Reading the NHL Tea Leaves

The NHL and Adidas continue to release teasers in advance of next Tuesday night’s uniform unveiling. Lots of rear-view photos were released yesterday, and they appear to show lots of small changes taking place for various teams (and also reinforce what the Adidas logo creep will look like). One thing at a time:

1. The Blue Jackets appear to be getting a new NOB font:

It appears to be a version of the font used on their alternate logo. Can’t say I love it, but I didn’t love the outgoing NOB font either. Whaddaya gonna do.

2. New NOB treatment for the Bruins as well:

3. The Red Wings, who have always used direct-sewn lettering for their vertically arched NOBs, are apparently switching to nameplates:

4. No more Ree-box — and, more importantly, no apron string piping — for the Predators:

5. No more Ree-box for the Avs either, and the white outlining on the collar appears to have gone by the wayside as well:

6. Looks like the Flames’ italic NOB lettering will no longer be italic:

Did I miss anything? Yeah, probably. If you’ve spotted other changes in the works, feel free to post them in today’s comments. In any event, we’ll see the new designs next Tuesday, and I’ll get to see them in person at the unveiling in Las Vegas (where the weather forecast for next week continues to be ideal for a hockey event).

•  •  •  •  •

Just call it the Murph: In the month or so since I announced the return of the Naming Wrongs T-shirt project, I’ve gotten a fair number of requests from San Diego fans who want a shirt for Qualcomm (né Jack Murphy) Stadium. Scott Turner and I were already talking about the best design approach to take for that — we were just discussing it yesterday afternoon, in fact — when the word came down that Qualcomm’s naming rights deal has just expired.

According to that article, the stadium is likely to remain in use for at least another 18 months, due to contractual agreements with San Diego State University (which plays football there) and the Holiday Bowl. After that, its future is uncertain, and there’s a decent chance it will be demolished. Although Qualcomm no longer has legal rights to the name, there are no immediate plans to come up with a new moniker, because doing so “could create hassles with outdated stationery, brochures and confusion among residents and potential users of the stadium, such as monster truck shows and international soccer games.”

Oh, please. Just call it the Murph. We’ll have a shirt advocating for that (along with several other new designs) in a few days.

•  •  •  •  •

Membership update: Seven new designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including Evan Blanchard’s card, shown at right, which is based on the uniform worn by the Michigan State marching band). I still have one open slot on the current sheet. Assuming that slot is filled by a new order at some point in the next couple of days — or even if no new orders come in, actually — the printed/laminated versions of these cards will mail out toward the end of next week, after I get back from the NHL unveiling in Las Vegas.

Remember, a Uni Watch membership card now entitles you to 15% off of any of the merchandise in our Teespring shop (if you’re an existing member and would like to have the discount code, email me). As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here, and you can see how we produce the cards here.

•  •  •  •  •

dads in unis

LAST CALL for Father’s Day pics: Phil here. Sunday is Father’s Day, and I’ll be continuing my annual tradition of posting photos of “Dads In Uniform.” It’s something I began doing in 2013, and continued in 2014, 2015, and again last year, and I’m looking forward to keeping it going strong.

If you’d like to have a photo of your dad (or granddad!) featured this Sunday, please send me an email along with a photo (just one, please) and description. I’ll run all submissions this Sunday.

