NEWARK, N.J. — Martin Brodeur made history for 21 years as a goaltender for the New Jersey Devils, leading the franchise to three Stanley Cup championships. Now, he has made something else for the Devils: a new jersey, for New Jersey.
“I wish we could have played in this,” said Brodeur, while holding a black Devils sweater with his name and No. 30 on the back. “It’s just a cool thing.”
On Tuesday, the Devils unveil the first third jersey in the franchise’s history, leaving the Detroit Red Wings and the expansion Seattle Kraken as the only NHL teams without an official alternate sweater in their history.
It’s solid black with a total of 21 white stripes around the shoulders, arms and waist. The white numbers have a red shading underneath, as does the centerpiece of the design: the word “JERSEY” in a script font as the crest.
(Yes, a jersey with the word “JERSEY” on the front of it. For the record, the pants do not say “PANTS.”)
Adding to his résumé as a Hall of Fame goalie and the team’s executive vice president/advisor of hockey operations, Brodeur is now a fashion designer. He played an active role in co-creating the team’s third jersey, from the concept phases through the final design.
“The alumni have a little bit of envy going on,” Jillian Frechette, the senior vice president of marketing for the Devils, told ESPN. “Our players have never had an official third jersey, so this was really special to Marty. The most important piece of this was the authenticity to the sport. Marty’s fingerprints on this jersey are critically important.”
Frechette and Brodeur were the driving forces behind the jersey’s design and concept, although many inside the organization, along with executives from Adidas and the NHL, contributed to the process.
And it was a process.
“When you’re in a market for almost 40 years without a third jersey, then you have to get it right,” Frechette said. “There were a lot of details that we sweated over. Jerseys are really special, for both the players and the fans. Sometimes [fans] can be overwhelmingly in love, some fans will be ambivalent and some fans will take a little longer [to like it]. But we believe that most of our fans will love it, and grow to really cherish it.”