Kit of the Day: The Arizona Coyotes
All illustrations by Andrew M. Greenstein, The unofficial NHL Uniform Database
The Arizona Coyotes will be sporting new uniforms for the 2015-16 NHL season. At first glance, the addition of black seems to be a welcome one, given the relative blandness of the previous version (see below).
The black certainly livens up the jersey, but still doesn’t solve a fundamental problem: the lack of tail striping. Many teams went along with this unfortunate trait of the Reebok Edge Uniform System, before realising it looked silly – even practice-y – not to have anything at the bottom of the jersey. The Toronto Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues are examples of teams that, dissatisfied with the redesign, reverted back to a jersey with tail stripes.
On the other side of things, the modified sleeve striping creates a new problem: There are now three colours on the sleeve, which, in the current arrangement, looks overly busy when compared to the single colour of the jersey body. In addition, the stripes on the sleeves are not only all different colours, but differently sized as well, with no discernable symmetry (compare with the slim-thick-slim pattern of their previous jersey). All this busyness combines to make the Coyote’s latest stab at a jersey rather unbalanced and disorienting. Though Pippi Longstocking might approve, the human eye does not.
As for the rest of the kit, the black pants actually look rather nice when contrasted with the white or brick red of the jersey body. However, the socks carry over the unfortunate condition of the jersey sleeves; just too much going on.
The Coyotes were long overdue for a uniform change. However, this new rendition leaves much to be desired. Though, as mentioned, it is confusing to look at, perhaps even more importantly, it still manages, somehow, to be as uninspiring as the old model. What about if all of the stripes were diagonal? What if the players wore them inside out? Yes, it would still look unpleasant, but hey, it wouldn’t be boring. If anything, why not bring back the kit from their original season (see below)? They did so for one game last year, after all.
Yes, the logo is a tad unsettling and yes, that sand-coloured striping is a bit unusual. But hey, it’s not overtly offensive and certainly stands out in comparison to the current uniform, which is a symphony of bland. Take the current logo – the howling coyote. Decent enough, yes. But the San Jose Sharks crest is an angry shark chomping down on a hockey stick. The Florida emblem depicts a panther pouncing on an opponent. In contrast, Arizona’s coyote just seems to be howling aimlessly off into the distance (perhaps trying to sell tickets?). More aggressiveness is warranted. Or, in the case of the original, more creepiness. Disturbing logo aside, it is symmetrical and balanced, and everything about it screams “American Southwest”. For a team without the baggage of nostalgia and tradition to worry about, why not?