I got an email earlier in the week that I was unable to post until now. It was from a reader who wrote in that a Reebok representative has apparently confirmed which teams will be wearing third jerseys next season. I'll say right off that neither I nor this reader can completely vouch for the veracity of this information, but having said that, I see no reason not to put it out there anyway as mere speculation.
The list includes the Sabres, Oilers, Flyers and Blues, which we've already heard rumors about. However, it doesn't include the Penguins who are apparently looking to don the retro jerseys they wore at the Winter Classic.
The rest of the list shapes up like this, in alphabetical order:
- Atlanta Thrashers
- Boston Bruins
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Dallas Stars
- Los Angeles Kings
- Minnesota Wild
- New York Islanders
- Ottawa Senators
- Phoenix Coyotes
- San Jose Sharks
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Vancouver Canucks
From that list, all but four had third jerseys last season. One would assume most of them would stay the same.
Boston, Toronto and Vancouver wore retro threads. An obvious choice to keep. Vancouver switched back to their original colors this season. However, the introduction of a new Johnny Canuck logo leads me to wonder whether they might head in that direction for an eventual discontinuation of the whale altogether. But that may just be wishful thinking.
Chicago, San Jose and Ottawa simply wore black versions of their standard jerseys. Seems to me they'd probably do something similar with new thirds. Also, Carolina has never had a third but black seems like a smart option. And since introducing their new colors and logo, the Coyotes have yet to try out a third. But if they do, you might see it in black as well.
I wouldn't be surprised to see the Kings and Islanders stick with last year's thirds. They utilized different colors, and a different logo in Los Angeles' case. Minnesota made their red third into their regular home sweater this year but the green may well make a comeback if they go with an alternate.
Dallas' most recent attempt at a third left a lot to be desired so we might see something completely different for them. Or we might just see a green jersey with "STARS" written across it in white. Also, Atlanta recently converted its original third to the current home jersey, so I'm not sure what to expect from them. Perhaps something in dark blue reminiscent of their early days?
And finally, there's my Lightning. Very few people liked Tampa Bay's blue third with rain drops, waves and lightning bolts on the arms from the late '90s. I was one of them. But I wouldn't expect to see anything like that if we do end up with an alternate next year. I would expect to see a nice blue sweater though.
Enjoy the speculation. As hard facts become available, you can count on me to have them posted right here at NHLToL.
So if you guys want to start coming up with concepts of what you think next year's crop of third jerseys might look like, go for it! Email them to me and they may well find their way onto the blog.