Everyone knows that hockey players are a notoriously superstitious bunch, and the Penguins are no exception. Just look at Sidney Crosby’s filthy sweat-stained hat or the way Marc Andre Fleury talks to the goal posts. And god forbid anyone step on the logo in the locker room.
But despite these idiosyncrasies, one horrible omen is allowed to remain: the dreaded blue jersey of doom.
Since their introduction in the 2011 Winter Classic, the Penguins third jerseys have been nothing but trouble. From the first time they wore them when Crosby suffered his devastating concussion to the most recent iteration when Crosby took a puck to the face, breaking his jaw hindering his campaign for the 2013 Hart Trophy these jerseys have brought only bad luck.
It’s not just Crosby that’s faced the wrath of these jerseys, either.
Remember when Malkin got concussed earlier this year?
Or when Jordan Staal got his face split open on the bench?
Or how about when Mike Rupp ruined Staal’s knee?
Blue jerseys all around.
But they still remain in the rotation!
The only reason these jerseys even exist is so the team can sell more merchandise, so I assume they are contractually obligated to keep wearing them. But unlike the previous blue third jerseys that harkened back to the Penguins formative days, these monstrosities were never anything but a cheap marketing gimmick. How many people are still even buying these novelties?
And if the only goal is to move product, wouldn’t it make sense to introduce a new – hopefully not-cursed – sweater to the lineup? By adding yet another new jersey to the rotation the Penguins can entice fans to drop even more of their hard earned money. The nineties are cool again, right? How about bringing back the cyber pigeon?
Please, anything but the blue jerseys of doom!
Billy Nauman is a Pittsburgh Penguins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He also runs his own hockey blog at backtothefoundry.com. Follow him on Twitter @punchbroadbent