The summer of 2007 will go down in Peoria Rivermen history as one of tremendous change – a renovated Peoria Civic Center complex will greet fans inside and out, an expanded front office staff, a new radio station and voice, and much more – with the newest and perhaps most visible difference coming in the form of the new Rbk EDGE Uniform System to be put in place by all 29 American Hockey League teams this fall.
This league-wide uniform innovation was established by Reebok with the National Hockey League earlier this year with performance and safety at the forefront of the design process. After more than two years of research and testing, the Rbk EDGE Uniform System will debut this fall in only two leagues worldwide: the NHL and the American Hockey League.
Trying on the new pants, socks, and jersey for the first time, four-time AHL All-Star Jean-Guy Trudel remarked how much he liked the slimmer fit and feel of the overall package.
“These pants feel great, I can really move in them, and the jersey fits better,” he said. “I really feel good in this.”
Traditional-style jerseys had larger circumference arms and draped over the shoulder pads, fitting loosely around the waist. The new Rbk EDGE Uniform System tapers around the arms and torso of a player, creating less drag while helping to wick away moisture and keep the player cooler and drier.
“It might take a little getting used to,” said Charles Linglet. “But I don’t think it will be a difficult adjustment at all. I can’t wait to see how it feels on the ice.”
Rivermen president and CEO Bart Rogers watched the development phase progress over the last two years from the front office side as well.
“At one meeting, we watched as an Rbk representative threw a five gallon bucket of water on the jersey,” he recalled. “The water just rolled off like it was nothing. It was an amazing demonstration.”
Rbk says the new uniform will retain 76 percent less water that its predecessors while helping players maintain a core temperature 4-10 degrees cooler.
With the new design, some visual changes have come with it. Stripes have been added from the jersey collar down the arms and torso of the jersey, while the lace-up has been eliminated from the collar. The main color of the jersey dominates the top of the arm, while a new, wider white stripe circles the underside of the arm flanked by two smaller yellow ones. The pants are blue with white and gold stripes that curve over the thigh slightly from the side, while the socks have two thin stripes midway down the shin to separate the top color from the bottom.
Peoria’s main elements remain unchanged, with the team’s primary color scheme shared with parent club St. Louis Blues, and the team’s logo untouched.