New York Islanders: Why Their New Alternate Jerseys Miss the Mark

Alison MyersCorrespondent INovember 17, 2011

Photo: New York Islanders website
Photo: New York Islanders website

The New York Islanders unveiled their new alternate jerseys on Wednesday night. Although the design originally leaked over the summer, Wednesday marked the first time fans were able to see them in person.

As soon as photos were revealed, many Islanders fans, as well as fans of other teams, immediately snickered at the new jersey and called it a complete failure.

As a hockey jersey enthusiast, I was eager to break down the Isles' new threads and give my personal opinion of what exactly is wrong with the style.

Here’s why this jersey is completely off base.


It’s Primarily Black

The Islanders had finally caught up to their fans' demands and gone back to their royal blue and orange colors that stood out from the rest of the NHL and celebrated their rich history from the Stanley Cup days of the 1980s.

A look at the Islanders' jersey history does not show black in any of their uniforms, not even the “fish sticks” jersey of the 1990s.

Plus, several other teams in the league already have black jerseys in some shape or form, so the Islanders are just doing what’s already been done.

It’s such a disappointment that the Isles got their home and road uniforms right, paying tribute to their early days in the NHL, then outfitted in their players in something other teams have already put into place.

It's hard not to laugh when you imagine the Isles hitting the ice in these. (Photo: New York Islanders website)
It's hard not to laugh when you imagine the Isles hitting the ice in these. (Photo: New York Islanders website)


The Word Mark

What is it with NHL teams these days that they are so unoriginal and can only think to put their team or city name on the front of the jersey? Does no one have any imagination to come up with a nice logo or hire a graphic designer who can?

It didn’t look good to me when the Dallas Stars or the Ottawa Senators chose to write "Dallas" and "Sens" respectively on the front of their jerseys.

It still doesn’t look good here.

I’d rather see the circle logo that’s been done by the Minnesota Wild, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Florida Panthers. In my opinion, it was at least aesthetically pleasing and is more likely to be bought by the fans.

Or better yet, just go back to pre-RBK designs that are still classics to this day, like the Calgary Flames' red jerseys or the Stars' appropriately designed star pattern jersey.


Here Come the New York…Mets?

These jerseys remind most fans way too much of the New York Mets' uniform scheme.

Now, I have nothing against the Mets' jerseys, but the Islanders really shouldn’t be trying to adapt the identity of a team not even in their sport.

Besides, why would you want to adapt anything from the Mets? While they were once a strong team, they haven’t done much on the field in recent years and are buried in their own financial problems.

The two teams aren’t even remotely connected to each other, as they’re in different parts of New York City. Sure, some Islanders fans may be Mets fans, but that probably doesn’t make them more likely to buy this alternate jersey.


The Whole Look Fails

An additional image shows Islanders players wearing the new jerseys with their full uniform. The uniform pants are black, just like the jersey. However, the socks are black with blue and orange accents, and the team will still wear blue helmets when wearing the alternates.

Blue and black can go well together if you pair the right shade of blue with black, but the Islanders apparently couldn’t be bothered to figure out how to make it look halfway decent. 

When they hit the ice, they will look more like clowns than a professional hockey team.


Overall Grade

There’s no question about it. The Islanders new alternate jerseys get an F.

The uninspiring team name and number design on the front shows that any hockey fan can come up with the design. Heck, I’m sure that some of you reading this could probably come up with a more creative concept.

The Islanders players are doing their proper public relations by promoting the jersey and talking about how sleek they will look on the ice, but I don’t think the Islanders fans will buy into it.

What do you think about the new look?