Blackhawks News

NHL Jerseys: Tradition Vs Quick Money Grab

By Keith Schultz

Hull on the last Blackhawks SI cover (photo courtesy of the SI Vault picture taken by Tony Triolo)

After all of the excitement of the Niklas Hjalmarsson extension signing calmed down yesterday morning, the talk around the world of Twitter was the revealing of the new Buffalo Sabres alternate jersey.  Jerseys have been a huge topic this offseason from the new Stars jerseys to the ESPN Uni rankings, to the drawn out Buffalo Sabres jersey reveal.

It’s interesting to look at the top-selling jerseys from 2013 and of course big cities can mess with the numbers and where the NHL’s biggest stars play, but the top 20 jerseys sold were all traditional great NHL jerseys with only one modern exeception of Zach Parise Minnesota Wild jersey.  In the top 20 were Philadelphia, New York Rangers, Chicago, Boston and Pittsburgh.

Tradition takes a long time to build, the Blackhawks jerseys with only modernization of the Indian head have gone unchanged for decades now.  The tradition along with a great jersey makes it easier not to change.  The great thing is if you go to any game home or away when the Blackhawks play, you will see red jerseys in the stands with names from Hull, Esposito, Savard, and Roenick and they all look like the jersey that the stars in the past wore during their era because they haven’t changed.

The Sabres have been around for 43 seasons already and have had great sweaters in the past, but they have been drawn into the money grab with changing up their uniforms. If they were looking for an alternate jersey they should have looked into their past for a great jersey like this one.

Buffalo Sabres jersey (picture Courtesy of

In my eyes retro jerseys are the way to go for franchises that have been around for 40 seasons as their choice for alternate jersey.  They alternate jersey is simply a money grab anyways, but if you didn’t see the Sabres reveal there won’t be too many people outside of the Buffalo area buying the new ones anytime soon.  They surely won’t be on the top 20 selling jersey list for the 2013-2014 season.

Here is the tweet from the Buffalo Sabres along with the pictures of the new jerseys.

The moral of the story is stick to tradition and no we aren’t talking silly traditions like throwing octopus on the ice.  Most of the old-time jerseys were great and all of the original 6 teams still stick to those old-time jerseys.  Go back to your roots and the sales will come instead of trying to create buzz with the latest and greatest.

What do you think? Should all franchises head back to the past for their current jerseys?

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