This better not be the Centennial Classic Jersey

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Photo Credit: Chris Creamer / Sportslogos.net

Here we go again. Back in June, Chris Creamer, head of the absolutely fantastic resource sportslogos.net, gave us all a glimpse at what the 2016/17 Leafs jersey would look like. I was not a fan at all, praying to all that is good and well that what we were being shown wasn’t going to be the new Leafs uniform.

Save for a couple minor tweaks (read: no secondary colours on the cuff), Creamer was spot on; the Leafs took their best logo ever and threw it on a design that wasn’t totally out there but seemed to have an identity crisis.

Creamer is back again with the Centennial Classic jersey. It’s undoubtedly worse.

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Photo Credit: Chris Creamer / Sportslogos.net

Now, as Chris notes, the proportions of this uniform are probably a little off, considering that what we’re seeing here is an infant jersey. Infant jerseys, for example, skip on laced collars to avoid choking hazards; we can expect to see a standard laced Reebok collar here. The logo will probably be bigger on the on-ice and adult replicas as well.

But what the hell, man.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are a storied franchise celebrating their centennial season. They’ve done an interesting and commendable job with their “Stand Witness” campaign that encourages changing 100 to 001; a dawn of new era, a turn of a new Leaf. I get that.

But throw the fans a bit of a bone here. The home and away jerseys, again, look like you ran out of torsos, so you slapped the middle of a Lightning uniform into the arms of last year’s threads. There is now throwback third for those who want to pay homage to the past. There was a modernized Toronto Arenas jersey that leaked out a few months ago that everyone assumed would be the one used at BMO, but we haven’t seen it since.

What we’re seeing is this. Not a throwback, but what pretty much appears to be a Florida Panthers home jersey recoloured to sell to a different audience. 29 different arrangements of uniforms over 100 years, and the outdoor game jersey for the centennial season might be a template.

Look, nobody is saying that you have to go full Habs on this and wear six different throwback uniforms this year. Heaven knows that people are still making fun of the barber pole “CAC” sweaters and that we probably will until the apocalypse comes. But give the fans something. Anything; and no, wearing the St. Pats jerseys on the ice in March and then selling the exact same ones you’ve had on the shelves at Gate 1 for the past 15 years doesn’t count.

If this is the real deal, and not just some extra that they’ll sell at Canadian Tire (unlikely, but I’m holding onto hope), then I’ll be extremely disappointed. I’m sure a lot of these will sell, but they’re an abomination. They have nothing to do with Leafs history. The Leafs have never had that middle horizontal stripe; their history involves playing against a team that does. They had Silver trim on their sweaters for a few years and we all promised that we’d forget about it. This game is about going back to the roots of hockey, and as it stands, the Leafs are poised to walk out looking like they went to the back of a Roots outlet store and grabbed the first sweaters they could find on clearance.

The Classic is two months from now. Nothing I’m writing in this post will make a difference; both because I’m just one voice, but also because there’s not enough time even if a group of voices were to snowball. But please, please, may this be the start of the worlds most vicious pump fake. I would be so happy.