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June 5, 2013
Two new uniforms and a new template
Besides being way too long, the 2012 offseason was a dormant one as far as new uniforms were concerned. Not one team unveiled a new look for the 2012-13 (well, just 2013) season. That's not the case this year, as yesterday, two teams -- the Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas Stars -- unveiled new threads for the 2013-14 season.
You'll notice that the template in which I drew these uniforms looks a tad different than the one I had been using. For an explanation, let's go all the way back to 2007.
That year, the NHL and Reebok took the wraps off the Reebok Edge uniform system. It was a drastic change from the jersey style that had served the sport well for decades. It featured tighter sleeves and high-tech fabrics meant to wick moisture away. A few months into the 2007-08 season, the complaints came in loud and clear -- the fabric was actually making it more uncomfortable for the players and not the other way around. So on January 1, 2008, Reebok unveiled the Edge 2.0 uniform system for the Winter Classic, revering back to the old fabrics for the most part and widening the sleeves.
It only took me 5-1/2 years to get the memo.
In the NHL rule book, you will find very specific dimensions for jerseys, both regular-cut and goalie-cut. When Edge 1.0 came about, the NHL altered the jersey dimension rules to account for the new cut. From those measurements -- specified for the body width, jersey length, sleeve length, sleeve width and cuff opening -- I drew my template.
Recently, I came across photos of authentic NHL jerseys laid flat with the arms spread out, just like I have illustrated for this website. In looking at those photos, I noticed that my template seemed a bit off. So I consulted the current edition of the NHL rule book; and low and behold, the jersey specifications were altered for Edge 2.0. So after looking at a few more photos, I redrew the template and spent the next week and a half re-illustrating all the jerseys from the 2007-08 season on.
I believe the end result is a more realistic-looking jersey. No, it will never be 100% perfect, but I feel this comes very close.
And with that, we can expect a few more unveilings by the time the 2013-14 season gets underway. According to Chris at Icethetics, the San Jose Sharks will also be unveiling a new uniform sometime this offseason, and the Minnesota Wild may be changing their road jerseys. Also, we could see new alternates from the Buffalo Sabres and the Calgary Flames. And Chris says even expect a chance from the Montreal Canadiens -- if they do indeed change, I would expect something extremely minor, like perhaps a new collar treatment.