Okay, now look. I want everyone to stay calm here. There’s no need to panic. We’ve got five months or so before next season starts and things could change and it’s just a report so who knows.
But any time you put the words “New York Islanders” and “third jerseys” together in a sentence, alarm bells and fog horns go off and people start getting their blood pressure up because they feel strongly one way or another about one or more entities in this franchise’s spotty and infamous history of extra uniforms.
So please take the following blurb from Icethetics - still the go-to place for up-to-date uniform news around the NHL - about a possible new jersey for next season with a deep, relaxing breath:
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
THIRD JERSEY: Expected. Islanders debuted a black alternate in 2015-16 but wasn’t well-received by fans; a new design is most likely here.
NOTES: A confidential source has told me about some details to look for: orange sweater, blue shoulders, and the “NY” crest from the black jersey.
Assuming the information is correct, this would be the second time in their history that the Islanders would wear a jersey that used their secondary color as a primary one. From 2002-2007, the jersey seen in the picture above was worn off-and-on by the likes of Alexei Yashin, Jason Blake, Trent Hunter, Rick DiPietro, Adrian Aucoin and, perhaps most legendarily, Radek Martinek.
The jerseys never did much for me personally, probably because I was in early 20’s at the time and unimpressed by such things, and because I have an intense fear of retinal burn. But they were surprisingly popular and can still be spotted around Islanders games at home and on the road today (I mean, how can you not spot them? You can probably see them from space.)
And like the tradition-fabricating, Barclays-mandated, roommate corporate synergistic black alternate jerseys of a couple of years ago, derision on social media doesn’t necessarily reflect its appeal among the masses. The team sold plenty of both jerseys no matter how many jokes people made (and continue to make) about them.
The NHL switched from Reebok to Adidas this season and had every team take a year off from third jerseys. But if there’s money to be made, you knew that moratorium wouldn’t last long.
It’s been a while, so maybe the time has come for a new orange alt for the Islanders. As long as we don’t see ol’ warhorse Radek wearing it on the ice again, it’ll probably be fine.