Entries in buffalo sabres (32)


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 NHLUniforms.com, 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 Shop.NHL.com

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 Shop.NHL.com.

Photos from Shop.NHL.com

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 Shop.NHL.com

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 Shop.NHL.com

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.


Sabres Unveil Third Jersey (With Help)

Photo from Steve Ott (via Twitter)

Steve Ott "leaks" photos of new sweater on Twitter

What a strange morning. An apparent Twitter ultimatum from Buffalo Sabres forward Steve Ott resulted in the sudden reveal of the team's long-awaited new third jersey. But seeing how it all played out, you can't help but think it was all a little staged.

It started early this morning when the Sabres seemed to be releasing their latest teaser.

But one look at the image and you knew they were just messing with everyone. It looked like they decided to take the vitriol they'd created and run with it.

They figured if everyone's going to hate the sneak peeks, why not give them a really good reason to hate them?

Then Ott chimed in: "Uncle, This is ridiculous! How about just releasing the jersey???"

To which the Sabres replied: "Hi Steve, we appreciate your excitement for the jersey, but we have a lot more pics to go before we unveil!"

And fans everywhere rolled their eyes.

Then an hour later, Ott tweeted: "HEY GUYS... I GOT it."

He's been known to be interested in this third jersey. We just didn't realize it was because he would be integral to the unveiling.

Shortly after came Ott's ultimatum, saying, "I'm sharing if you don't @BuffaloSabres #FansWantToSeeIt pucks in your rink! Boom. I'll give you 10 minutes."

Following that came another sign the Sabres were just screwing around with everybody. They tweeted: "Steve, thanks again for your interest, but we have the only two jerseys and they're under lock and key. #FortKnox"

Photo from Steve Ott (via Twitter)I know Reebok's prototype process can be slow, but the season starts in a month and they only have two jerseys on hand? Come on.

Then, to Twitter's surprise, Ott made good on his threat! He posted the photo seen at the top of this post. And since it was a photo of him, not taken by him and apparently in the Sabres' locker room, it all became clear. Then he shared a photo of the back. This was an elaborate Twitter unveiling.

Whether they cultivated it from the start or not, the Sabres used the universal hate to their advantage. They created a hero in Ott that fans could rally around. The guy who stood up to the powers that be. I suppose the hope was that the emotional response to Ott's championing of the fans would be tied in some way to the reaction to the jersey design itself.

It wasn't.

I don't think I've seen a single positive comment. But I'll get to that in a moment.

A little while after Ott's revelations, the Sabres tweeted their own cropped versions of Ott's photos. So either they were in on it, or they played off the leak very well. (I think it's the former!)

The Sabres also followed up in response to a fan tweet asking when the jerseys would be going on sale. Given the feedback I've seen so far, I'm surprised anyone would want to buy one. (Unless of course to burn it, hence assuring one less in the world.)

But the reaction hasn't been great so far. I've read dozens of tweets and haven't seen one nice word to describe them. As for me, I think most of you know where I stand on third jerseys.

The widely despised black Islanders jersey wouldn't hang in my closet, but that doesn't mean I'd have anything bad to say about it. I believe alternate jerseys are meant for stepping outside the box. Like the Isles, the Sabres have moved back to retro-inspired primary jerseys. I think they should be able to goof around with their third and try new and different things.

By "goof around," of course, I mean the fact that the front is a different color from the back. Never seen that before in the NHL. I wouldn't want to see anybody make a habit out of it at this point, but it's also not the end of the world. It's unique. I will say the number on the back seems to be a bit large, though. What happens when you get a second digit in there?

Anyway, if/when the Sabres share official photos and a press release with details about the design, I'll write up a full review. Until then, what do you think it? (I think I already know.)


It's Shoulder Patch Saturday

Photos from Minnesota Wild (via Twitter) | Buffalo Sabres (via Instagram)

Wild, Sabres show peek of same part of new sweaters

The Minnesota Wild released the sixth in a series of seven images leading up to tomorrow's unveiling of a new road uniform. Based on proportions and stitching patterns, we're looking at a shoulder patch — and it's a new one. For the first time the crest from the red home jersey will be used on the shoulders.

