Loose Threads: Alternates & Adidas

It's not quite time for the first JerseyWatch 2014 yet, so consider this a warm-up.

Penguins pondering another retro third jersey

The Pittsburgh Penguins are considering a new third jersey for next season, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. And it could make a lot of fans' dreams come true. (I'm thinking of one regular reader in particular. He knows who he is.)

The only details came by way of an article published on Dec. 13, the day the Pens unveiled their Stadium Series jersey, which the article confirmed will only be worn once.

There are tentative plans for a new alternate jersey that could debut next season. A design is not finalized, but under consideration is a jersey similar to the ones the Penguins wore during their 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup runs.

Who's excited?

If they're smart, they'll move forward with these plans. Such a jersey would probably sell well, especially among Icethetics readers. But don't take my word for it. Check out the rating for the Penguins concept I posted yesterday.

Islanders' Stadium Series look may endure

While the Pens are ditching their Stadium Series jerseys after their big game, the New York Islanders are going in the opposite direction. Isles beat writer Chris Botta tweeted last week that we're certain to see at least the new crest sticking around.

That NY look on the Islanders' stadium jersey? Yeah, it's confirmed that you'll be seeing more of it in coming seasons.

He followed up with a few details.

Expectation is that the NY crest jersey, or something very close to it, will be the Islanders' 3rd jersey by 2015.

This effectively means the black third everyone loves to hate is on the way out. Perhaps only one more season of it — if that. Maybe the Isles will surprise us and have the new sweater ready by the fall. But it's more likely they'll wait and launch it with their move to Brooklyn.

By the way, check out their current Twitter profile image.

Ducks may promote third jersey, add white road version

If you don't follow me on Twitter, you may have missed this nugget. Orange County Register writer Eric Stephens says the Anaheim Ducks may have new home and road sweaters next fall.

This was his tweet back on Dec. 3:

Plan is for current Ducks third jersey to become main home sweater, perhaps next year. I figure next alternate will be orange-based.

No more wordmark! Wahoo!

Stephens doesn't specifically say there would be a white version added as a road jersey, but it makes sense the team would want matching sweaters.

That news followed the unveiling of the Ducks' Stadium Series jersey. It would be simple enough for that to become the new third — though it may not be popular enough among fans. But I've seen mixed reviews from Icethetics readers. You've got those that love it, hate it and are indifferent to it — in seemingly equal parts.

If the Ducks were to follow in the footsteps of the Penguins, what would you think of an orange Mighty Ducks jersey? Again, I'll point you to the Concepts page to see any number of ways that could work successfully.

Adidas may replace Reebok jersey branding

In the world of hockey jerseys, the word Reebok has become synonymous with repulsive to many. But that's not why parent company Adidas may soon swap out the name seen on the back of every NHL sweater.

CBC's Elliotte Friedman included an interesting tidbit in his 30 Thoughts article posted Monday. Specifically, he wrote:

Small business item: Reebok has the rights to make NHL jerseys. Its parent company, Adidas, apparently is considering putting its own name there instead of Reebok. As part of that, we may see an extension of the current contract, which runs through 2016-17.

This isn't totally unexpected. Adidas has been trying to reposition the Reebok brand back to its focus on runners — like it has been historically. From their mission statement:

At Reebok, our innovation focus is on fitness and training, where the priority is creating products that provide a material benefit to the consumer's fitness activities (e.g. flexibility or lightweight).

Hat tip to Matt Johnson for the link.

That said, I would've expected to see Adidas reposition CCM as the big name in hockey — as it has been historically. Plus, this is a brand that still has a very good reputation among folks who appreciate (and buy) hockey jerseys.

Then again, Adidas is a bigger name with better brand recognition — even if people like me associate them solely with soccer. Regardless of any branding changes, I would not expect the Edge uniform system to be replaced anytime soon.

Lots of news here tonight. Take your time digesting it all. I'm taking a long weekend in California!

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Reader Comments (35)

This is pretty awesome news, the Pens retro 3rd would sell very fast. Seems like tons of fans loved the Lemuix/Jagr days look. Im all for it. Not a huge fan of the Isles unless they drop the chrome, & I'd love to see a Mighty Ducks orange & am happy to hear theyre finally dropping the garbage script unis for the Webbed D look. Im honestly tired of Reebok so seeing the Adidas logo would be a nice change & maybe at the end of their contract well see Adidas break out a new style thats more classic sweater inspired while still light weight.

