As a long summer starts winding down, we're now less than a month away from training camps across the NHL getting underway. But before that, I wanted to do a quick run-through of all the new jerseys we'll be seeing this fall. And believe it or not, I have a few surprises in store.
Fans have been begging for it for years, and the Oilers have responded. This new road jersey pays tribute to the original white sweater the Oilers wore from their NHL inception in 1979 to 1996.
Like the Oilers, the Panthers are fixing their uniforms as well by returning to their roots with a red home uniform. The chest and sleeve piping as also been removed from both the home and road sweaters.
Though the red sweater was unveiled at the draft, the road jersey design below is still unofficial. We know the blue piping is going away but it's not clear if the jersey will see any other changes.
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings are undergoing an identity overhaul in 2011, though they're only adding one "new" jersey. The white road sweater is based on the black alternate which launched in 2008.
The Predators are also making sweeping changes by introducing new home and road jerseys.
New York Islanders
We got our first glimpse at the Isles' new third jersey when a prototype design was leaked recently by a former team employee. But I've recently been made aware of some new details and can confirm report this is what the final version looks like. (Accidentally broke one of my own rules there. I can't "confirm" anything. That's for the team to do. However, this is an accurate representation of the final design.)
We've known for some time that the Senators have had a Heritage Jersey in the works, meant to pay tribute to the original Senators from the 1930s for their own 20th anniversary season. You got your first look at a photocopy of the design earlier this month. This is what it looks like in color.
The shoulder patches have been the source of much of the speculation surrounding this jersey since the team itself offered up a sneak peek back in March. I can report that there are two of them, both in the shape of a shield. One reads Ottawa Senators, the other is in French: Sénateurs d'Ottawa.
The Pens will be promoting their 2011 Winter Classic jersey to alternate status this season. It replaces the light blue third which debuted at the 2008 Winter Classic.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning unveiled their new branding back in January but the jerseys still aren't available in stores. Here's a refresher of what they'll look like.
Toronto Maple Leafs
And finally, one of the worst kept secrets of the summer has been the Leafs' new third jersey. It pays tribute to the 1967 design which was only used for a few seasons. Take note of the silver inner-outline of the throwback leaf crest. Other than that, it's practically identical to the old jersey.
Obviously, the odd man out on this post are those elusive Winnipeg Jets jerseys. Plenty of you have emailed and tweeted to tell me the counterfeiters already have them. I refer you to my earlier post about phony leaks. Everyone's favorite thieves are simply manufacturing jerseys based on concept art. As I've said before, this would not be the first time. And it surely won't be the last. Be patient; don't waste your money.
For what it's worth, I can't say how close the fakes will be to the real thing as I haven't seen the final designs yet. They could be close or miles away. But since the Jets haven't scrambled to assemble a press conference on short notice, I'm guessing it's the latter.
I also expect to have another edition of JerseyWatch posted before the end of August, but aside from one busy week, there hasn't been a lot of news this month. Hopefully this will hold you over until then.
The Jets finally unveiled their new home and road uniforms 10 days ago. Here's another look at them.
The Caps announced they will bring back their retro Winter Classic jersey for 16 road games this season.
The new season is shaping up to look pretty nice. And I don't think there will be any other new jerseys to add to this list for the 2011-12 season. You've now seen everything there is to see.