The Good, The Bad and the Meh (2014 Edition)
Seeing as how the shins are about 10% up the human body, it’s accurate to say that we’re now shins-deep into the new 2014-15 NHL season. Sure, “shins-deep” is a little (if ever) used expression but it’s definitely more accurate. Knees-deep is too deep. Balls-deep is just uncouth for this site. We’re not in over our heads either. Not even close. Not even up to our eyeballs. Or elbows. If this was the Garden State soundtrack, we would also be The Shins-deep.
Being shins-deep is a great time to discuss all the changes in NHL branding that’s taken place for this season. And like last year, some are good, some are bad. And some are just meh. If usual HbD fashion, let’s go from worst to first.
It’s a small change, but the
Phoenix Arizona Coyotes, because of their name change, needed to change their shoulder patch from PHX to AZ. Placing this under ‘Bad’ is not at all an indictment on the patch itself (which is fantastic), but the new letters were sloppily placed in there, with awkward spacing and a seeming lack to effort. Something like this would be much better. Subtle, but better.
Still with Arizona, they’ll be reviving their original Coyotes jerseys, that ’90s disaster that’s fun to look at until you realize that your eyeballs are starting to melt away. It’s not like the Islanders wearing their train-wreck Captain Highliner jerseys, because they’ll just be wearing them during the warm-up, which is more like a “look how stupid we used to dress” homage, an ironic and hilarious move. The Coyotes jersey will be worn during a game. They’ve already been deemed the worst jersey they’ve ever worn. Not cool Arizona.
Related Reading: Worst to First Jerseys: The Phoenix Coyotes
The Ducks made very minor changes to last year’s alternate and turned it into this year’s home jersey. The bad news is that they didn’t eliminate any of those incredibly over-done stripes, or decide to make it something other than black. Also bad, they decided to make a white road jersey with essentially the same design, but with differently-coloured yokes to make it even more busy.
Full Breakdown: HbD News: New Ducks and Blues Jerseys
The Lightning introduced a new emo-alternate jersey. Why ’emo’? It’s black and moody, uses a fake name, and basically rips off someone they admire.
Full Breakdown: HbD News: New Lightning Third Jerseys Announced
The Blue Jackets are hosting the 2015 All-Star Game this season, after losing the 2013 game because of the most recent lock-out (and, of course, the Sochi Olympics made sure there wasn’t a 2014 game). And they’ll be wearing a chest patch to celebrate it. The design of the patch is good, and it sits nicely on the jersey, but it’s hard to get excited about a one-year patch to celebrate a corporate schlok-fest of a game.
Those constantly brand-experimental New Jersey Devils are at it again, again breaking out the only other jersey they’ve ever worn in their existence to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (because green, get it?). Christmas would have been a better choice (because red and green, get it?). And even then, yawn.
The Flyers have brought back their mediocre jerseys from the 2012 Winter Classic as their new alternate. It’s a jersey that’s not very different from what they already wear at home, but just a little bit worse.
Full Breakdown: HbD News: New Flyers Third Jerseys Announced
The Islanders, to celebrate their last year in Nassau County, are wearing a new shoulder patch. Like Columbus’ All-Star Game patches, it’s well designed, and I like its placement on the shoulders rather than the chest, but it’ll be gone next year and nothing to really get too excited about.
The Red Wings changed something on their uniforms for the first time since 1986. The ‘Red Wings’ on the helmet is now outlined. You’re always pushing the envelope, aren’t you Detroit!
The Washington Capitals are 40 years old (which you would also already know if you had the awesome History of Professional Hockey in North America poster) and are celebrating with a new patch. It’s fine, but yeah, nothing exciting. Strangely, it only has the Weagle on it rather than their primary logo. A sign of things to come perhaps?
The St Louis Blues dipped into their strange history of jerseys to create something new that incorporated some of the best elements of all their jerseys, being instantly classic, respectful of their history and contemporary all at the same time. It’s awesome and easily the best jersey upgrade for any team this off-season.
The Washington Capitals announced what they’ll be wearing for the 2015 Winter Classic in January. And it is absolutely awesome. If you don’t like it, you should. It obviously took a ton of research and went through a lengthy design process to come up with. It’s historical, contemporary and innovate all at the same time.
Full Breakdown: HbD News: Washington Capitals’ Winter Classic Jersey Announced
Anaheim was in the ‘Bad’ section with their jerseys, but the good thing they did was officially retire their old primary logo and replace it with just the webbed-D, which we here at HbD predicted over 2 years ago. We be smart, we do. Their original logo was bad: awkwardly horizontal and designed with little thought as to its usage.
Related Reading: Best Team Logos in the NHL (BTLNHL) #30: Anaheim Ducks
The New York Islanders are getting rid of their awful black third jerseys altogether, which lasted less than 3 seasons, and replacing them with last season’s Stadium Series uniform. Their black thirds were horrible and deserved the unceremonious dumping they got. Their Stadium Series jersey is a definite improvement, and those alternate simplified logos are great, but can we drop the chrome already?
Full Breakdown: New York Islanders Debut Their Third Jersey
Full Breakdown: HbD News: NY Islanders’ Stadium Series Uniforms Announced
Related Reading: HbD News: Stadium Series, All Chromed-Up
The Los Angeles Kings, who’ve worn purple throwbacks as alternate jerseys in the last few seasons will switch to gold throwbacks. Which is awesome, as they’re the second-best jerseys the Kings have ever worn.
Related Reading: Worst to First Jerseys: The Los Angeles Kings
Speaking on the Kings, after the Sharks’ epic collapse in last year’s playoffs to the hand of LA, San Jose is ditching its black jerseys in the playoffs in favour of their primary teals. If there’s a positive to take from last year’s playoff embarrassment for the Sharks, this is definitely it.
And finally, the Penguins, who have more different jerseys than almost any other team in the league, have brought back another old jersey – the Lemieux-era blacks – as an alternate jersey for this season. It’s a step away from their Vegas gold (which I personally love for them) and back to its traditional yellowish gold, but it’s still a fine jersey to wear.
Full Breakdown: HbD News: New Penguins Third Jersey Announced (Gold BABY!)
Related Reading: Worst to First Jerseys: The Pittsburgh Penguins
To Be Determined
There’s some more jersey announcements that will be coming out soon, including…
The Sharks and Kings will be introducing new Stadium Series jerseys in the coming months, for their game that take place in February. Hopefully the game will be more colourful than their playoff series from last year.
Chicago has yet to announce the Winter Classic jersey they’ll be wearing against Washington in January. I’m hoping they’ll go back to their first decade back in the ’20s: something super-striped and black-and-white.
With the 2015 All-Star Game happening in Columbus, the league will be announcing what the teams will be wearing for the game. There’s images going around of a chromed-up NHL logo on practice jerseys, which is terrible to hear. File this one under ‘Probably Bad’.
Agree? Disagree? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below…