Wild speculation about the new third jersey

One of the last big thing on the Flames’ agenda is the Noah Hanifin signing. It’s been on the to-do list since they acquired him back in June, and they’ve done pretty much anything and everything since except the extension.

Which leaves lots of time for wondering and speculating. At FlamesNation, we’ve mapped out what long- and short-term contracts for Hanifin could look like. With complete radio silence, all we can do is wait and see which scenario ends up being the right one.

So while we wait for something on the Hanifin front, we might as well fill the void by talking about the other big mystery of offseason 2018: the new third jerseys. It certainly hasn’t been as talked about, but it’s still a pretty pressing topic.

So what will the Flames look like for maybe eight to 12 games next year?

The tried and true

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The Flames have tried a few different alternate jerseys throughout the years, but only the retros seem to have any staying power. They’ve tried to phase them out (see 2013-14) but you can’t hold down a legend. The people want them, and the people must be listened to.

Which makes sense. They’re classics, after all. They’ve won a Cup in these colours and saw many of their best years in these getups. It’s quite literally a winning combination. It seems to be the most obvious choice.

Allow me to be cynical, however. These are the most popular Flames jerseys and pretty much every legendary player who has played for the Flames has suited up in them. If you have a favourite Flame, you likely own his jersey, and you likely own the retro version of it. So there’s little to no marketing potential there, which makes releasing a new third a more palatable option for the powers that be.

One of the reasons for introducing a new jersey is because people will buy the new jersey – we’re suckers like that! What’s the point of releasing something everybody already has? Even if you factor in new players’ jerseys (i.e. James Neal, Hanifin), you’re kind of only pandering to collectors. How many people are willing to slap down ~$250 for a jersey they already have, but with a different name on the back?

From a fan perspective, the retro is an obvious choice. From a business perspective, not the best. Not saying that you should abandon hope (I’m honestly in favour of everyone boosting their hopes: we should push for retros as the permanent home and away jerseys), but perhaps the obvious choice isn’t the one they’re going with.

Perhaps a visit from an old friend…

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If I have to be honest, the alternate jerseys unveiled thus far have me thinking that Adidas might have a different direction planned for the Flames. Perhaps I’m reading too deep into five of the supposed 19 third jerseys to be unveiled, but there are some trends emerging that may point to the return of Ol’ Blasty/the horsehead/whatever you want to call it:

1. Black is back

Of the five thirds revealed so far, five have been black jerseys. Quite an easy trend to spot. The Ol’ Blasty jersey was also born from a black jersey trend. When the 1990-91 season began, only four teams had black jerseys but by the time Blasty came around, 12 teams had adopted them. If black is where the NHL is going, the Flames could be going that direction, too.

2. 90s retro

The Canucks and Coyotes are going back to their familiar jerseys of the 90s, while the Ducks are putting a spin on their classic logo and colours from the era. It’s unlikely the Flames would go back to the pedestal jerseys (or could they? It’s a speculation post after all) so perhaps Blasty has some more help in his corner.

3. The goalies are loading up on the black, too

Have you seen Tyler Parsons’ new pads?

An intriguing mix of Flames red and yellow with black. Sounds just like a jersey we all know and love.

By the way, have you seen Mike Smith’s new mask?

Also heavily featuring black. Hm…

(David Rittich and Jon Gillies haven’t released their masks and pads looks yet, so small sample size alert.)

Perhaps reading a bit too deep into things, but it seems like black is an early theme in goalie gear. Maybe the Flames tipped the goalies to a potential future jersey and gave them time to coordinate the rest of their looks.

Although it’s not necessarily indicative of anything besides me having too much time on my hands. Smith had black pads this previous season and his mask is his pretty standard combination of superheroes, his kids, and the team he plays for. Parsons is likely going to spend all of next year in the minors, where both Flames affiliates own black jerseys (although, he wore white Flames-style pads last season regardless).

