The St. Louis Blues did a fair amount of teasing regarding their 2022 Winter Classic sweaters. They actually threw many people off the scent by zooming so far into the stitching on the logo that some thought they had changed the design.
Ultimately, the team went with the design we all figured it would be. While it’s not simply a white version of the 2017 Winter Classic sweater, it is the white version of what the Blues wore during the same period that jersey was a throwback to.
The Blues, or Adidas, did a throwback to the 1967-68 white jersey and they hit a homerun with it. The jersey is not an out of the park homerun, but it cleared the wall.
What is great about the design is that it is classic Blues. Anything having to do with some of those inaugural teams is always a good choice.
Of course, there are detractors. Some people don’t like them, which is fine, though some of the reasons are a little picky.
One fan on Facebook did not like how pointed and jagged the Blue Note is. That’s a fair point, but it’s paying homage to the original jerseys and that original Blue Note looked a little funky compared to the one we have today.
The other main complaint is one I agree with. The shoulder striping ends too abruptly.
Perhaps the reason for this is to differentiate the Winter Classic sweater from other throwbacks made by different companies in the past. Maybe they were worried people that had the alumni jerseys from 2017 would not purchase this version if there were not subtle differences. Whatever the reason, it’s a little jarring.
Those original sweaters have just a little sweep of color down onto the sleeves. That extra portion, that can’t be more than three inches or so, makes all the difference.
However, as an overall concept, there is not much more we could have asked for. It’s a solid jersey design, honoring what has coming before.
Some people apparently wanted something completely different. That would have been much more divisive though.
For example, the Blues are simply not a wordmark team. There would be a way to do a lettered jersey, such as St. Louis horizontally across the body like the New York Rangers, but it’s still something you can mess up.
Even the sweaters with words on them and the Blue Note have problems. While nobody seemed to mind at the time, many fans dislike the St. Louis on the top feather of the logo from the mid-to-late 1990’s.
What is nice, though subtle, is that it is not a true white. Similar to those old jerseys, where a brilliant, bright white was hard to achieve, they went with more of a cream color as the base.
While it’s incredibly important that fans like it so they will buy it, it’s also important the players like it. You’ll rarely hear a negative word, but Ryan O’Reilly seemed very enthused by them.
“It’s just cool having vintage colors. It reminds me of the first jerseys the Blues wore,” O’Reilly said on the team website. “Seeing it, I just think of the history. You feel the game, how it’s been played long before you and the history of the city. The jerseys are really cool, they turned out great. They did a heck of a job with them.”
You’ll never please everyone, but this has to be about as close as you’re likely to get. There were a few random comments wondering why the jerseys were not blue. Blue and green don’t look the same, but the NHL normally wants there to be a white jersey for one team, so it never would have been all blue.
Ultimately, you will judge for yourself. I say it’s an excellent addition to the collection.