After receiving feedback from NHL players regarding the new Reebok Edge uniform retaining sweat, the company has decided to provide an alternate jersey to players who request it.
"Many NHL players are satisfied with the current Reebok Edge jersey, but since the start of the season we have received player feedback about the jersey's moisture management and durability," David Baxter, the company's president of its sports licensed division, said in an e-mail. "Based on this feedback, Reebok will provide players with the option to wear a version with slight sizing and fabrication adjustments."
In the alternate version, one fabric has been replaced with an air-knit fabric and the bead-away water repellency technology has been removed.
"The thing is, the fit is great," Wild winger Brian Rolston said. "It's a light jersey, but there's no question that we're sweating more. The [alternate jersey] will be a welcomed thing. I just hope everything else stays the same."
And Baxter said it would.
"There will be no visual difference between the jerseys," Baxter said. "The newly designed comfort necklines, jersey cut lines, anatomical fit and team designs will remain identical. Retail versions of the jersey also will remain unchanged."
The old NHL jerseys absorbed everything from ice, sweat and liquid from water bottles. The new Reebok jerseys resist moisture, but conversely, sweat seems to get trapped inside players' gear.
Just look at the backs of players during games. Some look as if they just jumped into a pool.
"It's not breathable at all," said defenseman Nick Schultz, the Wild's NHL Players' Association rep who was asked for feedback during a recent conference call. "It's nice that the jersey's are this light, but to make it more breathable will be perfect."
Carney plays again
For the first time since the first two games of the season, veteran defenseman Keith Carney, 37, played a second consecutive game Saturday and was terrific, making an outstanding defensive play that led to Marian Gaborik's breakaway goal.
Carney set a team-record plus-22 last season, but Lemaire said he foresees him being in and out all season.
"He plays the same way he did last year," Lemaire said. "But we have a lot of defensemen."
Prior to Saturday's 4-1 victory over Calgary, coach Jacques Lemaire said Mikko Koivu would stick on the top line with Pavol Demitra and Gaborik.
Against the Flames, rookie James Sheppard wound up there most of the time, and not just because Demitra left with another leg injury in the second.
Lemaire wanted Koivu to center the checking line with Stephane Veilleux and Branko Radivojevic to shut down the Jarome Iginla line.
"They were fabulous," Lemaire said. "Had to be Branko's best game, and Mikko was a horse."