Every NHL Team’s Most Forgotten Jersey
Unless you’re the Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings or Montreal Canadiens, NHL teams’ jerseys can go in and out of style faster than you can say “Pokémon GO” or “ice-bucket challenge.” For whatever reason, we’re always pining for new and updated versions of our favorite team’s uniform, as if a flashy redesign or a new third jersey will be the magical cloak of on-ice mastery that finally transforms the squad into a perennial Cup-contender while looking fly-as-hell in the process.
With all the design variations over the years, it can be easy for one or two of them to get forgotten in the shuffle, especially if they were only used for a season or two. Sure, you’ll remember the look of the versions that you happen own or the ones that teams have used in recent years, but what about those special-occasion sweaters from that anniversary season or those god-awful alternates that only lasted a road trip or two?
You may or may not remember them all, but from the unremarkable and ordinary to the attempt at “edgy” that barely saw the light of day, here the most forgotten jersey of every NHL team in the league.
ANAHEIM DUCKS: EGGPLANT THIRDS
After the disaster of the “Wild Wing” alternate sweater with the overly muscular cartoon duck bursting through a sheet of ice with a goalie stick in hand that only lasted a few games in 1996, the Ducks understandably stayed pretty conservative with their third and fourth jerseys for a few years before introducing this new alternate look in 2003 that finally abandoned the duck mask and crossed sticks on the crest.
Surprisingly, they went with a black base with a baseball script “Anaheim” on the front and eggplant trim that was never really received that well. It was only active for a few seasons before Disney sold the team and the Mighty Ducks became simply the Ducks with an entirely new look and uniform lineup.
ARIZONA COYOTES: RUNNING COYOTE
In their early days, after relocating to the Phoenix desert from Winnipeg, the Arizona Coyotes sported some egregiously bad jerseys. Honestly, the geometric coyote and desertscape designs were some of the worst jersey concepts in the history of the league. You won’t soon forget those eyesores.
However, when they moved into their new arena and debuted an updated look in 2003, the Coyotes became a lot easier to look at. After several years without an alternate jersey, the ‘Yotes rolled out this pretty sweet black look with a “running” coyote and sand-colored details and numbers in 2008.
These sweaters didn’t see a whole lot of ice time during its active years through 2014 unfortunately, so it’s not one of the more familiar ones to the casual non-Arizona fan.
BOSTON BRUINS: WINNIE THE POOH
This abomination of a jersey is probably the Bruins’ most-forgotten sweater because so many people had to block the monstrosity from their memory for fear of chronic and repeated vomiting. They were introduced in 1995 to coincide with their move into what is now called the TD Garden, and it somehow lasted for nearly a decade as their alternate.
The odd, un-ferocious bear’s got that far-and-away look in its eyes, and the jagged edges on the lower third and around the sleeves are cheesy-looking and completely unnecessary. And that doesn’t even begin to address the blindingly gold base that forced Bostonians to bring their sunglasses to the rink every time it was third-jersey night at the Garden.
There’s not a whole lot of variety in Boston’s jersey history, but these are definitely forgettable, if not regrettable.
BUFFALO SABRES: RED THIRDS
The turn of the century brought with it plenty of newness into the NHL, including this full-on red alternate jersey in 2000 for the Buffalo Sabres after the team dabbled with the color in their previously updated uniforms in 1996. The crossed swords pay tribute to their original logo, while giving it an updated 21st century look, and the angry buffalo head was carried over from the previous uniform with patches on each shoulder.
The Sabres only wore these on select nights against select teams, so it wasn’t like they were a mainstay on the schedule, but they definitely sold some merchandise when it hit the pro shops back in 2000. They were finally retired in 2006, and Buffalo still hasn’t tried to make the color red work ever since.
CALGARY FLAMES: DIAGONAL STRIPES
For its first major jersey design update since moving from Atlanta in 1980, the Calgary Flames added the color black and some angled striping to both its regular home and away jerseys in 1995 that veers up at about a 60-degree angle from the right hip towards the flaming “C” crest on the torso. It’s sort of an odd, abrupt change, like they wanted to update the sweater but weren’t sure what to do with a deadline fast approaching so they resorted to adding some random stripes at the last-minute.
[Read: Top Incredible NHL Team Records]
This look wasn’t super popular with the fans, and didn’t last too long before the stripes were done away with altogether in favor of a more angular design on the lower portion and a lot less yellow involved.
CAROLINA HURRICANES: 1997-2000
The Carolina Hurricanes franchise hasn’t changed its uniform a whole lot since coming to Raleigh in 1997, and the same can be said when the franchise was still based in Hartford and known as the Whalers. The biggest change came in 2007 with the arrival of the Reebok EDGE jersey system, so sometimes we can forget the exact style and look of the original, which is what you see here.
The concept and color scheme are all pretty similar to what the ‘Canes jerseys look like today, but the piping on the originals are straighter and feature less curvature that what Reebok incorporated into the newer design.
When you look at this shot, you might just remember exactly how loose and baggy some of the older sweaters used to be.