Hockey fans have come to expect NHL teams to wear new jerseys for outdoor games. Winter Classic contests feature clubs in heritage sweaters, and the newer Stadium Series contests put players in more forward-looking unis.
Last season was the first for the Stadium Series, and teams that played in those games wore futuristic “chromified” jerseys. This year, there’s only one Stadium Series game — the San Jose Sharks host the Los Angeles Kings February 12 at Levi’s Stadium, the home of the San Francisco 49ers — and late last week the Sharks gave the world got its first look at the “amplified” jerseys the teams will wear.
The Sharks uni has been stripped down to its core elements, like the crest, numbering, color, and striping, and then designers "turned up the visual volume on them." According to the Sharks website, "One question repeated throughout the [design] process was 'If you can’t see it from 200 yards away, does it need to be there?'"
San Jose’s jersey is certainly louder. The color blocking is unique, while the numbering on the back and sleeves is larger than normal. (This is a carry over from last season’s Stadium Series jerseys, which also featured bigger numbers.) And then there’s the team’s logo. Chrome is out, and a "carbon fiber finish" is to given the crest "greater visual impact." It’s certainly eye catching, but I’m not sure if it’s in a good way. It looks like it’s been run over by a big truck. There's also a new shoulder patch featuring the state of California and a shark fin, but if you look at it the right way it looks like California is falling into the ocean, something the earthquake-prone state might not want to think about.
Here’s a closer look at a few of the elements of the Sharks’ Stadium Series jersey: