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We came, we saw...we bought the t-shirt (and were given another one for free).

How lovely of the Hockey Hall Of Fame to dig this out of the Corporate Sponsor Du Jour's closet for today. The team's name is not engraved on it yet (really, do you want to see that?). I was privy once again to some hilarity courtesy of the HHOF staff (who once infamously told me that they had no clue where the Presidents' Trophy was). A rep was on hand, so I approached him and asked about the chunk of crystal located on the base. He went into a spiel about it being "low grade lead crystal" (only the best for our sport), and then...

Me: "I see...but does it represent anything?"

HHOF Rep: (totally perplexed) "I dunno...ice?"

Epic. I love these people. I'm going to write a sitcom for them and sell it to the CBC.

The foyer had a nice display of the new jerseys, and as we entered, they were sporting the All-Star versions. It was the first opportunity for the public to get their hands (literally) on the new material, and these dummies were being felt up so much, you'd think Scarlett Johansson was under the sweater. The material really is lighter, with a blatantly visible mesh. It's quite pliable and stretchy, which isn't something one would assume with polyester. That being said, they are slimmer and should be avoided by the bloated and, uh, pleasantly plump.

Oh yeah, don't think we forgot about the dummy's nonexistent face. We're dying to Photoshop the hell out of that.

A shot of the crowd aimed towards the back (I was lurking on the second level). Make no mistake -- there a lot of people who are desperate for the season to begin.

The stage (lighting was atrocious).

It felt like forever before we were able to finally see the jerseys, but it's worth mentioning that Murray received a standing ovation, which was quite nice.

Apologies for the blur. For me, this was the best improvement. The slimmed down numbers and lettering are a great upgrade.

Alright, so here's the red (home) version. You'll note that we've been subjected to the same rounded bottom on the sweater that you may have seen on other teams' jerseys. No sir, I don't like it. It looks like an untucked shirttail. And while the colour is blatant, the lack of any other pattern makes it look like a practice jersey. However, the biggest faux pas in my opinion, was the decision to place the "O" patch on the shoulder. It doesn't mesh with the logo's design, and is begging to be mocked by those who don't know (or appreciate) history. They'll call it a zero -- to represent the number of Cups the modern-day team has won. It's a marketing company's job to overthink and cover all the bases. They definitely missed this one.

The rear view.

The closeup.

Here's your new white (away) jersey. Note the use of the second logo (now referred to as the "primary" logo). It's worth mentioning that the new stylized profile logo was nowhere to be seen today, although according to a handout, it "will appear on some 'classic' Senators merchandise". The lack of flesh tone in the face is far more obvious on the white as well. Ironically, I heard a few people say they preferred the white over the red, which has never been the case. Until now.

Again from the back. That chick getting in the way of the photo? Yeah, that'd be me (wide awake, trust).

So how does this look on everyday merch? Here's one of the first hats (in Sensations). The embroidery is very odd -- it's not a gradual buildup. In fact, it almost looks like the face was placed on like an iron-in patch.

And after eons, the merch department finally came correct with a simple t-shirt for women. The logo is made up of a mosaic of tiny, slightly sparkled dots. Not cheesy, not prissy...it hits the right note for basic womens' gear. About bloody time.

Finally, here was the shirt they were handing out at the door as fans exited. I was surprised to see it had the new logo on it, which I thought was quite sporting of them. If anything, a gratis garment would have been an excuse to pawn off the old merch onto the masses.

So, what do you think? Yay, nay or get the (expletive) on with it?

More later.