The North Division may have the most exciting hockey of any in the NHL, but their Reverse Retro jersey collection sure doesn’t match.
When you do a regular power rankings list with only seven teams at your disposal, sometimes it can be difficult to find new reasons to bump teams up and down every single week. That’s why this edition is Reverse Retro Week, where the rankings are based entirely on the special new, one year only sweaters Adidas has fashioned for every team in the NHL. I’ve gone to this well a lot since all 31 uniforms were unveiled in October, but that’s just because I love this concept so darn much.
The NHL has had a real issue with letting teams broaden their jersey horizons over the years, generally limiting any team without an outdoor game scheduled to just the regular home and away sets, plus one alternate jersey. But recently the league has been much more open to franchises flexing their intellectual property muscles, okaying a number of heritage jerseys (like the Canucks’ Flying Skate last season) and letting teams wear their third and fourth options a lot more often.
So what’s the next step for jerseys past this season? The Reverse Retro collection has been an obvious success from both a sales and a marketing sense, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the league bring them all back for a second year or potentially commission Adidas to create a brand new set for 2021-22.
But the NHL has yet to show any interest in crossing the next great jersey frontier; a team’s choice schedule, where clubs are free to pick which jerseys they wear on a game-by-game basis. Going in that direction opens the door for an endless amount of uniform matchups, such as both teams wearing dark jerseys (provided their colour schemes aren’t too similar), white sweaters being used more regularly at home and players getting more say in which uniforms they use most often. The National Basketball Association currently uses a similar setup and showcases the schedule for the league’s massive jersey collection on their NBA LockerVision website.
But for now, the Canada’s teams will have to settle for these seven new uniforms. Two clubs brought something truly great to the table, two others took atrocious trips to Silver Lake and the other three donned jerseys that would best be described as “meh”. Maybe next year all of these franchises will embrace the exciting brand of hockey they play with jerseys that properly fit the occasion.
1) Calgary Flames ⬆️ 3
Nay-ver a doubt about number one on this list, it’s Blasty the Horse of course!
2) Montreal Canadiens
It took us over a century to try wearing a blue jersey and we LOOK. GOOD. DOING IT.
3) Vancouver Canucks ⬆️ 7
4) Ottawa Senators ⬆️ 6
We’re contractually obligated to have a red jersey and this is one is *chef’s kiss* adequate!
5) Edmonton Oilers ⬇️ 4
Let’s not kid ourselves, you wouldn’t have known this was a throwback if we hadn’t told you.
6) Winnipeg Jets ⬇️ 5
We’ve been at this for a decade now and still haven’t figured the secret to a great Jets jersey is more red, NOT silver.
7) Toronto Maple Leafs ⬇️ 1
Seriously, what’s with the sudden silver motif guys?! Now we’ve got a jersey that’s both figuratively and literally hard to look at.
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