New York Islanders: Third Jersey Backlash Is Sheer Stupidity

Daniel Friedman@DFriedmanNHLCorrespondent INovember 17, 2011

Source: New York Islanders Official Website
Source: New York Islanders Official Website

The New York Islanders unveiled their new third jerseys at a charity event yesterday.

The team's latest threads received disproportionately negative reviews and had Isles rooters from Hempstead to the Hamptons outraged in disgust.  

I have to be honest: it's flat-out pathetic.

The fact is, there are much larger issues surrounding this team, such as, where the heck the Islanders will play in 2015, turning this hockey team around, the development of certain prospects and just about any of the issues that should matter this time of year.

Ultimately, I don't care if the Isles wear pink as long as they're winning hockey games. The on-ice product matters far more to me than the jerseys they're wearing.

For those of you who are upset about the Isles "breaking away from tradition" by including black, it's time to put things into perspective. The NHL allows a team to sport their alternate sweaters a grand total of 15 times per regular season.

15 times, that's it. There are 82 games in a hockey season.

This means that there will be 67 games for the Isles to wear their traditional home and away jerseys. Basically, you're choosing to dwell on something that will occur less than one-fifth of the time.

Ultimately, you can choose whether to buy it or not. No one is going to force you to purchase the third jersey if you don't like the way it looks. That's the beauty of consumer economics. 

I understand that it's a deviation from the standard blue and orange, but the new shirts include both of those colors. The Isles aren't re-thinking their entire color scheme. We can also stop pretending these are the worst jerseys in the league, as I'd venture to say that Anaheim's thirds, as well as a few others, look pretty awful too. 

But it's irrelevant because, as I mentioned before, it's the on-ice product that matters.

Maybe you love the Islanders' current home and away shirts, and I do too. But at the end of the day, we support this team because they're a part of our community here on Long Island and because watching Tavares, Grabner, Moulson and company makes our hearts jump.

You're going to jeopardize all of that because of a jersey?

If you're a fan, you stick with this team, no matter what happens. Now, of all times, is not when we want to be showing discontent. The Islanders have been going through a rough patch these days and fans need to show some team pride. There are plenty of things that matter and this jersey isn't one of them.

Case in point: the Buffalo Sabres recently switched back from the "Buffaslug" disaster to their original jerseys. Were fans ticked off about the previous logo? You bet. Did it, in any way, affect their interest and support for their Sabres? Not at all. Attendance has hovered around the 18,690 (maximum capacity at Buffalo's HSBC Arena) mark for the last several years.

Wake up, Isles fans. There is more to a hockey team than the sweaters they don.


Comments are welcome.