Toronto Maple Leafs unveil new heritage jersey and fans are already hating on them
Since 2008, the NHL has hosted regular outdoor games under the Winter Classic, Heritage Classic, and Stadium Series banners. 2022's Heritage Classic is just a few weeks away, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres to face off on March 13 mid-way between the two cities in Hamilton, ON.
Part of the hype-building for these outdoor games — and a valuable revenue source for teams and the league — is the unveiling of event-specific heritage jerseys worn by players on the ice, and sold to fans at exorbitant prices.
The Leafs' look was well-received for their 2012 outdoor game at Michigan Stadium and again in 2016 at BMO Field, but things are a bit different this time around, the team's latest heritage jersey not being met with the warmest reception from fans.
For the Heritage Classic, the @MapleLeafs pay homage to their roots with these slick @adidashockey threads. 🥶 pic.twitter.com/RyQT4XZlVC— NHL (@NHL) February 18, 2022
Revealed during the broadcast of Thursday night's game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Leafs' 2022 Heritage Classic jersey is a tribute to one of the team's predecessors, the Toronto Arenas, who wore a similar T style jersey from 1917 to 1919.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have revealed the jersey they will wear for the Heritage Classic in Hamilton next month.— blogTO (@blogTO) February 18, 2022
What are your thoughts? #TMLTalk #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/pF4HRVYo5n
The Leafs wore a different variation of this classic design a few years back at Next Century Game celebrating the team's 100-year anniversary, but the updated version looks to be heavily simplified, and many are calling it a downgrade.
Guys…these are NOT it pic.twitter.com/hU5o01VAAR— JWhittaker (@whitta723) February 18, 2022
In a modern interpretation of the classic jersey from Adidas Hockey, a minimalist design might be a bit too minimal for some fans' taste.
When you forget to do your homework and rush to do the bare minimum the day of— DJ (@DJM_73) February 18, 2022
The prices Real Sports is charging for these new jerseys ($229.99 for a basic one and $309.99 for a player jersey) combined with the apparent lack of design is not sitting well with some.
"Give me your money!" What a bummer pic.twitter.com/wJy4PbGzsh— diver.shazta (@divershazta) February 18, 2022
One even thinks these are the worst jerseys revealed in the last 25 years, which are some harsh words considering some of the absolute trainwreck designs worn on-ice by NHL teams in the last few decades.
Im not even exaggerating a tiny bit when I say that these may be the worst jerseys I’ve seen in the NHL in the last 25 years— DJ (@DJM_73) February 18, 2022
Someone thinks that these hockey sweaters look more like something the team would wear to practice. Not a game. We talkin' about practice.
These the practice jerseys? Where are the real ones? Common— nelio santos (@rolosants) February 18, 2022
Another comment suggests that the design could double as a look for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, whose home of Tim Hortons Field will host the Heritage Classic.
Blue TiCats?— Draft Pick (@nhldrafter) February 18, 2022
Many fans weren't as specific in their criticism, but add to the chorus of voices not liking the new fits. A few people are asking if it's too late to send them back to the drawing board.
The jersey is so bad please redo them…— 𝙙𝙚𝙫𝙖𝙣 (@devanleafs) February 18, 2022
But with the game just weeks away and the marketing machine already in gear, it's a safe bet that these simplistic jerseys are here to stay.
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