With Tuesday’s latest leak of the Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs third jerseys comes time to finally announce one DTFR writer’s thoughts and power rankings of all the latest threads around the National Hockey League for 2018-19 and beyond.
Teams often try to generate a look that is representative of their brand and generates a buzz. Some of the new jerseys certainly generate a buzz, but for being so off-brand or so far-off from what was previously conceptualized as reality.
The last sentence was full of jargon to remind you this isn’t some serious reading. It’s a light-hearted ranking of one taste in threads– not representative of the masses who for some reason still think The Mighty Ducks is a great movie franchise or whatever.
19. Tampa Bay Lightning (leaked, Nov. 6, 2018)
What in the– what?
What is this? Seriously.
1 star on Yelp! (and on Uber or however that works.)
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
Hold the phone on those strong Lightning takes (unless they’re bluffing and this is really what they have or were going to go with until everyone released a collective “what the [expletive] is that?”).
18. Pittsburgh Penguins (unveiled, Oct. 9, 2018)
The Penguins brought back their 2017 Stadium Series jersey, minus the triangle surrounding the captain and alternate captain designations. They also put the numbers on the shoulders and gave them yellow helmets. It’s gross.
17. Philadelphia Flyers (unveiled, July 26th, 2018)
Congrats Flyers fans, you beat Pittsburgh at something. Granted, by one position in these rankings. No amount of Gritty can save you now.
Philly took their 2017 Stadium Series jersey and kept with their own tradition of making an outdoor game jersey part of their regular lineup by fitting it to ADIZERO standards. It’s… fine? The black numbers outlined in white could’ve been white numbers with an orange outline, just to make them distinguishable from the balcony or something.
16. Colorado Avalanche (unveiled, Sept. 13, 2018)
The 2015-17 era third jersey that’s meant to look like a modern-retro interpretation of the Colorado Rockies if the Rockies existed as the Avalanche today (did you get that all?) was brought back in the ADIZERO technology.
15. Anaheim Ducks (unveiled, July 21, 2018)
Anaheim introduced a mashup of their entire 25-year franchise history and produced… this. It’s not the original look and it’s not even original. It’s a bunch of recycled bits, plus a weird, new yoke thing. That’s exactly what they wanted me to call it. No, the Ducks didn’t tell me to say that.
At least they didn’t come out here and lay an egg in my review, but it’s pretty close to it. Good news, these are only a one-season thing. Try again next year.
14. New Jersey Devils (unveiled, Aug. 21, 2018)
Every time the Devils bring their Heritage Jerseys out, I think of 1) pizza, 2) the Italian flag and 3) the 1980s. I wasn’t even alive until the ’90s, but I think of vintage Martin Brodeur.
A rarity in today’s league, New Jersey introduced a white alternate to their palette of sweaters to choose from any given night. Luckily, it doesn’t look terrible, since it’s just their 1982 sweater modernized in the ADIZERO styling.
13. Columbus Blue Jackets (unveiled, Sept. 17, 2018)
The Blue Jackets brought back their 2015-17 alternate sweaters, but with an updated number and letter font to match their home and road jerseys in addition to the overall ADIZERO cut.
Overall, Columbus’ resurrection of these isn’t terrible– it’s middle of the road.
12. Edmonton Oilers (unveiled, Sept. 4, 2018)
Edmonton debuted an ’80s era Throwback sweater in the ADIZERO style and the only thing I have to say (other than there’s nothing special about it that sets it apart from the rest) is that royal blue should still be their primary color, really.
Maybe take my word for it, Oilers.
11. Los Angeles Kings (leaked, Nov. 6, 2018)
It’s just their 50th anniversary specialty sweaters without any gold and updated to the ADIZERO cut, so not terrible, but not great. Kind of like their team in a nutshell. They’ve won a couple Cups, they’ve got some big names, but they’re not in their golden days anymore. I guess Kings fans like them, so it’s not all bad. Oh there’s a little purple in the inside collar with the old-school 1967 crown, so that’s cool.
10. Toronto Maple Leafs (leaked, Nov. 6, 2018)
It’s just their 1920s Toronto St. Pats sweaters that they last used in 2016-17, but ADIZERO-fied and they’re only going to be used as throwbacks and not, technically, an alternate jersey. These are fine. So fine, they’re great. Toronto shouldn’t go back to being the St. Pats full-time again, but green and white suits them well, especially for– you guessed it– St. Patrick’s Day games.
*Full disclosure, green is the author’s favorite color.
9. New York Islanders (unveiled, Oct. 1, 2018)
The Islanders saw what the Washington Capitals wore against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2018 Stadium Series game and said “Yeah! We want something just like that!”, so they ditched the Brooklyn black sweater for these nifty threads. The traditional four orange stripes on the “Y” in “NY” represent the four Cups the franchise has won and serve as tape on the hockey stick the “Y” just so happens to make.
