By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
If what the jersey experts are saying is true, the Bruins are getting another alternate jersey next season.
As first revealed by Icethetics, NHL teams are unveiling what's called "Reverse Retro" jerseys to add to their mix next season. These jerseys will be a callback to simpler days — y'know, when Fox thought you needed their version of puck-tracking, when Jim Car(r)ey was both a hockey star and goaltender, and when the Surge flowed like wine, baby — but with an inverted approach that pops off the sweater. The leaks from the Penguins and Flyers confirm that they'll indeed feature callbacks to the '90s and back, but with a color switch, the Pens' involving the primary sweater color while Philly's involves the sleeves.
Subsequent leaks involving the Ducks and Golden Knights confirm that the league is looking for some eye-popping colors here, but with a nod to a team's (or city's in the case of the toddler-aged Golden Knights franchise) history. There's also talk of the Canadiens going with an unthinkable primarily blue colored jersey as part of this "Reverse Retro" movement.
So, what could that mean for the Bruins?
Well, a vocal minority has already had their say: Pooh Bear.
Boston's third sweater from 1995 through 2006, the Pooh Bear's cult following is nothing new. It's where everyone's mind immediately went with this idea, too, especially with an emphasis on '90s fashion coming back to the forefront of both the National Hockey League and just, like, the world as a whole.
The mockups have already started, too.
BEHOLD....THE REVERSE POOH pic.twitter.com/uRCXyb7mYC
Their sick, sick demands are nothing new. These people are unhinged. I wouldn't even trust them with the AUX cord. Just can't predict what kind of lunacy they're capable of. Deranged stuff, really. But this time around, and for the first time ever, the Pooh Bear Movement has gained support from an actual Bruin.
“I haven’t heard anything, but I feel like with that one, people either love it or they hate it," Matt Grzelcyk said when the NHL Network's Jamison Coyle asked about a potential 'Pooh Bear' return. "I think it’s pretty cool, to be honest. It’s got that unique yellow look. I’m sure not everyone’s a fan of it, but I certainly am, and I wonder if they could put their own little spin on it.”
But while Grzelcyk is a fan, team president Cam Neely has made it known that he's not, and he's never seemed keen on bringing the 'Pooh Bear' jerseys back into the rotation. (He said as much when I asked about 'em last fall.)
That said, the Pooh Bear People may have the right idea when assessing the B's next move on the alternate jersey front.
If the Bruins are going to introduce something new but with a nod to history, the move is to incorporate a new, gold-based jersey. The Bruins have done black alternates to death — the Bruins' 2008 alternate featured a 'blackout' effect, same for their 2016 Winter Classic sweater, and the alternate sweater introduced last season — and frankly, it's kinda boring. The Bruins are known for wearing black (ask Lemmy), so if you're going to do something different, truly do something different.
By the way, the closest we've come a golden return in this Post-Pooh world came with the B's jersey worn in the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park, which was more gold and brown than anything else. That jersey is not coming back. But there's a potential era that the B's can circle when it comes to a gold, "Reverse Retro" alternate, too.
And it's from an era that the B's have yet to touch when it comes to their throwback styles.
Known primarily as the Bourque-Neely Era sweaters, the team's jersey from the late-70s to 1995 is almost universally loved. They're clean, classic, and not trying to be anything overly fancy. (Also: You have to love the absolutely FLYIN' LIKE A KITE bear on the shoulder. If you do, it becomes self-aware and eats your face.)
The Bruins could also make these pop into this theme of "Reverse Retro" by switching the black and gold, which would also and make it look more like the gold sweaters that the team wore during Bobby Orr's rookie season back in '66.
This is also the throwback style that Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has been itching to wear.
“You know what I like? Cam [Neely] and Ray [Bourque]'s era. Every time I see that jersey, I think it looks amazing," Bergeron told 98.5 The Sports Hub last October. "That’s the one I’ve never had a chance to wear. With the Winter Classics and everything, we’ve done a lot of eras and I don’t think we’ve ever worn that one, so I think it’d be great.”
With almost 100 years of history to their name, the Bruins will have no shortage of options when it comes to another alternate. But their supporters are already dug in — and with no desire for compromise — on what they want.
Which side are you on?