This morning, less than a week before the start of the preseason (hockey’s almost back!), the Islanders finally unveiled the black uniforms everyone assumed they’d get upon moving to Brooklyn. It’s fine, right? Better than ol’ Fish Sticks.
John Tavares showed off the new threads:
Black jerseys generally work—they necessarily repel the clutter or messy color combinations that ruin so many other jerseys. But at the same time, they’ll never be exciting without a secondary color as accent; these jerseys are serviceable but are crying out for something like the Kings’ silver, or even purple.
But black and white says Brooklyn now, thanks to the Nets. (How well that scheme will age, and how firmly it will date the uniforms, remains to be seen.) In fact, the only hint of color on these jerseys is the four orange stripes on the hockey-stick “Y,” a feature borrowed from the primary jerseys.
The high-wire act Isles’ marketing has to accomplish is attracting new fans near their new digs, without alienating their existing, largely suburban fanbase. Their answer to that has apparently been to play down anything that explicitly says Brooklyn. There is a “B” on each side of the jersey, at the hem, and the helmets will read “BKLYN,” but that’s it.
The jerseys will use the team’s new secondary “NY” logo, introduced for the 2014 Stadium Series and adopted more widely last season. Expect a steady phaseout of the primary logo, if only for the simple reason that the image of Long Island cuts off the part of the island that includes Brooklyn.
A third jersey isn’t only about merchandising, but a way to lab-test a potential new home jersey. The Islanders aren’t being shy about pushing this one: they’re going to wear it 12 times, or for nearly a third of their home games.