New Lighting third jersey gets BOLTS in black treatment

Steven Stamkos unveils the new Tampa Bay Lighting black third jersey in the dark at Amalie Arena Sept. 27. Photo by Charles Schelle

Steven Stamkos unveils the new Tampa Bay Lighting black third jersey in the dark at Amalie Arena Sept. 27. Photo by Charles Schelle

The  new third sweater revealed Sept. 27 at Fan Fest includes cleaner, thicker lines and essentially an update of the retired navy blue “BOLTS” sweaters.

It reminds me a little too much of the Los Angeles Kings home black sweaters, but the entire kit, if that’s what you want to call it, looks sharp with how the updated blue bolt pops against the black pants.

When you look at the sweater up close, each letter in BOLTS has some blue underneath to add some contrast to the white letters on black sweater. The blue also appears to be deeper than the blue sported on the home sweaters, which I don’t know if the team really wanted to introduce another shade of blue. They’re already inserting a silver/gray tone to add to the mix with these new sweaters that were once a staple of the black sweaters. I guess there was so much subtraction with the blue-white sweaters that the only thing to do is addition.

I like the “victory stripes” being removed in these new ones, especially that odd armpit-to-hip loop stripe. They looked great on the authentic player sweaters, but if you see a replica version or a child’s or women’s cut, the lines and cut looked ridiculous. Plus, the shades of navy blue seemed to vary too widely when people bought knock-offs. You can spot those puppies out in the crowd in a heartbeat.

I don’t know how widespread of an issue this was, but I bought a replica BOLTS navy blue Lecavalier jersey two years ago at Champs Sports and the chest word mark would peel from being in the dryer. I’ve never had an issue with dryers affecting hockey jerseys and this was something odd. I’ve seen that same thing happen to a handful of other people sporting the same thirds. Yet, hockey sweaters have moved away from an older style of embroidery to one that includes glues and pressings, giving some susceptibility to dryers. Let’s hope the new versions don’t have that issue.

A fake third jersey produced by the Lightning to prank the players.

A fake third jersey produced by the Lightning to prank the players.

Visit my original post, which includes this update, to see a history of the team’s third jerseys including a rejected black jersey from the early days and a 2006 rejected black jersey that has some similarities to the new one.

For shits and giggles, the team pranked/trolled its own players with a fake third jersey that as one player aptly put it, looked like a Christmas sweater with palm trees. Sun Sports play-by-play announcer said during Fan Fest that you know that would sell well anyway just as a novelty. He’s right—it’s a lot better than a lot of minor league Christmas sweaters, too.

The reveal itself could have been a little less dramatic with the lighting, as you can tell by my photo above. All throughout the team kept the house lights dark with a spotlight on Stamkos, making it hard to see in person what it looked like, so you were left with the pre-recorded intro.

The new Tampa Bay Lightning third jersey, pants, socks and helmet as worn by Steven Stamkos. Team Photo

The new Tampa Bay Lightning third jersey, pants, socks and helmet as worn by Steven Stamkos. Team Photo

The team store is pre-selling the authentic versions with name and number for $350 while replicas are going for $140 and will be delivered in time for the first game with the new sweaters.

You can check out a full photo gallery of the team’s new thirds on the Lightning website. The team also announced the Bolts will sport the sweaters at the following games:

  • Nov. 13 vs.  San Jose Sharks
  • Nov. 15  vs. New York Islanders
  • Nov. 22 vs. Minnesota Wild
  • Nov. 29  vs. Ottawa Senators
  • Dec. 6 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Dec. 27 vs. Carolina Hurricanes
  • Jan. 17, 2015 vs. Colorado Avalanche
  • Jan. 31, 2015 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Feb. 7, 2015 vs. Los Angeles Kings
  • March 7, 2015 vs. Dallas Stars
  • March 14, 2015 vs. Winnipeg Jets
  • April 11, 2015 vs. Boston Bruins
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