Finally, I have photos of unreleased jerseys that I'm able to share with you. A reader wrote in today to tell us that the Buffalo Sabres' team store at the First Niagara Center (formerly HSBC Arena) is already selling Premier version of the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs forthcoming jerseys.
First, here's the Sens' Heritage Jersey which, the team announced the other day, will be officially unveiled on October 1. You get to see it now.
And as previously reported here, you can see it bears bilingual shoulder patches. A recent photo released by the team had us questioning whether that would actually be the case.
The other unreleased sweater on the store's rack was the Leafs' new throwback third. Take a look.
One detail previously reported here on Icethetics was the silver inner-outline inside the crest. You can just barely make it out in this photo. We're looking at photos taken by a cell phone camera in what's not the best lighting conditions. I've done my best to tweak these photos.
So now that you have something more than my renderings to look at, have your opinions changed on these two sweaters? Are they at all what you were expecting/hoping for?
I've been enjoying a nice, long four-day weekend, and as such have also been keeping my distance from the internet. But I thought I'd check in with some updates on Saturday's leaked jerseys.
First, it seems every media outlet in the universe has picked it up. Which is cool. Nice to see Icethetics getting a few extra mentions around the web. But most notably, both the Senators and Maple Leafs have been forced by the media to react the leaked designs.
On Sunday, the Ottawa Senators posted an article on their website that confirmed their new Heritage Jersey had been prematurely revealed online. Yeah, sorry about that. But some of us don't like waiting and an opportunity presented itself.
The Sens are not blaming Icethetics or even the store where the photos were taken. They're placing the blame squarely on Reebok, as they should. The jerseys were simply shipped out too early. NHL teams launching new uniforms are supposed to get a five day window of exclusivity in their own market from the day of unveiling — which should be Oct. 1–5. So it was a mistake. A big one.
The Senators are still planning the "official" introduction to fans at Puck Drop on Oct. 1. But in the meantime, they did reluctantly offer some details about the design:
“While we are very disappointed to have our new jersey revealed in this manner, we are pleased to see the early comments from fans are extremely positive,” said Jeff Kyle, Senators vice-president of marketing. “We believe that this jersey will be a top seller in the National Hockey League this season, especially as fans learn the story behind how it was designed.
The heritage jersey pays tribute to the early Senators teams that won 11 Stanley Cups and was one the franchises that founded the NHL in 1917. The early Senators were considered the NHL’s first dynasty, with accomplishments so great that in 1950, sportswriters voted the Ottawa club as the team of the first half century in Canada.
“We have spent over two years developing this uniform and one of the most interesting aspects is that we did it in conjunction with a Senators fan,” added Kyle. “We look forward to telling the story of how a fan helped us develop a uniform that incorporates elements of the early Senators teams into what we feel will become a truly iconic symbol of Senators hockey.”
I do look forward to the story of the fan who helped develop the uniform. If they're talking about the guy I think, then we know him as Jacob Barrette. It's certainly been years in the making for him.
Then yesterday, the Toronto Star took the other photo to the Toronto Maple Leafs for comment. They also confirmed the design and expressed disappointment at not being the first to show it to their fans.
Additionally, the Star learned that the jersey will be "officially" unveiled during their regular season opener on Thursday, Oct. 6. It's not clear if they plan to wear them for that game against the Montreal Canadiens, or simply show them to fans that night. If I had to guess, I'd say they're wearing them.
Here's what the team told the Star about the leak:
"Yes, the Leafs organization is aware that its third sweater was unexpectedly revealed," Rajani Kamath, MLSE’s director of corporate communications, said on Monday. "While our organization is disappointed that we did not have the first opportunity to reveal our third sweater, we are looking forward to ‘officially’ introducing it to our fans later."
On a personal note, I think the Sens' Heritage Jersey looks fantastic. I wouldn't want to see it more than 15 times a season, but it's definitely a great alternate uniform. So well done to them. With the Leafs, I like the design of the new third, but it's just not different enough from the home jersey to satisfy me. Not much they can do about that though if they wanted to revive something from their past.