My thoughts on the Bolts and the new alternate threds

We’re in the middle of the second-to-last month of the NHL season and lo and behold, the long-awaited Tampa Bay Lightning third jersey was unveiled last week before the Bolts were to square off with the St. Louis Blues.

I don’t know about other Lightning, but I was really really piqued and curious what was to come with the new jersey, it excited me. I mean, come on! This is a big opportunity to have something that mixes unique vision with nostalgia and fits the pretentious nature of the Lightning’s current clean look! It could be an additional morale lift to a season that is already a stratospheric thunderstorm! I had been wondering if this would even happen; a third jersey for Tampa Bay in 2018-19, but here it was, finally, and…and…and…!!


Taken from The Tampa Bay Lightning’s official release about the new alternate jersey system.

Other fans might think highly of this and I can’t say for them not to. Any uniform system change in the sports world usually draws a varying variety of reaction from the public. My words written here aren’t meant to change perspective, it’s just me stating what I think.

Really, what I was hoping for here was nostalgia and some color mix, not a fade, not a share-the-dark-tone. I wanted to see a mix of what was the Tampa Bay Lightning jersey system at the start of the franchise’s existence. That wouldn’t be a change in colors, this is more about employing colors — black, white and blue instead of just black-and-white or blue-and-white.

Playing with the crest — this is an alternate system so it is on the table in the design department – opened the door for nostalgia and the original franchise logo… but instead, the team clung to the current lightning bolt. I will say right here that skipping the use of the “BOLTS” slanted text, used in the last two alternate jerseys, was a good thing to do. I never loved that too much…

But it’s worth noting that the original “BOLTS” alternate jersey system stood out in the way alternate systems should. It contrasted the all-black home jersey system that the team was using at the time. It blue jersey contrasted directly with the team’s black pants system, but it visually fit. Black outlining “BOLTS” complimented it.

The 2019 system just masks together, with gray put in the place of white. This looks much like the standard jersey design of current, but with a visual melding way that’s absent of unique characteristics. Well, unless you count hte number system. The one thing that I heard several times from fans and friends was the unique — and illegible — aspect of the numbers on the backs of the sweaters. People could read them during gameplay.

I’ll give you the highlights video here from Saturday night’s win over the Penguins, you can look for yourself and see things. Perhaps you’ll note how the Pittsburgh standard-road system blends together well while the Bolts bland:

I can’t clearly say what I would truly have preferred in a new alt jersey. These things come and go as-is. In simplicity though? Put the original logo on the current uniform, add white or black shoulders and the striped armpits. Or go to an updated version of the original uniform system? The fact is this team has a history and always moving ahead doesn’t bring reflection upon it.

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