You've probably heard that adidas will take over NHL uniforms in 2017, as reported earlier this week by TSN. That's a break from the last decade, during which Reebok has owned and produced all NHL uniforms.
When Reebok took over back in 2007, we saw a drastic overhaul of uniforms. The basic structure of the uniform changed from a bulky sweater to the thinner, more-flexible version we see worn today in the league. But with it also came drastic design changes around the league. Six teams completely changed their look, introducing new logos and all, while most other teams -- including the Flyers -- introduced new jerseys.
You remember the piping. It took over the league, and it was largely a monstrosity that still haunts us today. Since then, many teams have returned to their roots. The Flyers ditched the Reebok design after just three seasons in favor of the sleek, classic look they sport today. But could things change dramatically again with adidas?
Word is that the new jersey supplier wants to make its mark on the game -- and for the money they're paying, they'll get the right to do that.
A source told TSN that the deal would surely mean big changes to uniform designs, perhaps with Adidas's familiar three-stripe trademark being added to some or all team jerseys.
"The NHL might not want big changes like that, but for the money Adidas will pay, they'll be pretty aggressive pushing to make the NHL jerseys identifiable with their brand," the source said.
So what might this look like? Here are some thoughts.
Concept 1: Adding stripes to the pants.
This isn't really a huge change at all, and it'll basically just make NHL pants look like MLS, with those famous three adidas stripes taking over the side of the leg. It doesn't look that bad in my opinion, and it's a subtle change that would be easy to get used to.
Concept 2: Stripes on the sweater.
There are a number of places where the three adidas stripes could be added to the sweater. Some concepts floating around show what jerseys might look like with the three stripes down the shoulders and arms, and that's a pretty extreme change -- especially to some classic uniforms, like the Blackhawks or Canadiens as shown here.
A different option would be to simply add the three stripes to the bottom of the sweater, which would work pretty easily with the Flyers current design.
Concept 3: Adding advertising to the uniform.
TSN reports that with changes expected when adidas takes over in 2017, it could be a good time for NHL to bite the bullet and introduce advertising on jerseys too. The league has hinted in the past that this is coming, so that makes sense.
"If you’re already deciding on a major NHL jersey overhaul, maybe with Adidas striping on the jerseys, then it seems like it would be a good time to introduce the ads, if you plan to do it anyway," a league source told TSN.
What might that look like? Here's a subtle version.
Concept 4: Going Full Soccer
This concept is not going to go over well, and honestly I doubt the NHL lets this happen. But if you're opening the door to jersey advertising ... might this be the ultimate goal?