TSN Reported that the NHL had been taking bidding offers from other sports giants from across the globe. Reebok's owner, Adidas, has won out, and will produce the uniforms worn by the NHL's 30 teams, starting in 2017.
Reebok, the previous supplier, paid $35 Million dollars annually to the NHL to produce their jerseys. Adidas is reported to be paying double that, as per an unnamed league source.
Adidas was sort of an odd-man out in the three company race, stating previously after cancelling their deal with the NBA and losing an NFL jersey deal to American Juggernaut Nike, that they would be trying to move away from league-wide partnerships, citing difficulty with competing in North America with North American companies. However, it had been slowly gearing up with a move to hockey with partnerships with Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid and are renegotiating an advertising deal with Canada's other wunderkind, Sidney Crosby.
Westhead went on to speculate that the change in jersey sponsor might mean two things might occur: the introduction of the painfully obvious three stripes of Adidas that adorns so many soccer, football, and other jerseys, or the long feared transition to advertisements on jerseys, as a league source noted in the article.
"If you’re already deciding on a major NHL jersey overhaul, maybe with Adidas striping on the jerseys, then it seems like it would be a good time to introduce the ads, if you plan to do it anyway."...
The ads thing is generally agreed on as an eventual given, and the most anyone can do is mostly just brace themselves for whatever local company ends up on their favorite player's jersey.
Sportslogos.com founder Chris Creamer on the other hand, was skeptical about the introduction of the Adidas stripes, citing the NBA's deal and, with the exception of the all-star game and practice attire (And some "experiments" with sleeves), Adidas has actually been pretty good at keeping the actual home and away jerseys looking fairly clean of their usual brand nonsense with non-football clients.
He also cited that a quick google search of college hockey jerseys that are manufactured by Adidas reveals that they too, are also absent from the jerseys. Some examples (with some local teams):
And indeed, they are in fact bare of the signature stripes of Adidas. He did however, note that they may make an appearance on national jerseys throughout their lineup of apparel, and they could surface at the World Cup of Hockey that Gary Bettman has planned.
The other concern he had is that Adidas does like to experiment occaisionally with non traditional designs, as seen with their bizarre college football uniforms....
...Yeesh. A legitimate concern. Especially for established teams that don't like a whole lot of change.
Now with all you've just seen in mind, what does this mean for the Bruins?
Right now? Absolutely nothing. In the future? It could mean a very different looking Bruins team....again.
It could mean some significant changes, or all it could mean is the manufacturer's logo on the back of your replica sweater changes. Smaller market teams and the planned expansion to Las Vegas may be in for a real treat as Adidas re-imagines them, especially teams that have been dying to get away from the reviled RBK-EDGE look. But from scanning multiple hockey jerseys from Adidas, it does appear that Adidas DOES know when to leave well enough alone with certain teams that have been around for a long period of time and have a set idea of what they look like, so I expect Adidas will do the same for Boston, stick a logo on it and just move on. We'll probably just have to put up with really ugly looking All-Star jerseys.
So...More of the same, really.
All that can be said is that if you like any Reebok jerseys right now, you might want to pick them up while there's still time to buy them. If Adidas screws one or two of the new templates up, there's a good chance they could become very elusive collector's items in the near future.