When the New York Islanders take the ice Saturday night at UBS Arena for their contest against the Carolina Hurricanes, they will be debuting their 2022-23 Reverse Retro Fisherman sweaters.
The Fisherman logo has divided the fan base. Anyone around for their late 90s tenure can only picture two things–losing and fish stix.
Everyone understands why the people who saw the Fisherman logo make its debut in 1995 are enraged with anything surrounding it. The Islanders, at the time, were a horrific hockey club that found themselves at the bottom of their division throughout its tenure.
The Islanders’ overall record in the “Fish Stix” sweaters was not pretty, going a combined 51-91-22 (22 ties), finishing in last place in the Atlantic Division.
It took the spot of the historical New York Islanders crest and made the team a laughingstock of the NHL. It tarnished the strong reputation of the organization, an organization that had won four straight Stanley Cups with the island on the crest.
But a generation of Islanders fans, a younger generation, can’t get enough of the Fisherman. The Islanders have been selling Fisherman apparel for years, and these Reverse Retros and the apparel that goes with it have been flying off the shelves.
And now it’s time for them to hit the ice.
NYI Hockey Now caught up with a two players to find out if there is any weight on their shoulders to go out and change the logo’s narrative.
“I hadn’t even think about that,” New York Islanders captain Anders Lee told NYI Hockey Now. “I mean, I don’t even know how they could be related.”
“But yeah, like it’s a cool jersey. It speaks to our past. It’s part of our organization’s history, and that would be fun to bring it into a new light here and a new kind of way and have some fun with it.”
New York Islanders longest-tenured player, Josh Bailey, was in the same boat.
“I don’t think so. That hasn’t crossed my mind,” Bailey said on changing the narrative. “I mean, I think they look nice. Excited to try mine. I think fans seem to like them. We’ve seen a lot of them in the stands. And yeah, I’m excited.”
For many fans, it will take some getting used to, but maybe winning in them will help speed up that process.
The New York Islanders will wear these jerseys five more times this season after Saturday:
Dec. 23 vs. Florida Panthers
Dec. 27 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Jan. 12 vs. Minnesota Wild
Jan. 21 vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Jan. 28 vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Here’s the New York Islanders’ statement:
As part of the New York Islanders 50th Anniversary celebration, and in partnership with the NHL and Adidas, the team launched today the 2022-23 Reverse Retro jersey, which revitalizes the Islanders’ fisherman jersey from the ’90s with a modern interpretation. The uniform presents a powerful head-to-toe navy blue color scheme complemented by clean orange and white trims. The center crest will feature dimensional raised embroidery of the historic Islanders’ fisherman logo with teal accents in the waves and on the hockey stick.