The sun has set in Sunrise. The end of the 2018-19 NHL season marked the retirement of the greatest goalie to ever dawn a Florida Panthers Jersey, sorry John Vanbiesbrouck. The exit of the legendary Roberto Luongo marks the end of an era in Panthers hockey.
Luongo ends his career with his name being synonymous with the likes of Brodeur, Roy, and Belfour as the 3rd winningest goalie in NHL history. It’s only appropriate that as he sang his swan song, we take a look at the jersey he wore while doing it. We’ve already looked at the Los Angeles Kings’ crime against fashion, now it’s time to look at a jersey that doesn’t offend the eyes!
The Florida Panthers made a large decision for the brand leading into the 2016-17 season by changing Logos and jersey styles. Going from a loud and primary color laden jersey with a pouncing cat, they made a much needed change. Sporting a more professional yet intimidating logo and a sleeker set of threads. Today we dive into the most recent incarnation of the Panthers’ sweater. “An ode to Bobby Lou”, as we explore the Florida Panthers 2018-19 Home jersey.
Of all the recent image changes teams have made, Florida has easily made the greatest improvement. The teams most recent tarp is easily its most aesthetically pleasing. A vibrant red engulfs the jersey, accompanied by white and gold piping on the elbows and across the chest. A thin black piping lies at the bottom of the jersey, the same that can be seen on the collar. The Florida state flag sits on the sleeve of either side, and as an easter egg, the laces are crossed in an “x” to also resemble the sunshine state’s flag. The numbering on the back matches the coloring seen on the piping, and the name plate matches, minus the gold outline.
The crest of the jersey is ultimately the sweetest part of this piece. Intimidation meets style with the smooth image of the panther inside a shield. The team name sits across the top in a red plaque. A small bonus is in the shadowing of the panther inside. instead of a black or gray, the classic dark blue from the older jerseys are used. The most striking part of the crest is the way that it both stands out, and blends in. It’s a bold logo with sharp design and fits nicely with the rest of the jersey.
The biggest reason to like this jersey is the simplicity. There is no unnecessary intricacy, nor over the top design. This jersey does an excellent job at hiding flaws. That’s assuming there are any. The bottom line is, this is a good looking jersey. It’s not perfect but it’s far from sub par. Everything blends together and has a place. It’s doing exactly what’s expected of it, to give identity. The only real bad thing I can say about it, is that it wasn’t introduced sooner. This jersey matches the goalie that bore it; handsome, efficient, and effective.
Final verdict: 8.75/10. This jersey may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying, it looks good. This is a case of “a little goes a long way”. The simple two tone piping and elegant crest compliment the main color. The small details like the sleeve patches and crossed laces add individuality and flare, but not too much. This jersey would be a nice addition to any collection, Panthers fan or not. I myself may be getting my hands on one too, to pay homage to one of the best goalies we will see in our lifetime.