*This article was initially revealed in August 2021
For the most half, whenever you consider the New York Islanders sweaters, you actually solely consider the blue dwelling and white highway sweaters which have been round since the 1972-73 season (minus the names on the again).
Since then, not a lot has modified on these uniforms, and truthfully, that’s a beautiful factor. The dwelling and highway uniforms are classic-looking clear, conventional sweaters, and there’s no want to vary something about them.
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That being mentioned, there is no such thing as a motive the Islanders and the NHL can’t have a bit of enjoyable with an alternate or third jersey. A number of days in the past, an Islanders’ orange jersey idea took Isles Twitter by storm.
Some followers liked the idea that tied a lot of the Islanders’ historical past collectively on one sweater, and others couldn’t stand to see the sight. That obtained us considering, what would followers wish to see in an alternate sweater? Well, we ran a ballot, and 58.8 p.c of you wish to see the fisherman make a much-anticipated return. After that, it was shut between a brand new orange third jersey or not making modifications to the present alternate sweater in any respect.
So this obtained us considering, the place do the Islanders sweaters all through historical past rank? Let’s dive into the jersey historical past, beginning with the worst, to the finest.
#11 2011 – 2014
Ah, Mark Streit, the former captain of the Islanders. And an ideal captain he was. What’s not nice on this picture is the sweater or reasonably the total uniform he’s sporting.
Let’s be actual, there may be completely nothing about this jersey that claims New York Islanders. The most you may say about this sweater is that it says the phrase “Islanders” throughout the chest, and has the crest as shoulder patches, however in 2011, for those who had been sitting in the nosebleeds trying down at the ice, you would possibly ask your self “wait, who’s in the black uniforms?”
This alternate jersey was launched for the 2011-12 season when the Islanders had been nearing the finish of their lease at the Nassau Coliseum, and the group was kicking the tires on the thought of a transfer to Brooklyn. There aren’t many fond recollections whereas the group wore this jersey.
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The group had just one profitable season between 2011 and 2014. In the 2012-13 lockout season, the Islanders met the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening spherical of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, dropping the collection 4-2.
To sum up the recollections of the Islanders sporting this sweater, the group posted two shedding seasons, and one was minimize brief resulting from a lockout. Yes, they made the playoffs that yr however the atrocity that’s this uniform didn’t make its debut in the post-season.
# 10 1996 – 1998
If you possibly can discover an individual who didn’t get pleasure from Zigmund Palffy in an Islanders sweater, ship them to a secluded island to be alone with their ideas as a result of they’d be the just one.
However, that doesn’t essentially imply they needed to get pleasure from him in THIS sweater. This clearly isn’t the worst sweater in Islanders’ historical past, nevertheless it comes very shut.
The drawback right here was that though the fisherman is beloved by some in the present day, it marked a darkish time for the Islanders group, as a lot had gone unsuitable the yr they launched the fisherman in 1995. We will get into the historical past of the fisherman later, however the Islanders tried to repair the up to date look when the fisherman went unsuitable.
Merging the two eras collectively to kind one didn’t make sense with the Islanders’ crest and of the remainder of the jersey. The crest doesn’t assist the new teal colour the group tried to introduce, whereas the wave and emblem made the proportions of the jersey look off.
The 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons whereas sporting this sweater had been each largely unsuccessful, with the Islanders solely accruing 70 and 71 factors, respectively. The solely constructive that got here out of those sweaters had nothing to do with the uniforms themselves – Palffy posted two seasons of 45-plus targets and broke the 90-point plateau in the 1996-97 season. After Palffy, there was a big drop-off in level manufacturing.
No one is looking for this sweater to return, and it’s higher off that manner.
#9 2015 – 2017
Oh, look, one other black sweater design. These aren’t essentially a nasty trying sweater, nevertheless it may have been achieved so a lot better. The Islanders launched these sweaters as the group began their tenure in Brooklyn.
Understandably so, the group appeared to attach with their Barclays Center co-tenants, the Brooklyn Nets, with these jerseys, to merge their identities as Brooklyn’s groups, however overpassed the Islanders’ identification in the course of.
“It was extremely important to ensure that our passionate fan base could still see the traditions of the New York Islanders represented in this third jersey,” Islanders normal supervisor Garth Snow said in a team statement. “We feel we’ve created a jersey our players will be proud to wear that has unique features which will also connect with Brooklyn residents.”
Yeah, they struck out on the “tradition.” The design was largely primarily based on the Islanders Stadium Series sweater they wore the yr prior, with a couple of tweaks made to the jersey. The 4 stripes on the sleeves pay homage to the 4 Stanley-Cups from the dynasty years. However, you gained’t discover any black stitching on the jerseys worn throughout the dynasty years.
