NHL Uniforms: Safer Is Better, Long Live the LA Kings Edition

Michael PollackContributor IMarch 22, 2011

Back in black (and silver and white) : The current primary alternate sweaters will see regular use as the team's home jersey next season.
Back in black (and silver and white) : The current primary alternate sweaters will see regular use as the team's home jersey next season.Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Icethetics.info has focused on LA Kings insider Rich Hammond's report that the LA Kings are going to be making some fairly drastic, and disappointing, uniform decisions.

In short: The primary home (with purple shoulder yolk) and the primary alternate (black, silver and white Gretzky-era jersey modernization) will trade places. And the Kings' forum blue and yellow throwbacks will be at least temporarily disbanded.

It's amazing how two of the league's best uniforms will be mothballed next year—Boston's yellow and chocolate Winter Classic jersey and the Kings' purple throwbacks.

I could extend that and say that three of the league's best uniforms aren't going to be used; the Pens' powder blue is finished, too, apparently.

Only in a league run by idiots, and teams operated by people who simply don't understand what sells and what fans want, could you see that.

It'd be like if the Packers and the Vikings decided to mothball their uniforms ... or if the Bulls and Celtics dumped their recognizable colors and switched to black-based sets with just tinges of red and green, respectively.

To think that you're going to waste the opportunity to use your third-jersey option on another sweater of the same color as your primary just reeks of inexcusable stupidity, to me.

Not wanting to capitalize on the popularity of the LA Lakers (which is not always going to be a given) seems odd at best, too.

As someone who vilified the RBK Edge movement, I don't like jerseys that lack waist stripes; however, Boston and LA (my two jersey "villains" du jour) COULD have established traditional striping on their current third jerseys but either weren't forceful enough at the outset or didn't design their jerseys to be as such.

I cannot blame the ludicrousness of their thirds on RBK. I suppose LA's would be better if it had two silver stripes surrounding a white one. How hard would that be? It's obviously doable.

And I'm assuming now that the team is going to focus on the black, white and silver as their primary home, they OF COURSE are not going to take the opportunity (which they could have) to properly put the waist stripes back (especially since they're obviously hearkening back to the early 90's set).

So to me, all around in the case of LA, I see a team who doesn't know what sells and works.

Case in point: How much do you want to bet that they're going to keep the plain bottoms (sans stripes) on the current thirds (new homes) but choose to place horizontal striping on the new road whites? I'll bet you a chicken parm dinner!

So you're gonna bother to have a matching set...that sorta doesn't really match.

It'd be like if the Devils kept their home reds as-is but decided that the whites were fine with just the classic logo and some RBK piping and no horizontal red and black bars. It's NOT the same hting.

I hope Hammond is simply wrong, but he seems to have the inside track on all things Kings. 

Something else to consider: Maybe it's not as important as the quality of the game, the prevailing rules, the health of the players or rivalries, but if hockey is going to get on a major network like ESPN after this season (when its TV contracts expire), it'll need everything in its arsenal to help sell the game.

This includes recognizable and unique visuals, and uniforms play a role (a topic for another day).

To miss out on a beautiful powder blue, a gorgeous yellow and deep brown and the purple and gold is such a fail.

Those things make the game just look brighter and come alive. It gets people talking about the jerseys and about the individual team's history. It gets kids' attention. It creates identity. 

The league is starting to understand that but, as usual, is ham-handed in its efforts. The throwbacks are helping. Some royal blues are starting to creep back in. Maybe Dallas will go green, I dunno.

But when you're filming hockey games in barns that tend to be DARK, which mutes these colors anyway, you want bright and bold at all costs.

I hope NBC or whoever gets the contract has some say over uniforms.

For those who don't think this occurs, why would the Rangers rock their whites at home for a random Sunday game on NBC? Perhaps so Philly could showcase the orange crush?

I'd like to follow up on this topic in a future post, but the idea is for your uniforms to represent you, your colors and your history.

It's not so that all our histories and colors and thoughts can achieve UNIFORMITY.