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NHL Releases All-Star Uniforms

For all photos, click to enlarge

The NHL All-Star Game is coming up on Jan. 29 (aka “the Sunday when there’s no postseason football”), and yesterday the jerseys were revealed. The league is once again going with four teams that will play a three-on-three “tournament,” and the four uniform colors are based on the uni history of the host team, the Kings: purple for the Central Division, gold for the Atlantic Division, white for the Metropolitan Division, and black for the Pacific Division, with silver-trimmed NHL logos on the front.

Here’s a shot that shows a mix of front and rear views, along with a close-up of the NOB and number treatment. The typography is supposedly based on the famous “Hollywood” sign:

Other notes:

•  This year’s All-Star logo appears as a patch on the right shoulder, and each player will wear the logo of his usual team on the left shoulder.

•  Quoting from the press release: “Each jersey features a band of stars that is reminiscent of the uniforms worn in NHL All-Star Games from 1989-91.” Here’s what those looked like:

•  Quoting further from the press release: “Each of the 10 stars [on the jersey] represents a decade in the 100-year history of the League. Four stars on the socks represent the four divisions in the NHL today.” Oh please, enough already. Look, people: It’s an all-star Game — we know there are going to be stars on the fucking uniforms, and we’re all fine with that. You don’t have to invent these nonsense “storytelling” narratives to justify every little detail of the design. Jeez.

If you can get past marketing mumbo-jumbo, the designs are perfectly fine, if a bit conservative. I’m surprised that the NHL is sticking with the simple “league logo on the chest” approach. Since the Kings are the host team, why not put a crown on the logo or something like that? Then again, it’s a big improvement over the neon-trimmed designs of a few years ago.

There are some additional photos here. As you can see, a few of them provide a hint of the sock design, but there’s no sign of the pants or helmets, and so far we’ve seen no full-body photos or even full-body mock-ups. This is part of the depressing trend of only showcasing the jersey because that’s the only part of the uniform that’s for sale. Come on, NHL — at least pretend to treat us like fans who’ll be watching a game, not just customers who’ll be (you hope) buying an overpriced polyester shirt.

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The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Several readers have noted that retail Rockies caps appear to have a new shade of purple. Hmmmmm. … New uniforms for Minnesota Crookston (from Derek Martin). … New cleats for USC and TCU (from Denis Costello and Ivor van Esch). … New logo set for the Down East Wood Ducks. While it fits several aspects of the boilerplate Brandiose approach (funny animal with furrowed brow? Check! Blunt object serving as a makeshift bat? Double-check!), at least the duck is smiling instead of growling. No teeth, either! I assume Brandiose charged extra for that. Uniforms to follow in the spring. Additional info here and here. … The Cubs are using a “World Champions” logo that I think is a real stinker. For starters, it’s not very Cubs-y and doesn’t fit at all into their visual program. And what’s with the “0” and the “6” being larger than the “2” and the “1”? Oh, and for some reason an insurance company thinks it has something to do with all of this, but that’s a separate issue (logo brought to my attention by Nicolas Schiavo, although he thinks the logo is good!). … A player from my favorite team is among several players who’ve been named as New Era “brand ambassadors,” and if you can say that with a straight face, you’re way ahead of me.

NFL News: Here’s the first Super Bowl LI soda display that I’ve seen. … And here’s one for this Sunday’s Packers/Cowboys game. … The Westport Pioneers statues in KC has been outfitted with Chiefs jerseys in advance of this weekend’s playoff game (from Ryan Atkinson). … The Packers have been using WR Ty Montgomery, who wears No. 88, as a running back. They’ll probably have to give him a new number next season, but for now he’s the subject of an excellent trivia question. The answer can be found here. … A new development-style pro league, founded by Tom Brady’s agent and expected to debut in the summer of 2018, will feature 18- to 21-year-old players who haven’t attended college. What could possibly go wrong? Not the uniforms, I’m sure. … With the Chargers apparently set to pull the trigger on their move to L.A., here’s a humorous take on that storyline that you might have missed last week.

College Football News: You can vote on ECU’s best uniform of 2016 (from Stephen Wright). … New uniforms for Mount Union (from Adam Myers). … Here’s a shot that shows Clemson LB Ben Boulware with his nameplate badly off-center. Almost looks like there had been a JrOB or RNOB that was removed (from Phil). … Early version of Pete the Penguin — or maybe just, you know, any old penguin — shown on this 1942 Youngstown State ticket stub (from Robert Hayes).

