Over the past few years, it's been a struggle on the ice for the Blackhawks. Losing in seven games to the Blues in the first round of the playoffs in 2016, swept out of the first round in 2017 at the hands of the Nashville Predators, and then ultimately missing out on the playoffs in each of the last two seasons have highlighted those struggles.
One of the bigger struggles the team has encountered has been around the players' necks. Adidas took over the creation of NHL jerseys before the 2017-2018 season and they ruined one of the greatest jerseys in sports by throwing a pilgrim-inspired collar on the beautiful Indian-head sweater. Fans were outraged, rightfully so.
Brutal. Call it what you what (Hawks fans did), the pilgrim-collar, the toilet seat collar, whatever. It was terrible. To Adidas' credit, they responded and informally stated that they would fix the Blackhawks collars before the upcoming season. Today, the results are in and, well, woof.
The Four Feathers Crew likes Kirby Dach, but boy oh boy, do we not like these new collars. Before there was too much white. So Adidas just chops half of the white off? Seems like a solution a five-year-old would bring to fruition. Here are both the home and road threads.
Is it really that hard, Adidas? Reebok never had an issue. CCM managed to keep us happy. Nike didn't drop the ball. Figure it out.
Fans have created some collar concepts over the past few months in anticipation of the Adidas announcement. Not all of them are winners, but a few are certainly better than what the multi-billion dollar company came up with. Let's dive in.
Is option A better? Absolutely. I'm not a fan of the strings, but if you remove those, I think that's a great option. B is essentially what Adidas went with. Wrong choice. We'll take C, F, and G out of the running for obvious reasons.
Option D is a great choice. I still believe it's a little too much white, but it certainly would have been an acceptable improvement. Option H is fun. It's a little weird but kind of cool. An Original Six team like the Hawks shouldn't use it, but somebody should.
That brings us to the collar that should have been the winner. Option E, come on down. That's a collar that could certainly help uphold the "greatest jersey in sports" narrative.
Sure, this is all just opinion-based. But do people really think that the two options Adidas has now given us are better than this fan-created option? I don't. I actually believe this collar is better than the old Reebok collar. It's both clean and classic looking, but still fits the modern flat-collar trend Adidas wants to go with.
So, here we go again. Adidas will likely state that the Hawks are locked into that collar for two years for jersey creation and sales purposes. Look for the old pilgrim jerseys on the clearance rack at your local sporting good store or on FansEdge if you're looking for a deal on a Hawks jersey.
They have to clear room on the main shelves for the newest atrocity. Come 2021-2022 we'll probably get a new and unimproved collar after fan complaints. Until another company takes over jersey rights for the NHL, don't expect this to truly get fixed.
Featured Photo: Tom Gulitti/Twitter