Jan 8 · 11:19 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I hope the Penguins do bring back the 1991 Throwbacks. That would be awesome. If they do, I hope they don't mess it up and use the proper angry Penguin logo from that era. That 'NY' logo the Islanders have just brought out is awesome. I think it is the perfect logo for an alternate jersey. As for the Ducks, seeing the third become the new home with a matching road will be a significant improvement from what they wear now. It isn't the best uniform around but I'll take it over the Ducks' current home and road jerseys any day.

Jan 9 · 12:24 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterR

I don't care what brand name is on the jerseys, but if Adidas puts their stupid stripes on every jersey like they do with all of their soccer designs, I may just have to choke someone.

Jan 9 · 8:37 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterTsuji

One thing to remember about Adidas is that they're responsible for (arguably) some of the ugliest new designs in the NBA. The sleeved jerseys, nicknames on the back, even those hideous Christmas uniforms they shoved down the throats of everyone, all made by Adidas. Reebok may have dropped the ball a bit with some of the early Edge uniforms, but they've been slowly getting better recently. A switch to Adidas (although they both are part of the same company) may also mean a step back in design. Who in their right mind would want to see that new lacing pattern on the majority of teams come 2020?

Jan 9 · 9:19 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterT

Penguins early 90s jersey = me buying roughly 23 new jerseys.

Jan 9 · 9:56 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterBig McLargehuge

as an Usher down at CONSOL Energy Center, it is nice to see the yellow gold making a strong comeback! I have seen a ton of Crosby and Malkin jerseys in the '91 style! I really love/hate the yellow Sunday jersey knock offs that I see a lot of! Love it cause it's a nice change, HATE it cause A) most people have #66 Lemieux on it with the Captain C (ummmmm they were ONLY worn during Lemieux's rookie season during pre season games...thats it and he wasn't Captain then, Mike Bullard #22 was) and B) it has the wrong logo on it....but hey ATLEAST it's not the god awful Pigeon logo

Jan 9 · 11:01 AM PST | Unregistered Commenter91Pens92

Ah, good to hear the Pens might be finally start wearing those classic championship unis. After all, they've been selling those jerseys, as well as "throwback" merchandise for quite some time now, albeit the logo they usually use is wrong. The correct 80's-1992 logo is on the right, and the one they currently usually use in throwback merchandise is on the right. It's literally the current logo in the old shade of gold. It seems lazy, and lacks attention to little details that nostalgic fans, and people who pay attention to things like that like me, would really appreciate.

Though, they sort of brought that jersey back on the ice recently with their 2008 Winter Classic/alternate, and it bears the correct logo, so I think, if they bring back the championship-era jerseys, they'd get the logo 100% right.

I'm looking forward to this, it's a classic design that brings us Penguins fans back to the double-championship streak (though not me as much, I wasn't even born then!), right before they switched to the Robo-Penguin a year after. It would be a decision that would make lots, and lots of Pens fans happy, including myself.

Speaking of the Robo-Pen era, I wish they would bring it back some day. I know I may be in the minority when I say it is my favorite identity in Penguins history. It's classic, unique, iconic and futuristic, and the jerseys were amazing. It's unfortunate that it is usually associated with bad luck for the team...oh well. I can dream. Maybe some day...

The NY logo by itself is cool, I'm alright with it spinning off as an alternate logo, hopefully not outline or chromified. I'm cool with a new alt. jersey that looks like their SS one, as long as the arm stripes go around all the way and there are some waist stripes. Now, as for their current alternate, it wouldn't be so bad, say, if they switched the grey to white and put the primary logo on the front, like this.

As for the Ducks, I'm glad this is happening. Soon we can hopefully see those wordmark jerseys gone. And a home/road set based on the alternate would look good, I think. I made a recent mockup as to what the white version would look like. It's a little rough, sorry.

So...CCM is owned by Reebok, who is owned by Adidas...interesting scenario. I guess they could really slap any of those three names on the jerseys and call it a day. Maybe they could perhaps have a deal like they did from 2000-2004, where CCM was on the white jerseys, and Koho was on the colored jerseys; both companies are of the same branch.