•  •  •  •  •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: A season and a half in, and the D-backs still haven’t solved the problem of their road uniforms looking like the umps’ uniforms. … LSU player Kramer Robertson has a serious cleat collection (from Wesley Eustis). … 20th-season skyline jerseys tonight for the Oklahoma City Dodgers (from Justin Mitchell). … Unbeleafable: The Cubs are selling leaves of 2016 ivy from their outfield wall for — get this — $200 per leaf. Plus shipping. Have I mentioned lately that late-phase capitalism is an example of something that has succeeded too well? (Thanks, Mike.) … The Dodgers have a traveling fan club named after the team’s Pantone shade of blue (from Hugh McBride). … Previous Tickers have reported on the bill recently introduced in the New York City Council that would require the Mets and Yanks to extend protective netting down both foul lines at their ballparks. The bill hasn’t yet been passed, but the Mets are going ahead with the increased netting on their own. According to the team, the netting “uses enhanced technology that increases transparency and is 97% invisible.” Additional info here. … The Pirates will wear Negro Leagues uniforms tonight (from Jared Grubbs). … Cardinals P Brett Cecil has changed uni numbers (from Erik Spoonmore). … Whoa, check out these sensational 1940s softball uniforms (from Sports Paper). … New uniforms for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, a short-season Single-A team (from Ian Gerig). … Contrary to what had been reported, Democrats and Republicans did not wear LSU uniforms for last night’s Congressional Baseball Game. Instead, they wore uniforms from their home districts and states, as per usual. Maybe the LSU gear, which was being put together quickly and rush-delivered, didn’t arrive in time. Uni Watch reader Jason Mott attended the game and reports that some players did wear LSU caps, at least early in the game. Also, California Congresswoman Linda Sánchez wore No. IX, for Title IX.

NFL News: Looks like the Rams are going to have multiple shades of blue this season (from Dan Kennedy). … New facemask for Broncos LB Von Miller. … Don’t think I’ve ever seen a bobblehead with such an extensive facemask before (from Jordan Fischer). … Earlier this week it was reported that the Cowboys would be wearing their blue jerseys more often this season. Now it turns out that “more often” just means once on the road during preseason (who cares), at home on Thanksgiving (which is now standard), and once on the road against the Giants (which apparently means the Giants plan to wear white at home).

College Football News: New jerseys for Minnesota State. … Penn State will wear throwbacks for the Sept. 30 game against Indiana. As you might expect, it’s not exactly a radical departure from their regular uniform, although the numbers on the helmets are nice (from Mike Slavonic).

Hockey News: The good news is that The Nashville Tennessean ran a commemorative section saluting the Predators for their excellent 2016-17 season, which culminated in a trip to the Stanley Cup Final(s). The bad news is that the photo they put on the cover of the section is a file photo from the previous season. The uni-related giveaways are the All-Star patch and the blue helmets (thanks, Alex). … If the American team will wear a Bills-themed jersey for the World Juniors, then should the Canadian team wear a CFL-inspired jersey? And if so, which CFL team should it be based on? (From Ted Arnold.) … Great find by Chris Mayberry, who writes: “I’ve seen pics of goalies wearing different socks (Johnny Bower usually wore blue socks home and away, hidden by the pads) but here’s a shot, probably from 1962 or so, of Blackhawks goalie Denis DeJordy wearing Rangers pants, which is particularly odd because he never played for the Rangers.”

NBA News: Nothing particularly new or earthshaking, but I’m quoted a few times in this article about NBA uni ads. … Brian Begley has been working on a bunch of NBA uniform concepts for the upcoming Nike era. He put his own logo in the ad-patch spot. … New 50th-anniversary logo for the Nuggets. No word yet on whether it’ll be worn as a patch, although commemorative patches may become problematic league-wide now that ad patches and maker’s marks are being added, which won’t leave much real estate for memorials and anniversaries (thanks, Mike). … The Bucks’ new D-League G-League affilliate, the Wisconsin Herd, will unveil their new logo next Thursday (thanks, Mike). … Great find by Mike Monaghan, who spotted former Buffalo Braves player Ernie DiGregorio wearing an “Ernie D” nickNOB. … The WNBA’s Seattle Storm have formed a partnership with the women’s health organization Planned Parenthood. It’s not clear if PP’s logo will be making an appearance on the team’s uniforms.

College and High School Hoops News: New court for Waukegan High School in Illinois, alma mater of our own Mike Chamernik. … New court design for George Fox University, a D3 school.

Soccer News: No photos, but NYCFC will have rainbow-patterned corner flags as part of an LGBTQ pride promotion tomorrow. … New away kit for Real Madrid (from Ron Mexico).

