In a since-removed online store webpage, the NHL’s official shop apparently published many team designs early in conjunction with this year’s “Reverse Retro” alternate jerseys. For the Pittsburgh Penguins the design is the somewhat popular, somewhat polarizing “RoboPen” jersey, worn by the team as their primary logo from 1992-2002.
#Penguins black version of the white gradient-free Robo-Pen jersey. This one will be awesome. pic.twitter.com/JTN7TefGYf— Adam (@rickyadams411) August 24, 2022
Nothing is confirmed yet, but many signs are pointing towards the old logo/jersey returning in 2022-23. The NHL has previously officially announced that reverse retro designs will be back for next season, and it does make sense that eventually the Pens would be going back (if but on a limited time basis) to the RoboPen concept.
As mentioned above, it’s a reverse retro concept, meaning the colors of the original jersey are reversed. That’s how adidas presented the Pens’ first reverse retro for the 2020-21 season, with a white PITTSBURGH diagonal jersey that had previously only been used for black jerseys.
Since the concept is to reverse the dominant colors, this would be an unfortunate idea to bring the RoboPen back. The best RoboPen design, by far, is the black jersey with gray and yellow accents and gradients, which would not play as well on a white sweater in a reversed concept. So we’ll see what they come up with, which might be something similar to the current black jersey, just with the old logo instead of the “skating Penguin” that currently adorns the front of the sweater.
It figures to be another busy season for Penguin jerseys. In addition to the reverse retro, the team is expected to have another and different alternate for the Winter Classic game. It is also yet to be determined in their 2021-22 alternate jersey (the traditional un-reversed black jersey design of the above) will be coming back.
Oh yeah, and as if you could forget, the Pens will have a patch on their sweater for an advertisement starting this year, joining the stickers that have been on the sides of their helmets for the past few years.
That all may be over-shadowed for now by the impending joy (or dread) of the RoboPen design coming back. It has often been said and whispered that Mario Lemieux was no fan of this design, and it was de-emphasized during his stewardship of the Penguins. Lemieux has sold all but a small symbolic portion of the Pens, and now the design is apparently back.
That could end up being timing - adidas is opting to give up the NHL jersey contract in 2024. There’s no point for them not to fire out another batch of designs (for the Penguins, and many others around the league) in order to squeeze out all the sales and money possible for themselves, which means the Pens’ ownership could be coincidental to bigger forces in play.
Either way, whether it’s new ownership, an expiring jersey licenser or just time to cycle back through an old trend, it’s looking like what was once out is back again and the Pens will be back on the ice for the first time in 20 years with the RoboPen as a primary logo on a jersey.
Will you get a new reverse retro RoboPen jersey?
This poll is closed
Depends on how the exact design looks, but probably