Maybe when Reebok leaves full-time, Adidas and CCM can split the deal. CCM could be on the white jerseys like the aforementioned years, and Adidas could be on the colored ones. Couldn't that work? I'd love it that happened; as a classic hockey fan myself, I'd love to see CCM's name on the sweaters more than any other. If not, well, having Adidas make all the jerseys would be a nice change of pace for once. A bit out of left field, but it's nice to have some variety in the NHL.

Very interesting news lately, I'm interested to see how all of these stories turn out.

Jan 9 · 12:25 PM PST | Registered CommenterNASCARFAN160

get back to the gold helmets at home as well!

Jan 9 · 12:56 PM PST | Unregistered Commenterpete

It would be awesome to see a version of the early '90s Pens jerseys as their new alts. I grew up watching Lemieux, Coffey, Murphy, Sammuelsson, Barrasso, and the like sporting those threads. Would definitely snatch up a Crosby or Malkin one this go round.
If Adidas does put its name on the NHL jerseys does that also mean that we'll see players like Crosby sporting Adidas equipment too or would that change be strictly with the jerseys?

Jan 9 · 2:02 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJeff S

Good for the Pens. Now if we could just convince them and the Senators to replace their cookie cutter jerseys, we'd be all set.

As for the Adidas/Reebok thing. I would have preferred CCM come back with the sweaters, after all, a lot of the gear now is being branded as such. Why throw in a new name to the universe?

Heck, I'd rather seem them resurrect Jofa. Ha.

Jan 9 · 2:08 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterKyle

I'd like to see the Penguins wear powder blue and navy blue full time. It may not correspond to their logo's colors, but it would be unique.

Am I the only person who despises Anaheim's alternates? It looks so messy with all those stripes… it's essentially the same as Calgary's jerseys, only with a different color scheme. I prefer the Ducks' current uniforms. They have unique striping patterns and the "Ducks" wordmark works just fine.

Jan 9 · 3:30 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterRandy

I own a couple Adidas jerseys. They make the jerseys for some collegiate teams. They're nice, but I have no idea how Adidas may impact stylistic changes around the league. I'm okay with a change from Reebok though. I trust that Adidas won't bring the wacky and tacky innovation that Nike likes to throw around. I'm looking at you, olympic jerseys.

Jan 9 · 7:53 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterKurt

Don't forget that Bauer will be making a strong bid to takeover NHL jerseys in 2017 using a Canadian jersey company they bought last year called Inaria.

Jan 9 · 9:08 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterDB

As long as replica and authentic sweaters go back to how they were before Reebok took over I'll be happy. The CCM 550 Air Knit Replica Sweaters were one of the best pieces of merchandise any sports fan could get without breaking the bank too much, almost looked like the on ice product. Nowadays... not even close.

Jan 9 · 10:23 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterTJ

The Islanders make it hard to be a fan. The "NY" crest is terrible. I think I may prefer the hideous black third jersey over the Stadium Series jersey. I wish both the NY crest and the black third would disappear for good. I'd even rather have the Fisherman back.

Now if they ran an inverse of their regular scheme with orange as the main color and blue and white stripes, then I'd be buying another Jersey.

Jan 10 · 11:00 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterGreg

the CCM name is on some jerseys in Europe and I know for a fact it was all over the Edge jerseys used in the USA Hockey All-American Prospects game.

Jan 10 · 3:08 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterBrandon

I understand the reasons for wanting the correct angry penguin logo, but wouldn't slapping the current penguin logo on these beauties give them a better change at someday replacing our regular unis? Which is what I'm hoping for anyway.

I have wanted to see a white jersey like that since the 92-03 white was retired. That was my absolute favourite Pens jersey. Never really hated the robo penguin, alllthough I do prefer the skating one.

Jan 11 · 3:01 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

maybe adidas can stop the retro trend. that would be nice.

Jan 11 · 11:24 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterSoupforYou

@ Soup, maybe IF RBK wouldn't have F'd up jersey designs there wouldn't be a need for retro uniforms! And tell what is wrong with Det, Chi, Mtl, NYR, Bos....those are classic but also retro! What is so wrong about Calgarys beautiful 80's red throwback, what is so wrong with Edmontons wonderful uniforms? What is so wrong with having waist stripes at bottom of jersey? Hockey jerseys don't get tucked in so why not have waist stripes? What the hell is the point of the needless piping on Buffalos jersey, or worse yet the grey armpit stain? The STUPID onsie diaper hem that RBK insist on having, WTF is the point of that? Baseball jersey have that cut (THEY GET TUCKED INTO PANTS), My button down dress shirts have that cut (THEY GET TUCKED INTO MY PANTS). So whats the point of the rounded diaper hem? Det and chi would look 100% better if they lost the stupid diaper hem.