Hockey News: “90s Night” jerseys upcoming for the Macon Mayhem of the SPHL (from Jeff Vinton). … Former NBA player Allen Iverson, appearing at a news conference yesterday to announce his involvement with a 3-on-3 basketball league, was wearing a camouflage Blackhawks cap (from Matt Bond). … The Blackhawks had bowling shirts, complete with “C” and “A” designations, for an event last night.

NBA News: With Chinese New Year upon us, the Raptors, Wizards, Warriors, and Rockets will all be wearing uniforms to mark the holiday — first time for the Raptors, repeats for the others. My ESPN colleague and friend Thomas Neumann, who edited my work for many years and is now a reporter on the international beat, has written a great piece about how those jerseys play into the league’s Asian business strategy. … Fauxbacks vs. sleeved alts for last night’s Cavs/Blazers game in Portland (from Zachary Loesl).

College Hoops News: Cool throwbacks today for Miami (from Jason Lefkowitz). … Here’s an ECU NOB with some extremely tight letterspacing. … Larry Bird-era throwbacks last night for Indiana State. … Love the sleeve patch on this old Ohio State warm-up top. Here’s a different warm-up uni with a similar patch (from Mike Knapp and BSmile, respectively). … Very cool Michigan Agricultural College throwbacks for Michigan State.

Soccer News: Beautiful new primary kit — well, except for the big honking ad on the chest — for the Portland Timbers (from Jason Schwanz). … What if Premier League badges looked like NBA team logos? (From Vicious Sid.) … New uniforms for the Urawa Red Diamonds. Larger view of the primary and keeper designs here (from Jeremy Brahm).

Grab Bag: Starting Lineup figurines are making a comeback. … New helmet and gloves for Dominican University of California lacrosse. … Speaking of lacrosse, lots of college teams have new gloves (from Jason Eich). … Buncha auto racing stuff from David Firestone: New driver suit for Clint Boywer, new suit and footwear for Danica Patrick, NASCAR has broken down drivers’ 2016 performance by paint scheme, Darlington is now “the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR,” and a new gallery devoted to car history has opened at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. … Check out the Hawaii men’s volleyball team wearing jerseys with a Hawaiian flag theme (from Jeremy Brahm).

Comments (84)

    The Cavs unis are fauxbacks, not throwbacks. When they used that logo, the colors were orange and blue. (It does work well in wine and gold.)

    The Cubs logo may not be very 2016 Cubs-y, but the 1907 Cubs would probably approve. Not very original design, but definitely an homage


    Ha! I was ready to rip the logo BUT there’s historical precedent! Still, not a great logo but now I get it. A nod to 1907 with a few embellishments.

    Thing is, the “flaws” in the logo are VERY Cubs-y in their details. The whole thing is an example of a sort of early 20th century futurism, which is exactly the Cubs overall aesthetic. If the logo said “TeaM” instead of “CubS”, any attentive fan would know that it’s either the Cubs or the Dodgers, but probably the Cubs given the shape.

    Yeah, I saw the logo and thought it was good! It’s a nice nod to the past, and it’s got a nice classic feel. Certainly better than the templated stuff the MLB puts out.

    Interesting that so many of you like it.

    To me, its too clean and polished to look retro. It doesn’t look like a charmingly imperfect old design; it looks like a bad new design (at least to me).

    And yet in fact it is an only slightly updated imperfect old design. Either logo would look right in place on the side of an Art Deco or Streamline Moderne building, rail engine, or product circa 1910-1940. The new “World Champions” and number font is different; it’s a mid-1920s type not available in 1907. And the type treatment of “CubS” is slightly less Cubs-y in the new version than in the old.

    “Clean and polished” – The relative “fuzziness” or texture of the 1907 logo linked above is an artifact of it being a sewn patch, not a printed logo. Nothing to do with whether the original art was hand-drawn or computer-vectored. When the new Cubs design takes patch form, it will lose some crispness and polish, and it will look no cleaner than the 1907 original.

    I originally thought that it came via Under Armour. The only times I saw it utilized were on the UA branded Champs gear that the Cubs were wearing at their rally and that then were sold on the Under Armour website.

    While trying to figure out who the Down East Wood Ducks might be, I came across “The Wood Ducks, Class A Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers”. It’s long past time to stop lumping multiple levels into Class A. If Class B and C are too negative, add more As at the top, but “Class A Advanced” is ridiculous.

