Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rbk EDGE Makes Pens Wet

First off, sorry about the headline, but sometimes when these things come to me I can't resist.

Anyway, Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote an article about flaws players are finding with the new sweaters' wick away material. I mean, we all knew this stuff was coming. It's a new technology.

You can read his story here or see excerpts below.

Right winger Mark Recchi, for one, understands what the league was trying to accomplish by adopting a sweater that does not absorb fluids, but does not think the designers took into account the moisture — to wit, perspiration — generated under a player's uniform.

"[The sweaters] don't soak anything in, which I guess is what they wanted," Recchi said. "But the problem is, it goes through all of your equipment. It goes into your gloves, goes into your skates."

And eventually saturates the leather in both, leaving the players feeling as if their hands and feet are immersed in liquid. Perhaps because, at least in some cases, they are.

"They do what they were designed to do, as far as repelling the water," defenseman Mark Eaton said. "But we've found, the last three or four days of wearing them, that, when the water's repelled, it has nowhere to go but into your skates and gloves.

"By the end of the second [period] or the start of the third, your skates are sloshing around and you have to change your gloves because they're [soaked]."

So, that's probably not a good thing. But it goes on.

"It's very good that the water doesn't stick on it, but the sweat all goes into our gear," goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. "Sometimes, it gets really wet."

Veteran left winger Gary Roberts, who was to make his preseason debut when the Penguins faced Detroit at Mellon Arena last night, said he planned to withhold judgment until after wearing the new items in a game, but wasn't pleased with what he experienced during practice.

"My hands are soaked, my feet are soaked," he said. "I feel like it's May, in the playoffs, I'm sweating so much. That seems to be a complaint with a lot of guys."

So then there's the NHL's response.

Frank Brown, the NHL's vice president of media relations, said in an e-mail interview that "every equipment system requires a period of adjustment," and that the sweaters, which are made of four materials, are part of a uniform "upgrade" intended to "help optimize performance and protection."


So while we're at it, here's what else Mark Recchi says doesn't work.

While other elements of the equipment system also have gotten negative reviews — some players have mentioned that the socks that cover their shin pads are so taut that they are more prone to tearing than the looser-fitting ones worn in the past — the sweaters have received most of the attention.

Recchi suggested that, although some complications caused by the new sweaters will be evident immediately — like how some players will have to alter their in-game routines to deal with unduly wet equipment — others might not be apparent for a while.

"My gloves never got soaked like [they do now]," he said. "They're literally drenched by the end of an hour[-long] practice.

"I'm going to have to have two pairs of gloves ready [for games]. I've never done that. I've always used one pair a game. Some guys are used to that, but that's going to be different. Maybe I'll have to change my socks between periods, which I don't like doing. You start sloshing.

"I think you'll see skates break down quicker because of it; they'll absorb more [perspiration], because it's all going down into your skate and your socks."

Whether the league and Reebok will consider altering the material that goes into the sweaters to make them less moisture-repellent isn't clear — "They have a great feel, but I just think they have to find a way to maybe have some absorbency," Recchi said — so it's hard to say how long the current ones will stay in use.

At least a few players, though, would prefer to see the league go back to the uniforms players used to wear, although they realize that probably is not a viable option.


Kindred said...

With this and the fact that the jerseys rip easily in a fight, did RBK NOT test these jerseys at all before implementation across the whole league?

I mean the All Star game is one thing to test the jerseys but a regular season game is a completely different creature.

The All Star game is nothing but a "free skate" down at the local pond while you have guys busting ass during a regular season game.

I have a feeling Bettman might actually get the smarts to tell RBK to shit can these new jerseys and bring back the originals until they can work all the bugs out.

If need be, if I were Bettman and RBK wasn't going to do anything I would look into legal action and maybe bring Nike in to get the jerseys back to where they should be until everything is fixed and back to normal.

