Alternate jerseys are a fun twist that helps break up a long, monotonous 82 game regular season in the NHL. Last season the Pittsburgh Penguins debuted their first predominately yellow jersey for the first time in a long, long time. It hearkened back to the days of Mario Lemieux in the ‘80s with a lot of anonymous but mustachioed teammates.
We know the yellows are coming back for 2019-20 (though schedule is not yet announced), but it’s a good marketing ploy and a good cash draw to switch it up every few seasons. Which of course means sooner or later they’ll change things up and have a new “alternate jersey”. So what should it be?
Gotta admit, this would be my choice all things considered. The color is so smooth and really pops on the light surface of the white ice and bright lights. It also is a nice nod to the early days of the franchise. And nice memories of a snowy day in Buffalo that helped put the franchise back on the map as one of the league’s premiere teams, a perch they’ve been on for the last 11 years and counting, which is another fond memory.
Started out fun as a concept of a bunch of mashed up aspects of several old-school Pens jerseys, but this one is never coming back under the current ownership. When Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both suffered big time traumatic injuries and the team seemingly didn’t play well in them, the organization soured and quickly dropped this concept and design. It might not be the most rational of reasons, but no one has happy memories of it, therefore it’s gone. Next!
“Snoop Dogg” jerseys
I suspect this will be the fan favorite. And I mean, for good reason too. How can you not see this concept (h/t r/penguins) and not hear a cash register’s CHA-CHING
It was of course used in the early ‘90s and a sharp look that made it’s way into pop culture a bit when the hip hop artist rocked the Pens’ jersey in his “Gin n Juice” music video from way back in the day:
On the negative side, some will say the New York Rangers apparently invented the diagonal lettered jersey, so bringing this back out (as the Carolina Hurricanes have recently done for their new road jerseys) will be prone to some chirping.
A divisive and controversial jersey among fans, this design has seemingly had a bit of momentum and comeback recently among outspoken people that dig the design of this look.
However, the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 1991. They won the Cup in 1992. Then they switched from the “skating Penguin” logo to this RoboPen design, and whaddya know — they did NOT win the Cup in 1993. Fair or foul (fowl?), many have not forgiven the transgression of making a major logo re-design in the middle of a championship run.
There have long been whispers —that remain officially unconfirmed — that Mario Lemieux himself is not a fan of this look and prefers the skating Penguin logo. And, once the Pens’ ownership took care of minor details like emerging from bankruptcy and solidifying their station in the city, they did swiftly de-emphasize the RoboPen under Lemieux’s stewardship of the team. And then in 2015/16 they moved further away when they’ve dropped the “Vegas gold” color to revert back to the more tradition “Pittsburgh gold” (fancy way to say yellow) coloring.
Which is another sign to me that the RoboPen isn’t close to coming back. It doesn’t fit the branding and marketing of the team very well at this time, and goes basically against all the alterations they’ve made in the last 15-20 years as the team has trended back to black/yellow and the skating Penguin design of the Lemieux heyday of the early 1990’s.
But the fun thing about alternates is that the team and the clothing company will surely roll through a bunch every few years to keep things fresh and keep getting some revenue to have the fans shell out some bucks for the latest duds.
So, in an ideal world what say you?
If it was up to you, what would the Pens alternate jersey be?
This poll is closed
The current yellow jersey
The light blue variation
The "Snoop Dogg" diagonal PITTSBURGH lettering