The birds got new feathers.
In front of more than 1,000 fans on Wednesday night at the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills, the Pittsburgh Penguins unveiled their new home and road uniforms.
Ryan Whitney, Brooks Orpik, Ryan Malone and Maxime Talbot were on hand to model the new uniforms, designed by Reebok, and took some questions from the crowd.
“It’s exciting,” Whitney said. “There’s a good buzz around our team, so it’s nice to get back and see the fans.”
Orpik agreed: “I didn’t think there were going to be that many people. It’s definitely a good start to this season.”
“It’s nice to see all the people here. They wanted to come down and see the new jerseys, so it was nice they could come down here and be a part of it. It means a lot. The fans are going to be behind us. It’s great to see,” Talbot said. “You have a chance to play for a team that’s always going to be sold out and the fans are going to be behind us. It’s fun for the players to see the fans are here to support us.”
All 30 NHL teams will sport new uniforms for the 2007-08 season as part of the new Rbk EDGE Uniform System – designed to meet the performance demands of today’s NHL player.
After more than two years of research, the NHL and Reebok created a uniform system that features technologically-enhanced materials and fabrics that are more breathable, more water-resistant, more comfortable and more compatible with equipment.
“The fit of the jersey is a little slimmer. It’ll probably take a while to get used to, but most of the feedback has been pretty good from the players across the league, so I don’t think it’ll be a big adjustment for us,” Orpik said. “I like them. I think just the striping on the sides is different. I think the main concern was keeping the logo the same. As long as they fit alright, I didn’t really care what they looked like. The fit seems to be good so far. Once we get out there on the ice a couple of times, I am sure it won’t take too long to get used to.”
The Penguins’ logo and colors will remain the same, although there will be some modifications to the striping on the sides of the jerseys.
|Max Talbot models the new uniform |
“It’s really nice. Reebok did a great job. It’s leaner. When you look at a baseball or a football player, their jerseys are tighter, so I think they wanted to bring more ladies to the game,” Talbot said with a laugh. “It does make you feel comfortable and it’s lighter.”
Added Whitney, “It was fun to go out there and show the new uniforms off. It’s tighter fitting, but it’s not too tight where you can’t move,” Whitney said. “The shirt is definitely lighter and it doesn’t really soak in water much, which will really help when you start sweating. It makes a difference.”
And, it wasn’t just the uniforms that changed – the socks and pants were improved to increase performance as well.
“That was everyone’s worry at first; the socks were more of a concern than the jerseys. So far, they have been OK,” Orpik said. “We used them in a couple practices last year and no one really seemed to complain.”
The introduction of these new uniforms at the start of season marks the first time in the history of North American professional sports that a uniform innovation has been implemented league-wide.
The new jerseys will be on sale exclusively at PenStation at Mellon Arena on Sept. 14. They will be available in retail stores starting Sept. 21.