As the 2021 NHL season gets underway, we have a lot of new that to deal with. Empty arenas with limited fans, a rise in goal-scoring to start the season, but there is one thing that hasn’t changed with the new season, teams debuting new jerseys.
First, we are going to take a look at the Senators’ black jerseys, as they took on the Toronto Maple Leafs in their home debut last weekend.
Back in September, it was leaked/revealed that the Senators were going to ditch their 3-D Senators look and go back to a 2-D Centurion logo in an all-black jersey.
These jerseys stayed with the Senators throughout most of the 90s until the team started using more red at the turn of the millennium; the Reebok-style of the mid-2000s has been the primary look of Ottawa for the better part of two decades, mostly during the King Alfie years.
That changed this weekend, as the Senators begin their season against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and oh boy, did these jerseys look fantastic on the ice. The Senators’ black jerseys are a very minimalist design; there is no shoulder striping, there is no hidden logo down the sides, or any armpit striping like with Buffalo. This style is what I like to call a minimalist-type jersey, a look most Canadian NHL teams have turned to with a lone exception, the Winnipeg Jets.
The black Ottawa jerseys was a great contrast to the pure white Maple Leafs’ road jerseys. It gave a black-hat villain look to the Senators, who have always had a chip on their shoulder, being the ‘black-haired stepson’ of Eastern Canadian hockey.
The Senators’ jerseys have white lettering and white numbering that really seem to pop against the black jerseys. There is some red on these jerseys – red striping along the elbow and a red outline along the back numbers – but not much.
Now I do have a problem with the aesthetic of the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. The Senators are skating around with black jerseys, but you see a lot of red in the arena, red seats, red banners, and red signage all over the place. It wouldn’t surprise me over the next year or so when we see red being phased out and seen more black across the arena.
Also, having the 2D Senators logo at Center ice is a really, really nice touch. I really like these jerseys and can’t wait to see their road version when it debuts on January 23rd in Winnipeg. These designs get a thumbs-up from me.
The Vegas Golden Knights set a gold standard in their new uniforms.
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Meanwhile out West, the Vegas Golden Knights debuted their highly-anticipated golden alternate jerseys. Now, given their name, a golden alternate jersey was inevitable. And while I like the Vegas gold jersey, I have a few problems with the overall uniform set.
Now, when I say Vegas gold, I don’t mean the Vegas gold that Pittsburgh wore during the 2000s. Neither the Nashville gold that the Predators wear or even the yellow that the Boston Bruins wear.
The gold in the Golden Knights jersey represents the gold coins that are used in the Las Vegas casinos. The golden jerseys don’t gleam or sparkle as much as you would think, and the jersey itself has a golden middle but still has granite/white/ red striping along the elbows and gray numbers on the back.
To complete the set, the Golden Knights wear gray helmets, white gloves, and grey socks with this jersey.
Basically, this whole set is all over the place. It’s not just a straight-up gold jersey; it looks like somebody found a way to shoehorn gold into the Golden Knights home uniforms. It feels almost like someone did a Microsoft Paint job on the middle of the jersey, painted the middle gold, and said, “Yeah, that’s good enough!”
My overall problem with this design is that I don’t think Vegas fully committed to the gold. While I am not a fan of the Nashville gold jerseys, I will admit the Predators organization has committed to gold being a primary color: Gold jerseys, gold socks, and gold helmets at home. They also have gold spotlights, and their goal song is ‘Gold on the Ceiling.’ In case you didn’t know, Nashville really, really likes their gold.
The jersey itself isn’t bad and should sell like hotcakes out on the Vegas Strip. I think some small tweaks to the uniform set, gold gloves, maybe a gold helmet, and it will look a lot better over time – an overall thumbs in the middle for me.