This past offseason, the Islanders had a long stay in the bubble up in Toronto, and then Edmonton, falling two wins shy of making it back to the finals for the first time since 1984.
While Islander fans and hockey fans await the decision for next season, with a potential start slated for January 1st, fans of every team were ecstatic to see what Adidas went with regarding their design for the reverse retro jerseys. The idea with this was to look back at the history of each team and design a more modern look to classics. This morning they were released, as some were stellar, solid, and mediocre.
And then you have the Islander ones.
This offseason, Islander fans have felt uneasy. While there is no question that restricted-free agent Mat Barzal will be back with the club prior to the beginning of the 2020-21 season, whenever that begins, money is a major issue for this hockey club right now. A new, fresher looking jersey, could have at the very least taken our mind’s off of this issue.
But that was not the case. The reverse retro jersey the Islanders unleashed resembled their regular home uniforms, just with a darker shade of blue, and a few other minor changes.
Deep down, what should we have expected? Through the almost fifty years this team has been around, their jerseys have rarely changed. Other teams have had secondary logos, which allows for creative alternates. The Islanders have never had that, and under the leadership of Lou Lamoriello, a classy-old fashioned guy, we should not have expected any glimmer and glam.
Fans calling for the fisherman jersey to come back makes me sick, as besides thinking they look absolutely horrid, this was a jersey that embarrassed the organization from 1995-1997. Over that span the team was a laughing stock finishing last in the division, the Atlantic Division at the time in both seasons. So paying homage to a jersey that exemplified failure would not be doing this franchise any good.
Look, I get the sadness. There was an opportunity here to do some creative things. But at the end of the day, this is a jersey that the team may wear three to five times this season, as it is more of a way for the league to generate money. I, and most fans, care more about the success on the ice. This reverse retro jersey represents winning, paying tribute to a time when the Islanders were a dominant force in the National Hockey League.
And for that reason, let’s accept what happened here, and move on.