Toronto Maple Leafs Vice-President and General Manager John Ferguson accompanied by several Leafs and Toronto Marlies players unveiled the new Rbk EDGE team uniforms to hockey fans, media and corporate partners sponsors in attendance at Air Canada Centre Wednesday afternoon. The Maple Leafs and Marlies join the other 29 National Hockey League and 28 American Hockey League teams in wearing their respective colours and designs beginning this season.
The Maple Leafs will debut the modernized uniforms during all preseason games beginning September 18 at Edmonton. The home uniforms can be viewed for the first time two nights later at Air Canada Centre when the team hosts the Phoenix Coyotes. National Hockey League teams will not be using ‘third’ sweaters in the upcoming season.
This is the first modification to the Toronto Maple Leafs uniform since the beginning of the 2000-2001 season. The 11-point Toronto Maple Leaf, implemented at the start of the 1970-71 season, crest remains unchanged on the front of the sweater.
"The blue and white with the simple Maple Leaf logo represents our team’s rich heritage and tradition,” said John Ferguson, vice-president and general manager of the Maple Leafs. “It was important to our organization and especially our fans to maintain the look and feel of the blue and white Maple Leaf sweater, which is distinct, clean, classic and strong. We have made some minor changes to modernize the look of our traditional sweater. However, the biggest change on the jersey will be Rbk’s fabric technology and the way it will improve player performance.”
Everything else from the crest on the front of the sweater; the horizontal striping on the sleeves; numbers and letters, including the font and size, and the blue and white colours remain the same. The shoulder patches and silver trim on the numbers have been removed.
The Marlies uniform draws a stronger connection to its parent club by including Leafs patches on both shoulders. The Marlies have also adopted similar changes to the Leafs in removing stripes from the bottom of the sweater and adding a stripe to the cuff.
Lighter fabrics have been incorporated in the sweater, pants and new-look socks to keep players drier while also adding increased durability to the uniform.
Last January, the NHL and Reebok announced a partnership that has created the new technologically-advanced uniform system, which was worn by all players at last year’s All-Star Game in Dallas. The Rbk EDGE Uniform System was designed with performance and safety at the forefront. It is the culmination of more than two years of research and testing with active participation by NHL players, NHL team executives and the NHL Players’ Association.
The Leafs and Marlies new sweaters will be available exclusively through CentreSports, the official team store of the Leafs and Marlies at Air Canada Centre, starting Friday, September 14 through to Thursday, September 20.