Today the NHL finally released all 31 designs for the "reverse retro" jerseys they will be debuting this season. A pretty cool idea, old school logos with the color scheme flipped, or in some vases, vice versa. Most of the new sweaters are great. Some are ok. Some stink out loud. Here's my, and this is obviously gut reaction, top and bottom 5. Honestly, I've scrolled through all 31 once, and now am going to rank them on the fly. So without further ado, my top 5:
5) St. Louis Blues
This might be a big surprise to be in my top 5, but this fucking caught my eye and I can't stop looking. I love the colors and how they went for it here. That's going to be a theme in this blog, I appreciate teams that dared to be bold. That went for it. And that's what the Blues did. They could have played it safe, but they took the best Blues logo and made it dance. I love that shade of red, the yellow stripes work, and this is exactly what a reverse retro jersey should be. I understand some thinking it's "too much", but when you see the jerseys of the teams that played it safe, you appreciate what the Blues did here.
4) Vancouver Canucks
The thing about the Canucks is everyone loves the old brown and orange ridiculous jerseys. I've never fully come around on this logo. But the colors are perfect. And if you're going to use the best colors in the league, you might as well make the jersey stand out, and that's what they did here. Now, I will admit I thought the whole idea of "retro" was to use the…I don't know, retro logo, so I don't completely understand why they don't have any of the old scheme included in this, but whatever, it's a really cool jersey so I'll let them have it.
3) Los Angeles Kings
This is when it gets tough because the top 3 are incredible and stand out above the rest. On a different day, this could be my number 1. The royal purple, my favorite Kings logo, Gretzky-era right there in the middle, and of course the gold. This sweater is majestic as fuck. This should be their regular home jersey moving forward. Purple is the color of royalty, after all. Right now they just wear black? Nope. This is the one. Use it, LA. It's perfect.
2) Colorado Avalanche
Chefs kiss. I feel like some people might hate this…or some might love it. I'm scared to look at the internet's reaction, because internet folk get VERY protective over things, and two such things are the Nordiques and the Whalers. Well, the Hurricanes/Whalers jersey did not crack my top 5
but the Avalanche/Nordiques mash up is beautiful. It's so clean, so ripe for the picking, and I feel it'll only look better in person. Nathan MacKinnon is going to be even faster in that thing, boy oh boy.
1) Minnesota Wild
It's a 10/10. 5 balls. It brought a tear to my eye. It's the perfect homage to the North Stars using the current Wild logo, and those colors improve the logo. Honestly, this sweater might be too pretty- it's so clean and well done it's more of a piece of art than a hockey jersey. Goalies are going to look phenomenal in this. Cannot wait to see the pads that they pair with it. This is everything a Minnesota jersey should be. Outstanding.
Just missing the cut: Calgary, Ottawa, Vegas, Buffalo, Washington.
And now, for my bottom 5. They tried…or sometimes didn't.
5) Boston Bruins
Disappointing. You can't just take a highlighter to your jersey and call it a day. You have to give me something more than this. It's just so disappointing. My thought is they were scared to pull the trigger on a new "Pooh Bear" jersey, and that's exactly what they should have done. Move the needle a bit. Stir it up. Go nuts. Anaheim did, and while I don't love what they ultimately came out with, I'm glad they went for it.
4) Toronto Maple Leafs
What are we doing here, Toronto? Maybe this is one of those jerseys that will look much better on TV than in pictures, because in pictures I wish it would punch itself in the face. But sometimes those huge, oversized logos do translate much better on the ice. I'm not giving Toronto the benefit of the doubt here though. You're Toronto, you have to be better than this. Have to.
3) Dallas Stars
I mean this is ugly as fuck and the only reason it's number 3 is because at this point you have to expect Dallas to make their jersey ugly as fuck. Nobody has been more consistent at pumping out ugly jerseys, time after time, quite like Dallas. It's the best recurring bit in the NHL right now. So while we should be stunned they went into clip art and just pieced together 2 jerseys and made it 1 new one without thinking twice about it, none of us are stunned at all. This thing sucks.
2) Detroit Red Wings
Oy vey. Everyone on Twitter is saying the same thing "it looks like a practice jersey" so I wanted to say something different, but that right there is a practice jersey. It just is. Yes, Detroit is somewhat limited by having the same logo and colors since 1492, but you have to get some sort of imagination and figure something out. Or make the jersey red and do the reverse color winged wheel, something. Anything. Anything at all. Montreal understood that concept and pulled it off great.
And the worst of the worst….
1) New York Islanders
Hey you dumb fucks, this is the same jersey you already wear. You had a chance to do something cool, really make a splash, energize your fan base, and your Doug Funnie asses couldn't switch it up at all. Pathetic. I actually went to 3 different Twitter accounts to make sure the NHL didn't fuck up on social. The Isles could have used those groovy colors from the fisherman days, implemented some retro colors or vibes, and they decided to do nothing. Shame on you, Frankie. Shame.
Also sucks: Flyers, Rangers, Pittsburgh, Winnipeg
There's a few I can't decide on, and none bigger than the Coyotes:
Do I like that? I feel like I do…but do I? I have not a clue what to think about it. But much like the Ducks, I'm glad they went for it. They dared to be bold. Something the Red Wings and Isles didn't do. So I give the Yotes lots of credit for that.
Same with the Caps, who some have in their top 5, but as a non-biased journalist I chose to keep out of my rankings all together because OBVIOUSLY IT'S AWESOME.
I feel like Pittsburgh should get more shit for not trying anything new. Snooze city.
And same with the Preds. We've seen these for the last 15 years, try something new for me
Overall though, I think the concept is cool and I'm sure most, if not all, will look way better on the ice than in still shots. Besides the Isles. Fucking cowards.