For the first time in nearly 40 years, the New Jersey Devils have their third jersey-if you have any questions about it, please discuss it with the person leading the design team: Hall of Fame icon Marty Broad.
This super secret project started three years ago. According to Jillian Frechette, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Devils (who is also a member of the Brodeur design team), in the first few months, only a few people knew about the project. But they do have some clues about where the fans want the team to go.
“We knew from the beginning that we would tend to be black, so it was easy,” Fréchette said. “If you check social media, you will find that the Devils fans have a strong desire, so this is very fan-centric.”
The focus of this sweater is of course the word “Jersey”, which has its meaning behind it: According to Frechette, the locals don’t say they are from New Jersey, they say they are from Jersey—this is Brodeur’s stuff in his state. Hearing the new design time and time again in his long career is also a call to the team. As a major professional sports team that plays in the state but also represents the state, it is different from many other sports teams. They are “squatters”, they play and train in Garden State, but wear “New York” on their uniforms.
“This is the pride of the place,” Fréchette said. “We live and play in Jersey.”
In addition to the bold font, there is history in the design. Stripes were inspired by the early professional hockey teams in the state, including the Newark Bulldogs, River Valley Skeeter, and Jersey Braun. Specifically, the 21 stripes represent the 21 counties in the state.
Although the Devils have worn retro jerseys (plus Reverse Retro Adidas sweaters) before, they have never had a third jersey, and the top team knew it was time. Detroit is the only other NHL team without a third.
“Apart from the fourth Stanley Cup banner, this is the second question I got from fans,” said team president Jack Reynolds. “Expectations about this have been bubbling. We are modernizing the brand, and at the same time, we are respecting our roots and heritage.”
The black three-pointer sneakers will make their debut in the game against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 8. They will be worn 13 times this season to pay tribute to captain Nico Hischier. New Jersey will make a three-pointer on the road in Detroit on December 18. It was the anniversary of New Jersey’s entry into the league, and the Red Wings were the opponents of the Devils’ first Stanley Cup championship series victory. The lace pattern on the neck should also represent the goalkeeper net-this is a clear tribute to Broad and his professional heroes.
Other pioneering New Jersey legends include Scott Niedermayer, Patrik Elias and Ken Daneyko, while current players such as PK Subban, Dougie Hamilton and Hischier are also involved. In addition to the sweater itself, special products in the “Jersey” style will be launched soon, and the proceeds will be donated to the Devil Youth Foundation, and Newark-based shoe design company Dirty Soles is making custom Adidas sneakers as part of the promotion.