Kings new jerseys? Meh...
Thanks to the kids over at Icethetics, fans got a sneak peek at the Kings heavily-hyped third jersey.
Even though it was leaked back in August.
And the leak of the logo was even earlier, back in July by Howard Berger of HockeyBuzz.
I kept hoping that maybe there was something getting lost in the translation of Howard's description of the Kings new logo. Because it just seemed pretty... average.
I get it, it's the merging of the Kings current branding with the Kings original logo. And the jersey is a tribute to the Gretzky era. Still, the whole thing just doesn't do it for me.
First of all, isn't a third jersey supposed to be just that, a third style? Why would a team, whose home jersey is black, choose another black jersey as their third? Why not purple, like the last Kings third jersey? Well, I had a friend who worked in the television industry tell me that those jerseys were the worst, because the color must not have been properly selected to be used for television. He went into detail about color testing and color correction and how some colors work while others didnt, and other such fancy camera speak. Basically, I gleaned that the actual purple color was just not appropriate for cameras and that's why the jerseys varied on TV from deep purple to blue. And from what I've heard, the color purple is a touchy subject in the front office, and we're not talking about the Oprah movie.
But graphically, there's nothing wrong with this logo. Even though it was originally the Kings primary logo ten years ago (has it been a decade already?) when the Kings moved to Staples. I still liked it when it was relegated to third jersey status in 2002.
The only design flaw was it was reminscent of the Ducks original logo, with the crossed hockey sticks. But now that they have gone to the new "dilduck" design, there's nothing wrong with it now. With the new logo, I'm afraid the shield logo will be joining the Chevy logo and Burger King logos. The new logo itself seems very homogenized and safe, and will probably be rolled out on t-shirts and fleece wear and satin jackets and Crocs.
Finally, the silver piping... um, why? Is there a purpose for this addition to the jers... er, Reebok EDGE hockey uniform system? Does it involve moisture wicking? Does it carry the sweat that pools in the players' gloves and skates and cools the players' body, like the outfits used in the movie Dune? Probably not, and my guess is they threw it on to make the jersey different than the practice jersey.
The use of silver on this third jersey only accentuates the lack of any color on it. There's no purple stripe at the bottom. Or on the logo. Or anywhere. In fact, this jersey lacks any kind of personality. Which is disappointing. Some of the other third jerseys are awesome, from the Canadiens white throwbacks to the Sabres throwbacks to the all-black Sharks jersey. I would feel inclined to fork out more cash. But this jersey just doesn't feel like a hockey jersey. It feels more like a lesson in corporate branding than a chance to give one of the NHL's up-and-coming teams a new identity on the ice.
Here's another thing: In their forty year existence, the Kings have worn 27 different jerseys, factoring in both home and away and third jerseys. That would be a different jersey every season and a half! The purple and gold era had 12; the Gretzky era had three, including the Burger King logo; the purple and black era has 9: 3 with the shield as the primary logo and the crown on the third jersey, 3 vice versa, then three Reebok Edge jerseys, including the one above.