    And I know now that my supposition of “Down East” being Maine is wrong. (Kinston, NC, if you’re wondering.)

    The really stupid thing is that Kinston is roughly 80 miles from the small area of the NC coast that is actually referred to by locals as “Down East.”

    Proofreading on 3rd NFL ticker item: “The Westport Pioneers status in KC”… statues

    Haha, I guess that’s better than having “brand warriors” or “brand soldiers”, then. :-)

    The Wood Duck logo mascot must be a switch hitter. He’s gripping the “bat” as a left-handed hitter would (right hand/wing on bottom) but swinging and following through as a right-handed hitter.

    The lack of teeth on the duck is a positive development, but is it really smiling? For cripes sake, we’re talking about minor league ball and players that will end up wearing Star Wars and tie-dye at some point in the season. Would it kill one of these teams to have a link?

    The All-Star jerseys look okay, and I appreciate the homage to the early 1990s (don’t forget those black and orange jerseys were also worn in 1993, after they wore throwbacks in 1992). However, they’re not without their problems.

    I think it would’ve been better to have the purple and gold jerseys use both colors, rather than have black as a trim color. Gold shoulders on the purple jersey and purple shoulders on the gold jersey would’ve been a nice call-back to the 1980s Kings uniforms.

    Similarly, I think the gray shoulders on the black and white jerseys just look a bit off. Better to have them in opposite colors from the jersey body (black shoulders on the white jersey and vice versa) and keep the silver piping distinct. Also, what’s with the darker gray on the black jersey? It makes the stars and stripes at the waistline look indistinct compared to the other jerseys where they actually stand out.

    Speaking of the stars and stripes, it’d have been nice if they’d used two colors for those as well, though it’s more of an issue for the black jersey than any of the others (again because of that dark gray).

    In the end, though, they’re the best-looking ASG jerseys I’ve seen since the 1998-1999 North America vs. the World set.


    I decided to leave the NHL shield alone, but other than that (and the silver triangle for the collar shield), I got rid of the black and silver on the purple and gold uniforms, and the different shades of gray on the white and black uniforms, sticking with one medium silver-gray trim color. I feel that this color layout does a better job of paying homage to the Kings’ unis of the 80s and 90s, as well as the ASG unis of years past.

    How much time / work is needed to rebrand an NFL team?
    *Weren’t the Oilers the last ones to completely change identities?


    Yes, the Oilers became the Titans in 1999, a few years after the Browns became the Ravens in 1996. The most recent new team identity was the expansion Texans in 2002, but they weren’t replacing an existing team.

    Time needed to create a design: Not much.

    Time needed to clear all the old product out of the retail pipeline and have it replaced by new product: ~ 2 yrs.

    So, as usual, the retailing is the tail that wags the uniform dog.

    Depending on the task, you’re usually looking at six months minimum to go from brief, through the design and design approval process, to the prototyping and sample approval process, to ultimately end up with a single physical sample of finalized design. After that, they are mass produced for the team and retail.

    Given that the Los Angeles Chargers have already been a thing–in fact, the team’s original identity!–I can scarcely think of a weaker case for rebranding.

    If that logo is legit, that’s just lame beyond words.

    But, it’s also rendered in just blue and white, so I guess they’ll have an easier time sharing the stadium with the Rams than the Jets & Giants have. It’s less work for the stadium crew if both teams are wearing the same scheme.

    Their home games vs the Raiders are still going to look like road games though, so…

    Well, the logo is on the Chargers’ official twitter profile, so I’d say it’s legit.

    There HAS to be exceptions. Hypothetically, say the Houston Texans moved to St. Louis or San Diego. They wouldn’t be the San Diego Texans now would they? So the 2 year thing is just BS. Like Paul said, it’s to sell retail BS.

    Indeed. Personally I really, really wonder what the NFL would/could actually do if a team decided to change uniforms midseason. Say the Rams decided to just wear their throwback uniforms for every home game. The league can’t possibly make them forfeit those games, as the fan outrage would be quite high… so what, a fine? Like that matters with the money involved.

    I really, really wonder what the NFL would/could actually do if a team decided to change uniforms midseason.

    The NFL wouldn’t do anything, because no team would decide that. Teams agree to play by certain rules as part of being in the league, and that includes the rules regarding uniforms. You’re envisioning a fantasy that has no basis in reality.

