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The New NHL Uniforms Are Hot. Damn Hot.

Like New Coke replacing Coke, MMP replacing the Dome, or Jake Gyllenhaal replacing Vincent Chase on

Aquaman 2

, there are just some things that shouldn’t be done. Just things that, once they’ve been done, you wonder, did anybody doing any product testing in advance?

The newest “better and improved” product now being subject to scorn is the new NHL uniform. Promising better play, the new unis “are sleeker, lighter, more durable hockey uniforms from Reebok that will enable players to skate faster with greater range of motion, while staying drier and cooler on the ice.” Or so went the thinking.

It just seems they actually forgot to test the uniforms under game conditions.

Apparently, the players are sweating so much in the new unis that they’re having to swap out gloves in mid-period just to keep their hands dry, and the skates are becoming waterlogged, slowing the players down.

This brings to mind last year’s revolutionary new product, the synthetic basketball. The product David Stern was touting everywhere. Only he forgot the extensive testing phase – he was more concerned with marketing – and after numerous player complaints and studies funded by Mark Cuban, he had to pull the ball out of the league and go back to the real leather ball.

I can understand the need for improvements. If something can be improved, go for it. But it just seems the NHL and NBA were more concerned with new product sales and marketing opportunities than they were with the actual quality of the product.

Just like the New Coke people forgot to explain its real purpose when it was going before the focus groups.

And so ends another session of things that probably only interest me. – John Royal


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