Adidas is taking over for Reebok as the NHL’s jersey provider beginning next season, and for at least a year, that change will mean that teams will only have two uniforms. Adidas will not create third jerseys for the Flyers or any other NHL team in 2017-18.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported the news this morning, saying that there will be no third jerseys “in order to make the initial implementation of the new sweaters easier.” That means we’ll just have the Flyers home orange and road white jerseys next season, and that the new black jersey that the team will wear next month in the Pittsburgh outdoor game will likely be retired after the season.
Adidas is expected to put their mark on sweaters across the NHL, although it’s not quite clear how they will do so.
Back in 2015, we speculated about some potential looks for the Flyers under the Adidas regime, including what might happen if/when the NHL allows teams to sell sponsorships on their jerseys. Since then, Adidas created the uniforms for the World Cup of Hockey, giving us a bit more clear of a sense of how they might approach NHL uniforms.
We know that they’ll feel a bit different. The fabric is different, and when Adidas talks about it, here’s what they say. (Sorry about all the buzzwords.)
Made with adidas’ cutting-edge adizero technology, the new uniform features the blending of three lightweight, resilient fabrics, which have been tested and tuned over the past four years. Engineered for durability, while providing greater airflow, the innovative adizero fabric has been developed to keep athletes cool and comfortable. Additionally, the new adizero cresting reduces weight, adds flexibility and improves overall movement, allowing players to perform at their highest levels.
We’re not really expecting dramatic visual changes for every team (at least not in year one), but we would be surprised if the new threads didn’t incorporate the three iconic Adidas stripes somehow. World Cup jerseys featured those three stripes down the side — could that become the new norm on all NHL uniforms?
Replica jerseys also changing in 2017-18
One other note on NHL uniforms next season: if you want a jersey with the Adidas logo on it (in other words, a jersey that looks just like what the players wear), you’re going to need to shell out the $300-plus for an authentic jersey. Fanatics is taking over all replica jersey manufacturing starting in 2017-18, and with that will be the Fanatics logo on all replica jerseys.
Beginning with the 2017-18 season, Fanatics will become the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of all adult replica NHL jerseys, the top tier of which will be called “The Breakaway.” The replica jerseys will be produced by Fanatics Branded, the company’s merchandise division, and will be designed with fan-first features that are intended for enhanced comfort and versatility. Fanatics will also offer a line of youth replica NHL jerseys.