Hockey’s Summer of Shame Part 1: Ugly NHL Jerseys

First things first, an apology. I slacked off throughout much of the summer and that’s inexcusable when you’re trying to build up a following for your still relatively new website. Sure, I run this thing and I can do whatever I want, but that’s not fair to my (potential) readers. Also, even though I may have a legitimate excuse (a newborn child to help raise), I could have cut time elsewhere to devote here instead. I can’t allow my son to grow up and discover his father is a total slacker that abandons his projects. What kind of message would that send to him? Time to right the ship and get back on track.

For the most part it has been a rather boring off-season for the NHL and hockey in general, especially compared to last year. However, despite the lack of truly noteworthy news and events, there have been quite a few instances of failure. In fact, epic fail moments have been so plentiful that I henceforth proclaim this off-season to be known as hockey’s Summer of Shame.

This will be a four, maybe five part series due to the fact that I feel there are simply too many fails to cover in a single post or two. Hell, the subject I’m starting off with alone is too much for one post. You could very well call this the Summer of Ugly Jerseys instead if you wanted to ignore the rest of the travesties. Thus far we’ve had five NHL teams unveil new jerseys, either full redesigns, partials, or new thirds, and it hasn’t been pretty. Even worse are the new Olympic hockey jerseys, which I’ll tackle in part two of this series. Only Russia and the United States have officially released their designs, with Canada’s being leaked as well, but based on the fact that Nike is making them for every country, I think it’s safe to say they’re all going to be horrendous.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the new NHL jerseys. First up is the complete overhaul of the Carolina Hurricanes that was revealed on June 4th.

HurricanesHomeAway

Who the fuck placed the chest logo on this jersey? Seriously, I want an answer. I honestly think some moron simply forgot to center the logo in Photoshop before shipping the design off for manufacturing and the Hurricanes, being notoriously cheap, didn’t want to spend additional money to correct this atrocity. Speaking of cutting corners, notice the glaring lack of shoulder patches. The Hurricanes had one of the best shoulder logos in the league, but now they’re gone, likely because the team can’t afford the extra cost after backing up the truck for Alexander Semin. Oh, and let’s save even more money by putting laces on the home jersey only! Protip: You’d save more money with no laces period.

There is some good here, such as the improved stripping and removal of the checker design along the bottom, but overall these come off as hilarious cheap and uninspired. I mean come on, could those home jerseys look anymore like Team Canada knockoffs? Awful!

Not to be outdone, the Dallas Stars decided to showoff their new jerseys later that same day, probably thinking that Carolina would deflect all the criticism away from them.

StarsHomeAway

Man, that logo. It’s horrific. The “D” bulging out over the star outline is ridiculous. I think it’s stupid to put anything but the straight-up star there to begin with, but if you just have to put a “D” in there, at least make it fit inside the star properly. Another option would have been to make the “D” and star different colors so that they don’t blend together like a mutated starfish. That actually leads into the next problem, the lack of gold. You gotta have some God damn gold on a Stars jersey. Just a touch even would have been fine, like maybe a gold star behind the “D”. Finally, while this one thankfully does have shoulder patches, they’re quite dull. Just a simply circle enclosed version of the main logo. Boring!

Again, there is good here. The color scheme is actually quite nice despite the lack of gold. The presence of lacing on both the home and away jerseys is also a good, though obvious decision. But little things matter when it comes to something as important as your team’s uniform and as such this jersey sucks, even if it is a million times better than what Dallas wore the past few seasons.

There wasn’t much news on the jersey front for awhile after this, likely due to the clusterfuck of June 4th. But with the off-season nearing an end, a few more teams needed to get their new jerseys out of the way and first up was the San Jose Sharks.

SharksHomeAway

Practice jerseys? Apparently these were designed based on the needs of the players and fan input. Players wanted better performance, so they removed most of the shoulder detailing and all of the waist striping. The Sharks have been known as pussies for years, especially in the playoffs, and all this does is prove it. Our jerseys are too heavy! We can’t possibly give 100% in these things! It’s their fault, not ours! Cry me a river, you whiny little bitches. Also, and maybe I’m just being a dick by pointing this out (I am), but these new jerseys have laces. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t laces weight more than, ya know, no laces? This isn’t rocket science, people.

As for the fans, supposedly they wanted less orange and the team complied. This only solidifies the fact that most fans are idiots (no offense to my readers, you’re better than the average fan). The orange trim that was added in 2007 was the only improvement the Sharks have ever implemented over the original design. If you’re gonna complain about something, complain about the moronic shoulder patches. Bring back the dorsal fin patch! Honestly, the Sharks have always had pretty good jerseys. However, the first rule when it comes to changing your jersey design is that the new design must be an improvement on the old one. This isn’t. It’s a pointless step back and thus I hate it.

Finally we come to something that isn’t a complete slap in the face, the Minnesota Wild’s new road uniform.

WildRoad

Well crap, these are actually really well done and a big improvement on the previous design. That being said, I can’t let them off the hook completely. First, the shoulder patch is the same stupidity that Dallas went with, placing the main logo within a circular border. Lame. That’s it. No, there has to be something else. Ah, I know. They only changed the road jersey! Why? Maybe because the team lost roughly $30 million last year. Yes, that’s right, a playoff team lost $30 million. Lockout or not, that’s pathetic. So basically they could only afford to fix one of their jerseys and they decided to choose the one in least need of a fix. Morons. They still have to wear that way more awful home jersey half of the time or that putrid baseball style third jersey. Gross.

So now you’re probably thinking that none of these were really that bad. Just a bunch of minor nitpicking, right? Sure, if you say so (you’re wrong). But wait, there’s more! Here come the Buffalo Sabres, strolling in with what can quite easily be considered one of the worst third jerseys of all time.

SabresThird

Just look at this shit! Look at it! Can your eyes even comprehend the level of abomination that this is? Would any team other than the Sabres even think of unleashing this beast upon the hockey world? I mean this is the same team that birthed the slug, so you’d think they would know better than to make an even worse mistake. The only, and I mean only good thing about this is that it’s just a third jersey. If we’re lucky, they’ll only wear it for one or two games in an attempt to blind their opponents and when that fails they’ll simply round ’em all up to perform a sacrificial burning.

OK let’s tear this fucker down. First off, that “BUFFALO” on the front. What actual thought process went into placing that there? Well, let’s see, we have to put the name of our city on the front so people know who we are, but we can’t be too obvious and flashy about it, like Dallas and Vancouver, as we all know how much they were ridiculed for it, so let’s use tiny, boring font that no one well notice. Yes, that works. Disgusting.

Second, the front and back of the jerseys are different colors! I know the Sabres are going to be stupendously awful this season, but did they really need to do this so that the players know which direction their teammates are skating in? Oh look, I can see the yellow on Ott’s jersey, he must be heading towards me. Come on! Actually, this might help the opposition too, so maybe it’s a stealth tactic to help in Buffalo’s much anticipated tanking for the upcoming season(s).

Everything else is a mess as well. Those giant numbers on the back in a font that’s worse than Comic Sans. The complete lack of shoulder patches. The moronic color blending along the sleeves. The not one, but two shades of yellow! If there is a God, he’s going to send us all to hell for this. I’m dead serious.

I feel dirty. I’m going to go take a quick shower before writing anything else.

*shudder*