When clues were leaked about the Buffalo Sabres new jerseys, immediately the buzz around town was one of a dream the team was going back to its roots. With new away and alternate uniforms, the Sabres are set to take the ice for the 2010-11 season.
Flashback to the debut of the team's last logo change -- it has been called the slug, electric slug, Donald Trump's hairpiece, the banana, etc., we have heard them all by now. The logo set the city off like a bomb. From an analytical point of view, the logo was a creative, progressive look that caught the eye at first. It was an attempt to create a new, modern look in the NHL. But as much as fans here didn't like it much, in fact, that was not the reason for its failure. As you look around the NHL, you notice a pattern: Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, New York (Islanders), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Toronto and Vancouver have all released a throwback-looking sweater, either as a home, away, alternate or specialty jersey (used on certain occasions). It was the wrong timing to get creative -- fans wanted the classic look back.
Flash forward to fall 2010 as fans sit with their mouths open and drooling about the new away and alternate jerseys.
Jason Wulf, an art teacher at Lockport High School, said, "The first thing I noticed when I saw them was that they were authentic, retro and very detailed. The color separation in the two uniforms is unique, with the modern navy blue in the home and away, as well as the old royal blue in the alternate sweater.
"The alternate takes you back to the Bisons [Buffalo's original hockey team] days, with the same exact font as the Buffalo lettermark on the new alternates, as well as a new, unique tribute to the old era and old colors of the 1970's era," Wulf said.
He said what caught his eye about the back of the new alternate jerseys was "the yellow nameplate goes back to the days of constant player changes and call-ups, when a new player would arrive to the team and to make his jersey they just had to slap his nameplate on ..."
There seems to be mixed responses among fans to the new jerseys. Give or take, pick or choose, love them or hate them, these jerseys are here to stay.
They represent the team by going back to its roots, bringing back memories as fans plan to make new ones.
The Sabres will be sporting their new jerseys when the regular season begins away at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 against the Ottawa Senators. Their home opener is at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 against the New York Rangers.
Alex Kaluzny is a senior at Lockport High School.