Sharks tweaks give a new look in the same packaging

The middle of August and hockey don’t have much in common. Just ask those who follow the Sabres Twitter account as they’re subjected to countless puzzle pieces of the new third jersey as they wait for the new sweater to be unveiled.

Two more clubs took their cue from the Sabres and Hurricanes this year and teased information on Twitter regarding their new jerseys. Minnesota will begin to tease pictures on the 26th and the Sharks tossed a few teasers out prior to their unveiling today.

San Jose’s new uniforms are pretty much the same as the one’s they’ve donned since the Reebok EDGE uniform system was unveiled in 2007-08 with some specific changes to the jerseys. First, they ditched the shoulder yoke off both the home and away uniforms while also removing the waist stripes from both jerseys. They added a lace collar, cut down on the amount of orange everywhere making the entire uniform set far more simple and closer to the design of their awesome black alternates.

Cluttered was the best way to describe San Jose’s previous uniforms. It was as if the design team went onto the NHL 14 team creator, picked every jersey option they could and then put four different colors to it. The result was a heavy, trimmed shoulder yoke, shoulder patch, numbers on the front and three-color striping and numbers. It was a mess. These new jerseys, while incredibly similar, are simple and clean.

Going to a simple two-color number is cleaner and makes the teal pop so much more now that the orange has been minimized. From the crest up, these jerseys look phenomenal. The shoulder logos kind of look like they’re floating, but losing the yoke was a major plus. Where they went off the rails was with the stripes.

The LA Kings can attest to what happens when you lose the waist stripes on your jerseys. It’s a bottomless expanse that looks unfinished. Unfortunately that’s the exact issue with these new Sharks uniforms. Add to that the odd decision to keep just one orange stripe on the sleeves and socks and San Jose is left with a very perplexing look. While de-cluttering is definitely the name of the game for the Sharks, perhaps they took it a step too far with the stripes.

Had they picked a lane with the stripes – orange or no orange – they would have been better off. It wouldn’t have been a problem to keep the pair of thin orange accents on the sleeves and socks. It also would have been just as easy to drop orange from the scheme altogether. One way or the other, they needed that bottom stripe as well. The jersey looks strange without it.

Overall the Sharks did a great job minimizing the amount of orange on the jerseys, accentuating teal and simplifying a brutal design. They missed on the stripes but still improved their look overall. I’m interested to see what the Wild have in store and I’m sure we’ll have six or seven more Sabres puzzle pieces to decode before October roll around.

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