Captain Dummy said...

ok, these jerseys are horrible! (so is my spelling). but i was also witholding my expert *rolling eyes* judgement until i saw them. went to the store, checked them out yesterday and honestly, you couldn't give me one for free. everthing, at least on the replicas, is sewn on! the material is chincy! it just sucks all around.

alright, a lot if not most of the teams changed their striping patterns, which also sucks. to remedy this, i think rbk should make the jersey with the new striping pattern but with 1 version on this years crap, and another version of the last few years material and give the players the choice. it would be interesting to see what the players choose. i think you'd see only the forwards wearing the new style.

and amen to nike taking over! i couldn't agree more! rbk and even addias is junk compared to a nike product. if you dont believe me, go buy or check out an "authentic" mls jersey. all around bad.

nhl and rbk made a mistake.

on a side note, if i have to choose a favorite jersey or two. aside fro, the orig 6. i'd have to say the preds and panthers have the best jerseys this year.

i love the pens... hate the jerseys! go back to last years model. both striping and material!

thanks for reading...

Matthew said...

Stories like this are continuing to fuel my increased interest in picking up a vintage jersey as opposed to an EDGE one.

Drew Celestino said...

Whoever posted earlier about the Edge jersey being the NHL's version of the new NBA ball... he might have been right!

Jason said...

Why does this remind me of last year's "new ball" fiasco in the NBA? Right down to the league's insistence that "the players will adjust" over time.


When you get the wild hair to make some significant alteration to the equipment in use by the players, it may be a REALLY GOOD idea to take a year or two to do R & D with the players on the new equipment. Have them try them out in practice. Get their feedback. Find out what works, what doesn't and try and fix those things before making an official change, only to end up with egg on your face.

Change for change's sake is not a good strategy.

Kindred said...

That was me Drew.
What else would you expect from a WNY boy? ;o)

We know what travesties look, sound, feel, smell and taste like.....

Drew Celestino said...

Good call Kindred. Glad to see some WNY faithful around here!

Have you read my first post over at Sabres Not Slugs?

njdss04 said...

Hey all..

I've had the chance to try one of these things on, and sure it felt like i was wearing nothing at all! Fantastic! But to that same extent..the damn thing felt like I was wearing toilet paper, it was THAT flimsy. And retailing up here in Canada for $139.99? My god, for an extra $20 you can get last years pro model and actually FEEL the jersey on your back! One thing is for sure, since my Devils haven't changed their style this year other than to go with what the league is ordering in terms of the new RBK Pattern, I won't be upgrading my jerseys at all. If anything, I'll continue in my hunt for the old heavier red white and green jerseys from the 80's/early 90's. The only division of RBK hockey I currently use, are the sticks. None of this composit crap tho..good old fashion wood. Although I do believe it is a CCM stick with an RBK paint job..

To see the players wearing these much tighter jerseys, having them rip and hearing the players complain, Bettman will NEVER admit he was wrong in allowing this to happen. No frickin way. So to counter this, you'll see a lot of players wearing much larger jerseys of this style for better mobillity (less constricted) maybe even some players tossing the RBK socks and bringin back the traditional ones. Bettman says this new uniform system will stop players from altering their pants/socks jerseys etc. because they're "Form fitting" I'm sorry you rat lookin twitt..players like their gear a certin way.. they will always find ways to alter it and wear it the way the INDIVIDUAL wants to wear it. Not the over all general player. Nike did have a good concept I found, why that idea of the Floknit uniforms was tossed is beyond me.

Kindred said...

Hey Drew-

Can you email me an image or point me in the direction of that crest that was pretty much approved? I'm curious what it looked like.



Masik said...

I seen a Blackhawks RBK EDGE jersey yesterday, tried it on and it looks and feels terrible. The material is extremely light and form fitting, I suggest buying one twice the size you normally wear if you want one. The biggest upset has to be the patches on the shoulders/arms. The patches are screen-printed garbage; it cheapens the look of the jersey and makes it look like you're wearing one of those eBay Chinese knock-offs and at $114.00 that's just absurd. At least use better embroidered patches if you're making us pay $114.00 Reebok. Overall, CCM and KOHO were much better.

Drew Celestino said...

Doug, I don't have access to it personally. It was shown to me by the head of the company who was in charge of things before Reebok took over. I interviewed there and my Fix the Logo campaign came up and we had a nice fun chat.

If I take the job, I'll try and get a picture. But I can't promise I'm taking the position.

But just picture a revamped, more detailed and powerful-looking version of the original white buffalo. There were no swords on the crest (blasphemy, I know), but it was still infinitely better than the slug.

dwdrummer said...

thats why they call em the peng'whines'