Each year around St. Patrick’s Day, the Blackhawks sport green, St. Patty’s Day inspired jerseys for warmups in their closest home game to the holiday. It’s not only something different, but it’s something fun for the fans. However, Mark Lazerus of the Athletic has no time for fun.
Lazerus added this year that wearing the jerseys for warmups are good and fun, but his point remains. Whatever, think what you want. Just keep in mind, the fall is rather far from that high horse you rode in on. As if this wasn’t enough though, Laz added one last hot take.
Really, the Dallas Stars have the best jerseys in a league full of great jerseys? You can’t ruin the Hawks jersey by painting it green according to Laz, but uh, that’s exactly what the Stars did. They stole the design, made it green and slapped their logo on it. BOOM, best jersey in the league. This is a strange take, but it got me thinking: How would a power ranking of NHL jerseys look?
Before we begin the countdown, it is important to address one thing. Someone is going to scream from the rooftops: “THEY’RE CALLED SWEATERS IN HOCKEY!” Yes, because they actually used to be sweaters, but they aren’t anymore, so call them whatever you want. Nonetheless, let’s begin with the trash and move on to the class of the NHL.
31. Ottawa Senators
Upon writing this blog, I learned one thing: There really aren’t many terribly bad jerseys in the NHL. However, Ottawa’s jersey does in fact fall into the “bad” category. The logo is solid, but everything else is a mess. The secondary logo on the shoulders appears to have been designed in ten seconds. The detailing on the sleeves is sloppy at best. The bottom of the jersey could use some striping added to it as well. You’d really expect better from a Canadian franchise.
30. Arizona Coyotes
Not even the great Niklas Hjalmarsson can save these jerseys from a bottom two spot on this list. There’s just too much going on with the sleeves on this jersey. The random patch of black doesn’t fit well and having it transition into a white patch on the bottom doesn’t help. The alternate logos feel cartoonish, but Hockey in the desert was a fantasy idea at best, so perhaps that’s fitting. The Coyotes released an awesome alternate jersey this year that they originally wore from 1996-2003 and they’d shoot up this ranking if they made that their regular home jersey.
29. Florida Panthers
This jersey is really clean. The designers did a great job with the striping of this jersey, something many teams (see the previous two jerseys) completely swung and missed on. The problem though, is the designers seemed to have been mistaken on which sport they were making a jersey for. This looks a lot like a soccer jersey. The worst thing on the jersey is the numbers on the shoulders, something many NFL teams do, but no other NHL team does. The collar is a little weird but so are every other team’s, good work Adidas. Maybe sell the design to Orlando City Soccer Club?
28. Columbus Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin deserves to play for a team with a better jersey, perhaps one that dons the Indian head. Anyway, this jersey leaves you wanting more. Their road selection is a lot better because the logo pops on it better. The star wrapped state flag logo blends into the blue of the home jersey far too much. The design resembles that of a long sleeve t-shirt you would expect to get from the local Columbus Walmart. This is why Panarin is leaving you this summer, Columbus.
27. Anaheim Ducks
I don’t know what I hate more: Ryan Kesler or this jersey. The design on the sides is random and could surely use some work. For a team that has several options to choose from dating back to their “Mighty Ducks” days, this jersey shouldn’t have made it past the top five when choosing what to go with.
26. New Jersey Devils
There is a long list of jerseys that Adidas screwed up and the Devils are certainly on that list. The logo is pretty sweet. It’s simple but iconic. The shoulder design somehow looks uneven. The white stripes on the sleeve are huge. This looks more like a practice jersey.
25. Nashville Predators
There aren’t many teams in sports that go with a primarily yellow jersey and there’s a reason for it. I actually think it works well for Nashville, but Adidas screwed it up. Reebok added some white lining throughout the jersey to break up all the yellow and it was a nice touch. This new version looks like someone vomited all over PK Subban. The guitar strings on the numbers and the piano inside the collar are sweet additions. Perhaps Nashville and New Jersey can share their training camps, because they are both sporting practice jerseys.
