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Florida Panthers Sweaters Going Back to the Future?

Panthersclassicred According to Icethetics.com, Reebok has "released its 2011 planning catalog to retailers across North America so they can decide what merchandise to carry."

Here's what Icethetics says about the Panthers:

Reebok says that Florida's piping-happy home and away sweaters are going away at the end of this season. And even a Lightning fan will admit that's a good thing. Because these are terrible.

Over the last season or two, there's been a noticeable shift away from the leaping panther logo to something more simplified — similar to what we're seeing in Nashville. The Cats' new third jersey is a great example of this.

More and more, Panthers marketing materials have featured either the third jersey logo or a paws up version of the leaping cat. It's hard to say for certain what Panthersclassicwhite changes are in store for the new sweaters, but there are no plans to change the third jersey at this point.

If the Cats really want to do it right, just look back. Under the heading of you don't know what you have until it's gone, the funny thing is they're one of those teams that got it right the first time.

And even though the red jersey that we'll always associate with John Vanbiesbrouck was relegated to alternate status in 2003, it's too good to disappear forever. Bring it back.

Pantherblue90alt This season the Panthers are holding a few throwback nights. And while we hoped to see them in red again, these events had nothing to do with the jerseys worn on the ice.

Now that the Panthers have a navy blue jersey that actually looks good, they should hang onto it (as a third) and bring the red back. To the Panthers I say, let the Lightning be blue and reclaim your original colors.

Despite all that, however, the new third jersey does show a clear move away from red. The addition of powder blue is great as an alternate color, but I would hope they aren't looking to extract the red from their identity altogether.

Hopefully the hot Florida summer — which I no longer have to contend with (yay!) — will yield some answers. Until then, all we have is speculation.

Panthersunireebok You want speculation? You got it!

Players and team officials have told me the red jerseys are apparently coming back.

At least five players have said they had heard the reds were coming back.

Bill Torrey, Dale Tallon and Mike Santos have all alluded to their return.

This is a big turnaround from the summer when it appeared that everything was going to the Michael Yormark-favored JetBlue uniforms. 

So what are the Panthers going to do?

Again, it's just speculation. But I wouldn't be surprised to see the Panthers keep their traditional color scheme for home and away -- with a new logo, or just a modified one -- with the third jerseys sticking around for Chevy/Ford/Pontiac Fridays.

Panthersnewblue And I think everyone could live with that.

Although ... Was talking with some friends last night as we watched the replay of the Atlanta game and the Panthers current dark blue home jerseys have finally worn on me. I dig them. I liked the blue alternate when they came out in the late 1990s and I think it's a good look today.

I wouldn't mind the Panthers going to white-dark blue-red as their three jersey combos and dropping the Tampa Bay JetBlue Rays look completely.

But I don't see that happening.

-- And if you click on the Icethetics site, you'll see a number of teams are planning on changing things up for next year, including the Lightning and L.A. Kings. Those Kings threads are tight. Got to love the return to the Raiders combo.

-- Thanks to Yahoo's PuckDaddy for picking up the Icethetics story in the first place.

And, if you like keeping up on trends as far as hockey uniforms go, Icethetics is always worth a visit.