Grab Bag: One of the most effective marketing slogans of recent times is being retired. … In a related item, a Fox News anchor caused a stir by appearing on camera in a pantsuit, which had long been verboten on the network. … Really interesting piece about the bunkers at the U.S. Open. … New logo for Skype (thanks, Brinke). … The city of Columbia, S.C., is considering a new flag design (from Joel Mathwig). … You can also vote on a new flag design for Pocatello, Idaho, whose flag was recently judged to be the worst in America (from James Gilbert). … Nike is eliminating 1,400 jobs — that’s about 2% of its workforce — and cutting a bunch of sneaker styles. It’s not clear how many of the newly jobless will be Asian children (thanks, Brinke). … The Bat Signal was projected over L.A. last night in memory of actor Adam West (thanks, Mike). … Twitter rolled out a redesign yesterday, and a lot of people weren’t too happy about it, although I’m sure everyone will adjust soon enough. … At one point yesterday the PGA Tour’s website showed the U.S. Open leaderboard with the 2016 U.S. Open logo (good spot by Kurt Crowley). … At the World Cup of Pool — yes, that’s a thing — Team Finland’s jerseys have one long sleeve and one short sleeve. … Longtime reader/pal Martin Hick is part of a croquet league in St. Louis. His dad passed away earlier this year, and another player in the league lost his own dad a few weeks ago, so they recently memorialized their pops by adding a stripe of black tape to their mallets. RIP.

•  •  •  •  •

My mom has been having some health issues, so I’m going out to see her today. Play nice while I’m away and have a great weekend. I’ll see you next week.

68 comments to Reading the NHL Tea Leaves

  • Brian Henke | June 16, 2017 at 7:53 am |

    The Cubs will wear Negro Leagues throwbacks tonight in Pittsburgh, as well. The Cubs’ unis will be that of the Leland Giants, who played in the first decade of the 20th century.

  • Shane | June 16, 2017 at 8:13 am |

    There’s definitely white on the Habs’ collar in that picture.

    Also IIRC it looked like the Flames NOB font isn’t italicized anymore.

    • Paul Lukas | June 16, 2017 at 8:15 am |

      Not sure what I was seeing with the Habs photo. I swear it didn’t have that white border at the top. I’ll remove that item.

      I’ll also look into the Flames situation and will add that if warranted. Thanks!

  • Martin | June 16, 2017 at 8:15 am |

    Compared to the other NHL-Adidas Pictures from yesterday the Flyers seem to get a differnt jersey design.

    No seams next to the adidas logo.

    • Rob S | June 16, 2017 at 8:50 am |

      The Flyers have always had a pretty unique jersey construction. The only time I can think of where they shared the same construction with another NHL team was at the beginning of the Edge era, when the Thrashers’ road white jersey had the same construction as the Flyers’ ugly original Edge unis.

  • Morgan Doninger | June 16, 2017 at 8:17 am |

    The Devils are clearly not switching to red and green.

    • Warren Thompson | June 16, 2017 at 6:37 pm |

      I believe the dark green and red is better. A personal opinion.

  • CheezBleeder | June 16, 2017 at 8:43 am |

    Yikes!! That Rams getup is a hot-mess of awful.

    • Rob S | June 16, 2017 at 8:53 am |

      “Only they could mess up a damn uniform.” The tweeter must not have been paying attention to the Jets’ multiple greens, then.

      That picture looks like it may have some unusual lighting, though, as if a spotlight was focused on the legs.

      • Rob Z. | June 17, 2017 at 10:52 pm |

        The Ram screwup kind of reminds me of a Pro Bowl uniform, with different shades of a color on a uniform.

    • walter | June 16, 2017 at 9:21 am |

      What’s that guy talking about? Screwing up a football uniform is easy.

    • Kyle | June 16, 2017 at 10:10 am |

      ‘Mess’ is also what I was thinking. The pants, uniform and helmet look like they came from three different teams.

