Thanks to John for sending me this article!
New unis were a big mess for NHL
New York Post, Updated 13 hours ago STORY TOOLS:
The price for an "authentic" team jersey as listed on Shop.NHL.com, is $249.99. We wonder if there will be a 50 percent discount once the players complete their change into replacement jerseys featuring the old-style material on the front and the new-era material on the back.
No replacement players in the NHL, but replacement jerseys supplied by and for Reebok, which is doing the right thing here in readily reacting to widespread dissatisfaction with the product the company supplied this season.
We're told an immense amount of the credit is due Sidney Crosby, the out-front paid endorser and representative of the company who displayed great allegiance to the integrity of hockey and lobbied Reebok to adapt.
Remember all the league-prompted hoopla over the new aerodynamic improvements this new-era jersey - no, that's right: uniform system - were going to bring the game?
Now, after a couple of months during which most players found moisture no longer absorbed by their jerseys' material instead soaking their gloves, skates and equipment, they are quietly changing into their half-retro jerseys.
This could have been avoided, of course, if the uniforms had been tested for a season in the AHL, the way various rule adaptations and the shootout were studied in the AHL before being adopted by the NHL. But not this time.
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This wasn't about improving performance, even as those charged with developing the jersey did so with the best interests of the game at heart.
This wasn't even so much about generating merchandise sales, for at least 55.5 percent of it will go to the players, anyway. This was about changing the look of hockey because that's the ultimate goal of the administration.
Even as Hall of Famers Mark Messier and Scott Stevens on Monday separately advised the league about further changing the game, you can be sure the people running the NHL are going to lobby to increase the size of the net next year in order to create a surge of goals.
Scoring is appreciably down in this, the third year of the post-lockout offense-friendly rules that coaches (and unnecessarily inflated goal equipment) already have conquered.
A mass introduction of new-look jerseys was designed to re-brand the NHL, again, three seasons after the hard-salary-cap, new-rules re-branding that immediately followed the lockout.
The pity is, the old look of the NHL was classic and should have been sacrosanct. The NHL should have under- stood that. This wasn't about modernizing the sweater as if they were leaving wool behind; this was about eliminating the sweater.
Now, however, the players whose concerns were given voice by Crosby, they have been heard. They apparently did not feel the urgent need to go 9 percent faster, as advertised.
Which begs the question: If Dave Kara had been wearing the new material on his back in his day, might he have been 4.5 percent quicker defending the odd-man rush?