The jerseys. (Travis Hughes/Broad Street Hockey)
PHILADELPHIA -- It took way too long for the Flyers, the NHL and Reebok to unveil their Winter Classic 2012 jersey design, and maybe that's why we're sort of underwhelmed with the whole thing. After a number of leaks and countless rumors, the result of waiting so long to make things official, the excitement for today's unveil was just sort of "eh."
That's not to blame the Flyers for taking so long. Everything about this game has been late, from the announcement to ticket opportunities to this jersey announcement. It's not completely in their hands.
But I don't think that's the entire scope of why I'm not necessarily excited by these uniforms. They look nice, and I especially enjoy the keystone shape that outlines the 'C' and the 'A' on the sweaters. (You can't see that in that photo above, but that's something that is confirmed.) But overall, even though this is a definitely change from basically everything we've ever seen in Flyers jersey fashion, it's still underwhelming.
The colors are the same, save the "vintage white" instead of just normal white. The logo is the same. I was sort of hoping the Flyers would take a classy yet different risk, maybe altering the logo a bit or doing something a little more innovative with the overall design. They didn't. They certainly took the conservative route. These jerseys aren't much of a deviation from the current design.
That's not to say I don't love the current look the Flyers have. I think our team, with the current jerseys they wear on a nightly basis, is one of the best-dressed teams in the NHL. Our logo is iconic and awesome. Our colors are different. There's not a lot to complain about, and maybe this is a case of "if it aint broke, don't fix it."
But look at some of the others teams that have played in a Winter Classic: The Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins all have iconic logos that are fantastic, yet they were fine with going retro or, in the case of the Bruins, creating a completely different logo that was equally as fantastic.
I don't know. I like these jerseys and think the Flyers will look good in them on January 2nd, but I can't help but see this as a missed opportunity to take a bigger risk -- something the Flyers have never really done with their jersey designs.
(Maybe you'd call those orange alternates in the mid-2000s, a risk, but I'd call them just an absolute nightmare. Maybe you'd call Cooperalls a risk, but that was just trying to hop on top of the newest trend. An ugly trend.)
A different logo -- perhaps a wordmark -- would have been refreshing. A completely different design might have been a tough risk to take, but it could have given the Flyers something really unique to sell to us after waiting so long in excitement for these things. Instead, I can't help but be a little disappointed. Would you agree?