The Penguins scrapped their plan to unveil a new third jersey in the 2003-04 season.
It would have been a virtual replica of the Columbia Blue jersey with the circular crest and tie-down collar the team wore, mostly in home games, from 1968-72.
The hemline would have had striping similar to the 1967 home jerseys.
The Penguins had reached the late planning stages with the jersey, to the point where a Penguins executive Mike Lee modeled it on ice for a videotape that was earmarked for NHL approval. The jersey was slated to be unveiled in June 2003 as part of the NHL’s Vintage Program.
Team president Ken Sawyer explained why he shelved the idea:
“First of all, we’ve changed jerseys a lot in recent years, and I just don’t believe you change them that often,” Sawyer said. “You know, it puts pressures on mothers to go out and buy yet another jersey. I don’t want to take that on right now. Also, to be candid with you on an economic front, we would have had no revenue gain from that, because the merchandise sales at the arena (belong) to (concessionaire) Aramark and (landlord) SMG, not us, next year. A year later, we take over SMG’s position as the lead tenant in the arena, so it didn’t make any sense now.”