The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team unveiled its 2016-17 jerseys on Wednesday and man, are they great.
The new threads are Wisconsin's first hockey redesigns since jumping ship from Adidas to Under Armour. When Under Armour unveiled the football team’s jerseys back in July, Paul Lukas over at Uni Watch panned some of the features, including the "Forward" arrows (seen below in the stripes at the elbows and waist) and the font. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Lukas and his Watch—I think both are welcome changes, particularly here on the sweaters. The font is much cleaner than the shadowboxed lettering in years past (though admittedly not quite as crisp as the traditional font on last year’s offerings from Reebok). The "Forward" arrows also take away a little bit from the simple, traditional look of the sleeve and waist striping, but I found them visually interesting watching the football game Saturday and find myself drawn to them in the pictures below.
One downside: It doesn’t look like "It’s a Great Day for Hockey" (previously incorporated on the inside of the sweater) made the cut. I would love to see that element, even on the inside of the sweater.
New school year, new coaching staff, #NewRedThreads pic.twitter.com/1he51QK0M3— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerMHockey) September 7, 2016
Old third jersey had NCAA title years, and "It's a great day for hockey" on the insides. Titles on the outside now. pic.twitter.com/AFIkFb4bKy— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerMHockey) September 7, 2016
The championship star is an underused element in North American sports uniforms and I like that Under Armour is incorporating it here. It will be interesting to see the interplay with the nameplate just a few inches down, but the back collar is probably the best location for it with the diagonal "WISCONSIN" leaving little room on the front of the sweater for accent elements.
All in all, though, it’s a pretty good look. The worst offerings of the Badger men’s hockey sweaters have looked like bad New York Rangers knock-offs, so it’s nice to have a clear and distinctive look to differentiate from that model. I do have one suggestion for future alternate sweaters, though:
.@N_LaPoint we peeked in the boxes and this is what we found. pic.twitter.com/ISJt30AbzU— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerMHockey) July 14, 2016