So the NHL will not allow teams to wear specialty warm-up jerseys next season. However, as a concession the league will allow teams to design them, and sell them for charity. If I am being honest, I sort of like it.
“Why?” you might hesitantly ask.
Two reasons actually.
First it forces teams to get even more creative. As we have seen, teams are capable of producing awesome celebrations, including outright LOVELY specialty warm-up jerseys. Now, those jerseys are off the table. It’s a loss, I get that, but it is not the end.
In fact it could be just the beginning.
Teams that want to celebrate, not just Pride but things like Hockey Fights Cancer and Black History Month, will find even more creative ways to celebrate. There is even a chance there are more things they are able to celebrate without having to manufacture specialty warm-up jerseys.
We don’t know. But I bet you dollars to doughnuts there are design teams sitting down right now to figure out ways to incorporate things like Pride, and Black History month into their celebration schedules without the undue burden of having to create a specialty warm-up jerseys.
Plus, life without specialty warm-up jerseys is going to separate the wheat from the chaff naturally. Teams like Vancouver are going to find ways to justly celebrate Pride month, and Florida will likely crush Black History month. Philadelphia, and yes..maybe even the Carolina Hurricanes, will not have the crutch of specialty warm-up jerseys to lean on and start to lose ground in the game of popular opinion.
Again, dollars to doughnuts, that losing won’t last too long.
Look, I hate the NHL folded to bigotry and hatred as much as any progressive. Don’t think elsewise. But, I am refusing to let that get in the way of seeing potential.
There are ways for teams to celebrate without trotting out specialty warm-up jerseys and checking off the box. Teams that really want to lean into that, will find a way to do so. And be dang sure it will likely be better than the already, thanks to the bigoted NHL, blasé specialty warm-up jerseys. We’re on to bigger and better things.