This has led to a bit of Twitter speculation as to whether that means we're getting a script on the front — perhaps not unlike what's on the green third jersey. But I don't see it that way. If the Wild don't keep their regular primary logo on the white jersey, then it won't be on any of them.

It could be a Dallas Stars type of situation. The primary logo is on the front while a roundel with the primary logo in the middle is used on the shoulders. So I have no reason to doubt the crest will stay the same here for Minnesota.

Also, based on the bit of stitching seen in the corner of this photo, it appears the shoulder yoke is rounded — as opposed to a straight one like the Hurricanes have on their new road jersey. Was there a chance of that? I don't know. But the first teaser photo does make the yoke look larger than normal.

Then, there's the Buffalo Sabres shoulder patch. (UPDATE: Now, I'm not so sure. A reader has suggested this might be a hat. Think I'm just seeing what I want to see. Fail.) Technically, that photo was posted to Instagram on Thursday — so the title of this post is a little misleading. Anyway, given the yellow in the corner of that photo, I was assuming it's another third jersey teaser. (Maybe not!)

But if it is, it means, just like the Sabres original jerseys, that classic logo will be used both on the front and shoulders of the new sweater. So it's sounding like a strange mix of traditional and non-traditional elements on this one. Really curious to see the whole thing. Would love to learn the release date.


Buffalo, It's Getting Old Now

Photo from Buffalo Sabres (via Twitter)

Sabres' latest teaser exposes pants shell

You know I'm normally a cheerleader for the teams that do these sneak peeks leading up to a jersey unveiling. But, like many of you, I'm coming around to being less and less amused by the Buffalo Sabres and their excruciating process.

First, these images seem to coming out at isolated moments — though I'll admit we have seen them on Thursdays with some regularity. And second, what's the end date? How long will this continue? Other teams have done teasers this summer, but none have dragged it out for six weeks. And all have given us a final date to look forward to.

Anyway, the Sabres did end up revealing another element of their new alternate uniform yesterday. But in a single tweet, they told two untruths. Did you catch them?

First, this is not a piece of the third "jersey." (Unless they're really going out there with this new look!) Now, maybe I'm nitpicking or maybe I'm just a stickler for language. You know, how words have different meanings and all. And let's bear in mind they actually teased the teaserposting this tweet 17 minutes before the pants shell photo.

Also, this whole "new aspect" and "you haven't seen yet" language wasn't quite true either. Did you guys forget that the pants were, in fact, among the first things we saw when that video teaser was released back in mid-July? Granted, that video didn't show the yellow portion of the stripe on the side, so we'll call this a half-truth. But was it really worth the extra promo?

I'm usually a fan of these sort of drips-and-drabs reveals. It's often fun to follow along and it quells the appetite for unauthorized leaks. But the Sabres have made some fatal errors. They're taking too long, the releases are too infrequent, and they refuse to say when the madness will end.

What's more, it's not just a handful of jersey nerds whining on a blog in some dark corner of the Internet. The Sabres' own fans are getting tired of it. Just read the replies to the tweets and Facebook posts.

I think that does it. I'll still cover every reveal, because that's what I do here. And I'm genuinely interested in seeing how this all comes together. But I think all that needed to be said. Who's with me?


Sabres Reveal New Captain Letters

The Buffalo Sabres have been listening. Instead of revealing another angle of the same part of their new third jersey, they gave us a look at the redesigned captain patches. And they're pretty interesting.

To get everyone up to speed on where we are with regard to these weekly sneak peeks, I've assembled the giant graphic below. At the bottom you'll find the new photo that was released today.

By the way, in putting this together I realized there is a method to this madness. We've been getting new images once a week, every Thursday since July 12 — except Aug. 8 for some reason. So it's probably safe to say we'll get another one on Aug. 29. But I'm still more interested in an actual release date.

 So what do you think? How's the new look shaping up so far?