You know the start of the NHL season is getting close when teams start trotting out new alternate jerseys. And two teams -- both from Pennsylvania, oddly -- did that over the past few days.
First up were the Pittsburgh Penguins, who on Friday unveiled a black-and-gold jersey.
As you can see, the design is basically an updated throwback version of the uniform that the Mario Lemieux-era Pens wore while winning the 1991 and '92 Stanley Cups. It doesn't have quite the innocent retro charm of the blue throwbacks the team has been wearing in recent years, but it's hard to argue against a design with two championships on its résumé. Since many Pittsburgh fans have expressed a weariness with the shade of Vegas gold used on the team's home and road uniforms, it's not hard to envision this throwback being promoted to primary status in a few years. As assessed on Uni Watch's standard good-to-stupid scale, this one shapes up as solidly good.
The day after the Penguins' unveiling, the Philadelphia Flyers made news of their own, announcing the release of a new orange alternate jersey. If that design looks familiar, it's because it's the same one the Flyers wore for the 2012 Winter Classic. Or maybe it's just familiar because it's so similar to the team's current home jersey.
If the Flyers want to replace the current home jersey with the alternate, they should go ahead and do it. But having two orange jerseys that are so similar to each other, right down to the contrast-colored nameplates on the back, seems redundant. The new jersey isn't bad, but there's no compelling reason for it to exist. Definitely closer to stupid.
The games that will feature the Pens' new jersey are listed here, and the Flyers' third jersey schedule is here. And there's more NHL uniform news in store, as the Capitals' and Blackhawks' jerseys for the 2015 Winter Classic are due to be unveiled Tuesday, and the Lightning are planning to reveal a new black third jersey on Sept. 27. Stay tuned.
Next up is Paul Lukas' annual NHL season-preview column, covering all the uniform changes for the coming season. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.