The big happening in the National Hockey League today was the reveal of the new Adidas jerseys that will be sported starting in 2017-18. All teams underwent a makeover, with most deciding to go with minor tweaks rather than a major overhaul. The Tampa Bay Lightning's, as an example, will remain almost exactly the same:
With the exception of the laces being gone on the neckline, Tampa's look won't change much when the squad hits the ice this Fall. The naked eye won't tell you that this jersey has a crest that is 46% lighter than the old crest, nor will the naked eye tell you that the new threads are 133% more permeable than the previous Reebok jerseys. The Lightning have something that works, and they've largely stuck to it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.A slight refresh as we hit the ice for 2017-18.— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 21, 2017
📝: https://t.co/77GpGuQfiB pic.twitter.com/LnaHlLB1pt
The one thing that keeping a similar design could do, though, is cool the market for the new jerseys. With only a couple teams in the league going with drastic changes, the NHL is really betting on the notion that its fans have enough appetite and disposable income to buy what is essentially the exact same jersey, just with a different brand name attached to it.
Ultimately, when the TV cameras are zooming around Amalie Arena in Tampa, Rogers Arena in Vancouver, or TD Garden in Boston, as examples, nobody will be able to spot the person wearing a Reebok jersey vs. the person wearing an Adidas jersey. Some savvy fans out there in various markets will undoubtedly pick up a discounted Reebok jersey and wear it proudly, rather than spend the extra cash on the new Adidas threads.
My opinion? I like the new jerseys, mainly because I liked the old jerseys. Sometimes the status quo is A-ok.
On the pending side deal with Vegas...
The other news to break in Lightning land today was a report of a pending side deal with the Vegas Golden Knights:
This report comes on the heels of the Lightning leaving both Slater Koekkoek and Jake Dotchin exposed for expansion draft purposes, as documented here. While details of the deal with Vegas were not leaked today, the presumption among many is that the Lightning's deal will result in Vegas taking Jason Garrison, thereby freeing up significant cap space and a spot on the team's roster.Hearing #tblightning has a side deal in place with Vegas to protect its young 'D."— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) June 20, 2017
Of course, the price to get Vegas to do something like that will likely be high. Could Tampa's first-round pick be heading out the door? Could this side deal potentially be even larger, resulting in a player like Matt Dumba, Sami Vatanen or Jason Demers coming in this direction? There are so many unknowns. The bottom line is that Lightning fans will have something to watch as the results of the expansion draft are announced tomorrow.
As always, thanks for reading.