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Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007


   
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Viewers using Macintosh computers are encouraged to download this video in Quicktime format. It is available in one broadband size, large.

   

The Penguins unveiled their new jerseys yesterday and we must say they've downgraded in our opinion. We're not a fan of the horizontal stripes/blocks on the jersey or the shorts.

We really like the patch commemorating the city of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary which is replacing the "pigeon" logo on the shoulders. One of the final reminders of the Howard Baldwin era is finally behind us. The NHL insignia on the collar, which is a universal change for all teams in the NHL, is another positive in our book.

We're not crazy about the $25 dollar price hike for a replica jersey if you buy it directly off the NHL. Previously a replica would cost you roughly $90. Now they are going for $115.

But it's your money. You can do what you want with it.

We interviewed a number of fans and roughly 65 percent of those we talked to told us they would purchase a new jersey. The remaining 35 percent said they wouldn't or were undecided.

The ceremony at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills in Tarentum was an enthusiastic one. The only problem we had with it was the security guard that pestered us for our credentials. Either that or he was concerned we were lurking around the Victoria's Secret store too much.

We shot the above video of the event yesterday. While we are proud of our effort, we can say we are amazed at how strenuous the video editing process can be. We put in roughly nine hours of work on a video that lasts only four and a half minutes roughly.

Things were complicated a bit by the fact that we accidentally recorded roughly 20 minutes of useless video while walking around the food court. So there were a lot of upside down shots of our untied shoe laces that thankfully ended up on the cutting room floor.

Our thanks go out to Empty Netters editor Dan Gigler who tolerated endless shots of our feet enough to help us present this video. We owe him several beers.

New.

Old.

What's your take on the new uniforms? Hit us up at srorabaugh@post-gazette.com.


PEOPLE READ US

We've already gotten a few e-mails from readers concerning the new jerseys:

"I don't mind them. At least they're not ruined like other teams. But, I have to say I hate the Pittsburgh 250 patch. What a stupid idea. What happened to the 40th anniversary patch? And why did the Pens get stuck with the stupid patch, when there are two other teams they could have bestowed it upon? Lord knows the Pirates need something to jazz things up over there. And I'm sure Creepy McBeam would like it better than Iceburgh." Mary Jones, Plum

"The first thing is a complete agreement with you that it's a crock that this whole thing is a ploy to get more money out of hockey fans' wallets. As a Penguins season ticket holder/fan of the NHL in general I do spend more than $1,000 per year on the game. The fact that they're coming out with 30 new uniforms just for the sake of the bottom line is repulsive. On that note I'll be just fine with the white Fleury and black Stevens jerseys that reside in my closet.

I do think there is a positive note to this drastic change however. Since the lockout everyone (at least on the Internet) refers to the game as the "new NHL". While I'm not sure when that'll end what better way for the league to break away from the look of the game that was about the trap and 2-1 snooze-fests starring Marty Brodeur than to re-design the uniform.

It seems that most of the jerseys unveiled are on the ugly side. I am however willing to withhold final judgment until I see every uniform in game action. While it's weird to think about now I think fans are going to adapt to the new Rbk jerseys and by January I doubt we'll hear any complaining.

There's also the issue that this is going to help the players perform better. Since they've only displayed these uniforms in game action at the All-Star Game that's not a true measuring stick. But if come September 16, when the Pens start the pre-season, we hear every player from Crosby to Dennis Bonvie stating how much it makes their play better then I'd think most should be elated.

So will these uniforms help the best athletes in the world become that much better or will it soon be unmasked as a hoax with rumblings of going back to the old style abound? For my money (which won't be $130 to a clerk for one of these sweaters) I hope these uniforms stand the test of time.

Besides, surely Gary Bettman will have the knowledge to get the folks on TLC's "What Not to Wear" if these truly are eye-sores." Joe Stiger, "Army's Pit"

"Today at about 6:30 p.m. I was filled with joy for two reasons. First, they did not look as bad on the players as I first thought they would from the photos which have been circulating online for awhile. Second, being a college student in Pittsburgh, they saved me about $200 because I will now not have to go out and buy one. Ugly." Brad, a disappointed college student up on the bluff.

(Editor's note: The link we're using for the word "ugly" is directed at Chris Chelios and not the Red Wings' jersey. We would never talk ill of the winged wheel.)


EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

The NHL Tournament of Logos' take on the new threads.

Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal, talked publicly for the first time concerning his arrest during a July bachelor party. His brother Jordan, a Penguins forward, was also arrested.

The Ducks will hold a press conference at 1:30 p.m. today concerning the status of defenseman Scott Niedermayer.

The Canadiens will retire the numbers of legendary defenseman Larry Robinson and forward Bob Gainey.



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