Kukla's Korner Hockey
by BMS on 09/07/11 at 02:02 PM ET
Military personnel, multiple Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft in the background, security checkpoints out the wazoo and members of the federal government on hand in the crowd – it had all the makings of an election campaign appearance or an announcement of new fighter jets for the military.
Instead, we got our hockey team’s jerseys. From the back of that massive Hercules strolled Nik Antropov, Andrew Ladd, Mark Stuart and Eric Fehr, looking like an awkward boy band as they emerged through the smoke and blue light to some heavy guitar riffage.
All photos via NHL.com
My thoughts on the jerseys? Not knockouts by any stretch of the imagination, yet not atrocious either.
An aside: I don’t mean in any way to appear insensitive given the unfolding situation in Russia regarding the plane crash. I had started this post last night - before any of the horrible events unfolded - and know the timing isn’t great (maybe especially given the setting of the Winnipeg Jets jersey event). It’s hard to think of anything but the family and friends (including those in the Jets organization) of all those players killed or injured in the crash.
It’s safe to say that if you’re not a fan of the logo, you’re probably not going to be a fan of the jersey. Adversely, if you love the logo, you’ll probably love the jerseys too. I fall somewhere in the middle. I’m not completely sold on the new logo (it looks like it was designed on a computer rather than “timeless,” if you will), but I don’t completely dislike the jerseys. I always felt the logo was a bit safe/sterile, so it’s no real surprise that the jersey colours/design wouldn’t be too flashy or “out there”. I quite like the home jersey, although the navy blue (or, as the Jets organization is calling it, “Polar Night Blue”) is pretty heavily used by NHL teams.
The white away jerseys are another story. Those lighter blue (sorry, “Aviator Blue”) stripes coming running across the arms are pretty darn ugly. I don’t even mind the darker shoulder yoke running right down to the end of the arm, but those lighter blue stripes. Hoo boy.
One thing I’ll say for sure – these jerseys are massive upgrades to the Manitoba Moose uniforms. The antler font on the back made me want to poke my eyeballs out, and the cartoon-ized moose logo was cringeworthy – especially in early incarnations. I like the rounded-style font for the player names, and the slightly italicized numbers work just fine for me. Like many, I think I would have liked to see a splash or two of red in the jerseys somewhere – even just a small stripe would have worked.
As for the theme and tone of the unveiling, I feel like the whole military-and-Jets-as-BFFs thing has run its course, to say the least. There was a speech from a local Member of Parliament as well as from a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The airplane hangar setting and the presence of the military and political types distracted from the excitement of the event, and politicized what should have been an all-out celebration of hockey. But I digress.
As mentioned at the press conference, jerseys are available for pre-order but won’t be available until October or later (depending on whether you want the authentic or replica jerseys). Pre-orders will include an Inaugural Season patch to commemorate the return of the NHL to Winnipeg.
I commend True North Sports & Entertainment (and Reebok) for pulling this off in a very limited time frame. Having “caved” to the public pressure of calling the team Jets must have thrown quite a wrench in any jersey designs they might have had for a team with another name. In fact, the limited window to design the jersey leads me to believe there’s the possibility of a tweak/redesign in the coming years.
There won’t be a third jersey this year, but expect some sort of alternate/throwback jersey for next year. I imagine the accompanying scrutiny and interest in a third/alternate/throwback jersey will be just as intense as it has been for the jerseys revealed yesterday. Doing something along the lines of the Oilers or Flames throwback jerseys might go a long way in quieting those grumbling about the new logo and jerseys.
So - thoughts on the new Winnipeg Jets jerseys?
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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