    Then again, we’ve already seen the Broncos bring only their white uniforms to a game in San Diego in which the Chargers intended to wear white because of the weather… the Chargers had to change, and Denver had to pay a fine and wear white at home later in the year when the heat didn’t matter.

    So I ask again…

    If the best support for your fantasy that you can come up with is a single isolated instance more than 13 years ago, I’d say we’re still operating in the realm of fantasy. Let’s please move on. Thanks.

    Well, the Oilers did play for two years after they moved as the Tennessee Oilers before changing to the Titans. And of course, there are the famous examples such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz that still haven’t changed their names despite the fact that the name relates to their old locations.

    On the other hand, the Ravens did completely change their identity in their first year in Baltimore. Art Modell announced that he was planning to move the Browns to Baltimore on 11/6/95, Cleveland and the NFL reached the settlement stating the Browns name had to stay in Cleveland on 2/8/96, and Baltimore’s team announced the Ravens name on 3/29/96. Then they played their first regular season game as the Ravens on 9/1/96, only 5 months after announcing the new name and 10 months after announcing they were going to relocate. So, yeah, it can be done in less than two years.

    Not quite sure I understand your complaint about the meaning behind the number of stars.
    Yeah, they probably assumed the jersey would have stars from the start because its an all-star game. But it stands to reason that they looked for some sort of symbolism when determining how many stars to put on the uniform. It may still be marketing mumbo-jumbo, but its not without merit.

    Now, when teams start making up meanings behind the three stripes on their Adidas uniforms. . .

    I’d be willing to bet that there won’t the three stripes on NHL jerseys. With Fanatics handling the fan replicas, I can’t picture them including another brand’s signature element, but I also can’t picture them NOT including it if it’s a jersey design element. Ergo, it follows that the stripes won’t be on the Adidas authentic jerseys.

    I’m with Paul Lukas on this one: this is the marketing tail wagging the dog. I believe they created the designs, then made up (or adjusted the designs to fit) some marketing BS about the “meaning” behind the number of stars. If you want to get snippy about it, you could say that there are EIGHT stars on the socks; how on earth would Marketing explain that? I mean, one star for each decade makes ZERO sense. Why not just put 100 stars on the jersey instead?

    It may still be marketing mumbo-jumbo, but its not without merit.

    Now there’s a great rationalization.

    You don’t need to come up with symbolism or storytelling bullshit for each aspect of a uniform. Sometimes a stripe is just a stripe, a star is just a star, and they’re there because they function as effective visual accents, the end. When I read these press releases, I can feel my brain cells dying off. ENOUGH!

    Do you think they came up with the explanation for the stars before they started design or did they make what looked good and created a fake explanation? I like to imagine a meeting of the designers and one NHL exec…”I want ten stars on the jersey to represent each decade! And four on the socks! And make them pointy because the NHL represents the pinnacle of achievement!”

    The latter; they designed it with the stars, then turned it over to the [sarcasm] GENIUSES [/sarcasm] in marketing (OK, maybe they had to adjust the numbers).

    Couldn’t the Chargers play in the Rose Bowl like the Rams are playing in the Coliseum? A capacity of 30,000 for an NFL team is way too small!

    The city of Pasadena has limits to how often the Rose Bowl is used; they’re pretty much maxed out with UCLA football, the Rose Bowl Game itself, and a couple of other events. They have said they have no interest in having a full-time NFL tenant.

    The Rose Bowl committee refused the Rams and Raiders to play there for decades before finally relenting to the UCLAns. They argued that parking / traffic issues precluded any event other than the New Years dayish Rose Bowl game. The stadium sits adjacent to a golf course and that Sunday sporting was restricted to GOLF and the occasional Super Duper Bowl game – hint, that is what was driving the much needed renovations recently.

    I USED to say that the Rose Bowl is a GREAT place to see a Football game – if you don’t use the bathrooms, concession stands, press box or park there, but I have not been in the Bowl since the most recent renovations… Would love to hear from someone who has…

    To quote the Master…
    Golf courses are places where white people can dress like pimps
    – Redd Foxx

    Agreed. The Vikings played at Bank A stadium while Bank B stadium was being built. Bank A stadium has a capacity of 50,000 and it resulted in some season ticket holders losing out and others complaining it was hard to get tickets.

