August 30, 2011
Picture the iconic Chicago Blackhawks home sweater, from its vibrant red hue to the individual colors of the Indian's feathers. Now picture the Vancouver Canuck's home sweater, and the way the blue and green co-mingle so uniquely.
Now, picture a fashion vampire sucking the color out of those jerseys and adding neon accents so cars won't hit you at dusk; would that be something you might be interested in seeing?
Say hello to the Reebok NHL Black Ice Premier Jersey, which recently arrived at Shop NHL. From Reebok:
You'll love this hip take on a classic design. The officially licensed "Black Ice" premier jersey is made with polyester piqué 2-way stretch mesh for comfort, and it has solid mesh inserts for ventilation. The highly detailed, "blacked-out" version of the team crest is embroidered on the front, and the screenprinted twill appliqué player name and number are featured on the back.
It's really all about the twill appliqué, isn't it? Here are a couple of other examples of Black Ice, which would have made a great subtitle to a "Sudden Death" sequel starring Wesley Snipes:
Hey, the Sabres and jersey variation? How rare.
There are currently specific players available for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks. (Target demo tip: Tyler Seguin(notes) has one, Tim Thomas(notes) does not.)
It's an interesting concept. They look like the jersey from the bad part of town with whom the pink ladies' sweaters can't help falling in lust. And in some cases, and were they conceived as such, they'd make for intriguing alternate sweaters in the NHL: Check out this Steven Stamkos Bolts sweater and tell us the Lightning couldn't rock that 20 times a season.
So no, it's not the most repugnant thing Reebok has ever produced for the NHL — for the record, this is — but that doesn't mean it's not completely pointless. Hockey jerseys have personality, from the stripes to the logo, and this mutes it. What fan wants to walk around looking like a photo negative, or like a hockey-playing character from the original "TRON"? (OK, scratch that second example. We all have our dreams.)
Perhaps you feel the bad-ass aesthetic overcomes the drawbacks. If nothing else, we may finally have a hockey sweater Robert Smith from The Cure can wear to the rink. (Er, actually, he seems to fine wearing the authentics.) So, in summary:
Pass or Fail: The blacked-out Reebok NHL Black Ice jerseys.
Thanks to reader Bryce Etzler for the tip.