I’ve mostly been avoiding talking about this, but the fact that it keeps coming up and being asked about means that a little bit more attention to the subject is required than I had hoped.
Last Thursday, former Leafs beat reporter and current blogger Howard Berger wrote an article about Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf that picked up some attention for what was hidden inside: a nugget about new Leafs jerseys?!
As Berger pointed out, the league is taking a year off from alternate jerseys as part of the transition from Reebok to two companies; Adidas on the on-ice jerseys, and Fanatics on the retail ones. Some will declare this a technical limitation, but the real reasoning is most likely to double dip on hockey fans, who will be more likely to buy uniforms in back to back years if there’s something new to be brought to the table each time.
There will be exceptions to this rule, no doubt; for example, the outdoor games, like the one the Leafs will play in against the Washington Capitals next March. Personally, I’m hoping for something like this Toronto Arenas design the team had commissioned previously, which has mostly been relegated to a case in Toronto’s locker room.
Washington could wear a revised version of their 2015 Winter Classic jerseys, and give us a Red W on Blue T matchup that would play into the whole sweet and simple military uniform theme. That would certainly be cool and something to consider, but presently, that’s all it is.
Back to the above though. Please consult Berger’s snippet, and then the header image. For whatever reason, Berger felt it made sense to run with a story written by a site best known as the one that DMs open inboxes on Twitter to send article links, leaking that the Leafs would wear a jersey that’s literally just Team Canada’s World Cup of Hockey Uniform with a couple of logos swapped. The Leafs might be able to sell just about anything, but even they aren’t arrogant enough to rebrand the jersey that everyone and their parents either won from a contest or picked up at a clearance store six months ago and call it their own.
There are less than zero legs to this report, as it stands. That it’s making the viral waves through social media is astonishing.