This off season, there have been numerous teams debuting new threads. So far, the Hurricanes, Stars, and Sharks have shown what they’ll be wearing this upcoming season, with the Wild still yet to reveal their new road whites, and the Sabres bringing to the fore a new alternate third jersey. This also doesn’t even take into account the rash of one-time use sweaters that’s bound to happen for all of the outdoor games, some of which we’ve already seen.
There are so many new threads to be seen that even the Worldwide Leader felt it necessary to chime in with their all-important RANKINGS wherein the Hawks are completely erroneously left near the bottom of the top-10. And while it’s just one person’s opinion, to have it outside of the Top 6 (where honestly any of the Original Six could be used interchangably and any such ranking should have two seperate categories, such is the disparity between the flagship franchises and the rest of the league), we here at CI Headquarters have a few handy rules of thumb that work across the board, no matter the team.
- Bold Is The New Black – During an unfortunate stretch during the mid-to-late 90s and into the Early Aughts, the trend in the league was to go with black as a base color for a sweater, one which even our Men of Four Feathers did not escape. But with the ubiquity of HD television, the need to resort to such bland wardrobe choices has all but gone. Additionally, teams with drab navy have gone back to their original true blues such as the Oilers and Islanders. Many might not like the Preds’ golden shower home uniforms, but full marks are due for going for something truly original in a non-traditional market. By that same token, credit the Dallas Stars for ditching their awful black and gold jerseys in favor of a bright kelly green, even if they are utterly reminiscent of old University of North Dakota jerseys.Even the Lightning kicked the long standing staple of black out of their uniforms in favor of an eye catching blue.
Teams such as the Kings or the Flames would be well served to revert to their throwbacks that they’ve been donning lately, with their eye-searing purple and and red respectively, but in their infinite brilliance the teams have decided to retire those kits until further notice, which is an utter travesty given the current state of their every day uniforms. The most egregious present day offender, the Anaheim Ducks, are so relentlessly boring that they make one long for the golden age of the eggplant and turquoise jerseys.
- Keep The Stripes Simple, Stupid – With the advent of the Reebok Edge jerseys, many teams tried to develop a look consistent with the threadlines of the more “aerodynamic” cut of the jersey, to mixed results. About the only team that got the new template right was Columbus, marking the only time prior to the Jarmo Kekalainen era anything was done correctly. Which is not to say that foregoing stripes altogether is in any way a good idea, as the above image for the Sharks uniforms illustrates, and as the Leafs and Oilers found out the hard way. An absence of waist/belly stripes is almost always a misstep, and leads to the appearance of the jersey looking cheap or something that should be worn at practice. But there is such a thing as going too hard on the stripes.
This also holds true on the socks. Teams are best served with a couple or three stripes across the shin, however the newer trend has been for stratified solid colors on the socks, though it’s always best that the area of the thigh on the sock contrast with the color of the pants, something the Capitals finally corrected this past season. But again, there is such a thing as going too nuts with the stripes on the socks, too.
- The Minute Details – There are other delicate aspects that need to be minded as well. Shoulder yokes are a good idea in general if done right, but sometimes, they can go horribly awry.
There’s probably about a zillion other tiny little things that make a uniform either good or bad, but that’s why entire blogs are devoted to that very subject. And if you have any interest in the subject and you’re not reading the incomparable Icethetics frequently, well you will be now. And though it’s easy to cast judgement down upon the rest of the league’s gauche clothing choices given the Hawks’ place among the league’s (and professional sports’) most suavely appareled squads, we will still have to hold our collective breath that the game at Soldier Field in March doesn’t bring with it some boring black sweatered monstrosity overrun with red piping.