4. Johnny Gaudreau liked an Instagram photo featuring a photoshop of Sean Monahan in an Ol’ Blasty jersey

As we all know, Instagram likes are irrefutable evidence (they aren’t). The proof’s in the pudding (not really, but could you imagine if Gaudreau did accidentally leak the jerseys via social media? Almost equally as disastrous as this)!

Not Ol’ Blasty, but still following the trends

So perhaps Smith and Parsons do know more than we do, and perhaps the Flames are getting a black jersey after all. Maybe it’s at least somewhat 90s inspired. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bringing the horsehead back.

Perhaps they go with a black jersey of some kind. Hopefully it’s not like the minimalist sweater the Islanders wore two seasons ago. Maybe it’s a remix on an old design like what Adidas did with the Ducks (black pedestal jerseys?). It could just be like the Flyers’ new alternate jersey: the regular jersey, but black.

There’s a lot you can do with a black jersey (see above) and if Adidas is so far insistent on the new thirds being black, then it’s up to your imagination.

Something completely out of left field that no one can guess and everyone is disappointed with

Remember in 2013-14 when the Flames randomly decided to get new third jerseys despite already having perfectly fine retro jerseys? Perhaps it wasn’t an awful idea to change things up and do a little rebranding, given the state of the franchise (first post-Iginla year, first year they actually kind of acknowledged they needed to rebuild), but the result would’ve had to been better than the retros, and that’s a high bar to clear.

They did not clear that bar.

It’s certainly not the worst thing in the world: the shoulder patch is still an interesting concept that could probably be the base for a radically different third jersey design and the piping is pretty clean, but the no-name brand logo kind of kills the entire good and reduces it to Walmart clearance rack fodder. It was unceremoniously announced through an update for the yearly installation of the EA NHL series.

In a season with no expectations, this was a letdown. If they were going to suck, they could at least do us all a favour and look nice doing it. Instead, we got jerseys so cursed, Bob Hartley chose to switch out of them in hope of getting a positive result (he did).

So perhaps we all get a rude surprise that no one predicted and everyone is disappointed by. It’s not unprecedented for them to go wildly off the board. Mustard yellow jerseys? Why not. Return of the Calgary Tigers-inspired Winter Classic jerseys? Sure.

Your turn to speculate. What do you think the Flames should wear as their thirds? Are you expecting the retros, or something completely new? Do you have any wild ideas for the Flames’ get ups? What’s your ideal jersey set up? Have at it.

      • LannyMac

        No doubt GPD we are debating what a third jersey should look like thx for the wake up call. I’m outta here if I do anything today other than this my life will be on a better trajectory bu bye.

  • JMK

    I think Ol’ Blasty looks cheap and gimmicky even just as a shoulder patch so please no, try something new. I love black jerseys and Adidas could do a great job if they pit some effort in.

  • kirby

    I would love to see the retros (or some “modernized” version of them), both home and away, made to be our regulars. Never liked the black on red look nearly as much as that. Even the 90’s pedestal style was pretty awesome, you’ll never see me at the Dome without my 90’s pedestal Iggy.

    As for the thirds, i’d be happy to see the return of the black horse or some updated version of it. But since the organization seems hell bent on NOT giving the fans what they want with the primary classic red/white/yellow home/away jerseys, then at least give us that for the alternate.

    I was so disappointed they didn’t make that change with the Adidas switch. Such a missed opportunity.

    • BringtheFire 2.O

      Agree. The jerseys were horrible as was the team. I will shamefully admit to owning one, but it was only purchased as a piece to my jersey collection. My wallet anxiously awaits the arrival of this years design. Hopefully Blasty remains a free agent.

      • BringtheFire 2.0

        You’re arrogant piece of human filth. Go back to ON Oilers fan.

        Hehe….you have two thoughts: fire Glen and get rid of Stajan, so you have no thoughts. All you can do is imitate me, your social, intellectual and genetic better.