Jan 12 · 7:47 AM PST | Unregistered Commenter91Pens92

The Ducks third is far from perfect, but it's easily the best uniform in their set right now. I'm not sure if a simple recolour will work for the road uniform, but I'm going to be so overcome with joy at the loss of the soulless wordmark jerseys that I probably won't even care (though as a fan, I'm hoping the new white jersey looks decent).

I don't know how I feel about Adidas taking over. Do they do another league-wide uniform overhaul or does it simply rebrand to Adidas Edge? But my bigger concern is I associate that brand more with football/soccer. Some of their uniform designs are actually alright, West Ham United for example - and I say this as someone who lives within the team's target market and see their shirts worn by fans on a regular basis. The one they have this season is pretty good. But I am neither a fan of the team or a soccer fan at all (a Brit who doesn't like soccer?! HERESY!!!11) - but I digress.

Like others have said, my main concern with Adidas is their obsession with sticking their trademark stripes on everything they manufacture. Tracksuits, shoes, swimming gear, soccer equipment, soccer team uniforms - basically, you name it and it's probably there as the most prominent design element. I feel like they're more concerned with their own brand than that of the teams they produce uniforms for. Then again, this doesn't appear to be an issue in the NBA so hopefully we're safe on that front.

On an unrelated note, it's pronounced "Addy Dass" ;)

Jan 14 · 11:13 AM PST | Registered CommenterSteven Reeves

@NASCARFAN160, actually both of those Penguins logos you linked to are wrong for the 1991-92 team. See here:

You can see there's no white on the penguin's right arm. I'm not sure when that change was made. (I'm pretty sure there was white on the arm through at least 1988-89, based on the photo linked below, but don't quote me on that. It's hard to see in the photo.)

Jan 17 · 9:33 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

@91PENS92, I completely agree with you about those jerseys in general. Well said. I think that it is great to see more teams reviving their older looks however, when I see teams like Carolina and Tampa Bay trying to look retro, it just doesn't feel right to me at all. I like the older style looks but I like seeing some teams with unique looks too. I still can't get over the fact that the Hurricanes were dumb enough to remove the only thing that gave them an identity, and that is their 'Hurricane Stripes'. As for Tampa, I think they should try something new with lightning bolts on it and something that actually makes them stand out for the right reasons instead of looking like Maple Leaf knockoffs.

Jan 18 · 3:30 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterR

Maple leafs wearing wc jersey on 1/18/14

Jan 18 · 4:42 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterRangersDude812

A while back, there were a couple of the jersey t-shirts on the NHL shop page that had the Adidas logo on the inside wear the tag goes. The quote also says they're considering it. Adidas may be deciding between CCM and Adidas. My guess is that Adidas has decided to drop the Reebok thing in hockey. I also don't think they'll ruin any of the established uniforms. They may play with the likes of Nashville, Florida or Phoenix though.

Jan 19 · 2:11 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterTyler J

Adidas is planning on using the Reebok name exclusively for its running & fitness-related product lines. Likely because "Reebok" is best known for its sneakers and they want to strengthen - or not water down - the name.

Tyler J: Why do you think Adidas would mess with the jerseys for those particular teams?

I'm biased being a Predators fan, and with their current jerseys being the best they've ever had for a number of reasons. (They finally got rid of that awful triangle in the crest of their aways!)

Amazingly, due to Nashville's design and colors, the Edge piping actually doesn't look extraneous compared to so many other jerseys. (And if you look at St. Louis, it doesn't take much of a difference in design and colors to fail in that regard.)

Granted, I can see a change in label from Reebok to CCM or Adidas leading to the piping being dropped. And doing so would necessitate a change with the crescent "fangs", since the piping frames them.

Which brings up not changing something just for the sake of change. This is obvious, IMO, with regards to Florida and Phoenix, whose jerseys and crests are both great & simple in design. Though I can understand some people thinking the Coyotes could use an extra accent color.


Jan 20 · 6:16 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterChristopher-J

Imagine if we're all just making mountains out of a molehill, and Adidas doesn't change anything except for the branding above of the nameplate on the back?

