We’ve known for almost two years now that Adidas will take over NHL uniforms in 2017-18, and as the offseason officially kicked off on Monday morning, teams around the league teased their new look. Here in Philly, it’s familiar.
Adidas will officially unveil the look for all 31 NHL teams on June 20 at an event in Las Vegas, and we’ll be there to cover it in person. Until then, here are some reminders on the major points of these changes.
Flyers jerseys are likely not changing much
SportsLogos.net reported in May that 12 teams, plus the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, would get brand new uniforms in coordination with the Adidas switch. The list: Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey and Ottawa.
The Flyers are not on the list. It’s likely that the switch will just be in the material. Adidas handled the uniforms for the 2016 World Cup, and we can probably take some cues from what they did there. Here’s what they said at the time, apologies for the corporate buzzword nonsense:
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.
Development and construction of the lightweight jersey has been refined to minimize nonessential elements including seams, piping and others that add weight to the jersey. Additionally, the collar has been designed to be more robust and durable and the lay-flat construction allows a better range of motion while simultaneously creating a clean look.
They’re gonna feel different. They probably won’t look different.
Fanatics will take over production of replica jerseys
If you want a new Flyers jersey with the Adidas tag and logo on it, you’re going to have to shell out the $300+ for an authentic jersey. All lower-end replica jerseys will not be manufactured by Adidas, but instead by Fanatics. Here are the details on that, and again, sorry for all the corporate speak:
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.
Nobody will have an alternate jersey in 2017-18
Oh, you like the black Stadium Series jersey? Or the 50th anniversary jersey? Sorry, you won’t be seeing them again. Not in 2017-18, at least. As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported in January:
Multiple sources tell the Star Tribune that all NHL teams will be permitted to have only home and road jerseys next season as Adidas takes over for Reebok as the official outfitter of NHL uniforms.
There will be no third jerseys, in order to make the initial implementation of new sweaters easier.
Are we getting ads on jerseys?
Gary Bettman has said in the past that it’s only a matter of time until we see ads on NHL uniforms. With this change to Adidas, plus the NBA going ahead with adding jersey ads next season, there’s been speculation that the time is right for the NHL too.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case, as Bettman noted in his press conference during the 2017 All-Star Game back in January.
“It's not an active discussion among NHL clubs,” Bettman said. “The fact of the matter is we take great pride in our sweaters. We think they're the best in all of sports, and that's not something we're running off to do.”
“I always said we wouldn't be first. Okay, great. NBA is doing it, and it would take an unusual circumstance, which I would define as a lot of money that I'm having trouble comprehending right now, for us to even be thinking about it. We think what we have is special. We talk about history and tradition and how special hockey jerseys are; we're not looking to put advertising on our sweaters.”
This is partially true and partially Bettman signaling to potential advertisers the kind of money they are going to spend to get their logo on an NHL uniform. It’s going to happen, somewhat like we saw with the small shoulder patch ad in the World Cup last year. But we’re still a bit away from it becoming a reality.