Buffalo Sabres reveal new third jerseys

Ah, the Buffalo Sabres.  My beloved home team, and a team who are considered by many to have some of the best primary uniforms in the sport at the moment.  That hasn’t always been the case.  The Sabres came into the league in 1970 wearing their classic uniforms that the current design are based on:

They would keep this basic look with minor tweaks (a darker shade of blue, shoulder patches, and player names on the back) throughout the first 25 years of the franchise, when they went in a drastic new direction, changing the classic blue and gold for red, white, silver and black.


Let’s face it.  The “goat head” jerseys weren’t hated – in fact, I’d be hard pressed to name a Sabres fan who doesn’t own at least one of the three jerseys pictured above.  And yes, I’d venture to say that many of them had Miroslav Satan’s name and number emblazoned on theirs.  But in 2006, the fans were clamoring for a return to the blue and gold era of Sabres past.  Have you ever heard the phrase, “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it?”


This is what we got.  A logo that was instantly reviled, compared to a banana slug or a “Donald Trump hairpiece,” affectionately known as the “Buffa-Slug.”  The logo was terrible, the jerseys were far from traditional, yet these were the hottest selling jerseys in the National Hockey League for a brief period of time.  It didn’t hurt that, on the backs of Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, the Sabres were also one of the hottest teams in the league when that happened.

Despite shelling out their hard earned money for the hated “slug,” (and believe me, I have one of these in my closet too), the fans wanted it gone.  Sites such as Sabres Not Slugs appeared, online petitions were passed around, and other designers were coming up with their own ideas for what the next set of Sabres uniforms should look like.  Eventually, a third jersey, an updated version of the classic Sabres uniform, was created to compliment the Slug uniforms, and eventually became the new primary home, along with a brand new road jersey in the same style in 2010.

The third jersey pictured here was used for the 40th anniversary season. NHLUniforms.com

In recent weeks, the Sabres were posting teaser pictures of a new third jersey on their twitter page.  Forward Steve Ott seemed to be trying to get them to speed up the reveal, to no avail.  Early Wednesday morning, the Sabres released another teaser picture on Twitter, seemingly meant to rile up fans who wanted to see the full uniform unveiled just as much as Steve Ott seemed to.

Ott responded to this with the following tweet:

He even went as far as to threaten to unveil it himself if the team refused:

The team called his bluff, saying that the only two jerseys were under lock and key at “Fort Knox,” which is a nickname bestowed upon the First Niagara Center in honor of former Sabres owner Seymour Knox III.  Ott, however, made good on his promise only moments later.

My initial reaction to this jersey was, “when did the Sabres start playing soccer?”  As I see this image floating around more and more, I start to think about the fact that it’s unique in that the front and back are two different colors.  I actually don’t hate this jersey, though a lot of people seem to.  I doubt we’ll see this for more than two or three seasons, however.  This is a very vocal fanbase and we get what we want.  Except a Stanley Cup.

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