LA Kings should bring back Gretzky-era jerseys

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Despite being 25 years old, I’m already nostalgic for certain things. I feel sad when I see an empty space that once held a mediocre pizza place that served dirt-cheap pitchers of beer and cardboard crush pizza (it was my sub-par pizza joint!). That feeling also comes when I think back to a time when I genuinely enjoyed watching dudes wearing face paint and an unhealthy amount of baby oil pretend to punch each other in their underwear. So it goes without saying that I have a soft spot for a lot of the early-to-late ’90s designs hockey players once wore.

Upon hearing the news that the Los Angeles Kings will wear their third jerseys for all of their playoff home games as part of their “Back in Black” promotion, I couldn’t help but wonder why they don’t go all the way back to the Gretzky-era jerseys. Here’s a quick blurb from the team’s press release.

“The Los Angeles Kings will go “Back in Black” for the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the team will wear their popular Alternate Jerseys for all post-season games at STAPLES Center, the club announced today. The Kings are also encouraging fans to go “Back in Black” for the remaining five games at STAPLES Center as the 2009-10 regular season comes to a conclusion.”

Now, let’s take a look at their current … “reminiscent” third jerseys.

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Then, let’s compare them to those awesome duds from the Gretzky days.

kingsold.jpg

Is there anyway they are not trying to evoke those past glories? Everything seems pretty much the same except that the logo on the third jersey is a clear downgrade from the old emblem. Maybe the team can sell more merchandise with each slight variation in the sweaters, but my guess is that a return to the good-old days would be profitable too.

Now I’m not trying to kill the good vibrations of a long-awaited playoff run here, folks, but maybe next year the Kings will jump in the nostalgia pool instead of dipping in their toe? I’d love to see those classics rolling around the ice, especially with Los Angeles looking primed to be a contender in the Pacific for years to come.

I can imagine that for some less puck-attentive people in L.A., it will be like they were never gone.