The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

New and Improved NHL Uniform – Now 10% Cooler

By Todd McClamroch in News on Jan 23, 2007 6:56PM

01_23_06_rbk_edge.jpgAfter two years of testing, the NHL and Reebok unveiled a new uniform system yesterday that will be used during the NHL All-Star game on Wednesday. The fact that they are referring to the new uniform as a "uniform system" tells us this is not your father's hockey sweater. Supposedly, during the multi-year testing phase, the Rbk Edge Uniform went through almost 100 versions of the design that will be worn during an NHL game on Wednesday. Several players have been brought in throughout the process to hone the testing but the majority of players have not yet tried it out.

The NHL has only changed "uniform systems" a few times before going from the original wool sweaters in the 60s, to the synthetic fabrics still used today, to this new "system". Two major improvements over wool and synthetic fabrics will be the new jersey's water repellant technology and improved ventilation system, making the players more comfortable. Did we mention this is part of the "core temperature management system"?

The jersey utilizes stretch technology that should make the jersey tighter and improve range of motion. It will additionally be more aerodynamic. You can't make a hi-tech jersey without wind tunnel testing! That is exactly what Reebok did at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where they were able to quantify the improvements. The wind tunnel testing proved the new design provides a 9% reduction in drag, allowing the players to skate faster.

Reebok-CCM Hockey CEO Matt O'Toole explained some of the other improvements "The uniform is 14% lighter, 25% lighter after games. There is 9% less drag and it is 10% cooler." The fact that there is such a major difference in the weight of the jersey before and after the game makes us glad we are not an equipment manager in the NHL.

Of course you cannot spend so much time and money on a redesign without a claim for safety. The new pants supposedly will protect players from brutal hip checks as they have 60% more protection to the hip.

Wednesday night Martin Havlat will be the lone Blackhawk who wears one of the revised jerseys in the All-Star game. All 30 NHL franchises will don the new "uniform system" to begin the 2007/2008 season.