      Part of me likes that the NFL doesn’t allow rapid uniform changes but the downside is: 1) we get what is going on with the LA Rams and 2) if a uniform is bad, they’re stuck with it half a decade.

      I think it is good the D-Backs were able to make tweaks after a year and NFL teams should get to as well.

      • Brinke | June 16, 2017 at 11:06 am |

        have always felt that teams that move should be entitled to a waiver on the ‘must wait 5 yrs’ or whatever the rule is, in order to change their look.

        • Rob S | June 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm |

          As has been mentioned here, the popular theory is they want to wait until the new stadium is open until they make a full change.

  • Dave | June 16, 2017 at 8:55 am |

    Hope Uni-Mom is OK.

    • walter | June 16, 2017 at 10:18 am |

      <3 to your mom.

  • Forde | June 16, 2017 at 9:06 am |

    The NBA Nike Uniform concepts are very good.

    • Paul Lee | June 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm |

      Yup. The Denver ones are much better than what they have right now.

    • Dan T. | June 16, 2017 at 1:51 pm |

      Agreed. I’m a Hornets fan, and while I like the current look, you have no idea how badly I’d like to see the return of the original jersey, at least as an occasional throwback.

      Also, how awesome is that black-and-light blue Denver Nugget set?

  • Rob S | June 16, 2017 at 9:13 am |

    One thing I noticed about the Avalanche teaser is that the thick silver piping appears to go away from the maker’s mark at a down angle on either side. Now, the burgundy uniforms have never had silver piping before – they had a double-stripe of white and black – but, nevertheless, this gives me hope that the Avs may be bringing back some form of the mountain-ridge striping they had before the Edge apron-piping jerseys.

    • Rob S | June 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm |

      And I’ve gone ahead and made a mock-up and posted it in reply to the Avs’ teaser.


  • Dumb Guy | June 16, 2017 at 9:28 am |

    What kind of oversized gumball helmet is Von Miller wearing???

    • StLMarty | June 16, 2017 at 9:58 am |

      Nice comparison.
      Their stripe/decals aren’t typically like that, right?

  • Coach Batt | June 16, 2017 at 9:29 am |

    Quick observation on the Football Giants… with the Giants playing Thanksgiving night at Washington my assumption is that they will NOT wear color trash unis that game… therefore, could they possibly wear them that Dec. 10th home game against Dallas?

    I am NOT a fan of the ’80’s uni at all… and believe the team has much better historic alternatives to choose from (1936 PLEASE!!)… I hated the generic “giants” italics.. and felt they looked terrible in white-on-white..

    Historically speaking.. the Giants used to wear white at home against Dallas forcing them to wear blue for “curse” purposes into the mid 1980’s… so I suppose that will be the rationale the team would use if my theory plays out…

  • Rich | June 16, 2017 at 9:30 am |

    “Maybe the LSU gear, which was being put together quickly and rush-delivered, didn’t arrive in time.”

    There was an unsubstantiated rumor that the company sending the shirts dropped the ball. But I haven’t been able to find a story on that. Here is a pregame pics of more Congressmen in LSU hats, but I’m not sure if they kept those on during the game.

  • Dumb Guy | June 16, 2017 at 9:31 am |

    Pocatello flag…..

    I kept hunting for the current Pocatella flag to see how bad it is. After looking at several other sites I realized I WAS looking at their current flag.

    Horrible! I thought that was was some sort of copyright logo you’d at the bottom of their website or something. OMG. Yuck.

  • morris | June 16, 2017 at 9:40 am |

    I recall on at least two occasions Gerry Cheevers wearing Bruin socks as a Crusader : NHL-WHA, in Cleveland (perhaps 75-76, just before he returned to Boston)

  • Rob S | June 16, 2017 at 9:42 am |

    The biggest issue with the Twitter redesign is the circular autoformatting of the userpics. For those of us that actually utilize the full square area of the square image, we’re now suddenly robbed of 21% of that area because our userpics are now being forced into a circle.

  • david goodfriend | June 16, 2017 at 9:42 am |

    All the best to your mom Paul.

