As often happens when I have an unpopular opinion, I like to start with a disclaimer. I love the Heritage Jersey. I always said that I would buy a jersey as soon as the Senators brought back a design reminiscent of their 1920s days. When they brought in the Heritage Jersey, sure enough I went out and bought my first jersey. I loved it, and I loved the white ones they brought out for the Winter Classic — the white heritage was the second jersey I ever purchased.
That being said, I think it’s more of a niche third jersey. Fans seem to be in favour of making it the main home jersey, and with it looking more like the Sens are moving in that direction, I have to say I don’t love it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the old jerseys very much, I just don’t think the heritage is the best replacement.
For starters, I don’t think a primarily black jersey is a good move. You only have to look at, say, the Calgary Flames’ arena in the playoffs to see the beauty of a matching colour. A sea of red looks like a united fanbase. A sea of black looks like an empty arena (and the Sens don’t need help on that front). Even more problematic is that the jersey has big horizontal stripes on the front, so a whole arena of them just looks like a jumbled mess of uncoordination. A big part of jerseys is the aesthetics, and I think how a group of them looks should be a prime consideration. I really don’t like the look of the heritage jerseys together.
The other main problem I have is that the O is very simple as a logo. It feels old-fashioned. That’s great on a throwback jersey. The problem is that making it the main logo feels very much like a young team trying desperately to show it has history. The Canadiens have a fairly simple logo, and that’s fine because it’s historic. These Ottawa Senators don’t have history the same way, and so the O seems a little like advertising your inferiority complex. To be fair, the logo on the website has a couple bands of colour behind the O, which already seems a little better to me. I don’t like the team’s current logo, but I don’t love the idea of replacing it with a letter and calling that a logo.
I’m no graphic designer, so I’m not even going to try to design my own jersey. I just hope there’s a way the team can make jerseys that actually look nice that don’t feel very outdated. I love the Heritage Jersey, but with its stripes, prominent black, and simple logo, it feels very “third jersey” to me. Making it the primary jersey would be committing to pretending this team has a history. The Sens get mocked enough league-wide that we don’t need to add this to the list.
If the Sens are going to Go With The O, I hope they commit to making the jerseys look more like a primary jersey. Though I’ll probably be happy with any change they make to the current ones.