Devils Unveil New Home Jersey

At an event in Las Vegas this evening, the Devils, along with the other 30 NHL clubs, revealed their new home jerseys for the 2017-18 season. The Devils were one of a handful of teams who made a somewhat major change to their existing uniform set.

The jerseys, to be manufactured by Adidas (game and authentic retail), with Fanatics handling the replica retail jerseys, are quite a departure from anything the Devils have worn before, but at the same time retain most of the elements that make a Devils jersey recognizable.

The new shirt is a red base with the familiar Devils “devil horn and tail NJ monogram” logo centered on the front. The collar is now solid red as opposed to black, white, black on the old home jersey. This red collar is said to honor the Devils’ roots as the Kansas City Scouts, who had a red collar on their jerseys. Inside the collar are the Devils’ three Stanley Cup championship years on a green band. The green is a tribute to the early years of the franchise, when they wore red, green and white as their primary colors, although as some have pointed out, the Devils never actually wore green during their championship seasons. The NHL shield logo still remains on the front of the collar.

The black shoulder yoke remains, now tapered to the Adidas jersey template, no longer extending down the shoulders a little bit, but ending at the top of the shoulder. Down the sleeves are the familiar three stripes of white, black and white. Whereas on the old jerseys, the black bar was larger than the two smaller white bars, the three bars are now equal in size on each sleeve. That is said to honor the franchise’s time as the Colorado Rockies, who wore three stripes of yellow, red and yellow all of an equal width on their sleeves.

At the hem of the jersey is a single black stripe. The Devils say that this stripe is to pay tribute to the state of New Jersey’s first hockey team, the Newark Bulldogs.

It appears the font for the name and numbers will remain the same as it has been since the tema switched to red and black back in 1992-93.

In addition to all of that, the NHL put out a press release talking about how the new Adidas jerseys – dubbed ADIZERO – will change the game of hockey. They are saying that it is lighter – with crest weight being reduced up to 46 percent and “a single layer perforated numbering system” that “reduces number weight by up to 60 percent. They say that the Adidas jersey is 19 percent lighter compared to the former Reebok jerseys.

The jerseys are also cooler – a long way from when players used to wear actual wool sweaters on ice. The breathability and “mositure management” is said to come from Adidas Clima technology in the fabrics. They tout that the jerseys are 133 percent “more permeable than fabrics currently used on ice.”

Adidas and the NHL also say that the jersey will be stronger. “Up to 27 percent stronger in burst testing and up to 72 percent tougher in abrasion testing” compared to the Reebok jerseys.

Adidas will supply the NHL with their official on ice jerseys for the next seven years, following a 2015 agreement between the two parties. Adidas will also be sponsoring the upcoming NHL Entry Draft and will supply the Draft hats and other licensed apparel to the league.

Overall, after months of speculation about what the Devils’ new jerseys will actually look like, I have to say they have grown on me in a very short time. The historical touches make for nice flourishes and really play into the entire history of the franchise. This is only the third major change to the Devils identity in their time in New Jersey and their first refresh in more than 25 years. I think that things look pretty good.

The jersey will make its official debut at the 2017 NHL Draft on Friday when it will be handed out to the number one overall pick. The white away jersey will be revealed at a later date.

Report: Adidas to Take Over NHL Jersey Contract in 2017-18

According to a report on Sportslogos.net via Rick Westhead of TSN and Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy, Adidas will be taking over from Reebok as the official jersey maker of the NHL in 2017-18.

Adidas reportedly beat out UnderArmour and Bauer to become the new supplier, although Adidas is not really much of a departure from Reebok, due to the two companies being under the same corporate umbrella. The deal, when announced, should be worth more than twice as much per season than the one with Reebok, according to Sportslogos.net’s Chris Creamer.

Creamer’s Sportslogos.net report brings up the question of whether the new Adidas-made jerseys will include the company’s trademark three stripes in the design of each team’s jersey. He does not seem to think that this is going to be a possibility for the NHL jerseys (although he does concede that the international jerseys – Adidas will be making the jerseys for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey – may include this design element). Another possibility brought up is if ads will finally be making their debuts on NHL game jerseys. Creamer seems to think that this, at least, may be more plausible

Reebok took over the league-wide contract in 2007-08 with the RBKEdge system, according to Creamer’s article. This changed the traditional hockey jersey from the cut used for decades previous by companies like CCM, Starter, Koho and Nike and replaced it with a more streamlined, form-fitting jersey. This jersey cut was less well received by fans. Adidas, one would assume, would be using a similar cut and “system” to what Reebok has been using due to their being within the same corporate structure.

Adidas had previously held the contract to make the jerseys for the NBA’s 30 teams (they lost the contract to Nike for the upcoming 2017-18 season) according to a post on Sportslogos.net, but are no strangers to hockey. They have supplied jerseys to various college teams over the years, as well as making international jerseys and, according to NHLuniforms.com, worked with the Los Angeles Kings in the early-to-mid 1980s in making their jerseys.

Although not much will probably change, since Reebok and Adidas are corporate partners, where will this leave the Devils? When Lou Lamoriello was here, fans knew that the jerseys would not change and there would be no third jersey, since Lou’s philosophy was that players should be proud to wear a jersey and the history and tradition that it represents. With Lou gone, what will the future hold for the New Jersey Devils’ uniforms? Only time will tell on that, but any choice to change would most likely be a team-based decision, not one made by Adidas. If anything, as a guess, the Devils may simply opt to add a third jersey, one which they have never had on a full-time basis.

Now as far as ads on the jerseys go, many fans in every sport have made their feelings known on this. Forsaking tradition and legacy for a few extra bucks is tarnishing a team’s history. Only NHL ownership’s greed (or lack thereof) will make that decision, but count me out of any jersey with ads on it. Again, previously, I would have guessed that the Devils would never go down the ad route, but with all of the changes the organization has made in the past few months, I am not sure of anything anymore.

In the end, we will see how it shakes down with Adidas taking over the NHL’s jersey contract. New possibilities for teams to change their uniforms are nice, but hopefully things do not get too crazy.