Guess the Pittsburgh Penguins are ready to have an alternate sweater that didn't originate at the Winter Classic. At least that's what Reebok has slated for the 2013-14 season.
The Pens were featured in the 2008 and 2011 outdoor games — with different blue jerseys each time. And the in seasons following each Winter Classic, the jerseys were adopted as alternates and used another dozen or so times per season. Now it looks like the latest (dark blue) one is getting retired this year in favor of a new design.
I can't imagine we'll get another blue jersey or that Mario Lemieux's Penguins will do anything crazy and super modern. If I were to bet on it, I'd say they roll back the clock a couple of decades to sport something similar to what Lemieux and friends wore whilst leading the team to back-to-back Stanley Cups. But that's all just wishful guess work. It could be anything at this point.
It won't be a sad goodbye for most Penguin fans, as the newest and current third jersey that was first used at the 2011 Winter Classic is most closely tied to the memory of that game when Sidney Crosby suffered the first head trauma that would eventually rob him of most his playing time in the next 18 months.
And, like it or not, but the Penguins are a hot commodity, and having new jerseys is a way to cash in on that brand. The team won't be confused for the Oregon Ducks or other collegiate football teams that trot out new and gaudy looks each and every week, but you can probably expect every few years for them to feature a "new" alternate jersey.
Now the question becomes, what will it be? The past two alternate jerseys have been blue and nods to the past. The article hints at a more plain look, and maybe ditching the Vegas gold for the more traditional yellow that Mario and the boys wore 20 years ago when they were winning Cups.
Personally, we'd love to advocate for the diagonal PITTSBURGH spelled across the chest. Either in blue or black they look pretty sharp.