Sabres, Sens and Stadiums Redux

Several recent stories require follow-ups so I'm squeezing them all into tonight's post.

Sabres release 2013-14 third jersey schedule

Believe it or not, there are still skeptics out there. Those who don't believe the gold third jersey unveiled by Buffalo Sabres in September was the real deal. Those who thought that Steve Ott business was just a prank. Wishful thinking, I suppose.

Either way, this faction will finally and officially be proven wrong on Sunday when the Sabres debut their controversial new threads. The team released its 10-game third jersey schedule today. You can see it in the graphic below.

Photo from Buffalo Sabres

The schedule begins and ends with Detroit, a new divisional rival for the Sabres in the Atlantic Division. The jersey will not see action on the road this season.

Before I move on, it should be noted that the genesis of this design is explained for the first time in today's press release. Take a look:

The third jersey, which was revealed via the team’s social media platforms in September, was designed by the Sabres’ creative team in collaboration with Reebok. Challenged by Sabres ownership to use gold as the primary jersey color for the first time in team history, the design team looked at jerseys and uniforms from across the full spectrum of professional sports for inspiration. The result was a two-tone jersey with gold as the primary color on the front and navy blue on the back. This design concept is believed to be a first for the NHL.

"Believed to be a first"? The NHL's jersey history is fully documented. There aren't any mysteries. (In fact, if you've never been to, I highly recommend it.) Point is, this is definitely a first, for better or worse.

Now, to Ottawa.

Senators start offering up Heritage teasers

We're now a week away from the Ottawa Senators unveiling of their 2014 Heritage Classic jersey and the ancipated teasers are well underway. In fact, we've gotten two this week.

Photo from Ottawa Senators (via Facebook)

This photo (right) was posted to the Sens' various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It's a gray-scaled photo of the top portion of the sweater. Because of the lack of color, though, it's tough to tell whether the jersey is white or "vintage white" — but I still made a vintage white graphic for the top of this story.

I'm not sure that's a great color for a jersey, however, so it's probably white in reality. A future teaser may answer that question for us before next week.

The "C" on the chest is the only element that gives anything away. But so far, it's looking like a reverse of the black Heritage third jersey the Sens have been wearing for a couple years.

In other words, it'll probably look a lot like this concept by Mat Ware.

But this wasn't the Sens' first teaser. On Tuesday, they gave us a bizarre video of Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza recounting their reactions to seeing the sweater for the first time. As teasers go, this was one of the worst I've ever seen. And there have been some bad ones this year.

Video stills from Ottawa Senators

Nonetheless, it's worth reporting, so let's get through it. Erik Karlsson went first. He said:

It's different. I think it looks good with the color that it is. And it actually looks like it is old. The combination is a little bit older than probably what team uses nowadays. The first time I saw it I right away thought of something old. But still good looking.

I like it. I like it a lot. I think it tells a lot of history with the way it looks. I think the numbers on the back are looking a little better I think than maybe the red and the white. It's a little more special. And everybody on the team says the same thing. It's a great looking jersey that right away gives away a lot of history.

Based on Karlsson's description, it doesn't sound as similar to the black jersey as we're expecting. He makes specific note of how "old" it looks (perhaps it could be vintage white after all?) and the numbers on the back (different from the third jersey?).

But then again, I'd be very surprised if Karlsson put as much thought into hockey sweaters as we do here, so I don't want to put too much stock into what he's saying just yet. The photo below was shown while Karlsson was speaking.

Video still from Ottawa Senators

Could it be anymore clear? 

Then Jason Spezza expressed his take:

It's something that, to me, seems like a hockey jersey. It's a traditional jersey. I like the way it looks and I think it's been good for us. It's a great jersey. I think they've done a great job with it. It's something that the players will like, the fans will like. It kind of ties in to the whole "heritage" aspect of it all.

I think whenever you can take a modern jersey and put a bit of a traditional twist to it, I think it's a cool thing. It's something you can tell is well thought out. And it's nice to tie to the two generations together.

What stuck out to me was "it's been good for us." Yet they've never worn it before. So either it is the reverse of the black jersey, or Spezza misspoke. The following photo was shown while he spoke.

Video still from Ottawa Senators

When I first watched this video, I was thinking the jersey could be full-on barber pole with stripes top to bottom. But today's teaser photo killed that theory, of course. In fact, there's not a single stripe visible in the teaser.

One more thing caught my eye. This old Senators sweater was also shown during the interviews.

