NHL Reverse Retro jersey grades
The long awaited NHL Reverse Retro jersey's were revealed today. For weeks now, the NHL and their partner in this venture, Adidas, teased the Reverse Retro collection. From the moment it was announced, the internet flooded with fan-made concepts and ideas. Some teams were easier to guess than others, but on November 16th, the waiting was finally over, and we got our first look what all 31 NHL teams' new alternate uniforms would look like for the 2020-21 season. There are a lot of good ones on here, and there are a lot of bad ones, and just a few that missed their potential to be great. Here's my ranking from worst to best.
Anaheim Ducks - This one is just.... Yikes. Out of all the awesome uniforms that the Ducks have donned throughout their franchise's history, they went with this one? Okay then...
Arizona Coyotes - The half goalie, half coyote head is a throwback to the uniforms that the Coyotes wore between 1998 and 2003, the only difference is that the purple used to be a dark green. This one is okay, however I'm just a tiny bit underwhelmed with it.
Boston Bruins - This one I am a fan of. I am in the very small group of people that believes that a yellow uniform can be great when done tastefully, and this one pulls it off well. The original Bruin patch on the shoulders are a great touch. Boston has worn different variations of this uniform all throughout their long 96 year history, starting in 1955 and retiring the jersey right around the 1967 season.
Buffalo Sabres - I am very happy that the Buffalo Sabres chose to ditch the red and go with the white on this one. Buffalo wore this jersey as their alternates from 2000 to 2006. Honestly though, if I had one critique, I would say that it's the "Buffalo" that runs across the bottom of the jersey. It's kind of an eyesore in my opinion.
Calgary Flames - This one was a fan favorite straight off the bat! Blasty, the name of the horse featured on the front, was in Calgary's wardrobe from 1998 to 2006. This is definitely one of the nicer jersey's in this collection.
Carolina Hurricanes - Here is where I get a little controversial; while the Hartford Whalers logo is among one of the best logos in NHL history, I feel like Carolina is just trying to cash in on the jersey sales here, by using such a beloved NHL fan favorite. I mean, you don't see the Dallas Stars throwing it back to their days in Minnesota, or the New Jersey Devils rocking the logo of the Colorado Rockies or Kansas City Scouts before their relocation.
Chicago Blackhawks - When I saw this Chicago Blackhawks Reverse Retro, it immediately made it into my top three. There is just something about black uniforms, in every sport, that just resonate with me, they hit a soft spot. Much like the Boston Bruins, Chicago has worn different variations of this jersey many times throughout their lifetime, starting in 1927 and lasting as long as 1955.
Colorado Avalanche - Again, re-read what I had to say about the Carolina Hurricanes using the Hartford Whalers logo. The Avalanche are in the same category, and this one might hurt even more, since the city of Quebec is still reeling over the loss of their beloved Nordiques. At the same time, just like the Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques logo resonates with hockey fans all across the world. Much like the Montreal Expos of the MLB, or the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA, the Nordiques truly are one of the most tragic tales of a city that should have never lost their team. It's cool to see the logo not be forgotten.
Columbus Blue Jackets - Can someone remind me why the Blue Jackets are wearing red? Aside from the head-scratching color decision, I really like the Blue Jackets ribbon in the middle, and it's not a bad sweater all around. This jersey pays homage to the original uniforms that Columbus wore from their inaugural season in 2000, till they retired them 2007.
Dallas Stars - Another stinker. Though not nearly as bad as the Anaheim Ducks uniform, this one is still on the bottom of my list. Not much to say about it, because there simply isn't too much going on here.
Detroit Red Wings - You can't really get more plain than this... I would love to give this one an "A" for effort, but it doesn't seem as though anyone really put forth any effort or thought into this one.
Edmonton Oilers - The Oilers are throwing it back to their dynasty days of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier. Not too much creativity went into this Oilers sweater, but I respect it because of the history it has behind it.
Florida Panthers - One of the more recognizable jersey's in the NHL, this attacking panther logo was enormously popular in the 1990's, so it's a no brainer that the Florida Panthers would bring it back for a second go-round.
