Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins Alternate Mario Lemieux Jersey

The Curious, Weird and Ugly™ Collection continues with another jersey from the initial batch of NHL alternate jerseys, a 1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins Alternate Mario Lemieux jersey.

This jersey, similar to the Vancouver Canucks jersey
profiled yesterday, is one of the original dye-sublimated jerseys, a process which now allowed for gradients to be incorporated into the designs, and the Penguins wasted no time in taking advantage of the opportunity.

The horizontal stripe around the chest begins as a yellow color on the right side of the jersey, fading to grey as it approaches the center of the jersey and it's main crest, creating a very unappealing, muddy shade of yellow in the process. On the opposite side of the crest the process is repeated, as the darker grey lightens in tone as it reaches the left side of the jersey.

Oddly, the sleeves are not symmetrical in the least, with bold yellow and white stripes at an angle midway down the right arm with a grey cuff that darkens in tone from the outer side of the sleeve to the inner, while the left sleeve has three grey stripes running around the cuff that mimmic the chest stripes on the same side of the jersey.

The shoulders are the same triangular shape as the ones on the home white jersey of the era, only these are grey with horizontal yellow pinstripes running from side to side.

Overall, we have always found this jersey to be very dark and morose and have never been a fan of it. While we find many jerseys exciting to look at because of their bright colors and dynamic stripes, this one always created a feeling of depression with it's dark body, dismal grey color and muted yellow tones of the chest stripe. It's got a rather futuristic apocalyptic feel to it. Hardly what draws us to jerseys in the first place.

Even worse, it became the Penguins road jersey for the 1997-98 season, replacing it's
old school diagonally crested predecessor which we were always big fans of. This moody jersey lasted until the 2001-02 until being retired in favor of the then current alternate jersey, which featured the return of the original "Skating Penguin" logo.

It's seven season life span ranks it #2 for longevity among the original 1995-96 class of alternate jerseys, second only to the Boston Bruins Winnie the Pooh Alternate, which was used for 10 seasons.

Patches worn on this jersey were few, with only the black version of the
NHL 2000 patch and the Game ONe Japan 2000 patch, worn on this jersey for just one game versus the Nashville Predators on October 8th, 2000 for the second of their opening pair of games of the 2000-01 NHL season played in Tokyo, Japan.

We classify this jersey as "Weird" due to the dark colors, asymmetrical design and poor use of the gradients, especially on the chest stripes, the yellow side in particular.

Pittsburgh Penguins 95-02 F
Pittsburgh Penguins 95-02 B

Here is a video of this jersey in action in a memorable four overtime game between Pittsburgh and the Washington Capitals from the 1996 Stanley Cup Playoffs.


  1. The absolute nadir of Penguins jerseys. I can't believe they kept it for as long as they did...and moreso, that they used it to replace the beautiful diagonally-striped set! The extent of the bungling to the Pens franchise Howard Baldwin management era can't be overstated.

    That said, I watched so many damn games in this jersey, I'd probably pick one up if I found it cheap enough! I'm diseased!

  2. The previous jersey it replaced was really one of the my all time favorites. The way it revived an old, classic look on a modern jersey. This one just looked like the designer was watching RoboCop at the time. Too futuristic and depressing for our taste.


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