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In all the leaked reports that seem to be coming out or Franchises this season, one disturbing trend that seems to be gaining steam is the black third jersey. According to the one-stop source for all your Hockey Aesthetics, Icethetics (a really fun blog FYI), has 7 teams that are looking at having black 3rd jerseys (Bruins, Kings, Hurricanes, Sharks, Blackhawks, Senators, and Coyotes). Add to that the teams that already normally have black jerseys (Flyers, Pens, Stars, Ducks, Lightning, and yes the kings and Bruins) means that there are a grand total of 12 teams that will have some form of a black jersey. Way to break the mold guys.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised in a league where it seems like every team has the same unipron template, but a team's jersey should be a symbol of its identity. A good one should be unique, iconic and it should immediately evoke memories of the team. Say what you want about the Red Wings, and Leafs, but their sweaters immediately evoke emotion. The old Avs sweaters used to evoke emotion as well.

There is so much room to grow now. Quick - How many teams have a green jersey in the NHL right now? (Answer: 1-Minnesota Wild 0. San Jose has teal). Even teams that have color go dark and bland in order to not stand out. Minnesota's green is a Dark Forrest Green. On top of the 12 teams that have a black design, another 5 use Navy blue, which is a form of black.

The worst part is that the best jerseys use bold colors. Of the original 6: 3 use primarily a blood red, and 2 use royal blue. Only the Bruins are really dark. The other great jerseys in the NHL: The Sharks (teal with yellow highlights), the Sabres retro (royal blue), The Caps blood red, and the Canucks royal blue all are bold. Even the bold jerseys that aren't good (Thrashers, Hurricanes, and depending on your point of view the Canucks) are not because the bold colors, but because of other dumb design decisions (dual sleeve colors, Name and logo, Toilet bowl logo"). The most popular retro jerseys are all bold. The Nordiques, the Whalers, Flyers Orange.

So NHL, please be bold. Grow some balls and start designing something new. It's a minor complaint, but at the same time, for a league so concerned about their identity (and knocked for the players being too vanilla) you'd think they'd try and grow an identity, instead of making all the players look the same.