The New Jersey Devils officially unveiled their very first third jersey on Tuesday. It met with mixed reviews from fans, as the franchise opted for a simple design that was perhaps unexpected. Fans argued that the overall design lacked creativity and was a missed opportunity by the organization.
Regardless of the fans’ perspective, the jersey will be worn 13 times this season by the team. The Devils hit the ice in their new jersey on December 8, 2021 when they face the Philadelphia Flyers and last on April 29, 2021, when their regular season ends against the Detroit Red Wings.
Devils fans finally get their black jersey
According to fans on social media, the best part of the Devils new jersey is the color. Fans have been asking for a black jersey for years and the team have kept their promises. Forwards and defenders will wear black gloves for a cohesive overall look, while the black uniform really stands out against the contrasting white goalkeeper pads.
“After seeing the retro and retro jerseys, black was clearly the best and only option for the new jersey,” said longtime Devils fan Matt Kaplan. “You now have a jersey representing the colors of the Devils of the past and the present. “
Brodeur’s creative contribution changes the minds of fans
It’s fun to see how many fans changed their take on the design once it was announced that Martin Brodeur had played a pivotal role in the design. There are several Hall of Fame nods starting with the neck lacing, which looks like the net on goal. He proudly explained the story behind the concept which took three years to create.
“The organization has been playing the same jersey for almost 40 years, and being part of bringing in a third jersey for our fans to enjoy is going to leave a big mark,” Brodeur said in a statement. “The new jersey is inspired by a history of Garden State hockey that fans may not be familiar with, and is layered with design cues from the Devils’ championship success. It is a swimsuit that our former students envy and that they would have liked to be able to wear in their time. People across the state and country know us as “Jersey”. It’s our place, our home, and this jersey means it. (from “Hall of Fame Goalie Martin Brodeur Designs Devils’ First Alternate Jersey”, athleticism, 23/11/21)
A simple logo and design
In the press release, Brodeur recalled that while playing for the Devils, his friends and family began to refer to the state as Jersey instead of New Jersey. Personally, I don’t know of anyone born in the Garden State who says they live in New Jersey, it’s still Jersey. While it seems like all fans online have a negative take on the new look, not all Devils fans like the alternate jersey.
“I really love the jerseys and the fact that they pay homage to the Newark Bulldogs,” said fan Tom Saja. “The logo is good; that’s who we are – Jersey. It’s clean and simple. We already have flashy jerseys when we wear red and green. If they pay homage to the old jerseys, they will look like Chicago which is an Original Six team.
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Speaking of Chicago, one of the biggest complaints from fans when the jersey came out was the stripes, claiming it looked like one of the Blackhawks Winter Classic jerseys. The press release explains that the stripes represent New Jersey’s 21 counties, in addition to the five stripes on the left shoulder, which are a nod to the five players whose numbers have been removed by the organization. Simple details, including stripes and logo, illustrate New Jersey and Devils hockey history.
Devil’s players react
Contrary to fans’ reaction, it looks like players are excited about the overall design and look of their new jersey. Fans seem to agree that the shirt looked better once they saw it on the players. Devils forward Dougie Hamilton told media he liked the jersey when he saw the full look.
“As soon as I saw it I liked it a lot and once we saw them with the full kit including the gloves, pants and socks I thought it looked really good” Hamilton said. “We are all excited to wear them and I think it will be pretty cool.”
Defenseman PK Subban echoed Hamilton’s thoughts on the new look.
“I think people know I’m an open-minded person. I think it’s awesome, ”Subban said. “Adidas is one of my partners. When I went to Portland last summer they showed me some third shirt options for some of the teams. I am really excited. New Jersey has so much history and so much culture. I think they did a really good job with the jersey.
It’s impossible to please everyone, and the Devils replacement jersey is a perfect example. The jersey pays homage to New Jersey hockey history, including the Newark Bulldogs, River Vale Skeeters and Jersey Larks. While the design is aesthetically simple, it is full of meaning and dedicated to New Jersey hockey history. Leave a comment below with your thoughts on the Devils first-ever third shirt.
Kristy has been contributing to The Hockey Writers since March 2021. She’s excited to put her journalism degree to good use and covers both the Nashville Predators and the New Jersey Devils. Kristy is also the co-host of Chicks & Sticks, a weekly Youtube show produced by THW. You can follow his journey on Twitter @InStilettosBlog and Instagram SkatingInStilettos.