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Every NHL team to don Reebok EDGE uniforms this season

9/12/2007 - Colorado Avalanche

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche modeled their new-look
uniforms Wednesday, featuring a streamlined jersey that sports the
traditional Avalanche colors and logo but has brighter colors and a
trimmer fit.

Every NHL team will don the Reebok EDGE uniform beginning this
season.

The uniforms are made with four new fabrics designed to help
keep players lighter, drier and better protected.

It's the first major change in hockey uniforms in more than 20
years.

"We found the National Hockey League lagged behind some of the
advancements that were made [in other sports]," said Jim Haskins,
vice president of consumer products marketing for the NHL.

Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville, former player Curtis
Leschyshyn and current players Milan Hejduk and John-Michael Liles
modeled the progression of uniforms for Colorado teams in the NHL.
Quenneville's jersey, the classic look of the Colorado Rockies from
the late 1970s, was similar in design to last year's Avalanche
version worn by Hejduk.

Taking note of failures in other sports when redesigns came
about, Reebok worked with the NHL, the players and coaches on the
new look.

"We've seen bad experiences where players were not brought into
the research and development process," said Greg Grauel, vice
president of merchandising at Reebok. "It was integral to the
success of this to literally work with every player, every team.
Obviously, 100 percent of the success is having all the player
feedback."

Liles said he's pleased with the new look.

"I don't know that I'll miss the heavy, bulky sweater," the
Avs' defenseman said. "Any time that jerseys have been around that
long, I think there's a spot for them, but at the same time, they
did a great job in the design of these. Just the feel and I think
the look as well."

The look was a concern among rabid hockey fans. Hockey fans,
traditional and passionate by nature, Grauel said, were skeptical
of a tight-fitting "Spider Man" look.

But Quenneville, who retired from play in the days when players
were still going without helmets, said he enjoys the new look as
much as the improved performance.

"I think they look great," Quenneville said. "We all look at
changing rules in the game, any way we can help the game, that's
all part of it. I think whether we're talking equipment or
sweaters, any way you can enhance performance or enhance them
staying healthy, improve their play, you've got to move on."

The old jerseys were too hindering and provided minimal
protection from sweat and water, Haskins said. The new jersey is 14
percent lighter in pre-game weight. A lightweight fabric called
PlayDry was incorporated to wick away moisture from the skin. And a
water-repellent technology was used to provide a drier uniform that
retains 76 percent less moisture over the course of the game.

"Our athletes were sewing their socks" Haskins said. "They
were tucking their hems into their pants. They were tucking their
cuffs into their glove. And they were cutting their pants to create
a greater stride or movement within the pant area. And all of those
observations are the athlete telling you that the uniform system is
not working for them."