Tuesday, August 11, 2009

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, I always found this jersey to be very dark and morose and have never been a fan of it. While I find many jerseys and their colors and stripes to be exciting to look at, 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 me to jerseys in the first place.

Even worse, it became the road jersey for the 1997-98 season, replacing it's diagonally "Pittsburgh"crested predecessor that I have always a fan of, and 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 NHL season played in Tokyo, Japan to kick off the 2000-01 season.

I 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. This is a great blog. Can you believe I found your blog by typing in "1995 penguins road jersey" into Google? I'm in the process of acquiring the mid-90's Penguins road jersey which had the diagonal "PITTSBURGH" on it with the two line-diagram Penguin crests on the shoulders (never was a big fan of the mid-90's logo).

    I must say I actually liked the 3rd jersey. In my high-school era mentality back then, I thought it would break the curse of not winning the Cup when they cashed in after 1992 by changing the jersey, logos, etc.

    Oh well, the Pens are 3 for 3 with the skating Penguin logo.

    Keep up the good work. I'm definitely going to read more of your blog.

  2. Thanks for the compliment and I hope you keep checking back. I find a lot of people stumble across this blog when doing a google image search.

  3. hi, im actually trying to find this exact jersey because im in the process of a collection of penguins jerseys, is there anywhere i casn buy this online or would somebody sell me one? if you could email me : pensfan877117@yahoo.com that would be great thanks :)


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