Penguins Jersey News: RoboPen Revival?

In a since-deleted online store webpage, the Official NHL Store apparently posted many team designs early in conjunction with this year’s “Reverse Retro” alternate jerseys. For the Pittsburgh Penguins, the design is the somewhat popular and somewhat polarizing “RoboPen” jersey, worn by the team as their primary logo from 1992 to 2002.

Nothing is confirmed yet, but many signs point to the return of the old logo/kit in 2022-23. The NHL has previously officially announced that the reverse retro designs will be back for next season, and it makes sense that the Pens will eventually (if but on a limited time basis) return to the RoboPen concept.

As mentioned above, this is an inverted retro concept, meaning the colors of the original jersey are reversed. That’s how adidas introduced the Pens’ first reverse retro for the 2020-21 season, featuring a white diagonal PITTSBURGH jersey that was previously only used for black jerseys.

Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

Since the concept is to invert the dominant colors, it would be an unfortunate idea to bring back the RoboPen. The best RoboPen design, by far, is the black jersey with gray and yellow accents and gradients, which wouldn’t play as well on a white sweater in an inverted design. So we’ll see what they come up with, which could be something similar to the current black jersey, just with the old logo instead of the “skating Penguin” that currently adorns the front of the sweater.

It’s going to be another busy season for Penguin jerseys. In addition to the reverse retro, the team should have another different alternative for the Winter Classic game. It’s also yet to be determined in their 2021-22 alternate jersey (the traditional unreversed black jersey design above) will return.

Oh yes, and as if you could forget, the Pens will have a patch on their sweater for an advertisement starting this year, joining the stickers that have been on the sides of their helmets for a few years.

All of that can be overshadowed for now by the impending joy (or fear) of the return of the RoboPen design. It was often said and whispered that Mario Lemieux was not a fan of this design, and it was de-emphasized during his management of the Penguins. Lemieux sold all but a small token portion of the pens, and now the design is apparently back.

It could end up being timed – adidas choose to drop the NHL jersey contract in 2024. There’s no point in them not releasing another batch of designs (for the Penguins and many others in the league ) in order to sneak all possible sales and money for themselves, which means ownership of the Pens could be coincidental with larger forces at play.

Either way, whether it’s a new owner, an expiring jersey licensee, or just time to step back into an old trend, it seems like what once was is back and the Pens will be back on the ice for the first time in 20 years with the RoboPen as the primary logo on a jersey.


Will you receive a new retro reverse RoboPen shirt?

  • 29%
    Depends on how exactly the design looks, but probably

    (54 votes)

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