The NHL and adidas (yes, that’s lowercase...it’s like the reverse of RBK EDGE) unveiled their somewhat anticipated Reverse Retro ADIZERO Authentic jerseys for all 31 NHL teams.
Some of them are major departures. Others, not so much.
That, of course, includes the New York Islanders. If you are familiar with the World According to Lou Lamoriello, you know that he doesn’t have much time for marketing identity fun. During the aforementioned RBK EDGE era following the 2004-05 lockout, he successfully kept the New Jersey Devils from joining the piping brigade that accompanied that league-wide uniform overhaul — making the Devils the only non-Original Six team to keep its look essentially unchanged.
Later, as many clamored for the Devils to bust out a retro version featuring the green that helped define their first decade of post-Colorado existence, it...was not to be.
So no surprise here that the Islanders’ design did not stray very far from what they already have. By keeping the same template — okay, technically it’s “modeled after 1980” — but using the darker blue, they basically recreated the early 2000s look from the Yashin/Peca era. Some teams are super hyping this up.
“Did the Islanders even try?” a friend messaged me this morning.
Not really, and I expect that’s the idea. The Islanders also appear to be doing the bare minimum of promotion required by the league. So...no, I don’t imagine they want to venture very far at all from the Dynasty-revering identity they’ve worked so hard to restore.
And that’s fine.
“adidas worked closely with the NHL® and each team to design a Reverse Retro jersey representing unique and historical moments in each club’s history, while refreshing the color and design combination for an all-new presentation,” the NHL announcement says.
“Hockey fans love retro jerseys and Reverse Retro is a great opportunity for adidas to work closely with the NHL and all 31 teams to bring back a design from a meaningful point in team history with a unique twist,” said Dan Near, senior director at adidas Hockey.
“A meaningful point”...So what should we call these? “Bates Penalty Shot” doesn’t really work, since that famous moment was at home in what were then home whites. “Peca jerseys?” “Aucoin and Hammer?”