Thursday, September 13, 2012

Penn State Unveils New Look

It's a huge year for Penn State and I'm not referring to the black eye last year thanks to the football program. The men's hockey team makes its Division I debut next month ushering in a new era for college hockey. This will be the final year for the CCHA conference and the last before the Big Ten and NCHC conferences begin next year. 

For the Nittany Lions of Penn State, the new chapter begins with a new look as well. As is usually the case with new uniforms, the response has been mixed. 

We want you to take a look and then tell us what you think, after the jump.

Photo: Penn State Icers
First, above is a look at what was the team's uniforms have looked like for the past few years. This picture is of the seniors class of 2010-11. The school's official colours are Navy and White but these hockey sweaters also include some grey/silver trimming. The overall look is fairly straight forward; not plain but not exactly stretching the boundaries of creativity either. 

Tuesday the team unveiled the sweaters for the 2012-13 season, the first as the program moves up to Division I:

Photo: Penn State
The photo above features head coach Guy Gadowsky between the two marquee players on the roster; sophomore forward Max Gardiner (STL) and Tommy Olczyk, a sophomore forward that totaled 52 points in 31 games last season.

Personally, I'm excited about the addition of Penn State to the Division I landscape. I really like Guy Gadowsky, maybe it's because he's from Edmonton and stopped by The Pipeline Show for an hour back in July. I'll also admit that I find myself, not exactly cheering for them but I am definitely taking more than a casual interest in the PSU hockey team right now.

That said, I'm not overly enamored with the new look. While simplicity is usually to be applauded, basically copying the Tampa Bay Lightning's design doesn't do it for me.  I may be in the minority though. Thank You Terry is a dedicated PSU blog written by Kyle Rossi and he's got a different opinion. (I've linked to Thank You Terry on the right hand side). 

PSU jerseys come in XL, L, M and S
That's the first thing, the next was that just dark blue and white is rather boring and overdone in college circles - not as bad as red/white/black but still overdone. New Hampshire, Uconn, Yale, Air Force (to a degree) are all mostly blue and white. 

Third, and you can't tell in the picture above but apparently the dark jerseys won't have name bars but the whites will. Thumbs down on that decision, I'm not crazy about that. The home team crowds (not to mention broadcast team) won't be fans of that either when PSU comes to their rink. 

Photo: Penn State
It's not all bad though. I'm told that the vertical stripe on the helmets will still be a part of the look and I think that's a positive.  That's Tommy Olczyk from last season in the picture above and you can clearly see what I'm talking about.

Photo: Penn State
I quite like the way Michigan and Ohio State incorporate the look of their football helmets into their hockey ones; to me it is a nice symmetry between the school teams.  

This stripe is less elaborate than what the Wolverines sport on their lids but it's there and I like it. I think it looks good on sophomore goaltender P.J. Musico's mask too. 

In the end it's just a jersey and PSU supporters would buy it and wear it proudly even if it was purple with green polka dots. It's not that big of a deal. 

But what do you think? Did Penn State blow an opportunity with their new uniforms? Do you like the new ones or do you think they should have just kept the old Icers ones?

You tell us. Leave your thoughts in the comments section.


Steve Penstone said...

Happy to be the first to be checking in from here in Hockey Valley on the team's new uniforms. BTW, I thought we Canadians call them sweaters. Jerseys are cows!

Seriously, I like the new look as much as I liked the old sweaters. The traditional look mirrors that of the football uniform. Guy Gadowsky mentioned to me after the unveiling that it reminded him of the Red Wings uniforms. I countered they remind me of my Maple Leafs -- both of them classic styles that rarely change.

As for the blue/white, those are the school colors. There's no gray/silver in the official school colors. The same applies to the other schools that you mentioned.

As the Icers/Nittany Lions play-by-play guy, I'm just happy that after ten years I won't have to deal with those blue numbers on blue shoulders! My eyes aren't that strong as I edge closer to 60.

Great work out west from someone from the east.

Guy Flaming said...

Great stuff Steve, thanks for taking the time.

Someone mentioned to me that all teams at PSU have very plain outfits and from that standpoint, these are great.

But as a stand alone sweater (you're right, not jersey) they are a bit boring. But that's just my own opinion and I'm happy that the Penn State supporters are all on board with the look.

We'll have to get you on the show at some point this year if you're up for it.