  • scottrj | June 16, 2017 at 10:55 am |

    To correct a misstatement from yesterday’s Ticker, the Baltimore Ravens have not retired Johnny Unitas’ #19 jersey. They simply don’t issue that jersey number to players.

    It also bears noting that the Cleveland Browns have retired Jim Brown’s #32 and numerous others despite their never having played for that franchise.

    Conclusion: the whole situation b/w those teams and the Colts is sui generis

    • Paul Lukas | June 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm |

      It also bears noting that the Cleveland Browns have retired Jim Brown’s #32 and numerous others despite their never having played for that franchise.

      Apples and oranges, since the NFL’s position — however spurious you may view it to be — is that the current Browns franchise is an extension of the original one. (Since the old Browns franchise is now the Ravens, are you suggesting that the Ravens should retire 32 for Jim Brown?)

      – Paul, checking in from Mom’s place

      • Dan T. | June 16, 2017 at 4:44 pm |

        Reminds me of the Bobby Phills situation.

        Phills was a member of the Charlotte Hornets (v 1.0) when he was killed in an auto accident. The Hornets retired his #13, and then when the team moved to New Orleans, the Hornets again retired #13 in a ceremony at their new home.

        Then, when New Orleans became the Pelicans and the Bobcats took back the Hornets’ name and history, the Pelicans un-retired Phills’ number and the Hornets (v. 2.0) retired it again.

        So Phills has had his number retired twice by the same team, and retired by a team in a city he never played in, only to have it un-retired later.

    • Neeko | June 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm |

      How about the Miami Heat? Retire Jordan’s #23 & honor Marino’s #13

  • Brock | June 16, 2017 at 11:03 am |

    I doubt the Red Wings will switch to name plates; hopefully it’s just for the mock up.

    • Paul Lukas | June 16, 2017 at 12:25 pm |

      You’re welcome to hope whatever you like. But why would you doubt something in the face of photographic evidence to the contrary? Am I missing something?

      • Rob S | June 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm |

        Just because the sample shown in the teaser has a nameplate doesn’t necessarily mean that the team has to use nameplates when they start the regular season in October.

        In any case, reaction to the nameplate in the teaser on Twitter has been overwhelmingly negative thus far.

        • Paul Lukas | June 16, 2017 at 2:54 pm |

          Just because the sample shown in the teaser has a nameplate doesn’t necessarily mean that the team has to use nameplates when they start the regular season in October.

          It’s true that nothing *necessarily* indicates anything. In general, though, if given a choice between “The teaser photo probably indicates what the real jersey will be” and “It’s doubtful that that the teaser photo shows what the real jersey will be,” I think it’s pretty clear which one is the more likely choice.

          The person who started this thread apparently doesn’t like the nameplate and is hoping they don’t use it. I agree — I don’t like it either. But I fail to see the basis for asserting that it’s *doubtful* that they’ll do it, which was how this thread started. I was wondering if I was missing something, and now I see that I wasn’t.

        • Rob S | June 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm |

          You’re right in this case, Paul, especially since I’ve had a little more time to reflect on it myself. Saying you’re doubtful something will happen is pretty presumptuous in contrast to saying you’re hopeful something won’t happen.

          I don’t doubt that the Red Wings could go through with it. After all, it’s their uniform, so it’s their prerogative. I’ll continue to hope, though, that they end up not using it.

      • John in KC | June 16, 2017 at 8:30 pm |

        I believe you are missing something – I think it’s a curved seam on the Red Wings jersey because it’s the the same as the curved seam on the Predators jersey (and the other jerseys). It just looks like a nameplate in the closer shot the Red Wings are using and the arched name letters.

        • Paul Lukas | June 16, 2017 at 9:09 pm |

          Disagree. It’s not just a seam on those other jerseys — it’s a *nameplate* seam. It’s straight for the teams with straight nameplates and curved for the teams with arched nameplates (Red Wings, yes, but also Avs).