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The idea made sense at the time – market the group for the new metropolis they’re enjoying in. The challenge is, they didn’t market them nicely, and Brooklyn was an final failure as a vacation spot for the Islanders, making these uniforms a straightforward reminiscence to neglect.
#8 2002 – 2007
We’re beginning to get into the line of jerseys that whenever you take a look at them you in all probability suppose “yeah, that’s not so bad.” The Islanders launched this stand-out jersey for the 2002-03 season, the first, and solely, orange-based jersey in group historical past.
Things had been beginning to pattern up for the Islanders after this sweater was launched. In the 2003-04 season, the Islanders accrued 91 factors and made their technique to the playoffs, the place they had been out-muscled in the first spherical by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
This jersey marks the starting of change for an Islanders group that had lengthy suffered underneath the watch of former head coach AND President of Hockey Operations, Mike Milbury *gags.*
Now you would possibly say to your self, “but this jersey doesn’t have anything Islanders about it just as much as the black alternates,” however you’d be unsuitable. It has the crest, and Islanders colours. The great thing about this third jersey was that the group didn’t attempt to re-brand itself. This sweater was for enjoyable. A brand new technique to excite followers, make some cash and present their colours all through the crowds of the Nassau Coliseum.
By the 2007-08 season, the Islanders moved on from this sweater, but when followers are itching for an orange alternate, it may not be a nasty thought to start out with this one.
#7 2007 – 2010
The Islanders tried to rebrand themselves discreetly from 2007 to 2010. The group saved the colours that signify the Islanders and maintained the commemorative patch on the shoulder that displays the dynasty years. In the 2008-09 season, the group added a fourth stripe to the hockey stick in the Islanders crest with the identical function. Plenty of Islanders sweaters afterward adopted this identical pattern.
The one downfall to this jersey is the numbers on the entrance chest. Numbers belong on the backs of jerseys, and it makes for an excessive amount of site visitors on the entrance, particularly for many who have captains patches, or another patch chance corresponding to an anniversary.
The Islanders had extra of the identical success on this sweater as they’d with the hybrid wave jersey from 1996 to 1998, minus the famous person caliber participant they used to have in Palffy. In reality, their highest scorer in the tenure of those sweaters was Streit. The former captain tallied 56 factors in the 2008-09 season, which isn’t saying a lot.
The fondest reminiscence the Islanders probably have whereas sporting this uniform is when the group introduced again former head coach, Al Arbour, for one matchup to ensure that him to have a fair 1,500 video games coached. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 3-2 in the matchup.
When the Islanders had been introduced to be getting an outside sport as a part of the Stadium Series, I feel most Islanders followers had been taken abruptly. In the 2013-14 season, the group was set to play in opposition to their rival, New York Rangers, in an outside sport at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
At the time, groups who had been chosen for these out of doors video games historically referred to their roots so far as jersey design. “We’ve seen in the past in a lot of outdoor games a kind of retro, heritage, old-school kinda look. But this is newer, more modern.” mentioned John Tavares, the Islanders former captain (from ‘Isles unveil new jersey for NHL Stadium Series’, Newsday, 11/27/2013).
This was the first time that the public had been launched to the secondary emblem, an NY with the lengthy stem of the Y forming a hockey stick. This was all a part of the rebrand that was coming with the transfer to Brooklyn.
The colours had been there, the new emblem had been thrilling at the time understanding it wasn’t changing the authentic crest, and the jersey was clear. So what was unsuitable with it? Well, the Island was lacking. The Islanders with no Island is simply “ers.” This jersey lasted till the Islanders moved into the Barclays in the 2015-16 season, the place they reworked this uniform to into the black design.
#5 2018 – Present
There’s not far more to say about the Islanders’ present third jersey aside from, it’s superb. It matches the colour scheme of the group, they’re clear, and orange numbers are superior.
The group launched these jerseys at the begin of the 2018-19 season. The sweater sports activities the Islanders’ secondary emblem in the NY, and minor particulars make it distinctive, corresponding to the picture of Long Island on the inside neck.
The one drawback with this alternate is the secondary emblem. With the Islanders formally shifting on from the Barclays Center, all issues Barclays-related needs to be eradicated from the group. The Islanders want their identification to be again on Long Island, and the secondary emblem on this jersey screams Brooklyn, so the group will want a brand new alternate look going ahead.
#4 1995 – 1997
So, after all, this design involves thoughts when enthusiastic about a brand new alternate shifting ahead.
Really? Ranked this excessive? Don’t you recognize this was the lowest level of the group in its historical past?!