24. Vegas Golden Knights
Was anyone else really annoyed by Vegas last year? Their pregame festivities are cringeworthy and so are their jerseys. Vegas is an exuberant, lively city, so naturally the main color of the jersey is…. gray? Also, why is there one random red stripe on each sleeve?
23. Washington Capitals
I don’t hate these jerseys, but when your alternate jersey is similarly designed yet easily better than your regular jersey, that’s an issue. The Caps really need to turn back the clock and return to their classic jerseys, that they currently wear as their alternate. Much like Arizona, if Washington returns to their roots, they would leap up the boards on this ranking.
22. Tampa Bay Lightning
Simple, classic looking design? Check. Doesn’t use weird font for the numbers? Check. Doesn’t use the pilgrim collar? Check. Awesome alternate logo on the shoulders? Double check. Isn’t dumb enough to ruin what would be a great jersey with a cartoonish logo? Whoops.
21. Edmonton Oilers
You had an all-time classic car and you traded it in for a Prius. Shame on you, Edmonton. The Oilers’ blue alternate is a thing of beauty and should be featured as the team’s primary threads. Then again, do you expect sound decision making from a team that employed Peter Chiarelli for so long?
20. Calgary Flames
I feel like a broken record claiming that several teams need to go back to their retro jerseys, but boy oh boy do the Flames need to take that advice more than anyone. Their current jerseys are fine, but they’d be better off without the black in them. You know how I know that? The Flames are proving it while sporting their sweet throwbacks twelve times this year.
19. San Jose Sharks
19 feels too low for the San Jose natives, but there are truly some great jerseys in the NHL. This almost feels disrespectful to the Sharks. It’s definitely disrespectful to Brett Burns’ beard. The teal is a thing of beauty. While the Preds don’t get away with too much color and not enough lining, it works beautifully for San Jose. Maybe nineteen is too low….
18. Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes have some of the most underrated jerseys in the league. Their red home isn’t their best, simply because the white jerseys are top notch. Nonetheless, the red options they sport in Carolina are still a great way to go. The warning flags stretched around the bottom of the jersey is what sets them apart. Truly unique; what a bunch of jerks.
17. Colorado Avalanche
Colorado recently returned to their original jersey design and it has done them justice. This is a really solid jersey. The logo: perfect. The unique design on the bottom of the jersey: even better. The alternate logos on the shoulders do leave something to be desired, like perhaps a foot.
16. St Louis Blues
A lot of teams screw up their Winter Classic jerseys (not everyone gets 10 tries at it like the Blackhawks either) but the Blues hit a walk-off grand slam in game seven of the World Series with their creation. The second they make that their primary jersey, they’ll enter the top 2 of this ranking. Until then, they’ll settle for the 16 spot with a really solid jersey. The logo and color scheme are things of beauty. That is the only positive thing I’ll say about this team.
15. Vancouver Canucks
The blue and green color combination is truly a winner. One of the greatest jerseys in hockey history featured these colors. Vancouver doesn’t pull it off as well as the Whalers did, but then again, nobody can. Vancouver’s jersey is clean, and adding the city name above the logo is unique and it works well. I’ve also always been a fan of the simple hockey stick logo that the Canucks feature on their shoulders and the bottom of their pants.
14. Los Angeles Kings
Sometimes, simple is better. Such is the case for LA. The Kings have played around with both purple and yellow and purple and black jerseys through their history. These current black and white jerseys are the best they’ve put together. Everything is simple, but beyond elegant. You might get away with wearing this jersey to a wedding.
13. Dallas Stars
Ah, the jersey that inspired this ranking. Laz was right, this jersey is really good. However, with the sheer amount of great jerseys in the NHL, the Stars are around the middle of the pack. When you steal the design of perhaps the greatest jersey in sports, you’re going to have a solid jersey. Moving from black to green jerseys and a new logo is the only real winning this franchise has done over the last decade.
