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NHL to use RBK unis


FlyersHockey1967

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http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2680102

NEW YORK -- The NHL will break with tradition next season by ushering in a new, streamlined uniform that blends fashion with functionality, commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday.

Bettman said the new-look uniforms, designed over the past two years, will be unveiled at the All-Star Game in January.

In an interview with Reuters at the NHL's headquarters in New York, Bettman said the players who have tested it so far "have been thrilled."

While the new tapered uniforms are fashionable, Bettman said they were designed with players in mind.

"The new uniform takes advantage of developments in new fabrics," he said. "But the change was done not for the stylistic. It was done for performance and safety. It was time. Our basic uniforms haven't changed in 40 years."

NHL teams have worn basically the same outfit, with big, square shirts, bulky pads and wide socks with horizontal stripes since the 1940s.

The new leg pads are designed to stay in place when a player moves and not ride up toward the waist.

"The players will have the ability to have their joints flex and be able to move their arms and legs better than ever before," Bettman said.

In a wide-ranging interview, Bettman said attendance during the first two months of the season is down about one percent from last year's record-setting campaign.

"In terms of the vital signs, last season was strong," the commissioner said. "This season remains strong."

The league is having attendance problems in some of its bigger markets, such as New Jersey and Chicago, but some of the franchises in non-traditional hockey areas such as Raleigh, N.C., and Nashville, Tenn., are solid.

"Last year, we set an all-time attendance record," Bettman said.

"Part of that record was the strongest October we had ever seen. ... If you take away last October, we would have set an attendance record for October this year."

Despite sagging attendance in some markets and low television ratings, Bettman said he was thrilled with the way the league has rebounded from the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season.

"I think 25 teams last year either made the playoffs or were within 10 points of making the playoffs," Bettman said. "And I think we're doing better than that this year. So almost everybody is competitive and is in the hunt."

Bettman said the NHL was committed to boosting its television ratings but added he has secured deals with Internet video firms to reach younger fans.

"The challenge moving forward with the foundation we have is, 'How do we grow new fans? How do we take casual sports fans and turn them into hockey fans?' That's what we're working on," he said.

"No one can question that this is a solid business, a strong league with an unbelievably strong brand. What other brand could shut down for a year and not lose its customers?

"Hockey fans are the most loyal fans in sports, and for that we are so grateful."

I can live with the form-fitting jerseys, but NOT the changing of the designs.

This may mean the logos will change as well.

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I'm still holding out hope that:

1. They unveil them at the All-Star Game.

2. The mainstream sports press laughs their asses off.

3. Hardcore hockey fans in strong traditionalist markets (say, Toronto, Montreal, and Detroit for starters) react practically to the point of violent revolt.

4. NHL GMs once again tell Bettman and Reebok where they can stick these jerseys.

5. Bettman resigns and is replaced by, oh hell I don't know, Mario Lemieux.

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Eh. That doesn't really say anything new.

Design there is not specified any more than jersey cut. And if the players like them (which is no gurantee), I don't really care too much if they make the jerseys a little more form fitting.

The actual team designs worries me, but I'm not convinced they'll be messed with.

As for the new league being great...blah, blah, blah...

The lockout and the resulting changes helped 29 NHL markets. It crushed St. Louis. And our rebound isn't looking as good as I had hoped.

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"I think 25 teams last year either made the playoffs or were within 10 points of making the playoffs," Bettman said. "And I think we're doing better than that this year. So almost everybody is competitive and is in the hunt."

When it's your job to run the league, shouldn't you be able to do better than an "I think?"

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Eh. That doesn't really say anything new.

Design there is not specified any more than jersey cut. And if the players like them (which is no gurantee), I don't really care too much if they make the jerseys a little more form fitting.

The actual team designs worries me, but I'm not convinced they'll be messed with.

As for the new league being great...blah, blah, blah...

The lockout and the resulting changes helped 29 NHL markets. It crushed St. Louis. And our rebound isn't looking as good as I had hoped.

Yeah really, those Blackhawks and Blue Jackets have been on absolute FIRE since the lockout. :rolleyes:

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Eh. That doesn't really say anything new.

Design there is not specified any more than jersey cut. And if the players like them (which is no gurantee), I don't really care too much if they make the jerseys a little more form fitting.

The actual team designs worries me, but I'm not convinced they'll be messed with.

As for the new league being great...blah, blah, blah...

The lockout and the resulting changes helped 29 NHL markets. It crushed St. Louis. And our rebound isn't looking as good as I had hoped.

Yeah really, those Blackhawks and Blue Jackets have been on absolute FIRE since the lockout. :rolleyes:

Flyers, Leafs, etc.

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In other breaking news: Man has walked on the Moon.

True, and MLB uniforms changed from wool to a polyester. Do you think that there was an uproar this loud when synthetic materials were used in all sports? Come on. It is a material, not the talent of the individual team. We call them "hockey sweaters", but they are not wool anymore.

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Could we SEE these before we make such rash judgments?

Is it really that absurd that they might actually look good?

Yes, it is that absurd.

The form-fitting may look fine and some of the jersey styles may look good to. But I think it is absurd to think there is any chance it will be a positive that all of the teams will suddenly eliminate their current design (except buffalo), some of which are very traditional, in favor of having a nearly identical vertical striping pattern.

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Chill, guys. I was exagerating.

I think St. Louis got hit worst given the owner backed out, stripped the team down, then sold them.

Because of that, the Blues not only ended up with a bad on ice product, but a usually close to capacity arena has dropped to like 8,000 a game. And this is a strong hockey market. It's sad.

I know a lot of teams got hurt in their play and they've probably stopped selling tickets as well too. And teams like Chicago and Columbus maybe aren't great, but I don't think the lockout actually made those two teams any worse off than they already were.

But yeah, I know. Hockey just hurts to watch right now (but I'll keep doing it). Sorry for exagerating that.

Oh, and I hope nobody took this as me saying the NHL was out to get the Blues. The NHL was trying to make healthy changes (even if I don't like them all). It's just none of those changes have really been too healthy for the Blues as it turns out.

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Chill, guys. I was exagerating.

I think St. Louis got hit worst given the owner backed out, stripped the team down, then sold them.

Because of that, the Blues not only ended up with a bad on ice product, but a usually close to capacity arena has dropped to like 8,000 a game. And this is a strong hockey market. It's sad.

I know a lot of teams got hurt in their play and they've probably stopped selling tickets as well too. And teams like Chicago and Columbus maybe aren't great, but I don't think the lockout actually made those two teams any worse off than they already were.

But yeah, I know. Hockey just hurts to watch right now (but I'll keep doing it). Sorry for exagerating that.

Oh, and I hope nobody took this as me saying the NHL was out to get the Blues. The NHL was trying to make healthy changes (even if I don't like them all). It's just none of those changes have really been too healthy for the Blues as it turns out.

Your team was in the playoffs for something like 24 straight years. Every team is going to have a downturn in their franchise, and you're having it now. Don't worry, you'll live through it ;)

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