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August 19, 2012

The NHL's Fabulous Five

     Before I start with anything else, I would like to thank Ryan for giving me the privilege to write on his blog. I am extremely humbled and honored to have such a responsibility to professionally represent HJC. As with the other guest bloggers (who have all done a fantastic job so far), I have been requested to share with you my top five NHL sweaters that are currently in use.

Compiling this list was a bit tricky for me, as new uniform sets could be announced at any time. The same goes for new alternate jerseys. Let it be known, I would have older jerseys (if everyone were permitted to have those) included in this list. Some may be surprised with my selections this afternoon. The reason being is that I am very tacky when it comes to my fashion sense. I also take into consideration that unlike building designs, the final product is better than the rendering with hockey jerseys. The honorable mentions/best of the rest (being the only other sweaters I deem worthy) include Winnipeg's road jersey, Toronto's alternate jersey,  Minnesota's home jersey, the Rangers' road jersey, and Edmonton's road jersey (in no order). My list was determined by an unseeded bracket and pitted against each other in the first round by random. The second round can be seen below via the HJC contest voting method.

Let's start with jersey number five:

Tomas Kaberle
(image courtesy of Icethetics)


Boston Bruins Alternate

     I remember seeing the original version of the crest logo when playing against Boston in NHL 2002's PC version by EA Sports. I was glad to find out when the Bruins brought this back and updated it. Justin Cox even made an attempt to create a similar renderings intended to be used by Buffalo Nickel Graphics (my blog) last week. I like it, but obviously props to the inspiration of that. Even though the rest of the jersey matches well, I wonder if the yellow and white shoulder yokes from the home jersey would transfer well . . . That could very well highlight the striping on the arms and matching socks nicely. Outside of the logo and striping, what else do you see? Nothing - and that is important with this jersey. It isn't overcrowded with unnecessary stuff. The crest logo being slightly superimposed makes it seem to me as if the jersey had been around for at least a decade or two, like the "Winnie the Pooh" jerseys. I think we definitely can see longevity, solely because of the longevity of said inaugural alternate jersey in NHL history.

The fourth jersey on our list:

Teemu Selanne
(image courtesy of Icethetics)


Anaheim Ducks Alternate

  This may seem like a homer pick, but to be honest, the Ducks jerseys aren't the best that could have been designed. Many have spoken of considering this to replace the home jersey and add a matching white for road games. I don't know if the white would work out, orange maybe but not white. Unfortunately, I see a changing of the guard soon. Following Selanne's looming retirement, this jersey could fall through the wayside as the logo, colors, and/or jerseys will be altered again in order to signify a new era in Ducks hockey. This particular top reminds me of how good the Isles' alternate were supposed to turn out, except on the opposite side of the spectrum. There is similar striping involved and the idea with the shoulder yokes aren't far off from the ones at the Pond. I don't mind the third jersey residing on the Island, but this was what the Boys from Nassau were trying to copy, but we all clearly know who perfected the look. That may seem like a strange comparison of jerseys to make, but this jersey looks like it's a one-hit wonder compared to the Islanders' "brain child" that wasn't. Maybe we might see Honda red in the Ducks franchise if a change occurs to accompany their home's sponsor.


Presenting jersey number three:

Luke Adam
(image courtesy of Icethtics)
Buffalo Sabres Home

     The Sabres identity-troubled past in the last decade had gone completely haywire . .  until recently. A lot of people don't like the silver added to the Sabres' classic gold, white, and blue theme or the striping to match. However, I think these are what put them back on the map from a schematic standpoint. I prefer the blue home over the road white, but both are pretty solid. In addition, the script on the recently retired alternates made those great too, but the numbers took away from them a bit. When these were first introduced as alternates behind the Buffa-slug unis, this became the first jersey to include numbers on the upper right side of the chest, quickly followed by San Jose and a couple others that same season. Deciding to keep the updated "sword in a B" logo was also a good option for the future look of the franchise and much needed for 40th anniversary celebrations a couple seasons ago. Renovation of the crest logo and being a potential trendsetter makes this my third favorite jersey. I'm glad my hometown and Eastern Conference team took a step in the right direction with this one!


Introducing jersey number two:

Jaroslav Halak
(image courtesy of Icethetics)

St. Louis Blues Alternate

     This reserves the second spot because it picks up slack for the home and road. Though those aren't terrible they definitely need some work to be done. Many people in the hockey jersey world don't tend to like circle logos, but I don't mind them if they are well presented - as is the case here. This could work in St. Louis yellow as an alternate too, but I would prefer this be promoted as the home suit. That goes without saying promotion of the crest logo as the primary would have to be in order. If neither of the above occur (which they're likely not to), I would like to see red added back into the franchise identity. This motion would be in reminiscence of the Bret Hull era of Blues hockey. If I were giving specific awards for my current favorite NHL jerseys, St. Louis would get "Best Supporting Jersey" for their efforts.


You've all been waiting, now here is my most favorite current jersey:

Dwayne Roloson
(image courtesy of Icethetics)
Tampa Bay Lightning Alternate

     Unlike many jersey enthusiasts who very much despise the likes of this shirt, I truly believe this is the jersey everyone should be appreciating. It was this jersey that made compiling the list so difficult. This is because the future of this jersey is currently unknown. I decided to include this in because we have not been told whether or not it will be replaced and/or retired with about two months until the new season starts. The lighter shade of blue is what places this jersey over the St. Louis alternate (since it matches the team color scheme). Fortunately for the Baysiders in St. Pete, they kept the script from when they modernized their logo for the 2007/08 season. That font not matching the new font accommodating the new logo helps its status as an alternate jersey. The side piping is not featured on the home and road's as are the non-outlined numbers. I would like to see Tampa try a black alternate if they do indeed decide to toss this sweater. Nonetheless, this spells alternate jersey in practically every sense of the word.

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And here you have it, my best of the best. I would like to make it known, that using pictures only from Icethetics wasn't intended, although it is a great resource for this topic. At least three of the jerseys under honorable mention were from other sites. Also, I would like to point out my number one NHL hockey jersey faux-pas. I believe the colored jersey should be saved for the road the way it used to be, as in the AHL now, in the case of road and home jerseys. Alternates at home are acceptable as it is occasional. But (except for soccer outside the US) all the teams in other sports leagues wear white home uniforms.

You may have also noticed four of the top five are alternate jerseys, that was not intentional. If you didn't, you may have been paying attention to the fact that all five are colored jerseys instead. White jerseys seem boring mostly - which is why I feel they serve best as home jerseys. No matter, this is all solely my opinion and you are entitled to yours without argument. If you are a regular reader of HJC, I strongly encourage you to leave a comment on your thoughts regarding my decisions. We also look forward to the lists of any future writing contributors for HJC.

I would like to thank everyone for taking a decent time out of their day to read this somewhat-lengthy blog post on my taste and preferences in [NHL] hockey jerseys. If anyone got inspired by the suggestions I proposed, feel free to let your imagination run wild and send concepts in to all the blogs out there. Repeat  to yourself "there will be no lockout." Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and remember, it's only 42 days until hockey season - when Ottawa visits Montréal on September 23 to open the 2012/13 NHL pre-season!

Best Regards,
-Ricky at Buffalo Nickel Graphics

2 comments:

Justin said...

Nice post, Ricky. Very informative as usual from you. I'm glad to see someone throw in the Blues alternate!

Ricky said...

Thanks Justin! I always have been into detail. The fact that the Blues alternate jersey could go in two directions makes you question what will happen to them next more than other jerseys.