Video still from Ottawa Senators

Is it possible the Sens could revive this script on the new sweater as opposed to falling back to the big black "O"? It would definitely stand out and wordmark-based throwbacks seem to be trending lately. What would you prefer?

Video still from Ottawa Senators

Canucks sticking with Millionaires sweater?

While we're on the subject of the Heritage Classic, an email sent to Vancouver Canucks fans today regarding tickets was decked out in Millionaires colors. That combined with the lack of any talk about a new Vancouver jersey is making it look more and more like that's what the Canucks will wear on March 2. And that's definitely a good thing.

More clue-laden Stadium Series gear shows up

Since we last spoke (two days ago), more 2014 NHL Stadium Series gear has appeared online. First, we've gotten front and back looks at the New Jersey Devils' T-shirts. Take a look.

Photos from

This version doesn't make use of the chrome logo, as you can see. Turns out this series of shirts includes two versions for every team — one with chrome, one without. Here's what I mean.

Source unknown

This might be a good time to point out some news about the Devils' Stadium Series jersey. Beat reporter Tom Gulitti tweeted the following on Wednesday morning.

So it sounds like those St. Patrick's Day jerseys will be returning — and perhaps "futuristic" doesn't accurately describe all seven Stadium Series sweaters. Time will tell for sure.

Now on to more treats from

Photos from

This blue hoodie gives us a look at the Islanders' elongated numbers — a lot like what we saw Tuesday with the Rangers, Blackhawks and Penguins, but not the Devils, interestingly. And if you're still wondering about the California clubs, they too have elongated numbers.

Photos from

Of course these shirts are confusing because both are black. So maybe these shirts don't say as much about the jerseys as we thought. Plus, we already know the Ducks will be wearing orange. The question then, is about the numbers. Will they look like this after all?

Let's wrap this thing up with a few unusual Stadium Series shirts.

Photos from

What's with the "Hockey Bear" on the Ducks shirt? Is that a thing I'm unaware of? (UPDATE: Everyone is telling me it's a nod to the state flag of California. I can see that. And it fits thematically with the others.) The other two at least make a little sense to me.

Anyway, these jerseys should be unveiled soon so we can stop all this speculating.

« Senators Confirm "Vintage White" | Main | What's in Store for the Stadium Series? »

Reader Comments (26)

The"hockey bear" is modeled after the grizzly bear on the state flag.

Nov 21 · 10:08 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterB

I think the bear is in reference to the California state flag. You may need to pull it up yourself for further clarification.

Nov 21 · 10:08 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterTyler J

I'm assuming the bear is a nod to the California state flag for the Anaheim Ducks.

And I wouldn't put it past Lou Lams to hold ground on his Devils not being subject to the experimental aesthetics of Reebok designers (such as being able to keep the Devils uniforms the same through the switch to the Edge era jerseys).

Nov 21 · 10:11 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJames O.

The bear is wearing an orange jersey with the Ducks stripes on the sleeve. Maybe a hint to what it will look like?

Nov 21 · 10:11 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterB

The bear design is based on the state flag of California.

Nov 21 · 10:13 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJohnny

The "hockey bear" is a mildly amusing play on the California flag. Though not amusing enough for me to purchase one when I attending the game.

Nov 21 · 10:16 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterChuck Eldridge

Any ideas as to when the third Senators photo took place? That jersey doesn't match any ones that are listed on nhluniforms

Nov 21 · 10:22 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterTaylor

@Taylor: The original Ottawa Senators team predates the NHL by 34 years. That site only tracks NHL uniforms. The barber pole stripes came in around 1905, so the script was likely used between then and 1883 when the club was founded. Sorry I can't be more specific for you.

Nov 21 · 10:29 PM PST | Registered CommenterChris

If the Bear in the LA Stadium series t-shirt is believed to be showing off what the Ducks will be wearing, then perhaps they are wearing something similar to the Long Island Ducks from the film Slap Shot???

Nov 21 · 10:45 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJeff Beef Bone Deluxe

Personally, I'm enjoying the speculation!

I believe that Senators jersey with the script is from the 1934-1950's Ottawa Senators senior mens amateur team..

Nov 21 · 10:46 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterBrad

I believe this Heritage Classic jersey will be a tad different than the current Sens third, in that it'll use a similar vintage 'O' crest as the one the original Sens wore on their sweaters during the final years of the franchise's existence. Not the current 'O' logo we all expect. Just my guess though.

