Okay, by now that we’ve all had a few days to digest the new Sabres uniforms. Aside from the obvious (color scheme = good, logo = bad), here are some of my thoughts on the matter:
• The very first thing that caught my eye is that there are no stripes or other design along the jersey’s hemline — a major departure from hockey tradition. That’s why the chest logo looks like it’s floating so high, because there’s nothing to anchor it at the base of the jersey. The NHL has a few other jerseys with unadorned hemline areas, but they’re pretty rare, and Buffalo now becomes the only NHL team whose home and road jerseys both employ this design approach. Over on Chris Creamer‘s message boards, someone else noticed this and had an interesting comment:
This is clearly a jersey designed with Reebok’s form-fitting uni plans for next year in mind. The empty lower half of the jersey strongly suggests that Reebok is still trying to aggressively push that their new jerseys be tucked into the pants next season [an idea that had reportedly been pushed by Reebok but resisted by team GMs last season]. After all, what’s the point of putting anything on the bottom if nobody’s going to see it on the ice?
Whether or not that analysis is correct, these jerseys need some lower striping, pronto.
• What is the deal already with all the bells and whistles in the underarm area? It’s a total mess. Check out what we’re all gonna have to look at every time someone raises his arms to celebrate a goal or make a save — ugh.
• It’s bad enough that the NBA and NFL are constantly adding garish matching side panels to jerseys and pants — now we’ve got the Sabres doing it too. The jersey side panel looks ridiculous. And yeah, it forms a continuous stripe pattern with the breezers when they happen to match up — but the nature of an active sport like hockey is that they usually don’t match up.
• All things considered, the rear view isn’t bad.
Overall, a missed opportunity. But I really hated the previous design, so I actually see this as an upgrade, if only a minor one.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Latest Japanese baseball observation from Jeremy Brahm: different-sized surname lettering on the same team. … Bryan Redemske reports that investment guru Warren Buffet had lunch with LeBron James the other day and showed up wearing a complete Cavs uniform, complete with a jersey that had “Buffett” on the back. … Sock stripe-o-rama in Saturday’s Portuguese league soccer match between Sporting and Pacos de Ferreira (the latter of which looks like an Oregon satellite program, no?). … Speaking of Oregon, they looked, um, really classy in Saturday‘s game against Oklahoma. … Iowa players blacked out the Big 10 logo on their helmets’ nose bumpers on Saturday, a memorial gesture for linebacker Mike Klinkenborg’s father, who died earlier in the week. … No photo, but several readers asked why a Texas A&M player had “12th Man” on his right sleeve, in place of his TV number. Anyone know the story behind this? … No photo again, but a nameless reader claims that Navy’s placekicker had “NVAY” printed on his jersey, instead of “NAVY,” in Saturday’s game. Can anyone confirm? … Some serious vertical arching on Italy’s Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio soccer team (with thanks to Bryan Redemske).