    The last NFL team to play in any venue smaller than FIFTY thousand was the ’98 Tennessee Oilers (Vanderbilt Stadium seated 40,550). The last team to play in anything near the size of LA’s StubHub Center was the 1970 Boston Patriots, who spent a season in Harvard Stadium (30,898 at the time).

    The “brand ambassadors” link is just taking me to the Forbes home page. Is anyone else having this issue?

    Re: Ty Montgomery – Devin Hester didn’t have to change his No. 23 when he switched from CB to WR after his first season

    You’re right about Hester. I’ve heard that Montgomery will definitely be changing his number, but I hope I’m wrong! Would be fun to see him have a career as a RB wearing No. 88.

    Did you hear that Montgomery wants to change numbers, or is being forced to?
    I can’t imagine he will never play WR again, I wonder what the threshold is for mandating a number switch for a player who changes positions mid-career.


    From the NFL Rule Book, Rule 5, Section 1, Article 2:


    If a player changes his position during his playing career in the NFL, and such change moves him from a position as an ineligible pass receiver to that of an eligible pass receiver, or from a position as an eligible pass receiver to that of an ineligible pass receiver, he must be issued an appropriate new jersey numeral. A change in jersey numeral is not required if the change is from an ineligible position to another ineligible position, or from an eligible position to another eligible position, provided that the player has participated at least one season at his position prior to the change.

    A typical cardinal rule when it comes to corporate logos is to keep all other elements clear of it. I highly doubt they’d allow dropping a crown on the NHL logo as that would “diminish the brand”.

    I have no idea why, but the EPL-reimagined-a la-NBA logos appeal to me the way this kind of thing usually doesn’t.

    Re: Cubs’ World Champions logo. Like a good neighbor? Yeah, right. As long as the price ($$) is right. Makes me wonder where we’ll see the next corporate logo.

    The return of Starting Lineup figures is kind of exciting for an old collector like myself. I was obsessed with them for 3-4 years in the mid-90s when the hockey figures became available here in Canada. My collection of about 300 pieces now reside in a storage room but I have too many good memories of building the collection to let them go.

    Good to see “you build ’em I wreck ’em” Danica Patrick still driving in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup (boy doesn’t that just roll off the tongue). She should have taken time off, not Carl Edwards.

    I’m wondering if this bodes for a significant uniform change for either the Rams or the Chargers, given that their color schemes are somewhat similar, it really doesn’t make sense marketing wise. It might for the stadium itself, but this would be like the Giants and the Jets both wearing red/blue, or both wearing green/white.

    One possibility is that the Chargers ditch the darker blue and stay with the powders — odd thing is that these teams both have fifty plus years of tradition with those colors (in general, I’m not disputing shades here…some form of blue/yellow combo is what I’m saying).

    If you hadn’t said Super Bowl “LI” I would have thought that soda display was “LIT” as the kids say. I thought the trophy (assuming that blob is mean to be the trophy) was a lower case-i at first.

    The NHL all-star jerseys are decent, but it bugs me that the sleeve-treatment/stripe doesn’t go all the way to the cuff. Different just to be different doesn’t necessarily mean it looks good.

    Check out the Tampa Lightning twitter response to the Charger’s new LA logo. Best. Tweet. Ever.

    About the new Chargers logo: Yes, it’s legit, at least in terms of being legitimately team-issued.

    But it is NOT a new primary (or even secondary) logo. Just a marketing logo to commemorate the move to LA.

    More details tomorrow.

    Meanwhile: I’m running a new Chargers-redesign contest. Details:

    The new LA lightning bolt logo that the Chargers are using is “a new advertising mark”, which “is part of a larger identity campaign called “Fight for LA”.”


    While I wouldn’t be surprised at all, I would definitely hate to see the “Chargers” no longer exist. Even though there are (of course) a hundred things I’d change about their uniforms, what a great name and identity in general.

    Just more proof that pro sports have nothing to do with the fans anymore, other than making rich guys richer.



    I like the Portland Timbers new uniform set, but wish it wasn’t green/green/green.
    White shorts would have been better, too many teams in MLS are mono-colored.


    6 of 20 last year (primary kits). Atlanta will have a red/black striped shirt, with black shorts. Minnesota will probably wear gray, but perhaps not a mono-gray.


    I don’t think that’s too many.

    I am not happy the Chargers are moving but I wouldn’t mind if they went by the California Chargers

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