        • John in KC | June 17, 2017 at 10:12 am |

          Aha – now I see that it is straight on the other jerseys and only curved on the Red Wings and Avs jerseys.

  • Brian | June 16, 2017 at 11:07 am |

    Best tknyour mom Paul.

    Re: NBA Memorial/Anniversay patches.
    Wonder if they’ll be moved to the back, like the Finals patches.

  • Jet | June 16, 2017 at 11:11 am |

    If you’re gonna make a “I’m calling it Murph” t-shirt

    it better be in PROPER Padre colors of brown and gold!!


    • Rob S | June 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm |

      Gotta have the orange in there, then, because it wasn’t the Murph before 1981.

  • Oakville Endive | June 16, 2017 at 11:29 am |

    If the Boston Bruins changed their numbers as well, to the style suggested by the NOB, it would be a move still closer to their glory days look of the early 70’s, and as a child of the early 70’s, I would view that as a very positive development.

    • Wade Heidt | June 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm |

      I am all for that. I would also be a fan of them bringing back the single white stripe on the pants – just like 1970s glory days.

      • John H. | June 16, 2017 at 5:56 pm |

        …and the gold B on the black jersey!

  • Herc Stone | June 16, 2017 at 11:32 am |

    Regarding Denis DeJordy’s “Rangers” pants while playing for the Black Hawks: those likely are actually pants from the AHL’s Buffalo Bisons, for whom DeJordy did play.

    See here:

    • Jet | June 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm |

      excellent call.


    • Mark | June 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm |

      beat me to it, good catch!

    • Chris Mayberry | June 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm |

      Mystery solved — thanks, guys!
      Makes perfect sense — never realized how similar the Bisons and Rangers pants were…

  • Samuel Barrett | June 16, 2017 at 11:34 am |

    Stirrup-wearing Sean Gilmartin was designated for assignment by the Mets, but picked up by the Cardinals the same day. Hopefully, we’ll we those stripes with his perfect blousing soon.

  • ThresherK | June 16, 2017 at 12:05 pm |

    MLB Nickname on back for “Players Weekend”:

    Is it too far out there to ask the Dodgers’ 3B Justin Turner to wear Three Men?

  • Bob Sullivan | June 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm |

    the netting “uses enhanced technology that increases transparency and is 97% invisible.”

    I hate to be a cynic, but isn’t that because the holes make up 97% of the net coverage area?

  • Paul Lee | June 16, 2017 at 1:46 pm |
  • Rob S | June 16, 2017 at 4:34 pm |

    Okay, I give up. What the heck is this card supposed to be?

    • Sandy | June 16, 2017 at 7:37 pm |

      Looks like the back of Jacques Villenueve’s racing helmet.

      • Paul Lukas | June 16, 2017 at 8:30 pm |

        Excellent call, Sandy! One of the more interesting requests we’ve received.

  • Randy | June 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm |

    Thanks for the Murph tee shirt…looking forward to purchasing one….padre brown please!

  • tosaman | June 16, 2017 at 11:09 pm |

    Storey goodness on those Ti-Cats hockey sweater mock ups.

    • tosaman | June 16, 2017 at 11:11 pm |

      Stupid autocorrect. ‘Stripey’ goodness…

  • SportsBiz | June 17, 2017 at 11:58 pm |

    At least for now the Storm Planned Parenthood partnership is for sponsorship of a game, along with some recognition and perhaps fundraising during the game through draws and raffles. It may, and likely will, extend to more matters as they go forward but that is all they have announced so far. It’s not intended to be a full blown team/jersey sponsorship.

    Unrelated question: what was going on in MLB today with all the powder blue unit everyone seemed to be wearing, with changes to match team colors? What were they honoring/recognizing?

    • Kevin | June 19, 2017 at 1:53 pm |

      Father’s day.

  • Kevin | June 19, 2017 at 1:52 pm |

    I’m not holding my breath, but I wish that Adidas would ditch Reebok’s curved hem and go back to the straight hem. The curved hem has always looked awful on teams with horizontal striping at the bottom of the sweater.