12. Winnipeg Jets
Bringing the Jets back to Winnipeg is one of the few good things Gary Bettman has done. The old franchise had phenomenal jerseys, but the new franchise decided to make their own mark. These are a tick below the original Jets, but are still pretty great themselves. Now, someone scream in the Jets’ ears that their alternate jersey is the worst jersey in sports.
11. New York Islanders
It’s really weird seeing “TOEWS” printed on the back of an NHL jersey that isn’t red, but that’s not the point. The Islanders are another team that had a classic jersey for years, went away from it and ultimately came back to it. Good move for Long Island, these jerseys are pretty sweet. The fisherman logo was a thing of beauty though.
10. Minnesota Wild
The Wild have the most underrated logo in sports. Look at it. Look again. One more time. There is so much going on in there, yet it all blends together really well. Throughout their short history however, they could never get the jersey right. The red and green made them the Minnesota Elves for years. Adidas swooped in and saved the day. These are a drastic improvement.
9. Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo is a great sports town; even though they only have two professional teams. Both the Bills and Sabres are well dressed on game days. The numbers on the chest: great look. More teams should do it. Adidas has been shit on quite a bit, so it’s only fair to give them credit where it’s due. They made most of the NHL’s jerseys worse, but they did manage to improve Buffalo’s jersey and it is a work of art.
8. Philadelphia Flyers
Pulling off orange as a main color is not easy to do. Nobody does it better than the Broad Street Bullies. Claude Giroux’s beard blends right into the jersey and it’s magnificent. The orange crush fans create in the playoffs is a cool atmosphere. Even cooler when Patrick Kane is skating the Stanley Cup through it.
7. New York Rangers
The only team in the league that doesn’t use their logo on the front of their jerseys. Bold strategy cotton, let’s see if it pays off. Upon further review, it does pay off. The Rangers experimented with using their logo on the jersey’s front from 1976-1978 and boy does it feel wrong when you look at it. The old statue of liberty jersey is the one exception. One thing: lose the 3D numbers, the 90’s are over.
6. Toronto Maple Leafs
Simple and sweet. Toronto’s hockey club hasn’t won the Cup since 1967, but at least they’ve looked good while being the league’s laughingstock. You can’t find one bad thing to say about this jersey. The Leafs wore their throwback “St Pat’s” jerseys Friday night and they were magnificent, nobody tell Laz.
5. Detroit Red Wings
If this were a ranking of road jerseys, Detroit might take the top spot. Their white road uniform is perfect. The home option is pretty good itself. An all-time classic from one of hockey’s original franchises. There is just so much red going on that it takes away from a really sweet logo.
4. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins have done a lot of winning over the last few years, but their biggest win was switching back to these jerseys that they originally wore from 1980-1992. The oddly designed jerseys from the beginning of the Crosby era were a huge miss. These black and yellow jerseys are one of the league’s best. In a city of great sports uniforms (all with the same color scheme) the Pens now set the standard in the Steel City.
3. Boston Bruins
The Bruins original color scheme was brown and gold and it was a solid look. 10 years in, Boston changed to their current black and yellow. It is truly an iconic look, almost immediately intimidating. The spoked B logo is one of the league’s best. The alternate logo on the shoulders is better than most team’s primary logo. The striping on the jersey is as clean as it gets. The Bruins have had a few different jerseys in their long history; this is by far the best.
2. Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens haven’t changed their uniforms much over their long history and there is a great reason. If Montreal were to make changes to this jersey, they would almost certainly make it worse. The logo is iconic. What does the “H” stand for? Habs? Nope. The “C-H” stands for “le Club de Hockey Canadien,” which is the team’s official name.
1. Chicago Blackhawks
The gold standard. The greatest logo in sports. A long sleeved jersey you’ll proudly wear when it’s 100 degrees in Chicago. This jersey hasn’t changed much since the Hawks adopted their modern Indian head logo in 1955. Adidas screwed up the collar on these, but they did that to half of the league. The tomahawk alternate logo on the shoulders helps makes a great jersey the best in sports.