        You are so stupid you make babies cry.

        Anyways, be on the lookout, I’m commin’ back as Walt or Ryan Pike since we’re all imitating accounts!!

        • BringtheFire 2.O

          If you dislike my posts thats ok many do. Please remove your duplicate account because imitation is not truely flattering. You forgot I also dislike Bennet, OTW, and Stajansfinalpaycheck.

        • Off the wall

          Ari, I’m not one to incessantly complain, however do we need readership so badly, that we will allow BTF 2.0 to say and do as he pleases. He’s only getting worse.

          He adds nothing to this site,
          other than vindictive comments.

          It’s time to BAN his childish behaviour. We’re all sick of it!
          Thanks Ari..

          • StajansFinalPaycheck 3.5

            I dont think Ari is the banisher…could be wrong. BTF now seems to be arguing with him/herself or another person pretending to be him/ her. Very odd person or persons. I for one hope the horse head of doom jersey does not make a comeback.

    • freethe flames

      I would probably prefer this kind of idea vs a third jersey and auction them off after the game.

      On another note: here’s an idea for a two part article for the writers to do a round table on. Who should the Flames take to China and why? Do a piece on the forwards where each of you say who goes and who stays and explain why. Then do one on the goalies and D.

      • HOCKEY83

        the answer to who is all the regular roster players and the answer to why is because they are trying to promote the game. There really is no other reason. Doesn’t seem long enough for a 2 parter

        • freethe flames

          It’s more complex than that. At the moment one can make a case for 10 forwards but what about the next 4. On d there is the top 6 but what about Prout, Andersson, Valimaki, and Kylington. In net Smith but do you only bring Rittich? It does if they do a round table. At least it would be something different.

          • HOCKEY83

            those guys will be playing back here in Calgary with the rest of the prospects. It’s not rocket science. It’s about promoting the best possible team they can put on the ice in China.

    • Stockton's Finest

      Cheeky, the Superhero game worn one may be the only one I bid on, based on which player it is. None of the others interest me.

      But my closet is pretty full already. I already have 4 game worn player’s sweaters (2 by raffles, 1 on sale, 1 regular price), 1 auction team signed specialty jersey (Stockton Ports from last year), one each replica jersey (white, red, black, and a special striped jersey for Mrs. Finest), about 4 or 5 “give away” jerseys, and our Heat 365 Season Ticket Jerseys (me and Mrs. Finest will each have a 2nd one in about a month). Those, along with a Jankowski Calgary sweater, a few San Jose Sharks jerseys, a Vegas Knights jersey, an Ovi Team Russia jersey, and a Hall of Fame sweater.

      The Heat mix it up, with one night being a raffle while the remaining are usually “silent auction”. They also have a “buy now” option. Last year, season ticket friends of ours got Parsons’ jersey for something like $700 that way.

  • TheWheeze

    The horse head looks like something you’d see on a bottle of barbecue sauce. But, considering how the Flames were sautéed last year maybe it’s fitting.

  • freethe flames

    I actually like the Black Jersey but replace the horse with a Red Flaming C and the change the c on the shoulders to something else. Maybe a cause or a special event.

    • HOCKEY83

      Yes…Black with some sort of an orange, yellow and red flaming C going on would be sufficient. Never in their history have the flames been associated with a horse snorting fire

  • FuNky ANGER

    Whatever they do I hope it’s not a combination of other teams jerseys with a Flames associated logo on the front.
    Case in point … I feel that the new Anaheim Ducks 3rd Jersey looks like a San Jose Sharks Jersey, with an old LA Kings loose collared T-shirt overtop that an old girlfriend would wear to bed with a modern Mighty Ducks logo on the front.
    Could you image an Oilers Orange, overtop a Canucks with a modern Ol’ Blasty. That would be an abomination of a Jersey.

  • Jagrrrrr, baby. Yeah.

