A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Canada's new sweaters: too tight

Team Canada unveiled their new-look sweaters and socks on Thursday. The gear, which will be used during the 2006 Olympics, is designed by Nike to reduce air resistance and friction, enabling the skaters to be quicker and more efficient. The design technology that was used is similar to that which is used in designing cycling jerseys.

In this photo, check out the facial expressions on the three men:

Simon Gagne:"I HATE this. Will you hurry up with the pictures so I can change?"

Bob Nichols:"Holy cow! Gagne's got a nice ass! I like the form fitting stuff."

Wayne Gretzky:"Jeez, he really looks like a clown in that outfit."

Most of the team donned the new sweaters for one twenty minute session of a scrimmage on Thursday before Coach Gretzky cried "Hold! Enough!" Some players, however, such as Todd Bertuzzi, Chris Pronger, Rick Nash and Keith Primeau couldn't even get the damn things on. After it took four guys to unsuccessfully help Bertuzzi, he said:
"They couldn't quite get it on me over my stomach. They would look good with a pair jeans going to a bar maybe. I think they are going to have to fix them up for a few guys. We have a lot of big guys on this team."

The overall impression was that they were just too tight, to the point of being uncomfortable. Especially the socks. Although he didn't wear the sweater, Pronger wore the socks, and lamented afterwards:
"The socks were a little tight, too," Pronger said. "My feet are still a little numb, they were so tight."

Across the board, the players agreed that they would gladly forgo the sleekness and sexiness of the new unis for the comfort of the old stuff.

In my opinion, they look like something a motocross rider wears. The tightness of it all sort of takes away from the intimidation factor of it all. A bulky sweater accentuates the hugeness of a player like Pronger. On the flipside, the tightness of the new sweater makes everyone look little. Especially someone who is already little, like Martin St. Louis.

In the second photo, look how ridiculous Martin St. Louis looks standing next to Gagne. Of course Gagne is wearing skates, and St. Louis flip-flops, but it really makes him look tiny anyway.

This was just a test run, and judging from the results, Nike has a lot of work to do.


doug said...

air resistance? Is this is a problem in hockey playing? Seems a little ridiculous to me - I can see having tighter sweaters to keep other players from grabbing, but for wind resistance? It ain't a race.

doug said...

oh canada. you're so silly.

d-lee said...

actually... lots of times it is a race. A loose puck down in the corner, a skater on a breakaway, another skater trying to prevent that guy from breaking away.... From the "study" that they did, they say that on a full-rink sprint, this new sleek design will mean a reduction of one stride. Seems inconsequential, but sometimes that's the difference in an odd-man rush.

I'm not saying that I like those sweaters, but I can see the benefit. If the players hate them, though....

Incidentally, these will only be for the Olympics. NHL sweaters will still be manufactured by KOHO, which was bought by Adidas, which was bought by Reebok. They will be more sleek than in the past, but not as drastic as the Nike body suit sweaters.
New (home) sweaters will feature the Reebok insignia, but will still be made in the KOHO factory. At least authentic sweaters will. My understanding is that the replicas will still bear the KOHO branding. I am also of the understanding that the road whites will not change at all. They will still be manufactured by CCM and will bear the CCM trademark.
Maybe I'll check my facts and make a post devoted to this topic.

Lindsey said...

they do look pretty funny, but it was nike's first run. props to them for trying something new.
the socks actually look pretty cool since they're so tight, but the sweaters definitely need some work.
I wonder if the americans are getting a redesign too?

d-lee said...

oops. adidas owns reebok, but reebok will still have all of their own branding.
it goes down like this:
Reebok bought KOHO, and KOHO will retain some of their own branding.
Adidas bought Reebok, and Reebok will retain all of their own branding.


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