Nov 22 · 1:51 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterMatt Marczel

As an Ottawa fan who loves his black throwback jersey, I'd have to say I really want an O and not the Senators script. Of course it'll depend on how it looks overall, but I've never been a big fan of the script names. Feels more baseball to me than hockey. Granted, I don't mind Calgary's new jerseys (their other red's better though), so I'm open to change.

Nov 22 · 5:09 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterMike

Brad, I think you might be right. I doubt the pre-NHL Sens used a script logo like that, as script marks weren't common in the early part of the 20th century. Only one MLB team - the St. Louis Cardinals - is known to have used a script logo before 1930, and script logos really didn't take off in the majors until the 1940s, after the Brooklyn Dodgers adopted their iconic script in 1938.

Nov 22 · 6:43 AM PST | Registered CommenterRob S

Based on the contrast between the vintage white in the Heritage Classic patch, and the jersey color, it looks as if the jersey is true white. However, it's still hard to tell. I look forward to what's to come from both teams.

Nov 22 · 6:49 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterJustin C.

I don't know if I'd put much stock in anything Karlsson and Spezza said. That sounded mostly like marketing BS that doesn't actually mean anything.

Regarding the Devils, my guess is that they were slated to have a "futuristic" jersey but Lou "I Hate Creativity" Lamoriello pulled a Mike Keenan and refused to go along with it :-P

Nov 22 · 7:31 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

I think the sens jersey is regular white not vintage, the first Instagram photo shows the heritage Classic patch on a regular white background that looks like a jersey, the also caption it as a first look at the jersey. I think it will look better without the use of the vintage white, I think there would be too much.

Nov 22 · 8:59 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterKris K

I believe the script Senators sweater was from the Ottawa Senators that played in The QSL from 1934-1955. This was a amateur, later semi-pro team that played after the NHL Senators relocated to St.Louis in 1934.

Nov 22 · 9:20 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterMike

I find it odd how reebok didn't add their new "hanger effect" to the neckline of the Ottawa jersey, as they have done to countless other jerseys, special or not.

Nov 22 · 1:19 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterDylan

I think the NHL is trying to be as confusing as possible. idk what the heck is going on. vintage, futuristic, california hockey bears???

Nov 22 · 1:19 PM PST | Unregistered Commenterlmnop

As a Canadiens fan, I'm sickened at the thought of having to watch those horrible rags TWICE this year, when my favorite team goes to Buffalo... Urghh...

I also send my sympathies to Red Wings fans and Devils fans, who'll have to go through the same hell twice as well.

And I also send my deepest sympathies to Sabres fans, if any of them have survived this year's armageddon...

Nov 22 · 2:29 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterMathieu

Considering the "SENS" jersey wasn't so well received, I would be surprised if they went with another wordmark (although using the full name instead of a nickname would be an improvement).

Nov 22 · 2:50 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJohn

I'm a Devils fan. I'm not sure what punishment is worse: not having a first round pick next year, or having to see these jerseys in action TWICE!

Nov 22 · 3:16 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJeff C

Brad is absolutely correct regarding the script logo being used by the QSHL/QHL Senators. I also think it's worth noting that Howard Riopelle, one of the great 'Senior Senators' just died, so I wouldn't be shocked to see a little nod to him if they do go with a 'Senior Senators' jersey.

Nov 22 · 4:02 PM PST | Registered CommenterTaoiseach

Even in grayscale what they're teasing of the Sens jersey looks to be white, not vintage. Maybe it's my wishful thinking but if it were vintage white it would show as slightly gray in the pic. And it could very well be barber pole the rest of the way down which would make it fit with the old team photos they're teasing, specifically the third.

As for Buffalo, kudos for being the first NHL team to have the back of the jersey a different colour than the front. Way to borrow from European soccer. And to do so as proudly as the organization is with such an ugly jersey...umm...respect to the players. At least they can find solace with the inaugural Washington Capitals players that had to wear white pants and the California Golden Seals players that had to endure the ridicule of white "figure" skates. Next time Sabres just grab the Buffalo by the horns and take the the classic blue with yellow 80's template and invert it to yellow with blue.

Nov 22 · 5:49 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJD

The sweater the hockey bear is wearing - possibly a subtle tease at the Ducks' throwback threads? Note the detail on the sleeve...if it was just to be a generic "orange sweater" wouldn't the sleeve striping just mimic the waist striping? hmm....

Nov 23 · 9:51 AM PST | Unregistered Commenterfeenixx

Note on that Devils Stadium series T-shirt that references the Bronx. The stripes below the Devils logo is the same pattern as their retro green.

Nov 24 · 6:05 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJkrdevil

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Textile formatting is allowed.