NHL announces Adidas deal, jerseys will be ad-free

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On Tuesday, the NHL confirmed what was reported last month — that Adidas is the league’s new official outfitter — but the real news came when commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the subject of jersey ads.

And by addressed, we mean emphatically shot down.

“We are not currently considering putting advertising on NHL jerseys,” he said. “There have been no discussions, formally or informally, with anybody about doing that.”

So as it stands, Adidas will begin its seven-year reign as the league outfitter starting with the 2017-18 campaign, but its relationship with the NHL and NHLPA will begin a year earlier, when it becomes the official outfitter of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

And regarding jersey ads at the World Cup, Bettman was more open to the idea.

“We’ve had some discussions about it,” he said. “But there’s nothing imminent right now.”

Union boss Donald Fehr provided further context.

“What the World Cup does, as well as other international events — when we get to the point of getting those accomplished — is it gives us, among other things, an opportunity for experimentation,” he explained. “It’s an opportunity, if we want, to try other things.

“From a players’ standpoint, my obligation is to explore all avenues, and then consult with the players and make some judgment calls.”

As for other notes from Tuesday’s announcement:

— Adidas exec Mark King said it will be up to the NHL if the company’s Tech-Fit technology will be utilized. Bettman said the league is currently not looking to revamp its jerseys.

— 2017-18 is the NHL’s centennial, and Bettman suggested there may be commemorative jerseys released in conjunction with the celebration.