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All-Star jerseys: good for the environment, bad on the eyes

The special sweaters have been revealed and once again, Adidas has underwhelmed. Sure, the tech is cool, but black and white jerseys for a showcase event just isn't going to cut it.
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Aaaaaggggh! Adidas has done it again. The jerseys for the upcoming NHL All-Star Game festivities have been unveiled and despite the inclusion of a cool structural element, the actual look of the sweaters is boring.

I recognize that aesthetics are very subjective and that one person’s classic look is a boring dud to someone else, but for me, Adidas has really underwhelmed with their designs this season. Most of the “new” third jerseys we have seen are just rehashes of older designs, while the one truly original look was horrific: the Winnipeg Jets design that reminded me of old hockey cards from cereal boxes when the cereal company erased the team logo because they didn’t want to pay the licensing fee.

And now this.

I’ll say one thing: I don’t mind the fact there is no NHL All-Star crest on the front. It’s a different way to go and a good choice. But going with stark black-and-white for all the jerseys? What fun is that? First off, I’m not sure what that’s going to look like on TV. Secondly, the whole reason hockey has the best uniforms in all of sport is because the canvas is so big, which allows great crests on the front, but also bright colors to really shine.

Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon had a great move when he started asking opponents if the Canes could wear their reds on the road for some games – and I still can’t fathom why the NHL thinks fans want to see 30 different versions of white jerseys when opponents visit their rink.

As our art director Shea Berencsi pointed out, the NHL will probably sell more of these all-star jerseys because fans are more apt to buy something with their own team’s logo on it and I agree. But why not have some more fun with the main colors?

For example, the game is hosted by the Sharks, who have some of the best colors in the sporting world: why not take advantage of that by making all the sweaters teal with black and grey? Think about how cool a Montreal or Boston sweater would look in that scheme! And yeah, I guess it would be boring for Sharks all-star jerseys, but maybe they get some teal pinstripes or something, just to mix it up a bit. Either way, my original point stands: black and white equals bad (think about the New York Islanders thirds that got eviscerated by the hockey world).

As for the tech, there is definitely a cool element to the all-star creations: the jerseys all feature upcycled plastics recovered from the ocean. Adidas worked with advocacy group Parley for the Oceans on this project and it’s definitely a worthwhile cause. It’s also pretty a propos to have such a jersey for a weekend based in the environmentally-conscious Bay Area.

Why Adidas went progressive with the construction and so staid with the actual design is beyond me, however.

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