    I’d much rather have the “Calgary” jersey from 13-14 than Ol” Blasty. God I can’t stand that damned horse.
    The Calgary jersey would have been great if they’d just taken the small flamin’ C off the bottom – it just cluttered up what was otherwise a classic style.
    1st choice though is Retro. By a country kilometer.

  • The Fall

    I’d like them to clean up the whole jersey / logo mess:

    Centre ice at home has a Red C
    Home jerseys have a Black C
    Retro jerseys have a White C
    Road jerseys have a Red C
    Some broadcasts have a Red C
    Some marketing has a Black C

    No other pro sports team swaps logos like this.

  • Baalzamon

    What’s the point of releasing something everybody already has?

    Don’t know. Maybe ask whoever it was who decided the Adidas jerseys should look almost exactly like the Reebok ones. Seriously, the Flames have worn the same look for eleven years now, and I never liked it. It was a terrible spin on the gorgeous threads they wore from 2003-2006. They finally had a chance to fix the mistake, and all they did was a minor update that made them look slightly less terrible.

    How was that a good marketing decision? If their logic behind not bringing retros back is “everyone already has one” then why have they had the same look for the past 11 years?

    • Baalzamon

      Here’s an idea: bring back the retros full-time, and change the third jersey every year. If it sucks, well, it’ll only be worn a few times before it’s replaced again a year later. If it looks good they can reap the benefits of good sales.

  • Off the wall

    My last purchase was a retro jersey. Long ago.

    I’ve purchased hoodies and such, and I really like the red hoodie with black lettering on it.
    It’s pretty sharp looking.

    I’d like to see a red jersey with a black logo C .. the C highlighted with orange flames around the perimeter. Just clean and simple. For the Alternate Captain and Captain, I really like the ( Atlanta) feel. See Monahan’s pic. Very cool!

    I’m planning on buying one this season. I just hope Adidas does a nice clean jersey.

  • Flamesfan4life

    I’d like to see a similar version of team Canada’s black jerseys, but with the flaming C. I also like the Canada and Alberta patches on the shoulders.

    • Off the wall

      Interesting concept Burnward, but I just think it would create more confusion, than appeal…
      The Flaming C has always been our trademark.
      As a young lad, I spent hours drawing the logo. I just thought it was so unique. I always liked the flame surrounding the C.

      I know we need to appeal to the newer generation of hockey fans, however I believe like many recognizable brands, we should keep it the same…

      Perhaps I’m just not forward thinking enough?

    • Schmenkley

      Hmmmmm……put some flames in as the horse’s mane, get rid of the gold and replace it with black, on a red background………?
      Maaaaybe with the throwback pedestal below……?

  • Brian McGrattan's Salute

    I’m just looking for something new and wicked. We have a new team this year, and it’s been the first time in forever that we’re generally all actually excited about an upcoming season for the changes we’ve made. This is a really good chance to rebrand our team image and spirit–logos and jerseys can be a source of pride and strength. How cool did the players think they were in those hideous Wal-Mart jerseys? This stuff matters. Give the lads something to kick ass in!

    • HOCKEY83

      I think the white jerseys are the ugliest things in the league. All the teams white jerseys that is. last years Stadium series game between Pittsburg and Philly was cool. Pitts wore primarily yellow with black and Philly black with orange. Both teams looked great on the ice together without any white on the jerseys.

      • Jagrrrrr, baby. Yeah.

        I would be for this idea. Having every team wear white is silly. Let each team pick a home and away colour scheme of their choosing. If a team chooses white, then fine, but they shouldn’t have to.
        Great idea H83.

        • HOCKEY83

          So Many teams have similar color schemes it may be hard to figure out who is who on the ice. My point was the away jersey in that stadium game was black with home team colors rather than white. You could switch out the white for black away jerseys. Or not. I’ve just always hated the white jerseys. Couldn’t stand it when they were home jerseys.