Los Angeles Kings - The purple and gold Reverse Retro seems to be getting a lot of praise on social media, and many fans seem to like it. As for me personally, I'm not really into brightly colored flashy uniforms, so I guess it's safe to say that I'm not a fan. I'm not saying it's a bad uniform, I just personally can't get into it.
Minnesota Wild - Another uniform that is receiving positive feedback from it's fan base, and another uniform that I'm personally not a fan of. I can see where Minnesota might be a little strapped for ideas here, they don't have much to play around with. The franchise is still fairly young, and they haven't had too many iterations of their uniforms in their short 20 year history.
Montreal Canadiens - My favorite sweater out of this whole collection! These things are clean. Montreal is another team that has had mostly the same uniform throughout their franchise's history, and I must say I'm a much bigger fan of this blue on red color scheme than I am of the classic red on blue.
Nashville Predators - I thought for sure that when the Reverse Retro collection was announced that the Predators would be going back to their blue sweaters that they wore from 1998 to 2011. Guess I was wrong. Nashville opted to stay with the gold color scheme, and it appears to be resonating well with the fanbase. If the fans are happy, then that's good enough for me.
New Jersey Devils - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... That's right, the Christmas Devils are back and better than ever. Even though I love referring to them as the Christmas Devils, these uniforms are actually really nice.
New York Islanders - I'll leave this one to the guys over at Spittin' Chiclets, who summed up these sweaters perfectly.
New York Rangers - Here she is, the ever controversial Liberty sweaters. This jersey has the fan base divided. On one hand, you have NHL legends such as Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Jaromir Jagr, and Wayne Gretzky who wore these uniforms during their time with the Rangers, but it's just not the best jersey they've ever come up with. I'm on the fence about it, I don't love it and I don't hate it. I'm still going to buy one, though.
Ottawa Senators - Another one of my favorites. The Senators already announced that they'd be resorting back to their original cartoon senator logo, but the Reverse Retro collection gave them a chance to add some extra flare to it. I like it a lot, and I think it should be a mainstay in the Senators lineup for years to come.
Philadelphia Flyers - Overall, solid uniform from Philadelphia here. The classic Flyer orange and black color scheme all blend together really well, as they always have. While I may not be a fan of the Flyers, I have always liked their uniforms. One thing that's throwing me off, though, is those sleeves. Just a little too much going on there for me.
Pittsburgh Penguins - I'm sorry if the first thing that comes to mind when I see the diagonal "Pittsburgh" is Snoop Doggs "Gin & Juice" music video, and not Mario Lemieux carving it up in these bad boys. I like them, I just kind of wish Pittsburgh went to their classic blue sweaters of the 1960's and 70's.
San Jose Sharks - I don't like gray on hockey sweaters. Leave the gray to visiting baseball uniforms. I'm not really liking this one, sorry Sharks fans.
St. Louis Blues - Much like the Columbus Blue Jackets, there is an over usage of the color red in the St. Louis Blues uniform. It sticks out like a sore thumb in my opinion, and isn't too easy on the eyes.
Tampa Bay Lightning - The Lightning's original logo is making a comeback. Unlike many other jersey's on this list, this one isn't trying too hard. It's really simple and classy, therefore, I like it.
Toronto Maple Leafs - Not a fan. They should just use these as their warmup sweaters and then immediately dump them in the trash behind the arena.
Vancouver Canucks - I'm really not liking the way that the green fades into the blue. The Canucks really struck out with this one, they missed a huge opportunity to do something awesome with their classic Flying Skate logo of the 1980's and 90's.
Vegas Golden Knights - The most retro jersey for the oldest team in the league. All jokes aside, it's not great, it's not horrible, it's just kind of mediocre. You can't blame them though. It's not like the Knights have had dozens of concepts to work with over their two year history...
Washington Capitals - This one is great! Much like the Buffalo Sabres retro, ditch the "Capitals" at the bottom of the sweater and this one is near perfect.
Winnipeg Jets - Remember when I said that I didn't like gray hockey sweaters? Yeah, I lied. This one goes hard and the Jets did a great job here.
So what do we think, hockey fans? I want to hear which jersey's you like the best, and which one's you think really stunk it up. Let me know in the comments below! If I was a little too harsh on your team or favorite sweater, please don't take it personally.
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Hopefully we see hockey back soon.