NHL Reverse Retro Jerseys, Ranked

by Grant Beery
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The NHL and Adidas have come up with a fun new idea (read: cash grab) for jerseys that may remind you of the old Starter fashion line from the 90s. All 31 teams (Sorry Seattle, you gotta play some games first) will wear these multiple times during the upcoming season, including some rivalry games from the olden days. As a self-avowed jersey nerd, and also because there’s not much else to talk about during the offseason, here’s my required and completely subjective ranking of each new look. The link next to each team name indicates the jersey year that inspired the remixed design.

The Worst: 31- 22

31. Chicago Blackhawks (1940)

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Jerseys that use black as their main color are usually pretty bad in their own right, but this one gets extra demerits thanks to the racist logo.

30. Detroit Red Wings (1998)

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The silver is supposed to be an homage to the centennial jerseys they wore in 2017, but these just look unfinished. Almost like a practice jersey.

29. New York Islanders (1980)

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They switched to a new shade of blue. Lazy. Where’s the Fisherman?!

28. Minnesota Wild (1978)

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The Wild had a great chance to include their “M” shoulder patch logo on the front to really drive home the monogram look of the old North Stars sweaters, but instead they stuck with one of the worst logos in sports. It somehow looks worse with the new/old color scheme.

27. Vancouver Canucks (2001)

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The old red and blue gradient jerseys the Canucks used to have were bad. They did not need a reboot.

26. Winnipeg Jets (1979)

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While the real crime is that this isn’t a Thrashers jersey, removing the red from the color scheme makes these Jets sweaters look bland.

25. Dallas Stars (1999)

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This is like the opposite of their new Tron third jersey. The silver in the logo makes this sweater look washed out. At least they didn’t try a North Stars homage as well (though they may have done a better job).

24. Tampa Bay Lightning (2004)

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Some designs should stay in the past. This logo is too busy and too messy.

23. Columbus Blue Jackets (2000)

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The red and white of this jersey is very sharp, but that logo is another that should have been shelved permanently. I would have preferred to see stars all up and down the sleeves like their old Koho alternates.

22. Calgary Flames (1998)

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Another all black jersey with the return of Blasty. This would have scored much higher if it were yellow or white.

This Is Fine: 21 – 11

21. Nashville Predators (1998)

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I understand there’s not much to work with when it comes to Nashville’s heritage, but I feel like this jersey plays it a bit too safe. I want to see that shoulder patch as the logo on the front.

20. Buffalo Sabres (2000)

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It’s not the Buffaslug, so that’s nice. The colors and crest are good, but that wordmark at the bottom is a real miss.

19. Washington Capitals (1997)

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Keeping with the theme of bad wordmarks at the bottom of the jersey, the Caps could have been great had they left theirs off. Everything else about this jersey is fun.

18. Ottawa Senators (1992)

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This technically fits the mold of Reverse Retro. Good job, Ottawa. You didn’t overly screw this up.

17. Philadelphia Flyers (1995)

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Getting some real Roman Cechmanek vibes from these. The white sleeves look out of place, but overall, not terrible.

16. Edmonton Oilers (1979)

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The stripes and the orange shoulders are great, but you’re kidding yourself if you think this is some kind of “new” Oilers jersey. Why not go the route of other teams and bring back that sexy McFarlane crest?

15. New York Rangers (1996)

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Classic and inoffensive. The Lady Liberty crest isn’t my favorite, but I appreciate how the Rangers didn’t go full Islanders here and change nothing.

14. San Jose Sharks (1998)

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I love the old logo, but this jersey looks washed out with the gray. Needs more TEAL.

13. Toronto Maple Leafs (1970)

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The Leafs have a pretty classic design, so this is great by keeping it simple. However, points removed for the sleeves that make it look like a hooded sweatshirt.

12. Boston Bruins (1990)

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A better take on a primarily yellow jersey that the Preds will never be able to match. That kooky bear shoulder patch is fun.

11. Florida Panthers (1996)

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This was so close to cracking the top ten. It’s got a classic style that is missing from hockey jerseys these days. It was beat out only by the sheer boldness of the next entry.

Best of the Best: 10-1

10. Los Angeles Kings (1989)

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Hampered only by the fact that this doesn’t feature the Burger King logo, the Kings did an amazing job creating a bold new entry into their jersey collection that honors their best color scheme. Ditch the black and silver! Go purple and gold full time!

9. Montreal Canadiens (1976)

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I love everything about this. It’s a classic Habs style while still being a marked change from their usual threads. Don’t mess with success (too much).

8. New Jersey Devils (1982)

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Here’s another jersey that should come back full time. The Devils have always had a much bolder look with the green in their color scheme. (As much as I would have loved a Rockies jersey, there’s no way in hell the Devils would wear the flag of another state)

7. Pittsburgh Penguins (1997)

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A true classic repped by such greats as Mario Lemieux and Snoop Dogg. It’s great to see this iconic design get an update.

6. Vegas Golden Knights (1995)

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Don’t @ me, Knights fans, but this is 100 times better than the main sweaters. The sword logo is amazing and the design of the sleeves and hem give it a retro feel for a team that had little to go off of.

5. Colorado Avalanche (1979)

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The Nordiques sweaters are amazing, and this is a nice update to them. The burgundy and blue lend well to the design. Bonus points for being one of two designs on this list that’s sure to piss off fans who lost their team in the mid 90s.

4. St. Louis Blues (1995)

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Since the Blues never actually wore the Cool Cat jerseys, this is the next best option. It’s loud. It’s obnoxious. It’s the most 90s jersey on this list. I love it.

3. Carolina Hurricanes (1979)

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Here’s the other jersey that’s sure to piss off fans of old. Since the Canes have been embracing the Whalers logo, fans from Hartford have felt a bit jilted about the whole thing. However, any reason to have more Whalers merch in the world is a big win in my book. Best logo in sports. Period.

2. Anaheim Ducks (1995)

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The Ducks did the very thing that most other teams should have. Wild Wing shall carry the torch for the Fisherman, the Oil Drop, and Johnny Canuck. Also, that NOB font is just **chef’s kiss**.

1. Arizona Coyotes (1998)

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This jersey has everything. Crazy 90s styling. A lizard on the shoulder. A desert landscape on the hem. A Space Coyote for a logo. PURPLE. This jersey is my soulmate.

In case you’d like to buy any of these, each team will be doing their own on sale through their websites and social media. Expect them to be widely available on 12/1.

Images courtesy of NHL

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