The reebok edge design was a pretty revolutionary concept that is still in the process of being refined by some teams. To switch now is a complete waste of efforts and money, and I doubt it will be a massive overhaul complete with Adidas striping. This is just a company taking a particulatheir brand and disassociating it from hockey.

Jan 20 · 12:08 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJesse

You're exactly right, IMO, Jesse. As for Reebok Edge, so many teams have proven that that design doesn't mean a gaudy jersey. Unfortunately, for some reason, when it was first introduced, so many teams seemed to think the piping had to be in a secondary or accent color. Again, as so many teams have proven, it seems best that the piping simply match the main color of the jersey, thus making it disappear. Anyhoo...

Jan 20 · 3:32 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterChristopher-J

If it were my decision (and since I don't work in the sporting goods business it isn't), I would go back to the CCM brand. Went to an ECHL game for the first time last month. Both teams were wearing sweaters sporting the new CCM logo. It looked good, and maybe even a bit comforting to me as a hockey fan of 45 years or so.

If Adidas wants to use their logo on the Center Ice branded product they could do that, use the original CCM logo as they do now ("vintage" hats and licensed wear) and use the new CCM logo on the sweaters. That brand just means hockey to me and I assume many others.

Jan 21 · 9:21 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterTFN35

@ Christopher-J You'll probably disagree with me on this, but the only reason I bring up those teams is because they seem to have either a history of Love/Hate uniforms or poor attendance. Phoenix would be perfect for the Adidas stripes on the uniform. They're halfway there. I think we're arguing the same bit though in that we don't think Adidas would change much.

Jan 22 · 9:23 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterTyler J

Tyler J: Phoenix definitely had some questionable jerseys, right from the start. I think their original jerseys & crest would have gone over much better had they not used a half-dozen different colors. I actually really liked their stripe design, which could have been something that truly identified the club, much like the Hurricanes' storm stripes, which Carolina should never have gotten rid of. That first Coyotes alternate, however, was atrocious.

I don't remember Panthers fans or hockey fans in general being very love/hate over any of their jerseys throughout the years. Tampa Bay would come to mind first in that regard, whether it was that alternate with the tiny lightning bolts all over it or the removal of silver from their most recent regulars (and the brief removal of the bolts from their pants), leading to people now jokingly calling them the "Maple Leafs South".

As for my Predators, that first alternate was definitely love/hate, but more so along the line of Nashville fans loved it/other hockey fans hated it. What I found odd was that the only thing people seemed hung up on was the color. I personally did not mind the color, but I hated the crest, and don't remember there being any big complaints over. I would have loved to have seen them use the sabretooth skull patch as the crest for the alternate.

As for the new Nashville regulars in yellow, while some have said they don't like them, I find more non-Nashville fans are simply using the color - and the knowledge of the first alternates - as a simple way to knock a rival team. I've actually read more positive reviews from other fans about the yellow, and how other teams should be more willing to be different/original. Too many black jerseys is the main complaint, while some fans wish their teams would bring back original colors that were dropped or phased out. For example, the Kings' "Forum blue" purple and the Devils' "Pine Barrens green".


Jan 22 · 11:36 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterChristopher-J

Hello? Anybody home?

Jan 23 · 7:12 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterRuss G (Go Kings!)

Christopher-J: I'm more referencing the Panthers because of the recent struggles with attendance, not so much there uniforms. For whatever reason, right or wrong, teams sometimes change there brand in hopes that more people will follow along.

Jan 23 · 2:22 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterTyler J

@TFN35, CCM has the jersey rights for the whole ECHL, If I were Adidas I would put the same logo in the AHL and NHL so they are promoting one brand strongly. Nobody thinks hockey when they think Adidas, and I doubt they ever will.

Jan 24 · 8:00 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterCaden Pataf

I'm sure none of you thought of Reebok in 1994 as a hockey company, but 20 years later, it's all over everything, and you wouldn't think twice about it.

Jan 24 · 7:27 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterA.J.

Adidas actually made killer jerseys back in the 1980s, mainly for European club and national teams.



Ironically, the sublimated coloring is now being touted by Reebok on its chintzy jerseys as innovative technology. I actually liked the three stripes down the jersey sleeves too.

Doesn't matter whose name is on the shirts next time around though. If it says CCM and it's still the Edge cut/material, it'll still be an awful jersey. CCM's ultrafil, mesh, and air-knit jerseys from the 1980s/1990s were some of the best things ever.

Jan 27 · 10:11 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterRob

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