Earlier this month the St. Louis Blues debuted their sweaters for the 2017 Winter Classic. They’ll be hosting the Central Division rival Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium on Jan. 2.
It can be extremely difficult to design a jersey that will be pleasing to the eye and the camera, but St. Louis seems to have created a solid option. New captain Alex Pietrangelo agrees.
Pietrangelo: “I think all of us like the old-school look. This is the look that started the Blues and we get to carry it on.” #WinterClassic pic.twitter.com/CSY8YY7yFV
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) November 9, 2016
This jersey works for a number of reasons, but predominantly because it is not overdone and still has a big presence.
Back to Basics
The Winter Classic is a time for hockey to get back to its roots and return to the rink outside. It is obviously a bit different when it is played in the middle of a baseball or football stadium and there are millions of people watching, some in person and some on television. But at its core, it brings the NHL back to a more real life situation.
St. Louis will be playing in their first outdoor game, but not for lack of trying. The team has reportedly been itching to play outside since 2011 and just now got the chance.
The simplicity of the sweater is its biggest strength. It is reminiscent of their powder blue and yellow color scheme from the late 60s to mid 80s, but it is not simply a replica.
Somehow they have managed to create a more modern version of the classic sweater from the team’s inception. That line is difficult to flirt with because basing a new design on the one that began the franchise can be highly controversial.
There is a reason most Original Six teams have kept almost the same jersey design since their respective starts —people are often resistant to change. That is especially true if the previous jersey was preferred to the new one.
However, based on the overwhelmingly positive response with the gear they have designed, that does not seem to be a problem for the Blues.
Big Stage Presence
St. Louis also maintained their team’s persona in these jerseys. While that may seem like a rather odd thing to say, the Blues have a very distinct style of hockey.
They’re a hardworking club with a focus on details. That is also reflected in the rather simple design of the jerseys for the game.
That is not to say, however, that this sweater is boring. It still has the ability to be striking on a stage as big as the Winter Classic, but it is not going to be overwhelming anyone either. The balance the Blues have managed in this design is something to admire.
Overall, the Winter Classic is a big spectacle for the world of hockey, especially midseason. It makes for a fun outing or even just a fun afternoon for fans at home and the Blues are extremely fortunate to be a part of it.
Busch Stadium will be packed for this matchup and the Blues will be aiming to get the 2017 leg of the season off to the best start possible. These jerseys will be the ones on their backs when they do so.
What do you think of the Winter Classic sweaters? Leave your thoughts in the comments.