While the New York Rangers aren’t expected to have an Adidas alternate jersey next season, New York should reintroduce a classic for 2019-20.
In 1996, not only was the NHL’s all-time leading scorer welcomed as a Ranger, but the Original Six franchise also introduced their first-ever alternate jersey.
The “Lady Liberty” third jersey was worn by the Broadway Blue Shirts from 1996 up until the 2006-07 season when the NHL made the switch to the Reebok Edge jerseys for the following year.
New York wore the jersey often at Madison Square Garden in front of the Garden Faithful and perhaps even more often on the road. The uniform became a popular commodity and fan-favorite jersey to wear at the Garden and can still be spotted in seats at various arenas.
Credit is also due towards the Rangers organization considering many forgettable and lousy alternate jerseys sprung from the 90s era. The Statue of Liberty jersey, however, has always received positive feedback and is usually mentioned as one of the best and most memorable alternate jerseys for an NHL club.
To honor their 85th anniversary, the team introduced another navy blue alternate gem in 2011, the “Heritage Home,” which also worked in conjunction with Original Six clubs.
This past New Year’s day, New York once again donned navy blue for the 2018 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic at Citi Field against the Buffalo Sabres. Now without a third jersey, it’s time to reintroduce the Lady Liberty alternate with Adidas.
If you were to ask anyone who’s been a die-hard Rangers fan of at least 15 years or so, most would agree to this notion. Considering that it’s been over a decade since the team last wore the sweater, it would be a great idea to bring back the iconic American and New York City logo to the Rangers’ jerseys.
There have been many New York greats to wear the sweater including Gretzky, Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves, Mike Richter and even Henrik Lundqvist, but younger fans have never had the opportunity to see the jersey in action.
Yes, New York experienced some dark years while wearing the third jersey, but longtime Rangers fans would more than likely appreciate and look forward towards seeing a return of the popular silver-outlined Statue of Liberty crest flying around on the uniforms during New York’s rebuild era that entails plenty of youthful talent.
If the Rangers were to reintroduce the alternate jersey perhaps some modifications could be made.
Adding tie-down strings to the jersey would complement the style and stay consistent with both the Rangers home and away vintage appearance. The original version of the Lady Liberty alternate’s collar was a V-neck.
The former alternate jersey’s shoulders also entailed secondary-alternate logos stitched on each, which portrayed a chrome and (at the time) “modern” look. Though a newly designed patch could be sewn on to match the uniform’s colors, or they could just keep the shoulders blank.
As for the sleeves, the Rangers should consider using the same horizontal, three-stripe design that was used for the “Heritage Home” alternate, worn from 2011-2017. The base of the jersey should remain the same as the vintage Lady Liberty design without any piping.
Recently, the trend for a few NHL clubs has been to revert back to their vintage and original colors, but maybe it’s time that the Rangers change the pace and bring back a classic from the mid-90’s, Lady Liberty.