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Please stop making hockey shirts with black as the predominant color




Hockey shirts are a sacred part of the sport. There’s a reason why when hockey teams return to their roots, fans go wild for alternative throwbacks and retro jersey nights.

And yet, if there’s one thing that annoys me about hockey shirts, it’s that teams rely too much on the color black to wear their designs.

On Tuesday, the New Jersey Devils released their latest alternate jersey, an all-black ensemble with script lettering and adidas-style stripes on the shoulders and arms. Fans immediately joked about the jersey — mostly because of the easy punch line of “JERSEY” on the front of the… jersey — but it’s not just the lazy branding that’s the problem here.

No, the real problem with the Devils’ third jersey is that it relies too much on the color black to do the heavy lifting of the design.

Let’s face it: the color black as a base for hockey jersey rarely, if ever, looks good. There are a few exceptions to this rule — the Carolina Hurricanes alternate and the Pittsburgh Penguins home jerseys come to mind — but even then, the color black isn’t the main focus of those jerseys.

The real perpetrators of this are the Tampa Bay Lightnings…

Mandatory credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

the Philadelphia Flyers…

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

and the New York Islanders of this world.

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Using the color black as a base can work — the way teams like the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators use it effectively — but often it’s used as a crutch for lazy design choices.

Also on Tuesday fell the Olympic hockey jerseys of Team Canada, who also fell prey in a major way to this design flaw with its predominantly black home jersey and red alternatives.

I love the away shirts here, with the red accents that really stand out against the white base with the black shorts and gloves.

However, the black home shirt and the red substitutions leave a lot to be desired. Honestly, switching the leaf crest color from black to white and having white stripes on the arms and shoulders would go a long way in turning them from an eyesore to aesthetically pleasing sweaters.

The Devils’ alternates and Team Canada’s home jerseys both fall into the lazy and uninspired category using the color black as a base. The color black should not carry the load of a hockey jersey design, it should accentuate the other colors around it. A major reason why Lightning and Islanders’ alternating black jerseys look so awful is because the color dominates everything about the jersey, drowning out any unique elements it may possess.

Also often… black sweaters are simply very boring in design! Some people may think that a simple logo and white stripes on a hockey jersey is a minimalist design, but it’s honestly just really lazy.

But it doesn’t have to be! Some hockey fans have already shown their own designs of what the Devils’ deputies might have looked like had they followed in the footsteps of other successful black jerseys that took full advantage of the color.

Look, that wasn’t that hard, was it?




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