20 season). The question I wonder is if the Canucks name on that sheet relates to the one that they just revealed. Regardless we are going to review it anyways.
ANAHEIM DUCKS: A+
Lets be honest here, you spit out your coffee when you saw these too. These are FIRE. A+ with a cherry on top. We've been waiting so long for these to come back and they came back with a BANG. Goldeberg, Banks, Kariya, Jean-Sébastien, and now the 2018-19 Anaheim Ducks. I'll take two please.
ARIZONA COYOTES: A
A good friend of mine by the name of Nick Beaudoin once told me you have to look good to play good. Honestly these jerseys are so nice the Coyotes might just win the cup in these. Yeah I said it. THE KACHINA IS BACK and better than ever. I'm not crying you're crying. My credit card just bought a Clayton Keller one of these without even asking me to do so.
VANCOUVER CANUCKS: A-
This jersey screams Pavel Bure. One of the best to ever play. The colors are so old school its hard not to fall in love. Not to brag or anything, but the Rangers happened to beat the Canucks in these bad boys to win the cup in 1994 (Not a big deal). Sick threads though. 10/10 would buy a Brock Boeser one. Stinks we have to wait another season to see them debut.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS: B
Alright Devils fans before you attack me, hear me out. These jerseys are cool and I was a big fan of the red ones too, but I really think they could've done better. I was hoping they would choose black instead and give that a test drive. I even took a dive into the Devils fans comment sections and they too were saying the same thing. Also, only four games in these jerseys, really!? Come on NJ, these are nice enough to showcase a little more than just four games.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: B
Philly gets a Super Bowl and now a alternate jersey for their hockey team. "Back in Black" is the phrase they are using for these and I honestly don't have a problem with it. You might remember these from the 2017 Stadium Series because they are exactly the same as the ones they used in that game. I like the simplicity of the jersey, but it doesn't have enough to set it over the edge as a top alternate in the league. Especially when there are other teams like Winnipeg and Toronto who have yet to reveal theirs.
CAROLINA HURRICANES: F
GROSS. Not the good kind of gross. I actually thought these weren't real at first. I had to double take and pinch myself to make sure I was seeing this in real life. Carolina, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? You have great team colors and do the worst thing possible to them. And that logo, UGH that logo is HORRIBLE. I think I could draw up a better jersey in Microsoft Paint. It's bland and it stinks. STINKS. Please wake me up when this nightmare is over.
To wrap things up, I'd like to give a long overdue thank you to Adidas for making these NHL jerseys look amazing.
Unfortunately, thats all I got for the jersey blog right now. If you want to tell the thirteen other teams to hurry up and release their jerseys, please be my guest. When they release more I'll either add to this blog or create a new one for my jersey rankings. Let me know what you think in the comments or give me a shout on Twitter. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my work. It means more than you'll ever know.
LASTLY, but not least, I can't thank the FTB crew enough for giving me the platform to write blogs. I'll forever be in debt to Dan Bahl and his crew for building this incredible website. Please go check out the work from the other writers on this page, you will NOT be disappointed. As always, have yourself an amazing day.