In 2014, outdoor NHL games will become as common as the Leafs being outshot. Amid the league's bonanza is the Penguins/Blackhawks game at Soldier Field March 1. Today, Pittsburgh officially unveiled its
cash grab special jersey for the event. Feast your eyes on the sweater – modelled by Mr. Chris Kunitz:
Photos courtesy of Pittsburgh Penguins The verdict? From an objectively aesthetic standpoint, plenty to like. Kind of like the Sharks did a few years ago, these jerseys remove the late 1990s "xtreme" feel and crank up the vintage with black shoulder capping and piping along the bottom of the sweater. The Pens are kind of painted into a corner with the Stadium Series shoulder patch, which looks like a baseball stadium even though the March 1 game is at a football stadium. There's just one big problem. As my colleague
Rory Boylen pointed out, "they're awfully Bruiny." And I think Rory was being kind. It almost feels like the Penguins, Reebok and the NHL fell asleep the night before their project was due, pasted their logo over Boston's away jersey and hoped the teacher wouldn't notice.
Well if I'm the teacher, I did notice, and the jersey gets a failing grade. Let's call it 4 out of 10 for blatant unoriginality.
This post has been updated to reflect that Reebok and the NHL had creative input in the jersey design along with the Penguins.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin
James Neal and Milan Lucic photos courtesy of Getty Images