COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets introduced their new Third Jersey this evening during a unique unveiling event, presented by Lexus. The unveiling was broadcast live from The Mall at Tuttle Crossing in Columbus during the first intermission of Blue Jackets at New York Islanders game broadcast on FOX Sports Ohio. The Blue Jackets will take the ice wearing the Third Jerseys for the first time on Friday as they host the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena.
While the team is on Long Island tonight, former Blue Jackets player and current development coach Tyler Wright, along with four special guests representing different segments of the central Ohio youth and amateur hockey community, stepped onstage wearing the new Third Jerseys during the live unveiling in Columbus. The player models who participated with Wright included: Scott Behrmann from the Chiller Adult Hockey League; Ayodele Adeniye from the Columbus Ice Hockey Club; Matt Smith from Dublin Coffman High School; and Emma Vanderstoep from the Columbus Chill Youth Hockey Association Sting.
Also during the live unveiling, the team introduced a second, kid-friendly mascot, "Boomer," a cushy cannon character with a friendly face and fluffy moustache. This season, Boomer’s game-night appearances at Nationwide Arena will be reserved specially for those games in which the team wears the Third Jersey. Boomer will make his first start in conjunction with the official on-ice debut of the Third Jersey this Friday.
In keeping with themes that reiterate the connection between the Blue Jackets team name and its Civil War heritage, the distinguishing design element of the Third Jersey is the felt crest depicting the hockey club's signature 1857 Napoleon cannon that fires each time the Blue Jackets score at Nationwide Arena. The team name "Columbus Blue Jackets" encircles the cannon in a ribbon inspired by Civil War medals while a single star centered at the bottom of the crest signifies Columbus as Ohio's capital. The jersey represents a traditional design with a shoulder yoke, horizontal striping pattern on the sleeves and bottom of the jersey, as well as a laced neck which ties beneath a unique collared neckline that was inspired by the Union Army uniform.
The neckline features three special elements. To honor Blue Jackets founder John H. McConnell during the team's 10th season, the initials JHM adorn the back of the neckline. The JHM edition of the jersey will only be worn by the team during the 2010-11 season. For jerseys sold at retail, the JHM will appear only on the initial production run, making it a true collectors' edition.
The phrase "We Fight, We March!," which appears on the interior of the jersey’s collar, was first introduced during the 2008-09 season to describe the Blue Jackets’ first-ever march to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The expression continues to represent the team's intention each year to fight and march throughout the regular season and into the playoffs. Below "We Fight, We March!," 10 stars commemorate the introduction of the jersey in the club's 10th season.
The predominant color is the familiar Union Blue which has been part of the team’s uniform since the inaugural season. Capital Silver plays a more prominent role and is complimented by the introduction of two new colors, Steel Blue and Vintage White, to form the striping pattern. The numerals on the jersey appear in a new "Iron" font treatment. With the new jersey, the players will wear a Union Blue pant with a vertical vintage white stripe and blue socks with the same striping pattern. The Union Blue gloves include Vintage White accents.
The design process was led by the Blue Jackets' in-house designers in collaboration with the National Hockey League and Reebok, the League's exclusive jersey provider. The process also incorporated feedback from numerous focus group sessions conducted last fall with a cross-section of Blue Jackets fans including season ticket holders, marketing partners and single-game ticket purchasers. After evaluating a multitude of design elements, fan consensus indicated the preference for a vintage style jersey featuring a crest that included the name of the team's home city.
"It was extremely important to us to that our fans had significant input in the design," said Marc Gregory, Blue Jackets Vice President of Marketing. "Our creative team used that feedback to further develop and hone the original concept, and the result is a jersey that showcases our signature symbol and familiar theme in a completely unique way. We also want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of a few individuals that led the process from the beginning – Jason Rothwell and Will Bennett on the design side and J.D. Kershaw with our marketing department."
The new jerseys will be available for purchase beginning tonight at the FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing. For this evening only, the store will stay open until 11 p.m. The FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line location at Nationwide Arena will also carry the jerseys beginning Friday, Nov. 26. Now through Monday, Nov. 29, both FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line stores will be the exclusive retail source for the Third Jerseys. The replica Third Jersey will be available in sizes ranging from infant through adult, including ladies. An authentic version will be offered in adult sizes only.
NEXT THIRD JERSEY GAME
Friday, April 1 vs. Chicago Blackhawks
REMAINING THIRD JERSEY GAME SCHEDULE:
Apr. 9 vs. Buffalo
(schedule subject to change)