Well, let’s calm down for a second. By no means ought to the fisherman substitute the Islanders’ most important jerseys in any way, however have a look round the league proper now. The NHL is having some enjoyable advertising their jerseys and letting golf equipment revive their former uniforms.
The 1995-96 season wasn’t enjoyable, by any means. Milbury was each the head coach and normal supervisor, Rangers followers mocked the Islanders with “We want fish sticks” chants, and the group missed the playoffs by a landslide, with solely the Ottawa Senators ending under them.
But give it some thought. If each group needed to change their jersey due to some darkish occasions of their historical past, then are you going to go on the report saying that the Detroit Red Wings ought to change up their uniforms from the classics they put on each evening? If so, go discover that Palffy Island we referred to earlier.
If you may put all the darkness in the previous, the fisherman makes for an ideal third jersey possibility. The Vancouver Canucks are trying sharp with their “skate” jersey, the Anaheim Ducks are Mighty once more, and the St. Louis Blues introduced again the retro crimson swoop!
This exceptional photoshop job advertises Mat Barzal in the orange, teal, and blue, and truthfully, it’s sharp trying. The Islanders are formally achieved with Brooklyn and shifting ahead, they need to look to wipe out something that resembles the failed transfer to the Barclays Center, which incorporates their present third jersey.
The group has been promoting fisherman attire for the previous few seasons. A plethora of clothes has been placed on the market sporting the fisherman, from hats to jerseys to sweatshirts.
The group has even gotten into the spirit of the fisherman, as captain Anders Lee ordered a traditional white Islanders baseball cap sporting the fisherman and the retro colours.
You might disagree with the thought of bringing again the fisherman, nevertheless it’s extra Islanders than any of the earlier alternate jerseys talked about above.
#3 1998 – 2007
After the failed fisherman experiment, the Islanders group made the proper name in going again to their roots. The slight distinction between these sweaters and the originals is the shade of blue that’s used. This Islanders sweater rocks extra of a navy blue, reasonably than a royal, however resembles that of the dynasty-era jersey.
The group added the shoulder patch for the first time in 1998, in an effort to ship a message to its gamers and followers that the group has a relentless reminder on their shoulder, actually, to attempt for an additional Stanley Cup.
Perhaps the most memorable time whereas sporting this sweater was the 2001-02 season. The starting of Peter Laviolette’s teaching profession with the Islanders couldn’t have began higher – he elevated the play of a group that hadn’t sniffed success in plenty of years, courting again to the 1992-93 season.
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Alexei Yashin, Mark Parrish and Michael Peca led the manner for the Islanders that yr, nevertheless it was Shawn Bates who walked away with the most memorable second that season.
The penalty shot heard round the world resulted in considered one of the largest explosions of cheers from Islanders followers any fan of the sport has ever heard. Although the Islanders in the end misplaced in the first spherical to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the group lastly noticed the success they hadn’t had in a very long time.
The inaugural jersey the Islanders repped after they first got here in the league is very like the sweaters you see the group sporting at present. The solely main distinction is the orange numbers on the again and sleeves, and there have been no names on the again.
These classics had been revived for the ultimate sport to be performed at the previous Nassau Coliseum again in the 2014-15 season. The group had the group put on the sweater to pay its respects to the constructing the Islanders had known as dwelling since their debut in 1972.
Ed Westfall and Co. weren’t sizzling out of the gates, as the Islanders completed eighth of their convention and final general in each targets for and targets in opposition to.
Despite the powerful begin to the group’s tenure, the Islanders had been in simply the starting levels of one thing particular, and these jerseys had been the begin of the traditional jerseys the group wears in the present day.
#1 1973 – 1995, 2008 – Present Day
Ah, there it’s. The traditional Islanders sweater. And what a good looking sweater it’s. This is the sweater that the Islanders are identified for.
Throughout the league, there are some traditional jerseys. The Chicago Blackhawks, the Red Wings, the Rangers and loads of others have all seen their authentic designs unchanged, and thank goodness the Islanders determined to revive the solely jersey they need to ever put on once more in 2009.
This is the sweater that noticed the dynasty period raise 4 Stanley Cups, the sweater that was worn the yr Mike Bossy scored 50 targets in 50 video games, the sweater that was worn for all the numbers which have been despatched to the rafters.
The Islanders’ identification is in the orange and blue they put on in the present day. It is their previous, it’s their current, and it actually all the time needs to be their future. This is the finest model of the Islanders sweater as a result of it’s the ONLY model of the Islanders sweater.
With the lack of hockey information and video games, this will likely be in the entrance of Islanders followers’ minds for a while. Luckily, you may tune into the Nassaumen Hockey Podcast, dropped at you by The Hockey Writers, for weekly conversations about Long Island’s group. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Play.