Due to the pandemic that is COVID-19, our imaginations have all been running wild.
Well because what else is there to do? Every league in all of sports has officially called it quits in an effort to help slow this outbreak that seemingly gets worse every day. Therefore, when something as small as a jersey concept hits everyone’s Twitter feed, it sparks mass debate.
Let’s take a look at some of the designs that have found their way to IslesTwitter recently.
— James Nichols (@JamesNicholsNYI) March 18, 2020
This new concept was released today in a series of NHL “Color Rush” concepts courtesy of designer Eric Dunkel. Most have been absolutely fantastic, to the point that if you scroll through the comments, you will see many claiming Adidas should hire this man as a designer.
The design isn’t all that bad, as it has plenty of features that resemble multiple generations of Islanders jerseys all wrapped in one.
From top to bottom, if you look closely at the inside neck of the jersey, you’ll see there’s a small personal message of “Our Island” with a lighthouse in between the two words. A solid tribute to the people who embody the spirit of Long Island.
The shoulder patches stand out right away; they also featuring a lighthouse. The emblems on the shoulders scream fisherman jersey, yet another heavily debated topic among Islander fans. The lighthouse has always been a strong representation of Long Island, and many believe it could have been the main logo for the team at some point, before the official crest we all know and love today was created.
The font of the captain’s patch and numbers on the sleeves look awfully similar to the font you see on the current third jersey. At the center, the beloved Islander crest remains unchanged, at least for the most part. The trim is usually layered with the blue in the main crest, then a thin orange circle, followed by a thin white. The thin orange layer has been eliminated from this concept, but you’d need to be under a microscope to see that change.
Finally, you get to the bottom of the sleeves and torso section that pays tribute to the dynasty years that brought home four Stanley Cups.
Ever since the Isles added that strip to the hockey stick in their logo, it has always represented the 1979-1983 dynasty team who were lead by Al Arbour. The four white stripes are reminiscent of the previous third jersey (the black Brooklyn style) that featured four stripes on the sleeves.
The franchise hasn’t worn an orange-based jersey since the 2006-07 season, which many have coined the “pumpkin” jersey. Some fans have expressed their love for this concept, others have been beside themselves sick at the sight of this fictitious jersey.
This isn’t the only Islanders jersey concept that has been floating around. Another photoshop job — a rather very good one — has found its way into the Twitterverse, and it only seems inevitable that it will make its return at some point in Islanders history.
The Islanders teased the fanbase with their fisherman logo warm-up jerseys back in 2015 and it’s lingered around the team ever since. Throughout the team stores in both Barclay’s Center (although no more) and NYCB Live, there is a plethora of 90’s styled apparel featuring the fisherman you either love or hate (looking at you Rob Taub).
Plenty of teams throughout the NHL have embraced their 90’s looks, particularly the past few years.
The Vancouver Canucks brought their black red and yellow “skate” jerseys back this season; the Anaheim Ducks have resurrected the Mighty Duck crest; and the St. Louis Blues even brought back the red-trimmed blue note emblem.
It’s been apparent throughout the history of general manager Lou Lamoriello’s career that he prefers to stick to the traditional jersey. However, the Maple Leafs changed their main logo under his watch, so a new alternate jersey is not out of the question.
— Noah Vandal (@Vandal_Designs) March 7, 2020
This photoshop is just top-notch. If we’re being honest, the fisherman has never looked as good as it does on Mat Barzal. There is no in-between on opinions with the 90’s classic.
The funny thing is, the jersey itself is not what sparks the hatred. The year that the Islanders wore this sweater was the year that everything went wrong. The team finished in last place in the Atlantic Division and was second to last in the Eastern Conference. General Manager Don Maloney was fired, and management decided it would be a good idea to hire Mike Milbury as his replacement while he also worked behind the bench as head coach. Oh, and the team was almost handed over to a fraud in John Spano. The chant “We want Fishsticks!” comes screaming back to fans who lived through this hardship, but what team doesn’t go through the grinder occasionally?
The 1995-96 season wasn’t the fondest of memories, but if a team isn’t going to wear a jersey because of a rough period of time, then the Detroit Red Wings are going to need new threads next season.
Let’s be perfectly clear: The Islanders home and away uniforms currently are far and away one of the cleanest, classic, traditional looks in the NHL and they should never be changed (except maybe white sweaters at home). But, why not join in on the fun throughout the NHL who have for the most part brought back some retros?
The Islanders current third jersey is a nice look as well. And although there is nothing wrong with this design, Brooklyn is still attached to the concept.
With the Islanders on the fast track to Belmont right now, a change-up in their alternate sweater would help leave the Barclays Center in the rear-view and move on to Long Island’s bright future ahead.