It’s a little nice touch to an otherwise bland looking sweater. At the very least, the numbers are in orange– outlined in white– just like they were on the original blue sweaters the club wore in 1972-73, so creativity points?
8. Ottawa Senators (unveiled, Sept. 12, 2018)
While not originally planned– necessarily– as part of the return of third jerseys from their one-year hiatus as adidas took over for Reebok as the league’s jersey supplier, Ottawa took their 2017 Centennial Classic sweater and made it their regular alternate jersey for the foreseeable future on Thursday nights.
It’s possible the silver-O jersey may stick around past 2018-19, since the team is said to be working on a brand new primary logo for 2019-20 and beyond.
7. Winnipeg Jets (unveiled, Sept. 14, 2018)
For the first time since relocating to Winnipeg, the Jets introduced a brand new third jersey featuring a new wordmark crest (an homage to the original Jets franchise from their WHA days), striping that’s reminiscent of the old Jets franchise (but from the 1990s and updated to the current club’s colors) and baby blue as the primary color of the sweater, presumably paying tribute (though not actually) to their original days as the Atlanta Thrashers.
Winnipeg also has a new number font to complete the look.
It’s not bad, just a little disappointing considering the goldmine of a shoulder patch logo on the home and road sweaters that could’ve really made an alternate jersey pop.
6. Calgary Flames (unveiled, Sept. 21, 2018)
Calgary brought back their 1989 sweater in the ADIZERO styling as their “new” alternate jersey– excuse me, Retro Jersey. It’s a classic look that’s hard to beat.
Sure, but there’s better ones than this in the rest of the league.
5. Washington Capitals (unveiled, Sept. 24, 2018)
Washington brought back their 1974 original look that they also used the white version of for the 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh. The Capitals switched to the red ones in 2015 and used them as alternates through 2017, then took the mandatory one-year hiatus of all third jerseys in accordance with the switch to adidas as the jersey supplier and ADIZERO as the jersey style.
4. St. Louis Blues (unveiled, Aug. 26, 2018)
St. Louis went with their original threads that they wore back in 1967 and the 2017 Winter Classic at Busch Stadium, but just, like adidas-ified. #ADIZEROtechnology
Tired of the white numbers on the blue home sweaters? Don’t worry, in 1967, the Blues got it right and they’re bringing those jerseys back to a regular basis as their alternates, so they’ll look right some of the time this season and beyond.
3. Arizona Coyotes (unveiled, June 22, 2018)
One of the few good things to come from the 1990s was the classic, outlandish, look of the Arizona Coyotes kachina sweaters. These throwback thirds have been updated to the ADIZERO fit and aren’t anything new, but nostalgia sells and in a time where everything old is new again, the Coyotes timed it right to bring back some ’90s-chic.
2. Carolina Hurricanes (unveiled, June 22, 2018)
The Hurricanes introduced a brand-new third jersey featuring the correct hurricane warning flag display as a crest, the North Carolina state flag– slightly modified to a greyscale– as a shoulder patch (which they had to get approved by the state government to add to the sweater), a grey yoke with a red outline on a black jersey with two red sleep stripes and a red trim.
Overall it’s a glamorous combination of modern, sleek and stormy. This isn’t actually all that bad once it’s flying around the ice or flossing– did I get that right?
AND (unveiled, Sept. 27, 2018)
Carolina introduced a special throwback sweater that’ll be worn twice this season as the team will rebrand itself for a couple of nights. Yes, blast “Brass Bonanza” from your speakers, ladies and gentlemen, because the Hartford Whalers have returned (kind of).
These ADIZERO Whalers threads have been updated to the current jersey cut and branded with blue hurricane warning flags inside the collar and will be worn on Dec. 23rd in Raleigh against Boston and on March 5th in Boston against the Bruins.
Hartford, Connecticut residents may be unnerved, but I’ll step right up and take 20 as a hockey fan, thanks.
1. San Jose Sharks (unveiled, Sept. 22, 2018)
Re-introducing a black third jersey, the Sharks went full-on stealth mode by calling these teal and black masterpieces Stealth Jerseys. Think of those midnight jerseys Reebok made for all the teams a few years ago and that’s pretty much it for San Jose. Take out a lot of white and orange, replace it with black, teal and a microchip design in the sleeve.
They actually don’t look that bad, especially when Erik Karlsson was the one to debut them in the preseason much to the surprise of the fans at SAP Center.
We’re still waiting on the Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs to officially unveil their new sweaters, but all three already leaked so let’s just assume nothing’s going to change between now and when the sweaters hit the ice.
Also, at some point the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks will officially reveal their 2019 Winter Classic sets (like Thursday at 10 a.m. ET for Boston and sometime in the future for Chicago). Like the leaked thirds, we already have an expectation of what’s to come January 1, 2019. Especially the Bruins road Winter Classic threads (those have been very much leaked).