Those ridiculous tight-fitting sweaters are rumored to be moving forward

I am a big fan of Gary Bettman’s general handling of the most significant challenge on his watch — the lockout of ’04-’05 — but it’s his handling of the smaller things that are still near and dear to the puckhead’s heart that really roils me.
Remember the Glow-puck?
The fresh assault comes at one of the things that truly distinguishes hockey from all the other sports: its sacred sweaters. (Perhaps hockey’s most enduring and beloved piece of literature is Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater.)

One of the worst-kept secrets these days in Toronto is that the league will be mandating the adoption of form-fitting sweaters for all its teams beginning with next season. Reebok apparently is the developer.
Is nothing in the Bettman era sacred?
We got a preview of this fashion atrocity with last year’s Olympics, when all the nations’ skaters appeared bloated and puffy in more streamlined, less baggy sweaters. And why? Was there any post-Olympics analysis — a single published sentiment — that the overall performance of the players improved by virtue of them being outfitted in the ugliness? (If so, it sure didn’t appear to aid the Americans.) I watched scores of those games, and I don’t recall one of them making me wish my heroes from Lake Placid looked like the Michelin Man.
The issue is addressed with its customary passion this week on the Caps’ official message boards, where “jakovasaur” noted: “The streamlined jerseys look dumb because hockey pants are so big around the hips that you need a loose-fitting jersey to keep a proportional appearance.”
Spot on.
Beyond player aesthetics, a more significant reason to take up pitchforks and torches and march in defense of our current sweaters rests with the harm such a change would enact on courtship, romance, and birthday and anniversary acknowledgements for husbands and significant others. Do we really want to do away with this:

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14 Responses to Those ridiculous tight-fitting sweaters are rumored to be moving forward

  1. Gustafsson says:

    Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin mentioned the forward movement on the new sweaters on CSN’s broadcast Friday night. They also mentioned one other little publicized change. The third sweater program will be the abolished. That is a change that I think I welcome.

  2. You are a big fan of the fact that Gary Bettman threw away an entire season of hockey for the lockout?

  3. Gustafsson says:

    From Terry Frei in The Denver Post:
    Jersey boys
    The Avalanche on Friday was the latest team to try prototypes of the more form-fitting jerseys, due next season from Reebok, as company representatives make the practice-rink rounds. The jerseys were plain, without logos, numbers or anything else, and they didn’t look significantly different than previous models. So this is no “Spiderman”-style revolution, but more of a tweaking that includes fabric that sheds water.
    “It’s a more aerodynamic look,” Milan Hejduk said. “I guess they think it might increase the speed? I didn’t feel much different, though.”

  4. Mellyville9 says:

    Bettman was NOT the one who threw away the season. Blame Bob Goodenow for that. He’s the one that said they wouldnt settle for the salary cap(which was the MAIN reason for the strike) and then settled for the Cap in the end. Bettman saved hockey in the end because HE is the reason for the cap. I think the salary cap will lead to alot of good in the NHL.

  5. strunout says:

    Ashley Judd is so freaking hot.

  6. Bettman threw away the season. It was a lockout … not a strike. The owners shut it down and Gary Bettman is the man they chose as their leader/spokesman.

  7. pepper says:

    I don’t mind more form fitting jerseys so much as I mind Reebok being the one with the exclusive license. Reebok stopped being cool and relevant in the 80s, as far as I’m concerned. Ditto for Nike. Why exactly is it that CCM is no longer a player in this market? Just didn’t pony up enough for the licensing rights?
    Not having CCM manufacture NHL jerseys anymore is like me buying curling shoes from an outfit in Buenos Aires.

  8. Gustafsson says:

    In 2004, Reebok bought CCM, KOHO and JOFA parent The Hockey Company for $202M.

  9. pepper says:

    I should’ve done my research before posting 😉

  10. MNGopherGirl says:

    If my team was near the bottom of the southeast division, sweaters would be my last concern.

  11. Gustafsson says:

    It’s all how you look at it, isn’t it. Granted it is early, but as of 30 October, the Caps are 2 points out of second in the division and 3 points out of fourth in the conference.

  12. Stormbringer says:

    Regarding the “slimmer” jerseys and the Olympics…remember how the one team who didn’t wear those damned things, Sweden, ended up winning Gold?
    If THAT is not the hockey gods’ way of trying to tell Bettman and Co. something about those “jerseys”, I don’t know what is. Unfortunately, I doubt they paid attention or even cared.
    Unfortunately, I think we’ve already gotten an NHL preview of the new duds via the Sabres’ unis AND possibly the Ducks too this season. And I don’t know what has me more concerned, the “more slimming” look, or the logos…I sure as hell hope the other 28 teams don’t change their logos to more “minor-leagueish” versions. Seriously, whenever I see the Sabres and Ducks’ new logos, I cannot help but moan over how “un-NHL” they look.

  13. Rob K says:

    AS if Bettman hasn’t made enough changes during his tenure, he now has to screw with the Jerseys, What a nightmare!!!…Man I hate this guy!!
    Every single season I have to worry about what the hell the NHL will be doing next to alieanate it’s traditional fans. This league has such an inferiority complex…why don’t they just know there place (in the sports pecking order) and be happy with it…..Conference/Division name changes,countless rule changes (back and forth), too many teams, unbalanced schedules,shortened games,lockouts and the worst of all Shootouts!!Next they will be having shootouts in the playoffs….I am one step away from only watching college and minor league hockey exclusivley. The lockout showed that this can be done….but before this new insult is levied, players and fans have to put up a fight against these horrible looking jerseys. There are some petitions on the web, which I will try to find again and post.
    Bring back Ziegler!!!

  14. Rob K says:

    For Those interested, here is a web link for a petition Against the new Reebok form fitting jerseys.The originator will be sending it to the NHL.(I know they probably don’t care, but at least it will be put forth) If they go to these things next year I have had it with the NHL!!(once and for all)….or until they go back to the Traditional Uniforms.

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