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Predators unveil new jerseys at team rally

by Kevin Wilson / Nashville Predators
Vern Fiddler (left), Ryan Suter (center) and David Legwand display the new Predators jerseys, which were unveiled at a rally Thursday, July 19 at the Sommet Center.
The Nashville Predators entered the newest era in equipment innovation, unveiling their newly redesigned and technologically-advanced jerseys for the 2007-08 season at a team rally held Thursday inside the Sommet Center.

Debuted by Preds defenseman Ryan Suter and forwards Vernon Fiddler and David Legwand, the new jerseys employ the Rbk EDGE Uniform System that emphasizes safety, performance and comfort through lighter, more breathable material that allows for a greater range of movement. The system was developed through more than two years of extensive research, development and testing with player feedback being integral to the process – especially from direct on-ice product testing.

“It is going to be a change that I think is needed," Legwand said. "Obviously they are going to be tighter-fitting, and that will be weird at first, but I think we will all get used to it. The game changes, and I think it is time for a change – there really hasn’t been a jersey change since the '70s and '80s. This is going to be a big one, but people should like them.”

Predators defenseman Ryan Suter shows off the new Predators jerseys, unveiled at a rally Thursday, July 19 at the Sommet Center.
The 2006-07 Predators tested the jerseys at a practice session Oct. 24, 2006, where the players were sized and provided input toward the development process. More than 100 “drafts” of the jersey were designed before settling on a final product.

"Back in October they were a little tight, but I’m sure by now they have modified them to be a little bit more comfortable," Fiddler said. "I approach the change with the thought that any time you can try to protect the players and make us safer it is just going to make for longer careers. If the league can keep us healthier and keep us in the game, it is nothing but a good thing.”

Not modeled at the rally were the new pants and socks, which have also been redesigned with lighter fabrics to keep players drier and cooler while adding durability to the uniforms. The pants also have about 60 percent more hip protection than last season’s pants.

One of the most popular features with the players proved to be the Reebok BEAD AWAY and PLAYDRY Technologies, which wick away moisture to provide for a significantly drier jersey from the drop of the puck to the final horn.

The new style of NHL jerseys, originally revealed at the 2007 All-Star Game festivities in Dallas, marks the first time in the history of any major North American professional sports league that a league-wide uniform innovation has been established.

“I liked the old-school sweater look because I think tradition is a big part of the NHL, so in that regard it is tough," Suter said. "But, I have confidence that the league knows what they are doing, so I am looking forward to being a part of the change.”

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