Ice Blacks

Redesigning The Ice Blacks Jersey

The black jersey. It’s the stuff of legends for many Kiwi sports fan and athletes alike.

The simple and clean look can be seen as powerful and fearless to the opposition who face it; or so we’re lead to believe when cheering for the All Blacks.

During the 2017 Winter Games, New Zealand’s national men’s ice hockey team (aka the Ice Blacks) debuted a new jersey for the Trans-Tasman Challenge series against Australia’s Mighty Roos. However, this jersey felt like it was lacking something.

Photo credit: Kate Harrison

There is too much white to begin with, the NZIHF logo is in the wrong place and there are no jersey numbers on the sleeves.

The Ice Blacks logo itself feels iconic. The Kiwi looks modern and embodies that idea of being powerful and fearless. There’s no cartoony vibe present like other hockey teams go for when it involves an animal/bird holding a stick…here’s looking at you, Pittsburgh Penguins.

I’m a total nerd for hockey jersey design. When ADIDAS unveiled their new look for the 2017-18 NHL season, for me that was the biggest news of the day. So, in the name of fun and spirited debate, here are some alternatives I quickly threw together using an online designer.

Before getting stuck in, it’s worth noting that the Ice Blacks jerseys are purely for exhibition games. For international tournaments, the IIHF set the jersey design.

The Team Canada look: To be fair, this isn’t far removed from the jersey we saw at the Winter Games.

The one on the left is keeping things real simple but it’s striking. On the right, the white shoulder panel is in-line with the collar, rather than extending down like the jersey last worn by the Ice Blacks. Ideally I would move the arm bands on the sleeves down a touch – but overall, this is a solid starting point.

By the way, for some reason, in this jersey designer software the colour white comes across as more of an off-white/grey vibe. But you’ll get the picture.

Bringing in the Blue: Maybe it’s time to bring in some colour to the Ice Blacks jersey?

To match the colour of the New Zealand flag, the blue goes well with this design and makes you take notice. Of course there’s a black, white and grey option if you want to play it safe.

Go Leafs Go: Ok…yes, I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, but the clean cut look of their jersey could work well for the boys in black.

I mentioned in the first design that I would move the arm bands on the sleeves down – this is the sort of placement I’m imagining – just below the elbow.

Quack Quack Quack: The Mighty Ducks movie franchise is what inspired some in the current Ice Blacks squad to pick up a hockey stick and skates, rather than lacing up the rugby boots as a kid. So why not pay homage to that with our national team?

Maybe not…but again, I’m liking that blue option.

The Wildcard: This design might suit one of the NZIHL teams better to be honest, but I was having fun with the use of blue by this point.

Add the NZIHF logo on one shoulder, the New Zealand flag on the other and there you go!

Which of these designs would you like to see the Ice Blacks wearing? Comment below and feel free to send through any designs you might have yourself.

(Main photo: Kate Harrison)

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