TAMPA—Cue AC/DC. The Lightning is back in black.
Tampa Bay debuted its alternate jersey (the one fans have been asking about for months) Thursday against St. Louis. The color is a throwback to the black jerseys in which the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004.
The jersey is mostly black, with a silver logo on the chest and grey team crests on the shoulder, both as they are on the traditional jerseys. The sleeves feature a grey gradient.
As far as alternate jerseys go, this one does not appear all that exciting. On a video shown during the first intermission, an Adidas designer pointed out a gradient effect in the logo, intended to evoke the bright glare of a lightning strike. He also said the gradient represents electricity in the air.
Fans watching on TV found the numbers hard to read.
The black theme continued throughout the arena. As is the norm on a theme night, the scoreboard fell in line with a black stamped metal effect. Even the coaching staff all wore black suits and the equipment and medical staffs exchanged their blue jumpsuits for black ones.
To go along with the new jerseys, which will be worn each of the remaining six Saturday home games, the Lightning launched a dramatic intro video. It felt more like an overdone superhero’s backstory or maybe something straight from Mount Olympus.
“A furious force that cannot be contained suddenly breaks free, striking without warning without prejudice, lighting the night with the ferocity of its flash and shaking the earth with its inevitable roar,” the video ended. “From the darkness comes the Lightning. From the Lighting comes the thunder.”
The team gave no word prior, but the secret wasn’t exactly well-kept.
The Lightning has been practicing in black pants with a grey silver bolt, and the goalies in black and grey pads, for a few days now. Thursday’s morning skate featured a new addition. Forwards wore grey practice jerseys instead of the usual blue and white. Also, instead of the normal blue nameplates, the names were printed in grey metal effect on a black background.
Additionally, the jersey leaked back in November. It, and a couple of other teams’, temporarily appeared on the NHL’s international shop website.
Tampa Bay also launched a full retail line. That includes the expected clothing, things like flags and cups, as well as items more unusual items like a skateboard.