Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oil To Get New Unis in '09?

I hate to condone gossip, but a reader pointed out a very interesting article on SLAM! Sports. Not only does columnist Terry Jones "slam" the Edmonton Oilers' new duds, but he goes on to suggest a possible change in two years.

You can read the article in its entirety below, but I'll run down some of the bullet points:

  • Fans in general don't like the sweaters

  • Oil president hates them!

  • Oil CEO loves them!

  • Reebok is not to blame

  • CEO says Oil can get new unis in 2009-10

October 28, 2007

Threads of doubt

The jury's still out on the Edmonton Oilers new uniforms

O.K. Enough already. It's time to take the gloves off and deal with the No. 1 sports controversy in Edmonton.

Danny Maciocia's Gotta Go?

Hell no. Nothing left to say there that hasn't been said.

No, I'm talking about the total travesty of the Edmonton Oilers "pyjamas".

The folly and the farce of forcing them to wear "practice jerseys" in games.

Those especially embarrassing white away uniforms with the shirt tails it looks like they forgot to tuck in, that crappy costume they were wearing on Hockey Night In Canada out of Los Angeles last night.

The Oilers have been wearing these daffy duds long enough most of the fans I've talked to have only one question:

"How do we get our stripe back?"

O.K. Two questions.

"How do we lose that practice uniform piping on the front, too?"

The fans clearly haven't fallen in love with the Oilers new uniforms, home or away.


But the away whites may just be the worst in the league. In fact, they have been declared exactly that on sports desk highlight shows around the league already this year.

Heck, their own president Cal Nichols admits he can't stand looking at the damn things.

"They look, uh, a little plain," he chose his words carefully.

"I have to be careful here. Reebok paid a lot of money," he said of the project bringing the new uniforms to teams around the league and the obvious NHL memo to everybody in the game that they all must love them.

I told Nichols I was writing about the awful new Oilers silks.

"I think that would be a good article to write," he said. "But just put me down for saying I liked our old uniforms. I don't want to sound like an old stick-in-the-mud who can't go contemporary."

There have been other reviews.

"Ice Capades awful!"

"What was Edmonton thinking?

"I like the traditional horizontal stripes at the bottom of the old jersey."

"Why mess with tradition?"

"Wow. I feel like a Minnesota fan."

"Those are awful. Edmonton fans deserve better."

"Butt ugly. It looks like someone who hates the Oilers designed this one."

"The jersey is a little disappointing considering that Todd McFarlane, creator of Spawn, is a part owner. You'd think he'd have a say in the final design."

"Vancouver's looks better than those."

Those are just a few of the comments you can find by going to Google and typing in "Oilers" and "uniforms".

With the new Reeboks, everybody in the league has a new design, but the Montreal Canadiens look like the Montreal Canadiens, the Chicago Blackhawks look like the Chicago Blackhawks, theDetroit Red Wings look like the Detroit Red Wings ...

The Edmonton Oilers, a team of tradition which has won five Stanley Cup, just don't look like the Edmonton Oilers.

"I can't disagree," said Nichols.


Don't blame Reebok. Blame the Oilers. Blame CEO Patrick LaForge.

"We wanted change. A lot of things motivated us to look at change. We have a new locker room. A new team. We saw it as rejuvenation. A breath of fresh air," said LaForge.

"It was meant to be a sort of a Baltimore Ravens look," he said.

The Oilers have have their own identifiable look familiar to the entire world because Wayne Gretzky used to wear that uniform, and now they want to look like the Baltimore Ravens instead?

"A full black body from the ankles to the top, above the ankles and below the shoulders. A solid blue color," said LaForge.

So how do you get your stripe back?

"We can do it," says LaForge. "But not until 2009-2010."

Good thing they probably won't win a Stanley Cup until then.


Drew Celestino said...

"Don't blame Reebok. Blame the Oilers. Blame CEO Patrick LaForge."

After the article already paints the picture that people aren't allowed, either contractually or out of fear of ruffling feathers, to speak badly about Reebok or their involvement with the teams' uniform designs, I throw the bullsh!t flag on this statement.

Sure, the CEO might have initiated change, but I can assure you he did so at the urging and euphoria of Reebok's over-bearing Edge designers. They aren't innocent.

Take it from a Sabres fan who has heard how things went down behind the scenes. Once Reebok got involved, teams were fighting an uphill battle to maintain control of their own uniforms.

Darryl said...

for those of you who dont know, maciocia is our crappy football coach who has managed to drive our beloved eskimos into the ground. If you want a picture of how bad he is, picture this. 35 years the Esks make the playoffs, danny comes on board all of a sudden we miss the playoffs two straight years. also, yes the oilers should get new unis.

Jacob said...

Can't wait for 09.

I'm not without sympathy for a CEO who hopes an edgier design (pardon the pun) will lead to higher sales, but there's no excuse for a jersey like this.

The president and coach are on record as disliking this jersey, and nearly everyone agrees with them. If LaForge had involved a few more people in the process this never would have happened.

And I don't believe that Reebok is to blame. I'm sure they exerted some influence, but plenty of teams managed to maintain their traditional look. The Oilers just blew it.

Btw, can anyone shed light on the "not until 09" comment? Is there some kind of rule against jersey changes for next year?

Jeremy William said...

Jacob, I remember hearing after the Ducks changed their jerseys in 2006 that there was a league mandated wait-period before the team would be allowed to introduce new third jerseys, so the 2009/10 comment may well have to do with a league limit on how quickly you can change uniforms again.

Jason said...

Nothing wrong with spreading gossip if it helps spread the word about our awful uniforms and how upset we are with them. I'm not going to get my hopes up about '09, but it would be REALLY nice if we could just go back to what we had last year. I can deal with the "diaper" or "untucked shirt" that the rounded edges cause to jerseys with horizontal stripes. It beats the hell out of what we have now.

Charlie said...

You can trace this debate back to the Rochester Americans president being specifically quoted as saying that certain elements such as the piping that found its way on to the uniform were not done at the teams suggestion and RBK was "eliminating horizontal stripes".

RBK is responsible because their weak design ideas found themselves on multiple uniforms in both pro and minor hockey...and hockey club executive management is responsible for allowing it to be on the final production version of their uniforms. Was it blind trust of RBK, RBK's sly charismatic persuasion of their own design agenda, or simply not enough spine to stick up and fight for how you want your team to look?

sjsharks112 said...

yes danny maciocia or the fairy as i call him is a step away from being retarded a play early he celebrated like a ballarina only to learn he hadn't one yet...classic

i dont think the oilers should get new uniforms thats taking it too far i actually don't think there bad better than last year

Daniel said...

I agree that the Oil's new jerseys are awful, but I still say they're better than the Leafs. Those are just mind-numbingly dull. And what's worse is that nobody in Toronto is complaining :-P