On March 1, the Pittsburgh Penguins will ditch the comfy confines of temperature-controlled indoor hockey for an old-fashioned battle with the elements, and the Blackhawks, at Chicago's legendary Soldier Field.
That game is still a ways off, but Christmas isn't. So with less than two weeks of shopping to go, the Pens finally unveiled the last-minute gift every yinzer is adding to his wish list: Pittsburgh's special Stadium Series sweater.
Was it worth the wait? Yup.
According to the team, the jersey was designed with creative input from the NHL and Reebok which, unlike Nike, doesn't appear to be on a mission to make hockey players look ridiculous.
In fact, what they've come up with here is pretty sweet. The jersey features a chrome-treated Penguins logo design, which is standard for the Stadium Series specials, batwing shoulder striping and numbering that's been enlarged and angled to improve visibility for outdoor venues. (Here's a tip for the league: we could use improved number visibility for indoor venues as well. It would be a big help to us folks in the cheap seats and the fans who are watching at home on anything less than a 96-inch HD screen.)
This design is bound to get knocked in some corners for evoking the look of another team in the league that wears black and gold, but let it sink in for a minute and it clearly looks more like an updating of the Pens' own style than a loving tribute to the team that whupped them in the Eastern Conference Final last spring.