Buffalo Sabres president on 3rd jersey: ‘If it’s a turd burger … I’ll have to eat it’

Last month, after dragging the reveal process out for what felt like the length of Ville Leino's contract, the Buffalo Sabres showed off their new third jerseys for the 2013-14 season.

And boooooooy did it not go over well with anyone.

The jerseys were mocked in all corners of the Internet by hockey fans and fans of good fashion. Steve Ott seemed OK with it, but even he admitted to our Nick Cotsonika he had received "mixed" reviews from people.

That would somehow mean there were people who actually thought the jerseys looked pretty good. Those people are always out there.

When reached for comment last month, Sabres president Ted Black gave a "no comment" to the Buffalo News. (That's how you sell it!)

On Thursday morning, Black finally did comment on the jerseys during an appearance on the Howard Simon Show on WGR Radio.

"It's received a ton of criticism and a lot of attention. I think it had over 4 million mentions on Twitter. I've seen it. It's something that doesn't offend me. I think people have had a lot of fun with the criticisms of it. Judge for yourself whenever you see it. If you come into the store and you look at it and say I don't want to buy it or you do buy it, in terms of moving the needles on revenues, it won't do anything.

"If it doesn't sell, it won't really mean anything to our bottom line. It's a third jersey. If it's a turd burger I'll have to put it on a bun and eat it. It's the way it is.

"We kept the logo the same. We wanted to do something that was a little bit more non-traditional, so it's two-toned; it's gold in the front and blue in the back; it has different colors for numbering; it has the Buffalo font in the front. Like I said, no one's gonna twist your arm, put a gun to your head if you don't wanna buy it, Howard, you don't have to."

Black said the jerseys will be available to fans sometime in November; that is, unless the shipments somehow get re-directed to whatever deep hole those mid-'90s St. Louis Blues alternates that never saw the light of day rest.

The Sabres will wear them for the first time on Nov. 24 against the Detroit Red Wings.

"I know our team is going to wear it proudly for 10 games," Black said.

The design process, Black said, was a collaboration between the creative department of the Sabres' front office and Reebok. (See, it's not just Nike that can eff up a jersey!)

Finally, reassuring for Sabres fans, focus groups sound like they will become part of the jersey design process in the future, according to Black, making sure this abomination never happens again.

"If we do this again, when we do this again, I don't think that's a bad idea."

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy