To see its presence in the stands of the Bell Center, the powder blue jersey of the Canadian has found its audience among the supporters. If sales continue, however, it won’t be thanks to Martin St-Louis.
The Habs head coach has explicitly stated that he never wants to see his men wear this uniform again. Sunday’s game was indeed the eighth and last of the season to be played in this jersey. And it took a goal in extra time, revised for long minutes, for the locals to snatch their first victory.
While the referees reviewed the sequence leading to the winning goal on repeat, “I was only thinking of the blue jersey,” said St-Louis after the game. “It’s true,” he insisted, after the reporters in front of him chuckled, thinking it was a joke.
This uniform was created as part of the NHL’s “retro reverse” campaign. The 32 formations of the circuit proposed new designs paying homage to the history of their franchise or their city of origin. In the case of the Canadian, we opted for a nod to the pale blue uniforms worn by the Montreal Expos during the 70s and 80s. Club record in this color: 1-6-1, with a record largely deficit of 18 goals scored and 36 allowed.
For these eight matches, the organization also created a new mascot, METAL!, to which a story related to the rock and metal music industry was invented. Like the performances on the ice, this discovery aroused very little enthusiasm in the stands. We even wonder if we will try to keep this discovery alive or if we will not put the costume back in the closet of bad ideas, alongside KFC’s Double Shot and purple ketchup. But we digress.
A few weeks ago, The Press polled a few players about the infamous uniform. Juraj Slafkovsky had not hidden his superstitious side and had even expressed the wish that the blue sweater be put aside. Jake Evans and Jake Allen had rather refused to make their bib bear the weight of their misfortunes.
No offense to the latter, Martin St-Louis had enough of this jersey, and wondered if the curse had not been dictated by “the gods of hockey”.
It’s a historical franchise… There are probably guys who wore this jersey 50 years ago, in red and white, and who look down on us and think: what are you doing in blue ?
Martin St-Louis, head coach of the Canadiens
Launched, he added that his team had “probably had what[elle] deserved” by opting for this color.
Either way, the third jersey fad seems here to stay in the NHL. In Washington, Alexander Ovechkin even said he hoped that the Washington Capitals, with the eagle, made a full-time return to his team’s wardrobe.
“I don’t know what’s planned for next year, but I hope it won’t be blue jerseys,” St-Louis said.
The jersey in question is now in liquidation on the Tricolore Sports website, the team’s official supplier. With a little patience, and in light of Martin St-Louis’ remarks, powder blue might not be very expensive any longer.