The New Jersey Devils have not had an originally designed third jersey. In past seasons where the team had retro and reverse retro jerseys, it was clearly the 1980s design with the 1980s colors back. I was not a fan, but many of the People Who Matter did like it. Still, it was not like they used a new logo or did anything dramatic to the design. The Devils have had a change to their new jersey, which is still sorely missing a bottom stripe due to some reference to a 1920s minor-pro hockey team that no one actually cares about then and now.
However, there has been a rumor that there would be an actual third jersey design for the New Jersey Devils. There have been fans who would have loved a black jersey, as indicated in Jenna’s post that I linked to in this paragraph. Apparently, there will be a third jersey and it is black. But it is not good. Per Gabe TM, whose pictures have been distributed by icethetics and other sites (e.g. r/devils), the potential third jersey of the Devils has been leaked. Here it is:
Oof. Where do I start?
First and foremost, I am once again asking to meet these people who care about the Newark Bulldogs, a minor professional hockey team that existed for only one season in 1928-29, in 2021. And then I will ask why all of them work for adidas. No one, I repeat, no one has asked for any kind of callback to this squad that has literally did nothing in a league that no longer exists. They were not even good; they went 14-26 in their only season in Newark. Yet, not only are they a reason why there is no bottom stripe on the current Devils jerseys, their jersey template is the basis for this third jersey. No one outside of people trolling on the Internet is going to be excited that the Devils are paying homage to this short-lived team that did nothing in their sole season in Brick City. Why adidas and whoever in the organization that approved this thinks otherwise, I cannot tell you.
Second, even if people did care, this template is just ugly. The bottom being bare save for a single white stripe at the bottom just looks empty. Adding a traditional set of bottom stripes would complete the look and be consistent with the shoulders and arms. by the way, why are the stripes different for the arms and shoulders? Three thick ones for the top and three thin ones and two thicker ones for the arms just looks odd. It is not even consistent and makes it stand out in a bad way. And why is there a draw string at the neckline? To tie up, what exactly? I have no issues with the colors as black and white are neutral colors. But I will agree it is a boring and safe background. In total, this manages to be both messy and boring.
Third, the logo. Or, rather, the word mark. What is this? This is just awful. There is zero meaning or message in this “JERSEY.” Yes, people call this state Jersey in short. (Sorry, British, your little island is not relevant here either.) It would have been a bit more on the nose if it was “Newark” or even “Essex County,” but that would not change the reality of this centerpiece of this jersey. That it makes this whole jersey looks like a knock-off uniform for a 1990s hockey video game that could not get the NHL license. The font carries no meaning. The script lettering carries no meaning. It is at a slight diagonal because something. It contains the only representation of red - the primary color of the New Jersey Devils - on the whole thing that people will actually see. It is just shadowing for the terrible, meaningless lettering. So the one color that could really pop on a black-and-white jersey is barely used. It makes it an afterthought at best and a waste at worst. The whole look of the wordmark seems like a designer spent 5 minutes on this and went on to anything else. How do you replace The Best Logo in Sports with just a wordmark? How?!
What makes me so annoyed by this is that a black third jersey for the Devils is a really simple idea! Some of the People Who Matter have bought and worn black Devils practice jerseys and all that is just a black jersey with the best logo in sports on it. That is literally all adidas had to do. Take the classic Devils jerseys from when they were making the playoffs regularly and winning Cups and invert the colors. Black background, red and white stripes, white letters. Boom. Done. Loads of people will spend $150-250 on that. And I offered this idea for free. (You’re welcome, adidas.) Whatever this lazy, boring, and meaningless design cost adidas was too much.
Had anyone at adidas reached out to any of the People Who Matter and asked them about what they would want in a third jersey, that is more likely what they would want. Not this lazy sweater that looks like a cheap Dollar Store interpretation of a Devils jersey. Who approved this at adidas? Better yet, who at the Devils approved this dishrag of a shirt?
I really hope this leak turns out not to be true. However, I fear it might be. Apparently Gabe TM is on point with these things. And that larger, jersey-focused accounts like icethetics are going with it adds more credence to its legitimacy. Perhaps this leak is to gauge interest and it could change. That would be a best-case scenario. But I am concerned this is the real thing. Needless to say, I will not be purchasing, wearing, or modeling this one.
Of course, I am a hockey blogger and not necessarily a fashion expert (and definitely not a model). I know what I like and this ain’t it. Still, I want to know what you think of it. Do you like this third jersey? Would you pay money for this? Do you know anyone who is not trolling who actually cares about the Newark Bulldogs in this current year? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about this jersey in the comments. Thank you for reading.