I think about hockey sweaters a lot. I’ve collected them since I was a kid. I doodle jersey concepts for fun. I study their history.
Of the ones I owned growing up, my favorite was my Steve Yzerman Team Canada jersey from the 1998 Olympics. White with the alternate captain’s A on it. Pro-weight, with that thick Bauer mesh over the body. Red dazzle material over the sleeves and shoulders with a loose mesh for venting down the side.
I always loved the feel of that sweater. The weight of the mesh. The giant Team Canada crest. Wearing it felt like wearing armor.
Though I’m a Detroit fan, no Red Wings jersey has felt like that. The mesh of an authentic jersey always feels good but the Winged Wheel is too small, its proportions are off. It’s a thing attached to the front of the sweater, not a part of it.
I think about the submissions I’ve done for the Grand Rapids Griffins’ jersey design contest and I realize how much those are influenced by that Team Canada jersey. I created them to be like armor. Heraldic imagery. And a big damn shield right on the front.