This morning, the squeaky wheel got its grease.
After begging and pleading for darn near twenty years, Buffalo Sabres fans finally got their royal blue back.
With the goal of creating “a timeless uniform system that respects team heritage and looks boldly towards the future as well”, the Sabres today unveiled their new, old look. A return to royal, as the club’s been promoting it, and a slightly modified new logo to go with it.
The new Sabres logo, shown above, is almost identical to what the team wore from 1970-1996. What’s changed? Well, that’s why we’re here now, isn’t it?
There are sharper edges throughout, especially around the legs and hooves of the buffalo. The area around the eye has also been cleaned up a bit with the removal of that ear hole by the buffalo’s horn.
Getting the toss from the team’s most recent set, the dark navy blue version worn from 2010-2020, are the very unnecessary silver outlines that littered the logo. In fact, silver is gone entirely from this new set.
“The crest has been slightly simplified from the original, with silver accents removed to create a sleek modern appeal”, read the team’s website.
The uniform, again, is very similar to the original 1970s look but, again, there are some differences to help modernize what is, after all, a design over half-a-century old.
The biggest difference, to me, on the new Sabres set comes with the team’s home blue jersey. We’ve got new white stripes added to the waist and around the arms.
“We wanted to pay tribute to the striping patterns of the past but also introduce some nuanced detail,” the Sabres said in their release. “We layered some simple white piping on top of the gold stripes to accomplish this.”
Both jerseys have also removed the shoulder patches which graced the original set, a little redundant as they were identical to the crest on the chest.
The embroidery style of the buffalo on the main logo crest is the underappreciated star of this new set. Take a look:
Again, based off of what the team wore at the 2018 Winter Classic and again on their 50th anniversary alternate sweater. The embroidery here mimicks the fur of a buffalo. It’s the little things that make a sweater great (and a bonus that it’s also a little trickier for counterfeiters to pull this off).
No surprises with the back of the jerseys:
The socks (on the blue home set) carry over the new gold/white striping pattern sseen on the jerseys:
Inside the collar, there’s a new element based off of the City of Buffalo’s flag design, a white lightning bolt placed horizontally with a star in the middle. Shown below inside the full jersey graphic, along with some sketches of rejected ideas:
There’s also a new helmet logo decal, again, borrowed from the 2018 Winter Classic set. This logo shows a gold version of the buffalo from the team’s primary logo on its own with “SABRES” written inside.
Overall a great job by both the Sabres and the people at Adidas at bringing back a classic look, something the fans wanted, while also modernizing it just as much as it needed to be, to help bring it into the 2020s.
As long as everything goes well for the rest of the year, the Sabres should be debuting their return to royal at the start of the 2020-21 NHL season, scheduled to get underway in December 2020.
All photographs in this post are courtesy the Buffalo Sabres, NHL, and/or Adidas