A New Crop of NHL Reverse Retro Jerseys Means a New Set of Rankings

Almost 2 years ago to the date I posted my first blog on this website, and it was ranking the new Reverse Retro Jerseys that the NHL had released for the 2020 season. Well yesterday the NHL decided that if they are going to meet this projected $4 million cap increase they are projecting, they better drop some new jerseys to pump up those revenue streams. I’m not a huge fan of every NHL team having a billion jerseys like the NFL and NBA, but if the Blackhawks are ever going to be relevant again, we need that cap to keep climbing so I guess I can’t complain. If you want to see what I had to say about the 2020 Reverse Retro jerseys, you can find that here.

With this new series I found there were far fewer jerseys in the middle ground. Most of these jerseys I am either a really big fan of them or think they should be stacked into a pile and lit on fire. Similar to 2020, each jersey will fall into 1 of 5 distinct categories and these rankings are not up for debate.

Are You Blind or Just Plain Stupid?

Chicago – I might as well just copy and paste what I said about Chicago’s Reverse Retros from 2 years ago. These jerseys suck ass once again when there is a clear option for them to use. You have the best logo in all of sports, use it!! Take the classic Indian Head and put it on the black jerseys from the late ’90s/early ’00s and call it a day. This looks like whoever was in charge of the design forgot that they had to submit something to the league office until 2 minutes before they were due and went “Just submit the jerseys from the ’30s, they’re the simplest. Oh wait they can’t be exact throwbacks? Ok slap ‘CHICAGO’ in the middle and hit send.” I feel like the first time the Hawks have to wear these, Patrick Kane is going to walk into the locker room, see it hanging in his stall and whip out the garden shears a la Chris Sale and he’ll demand a trade the next day.

Edmonton – 2 years ago I said I wouldn’t have hated to see the big oil drop, but now that I see it, I hate it. Maybe it’s because I’ve become so accustomed to seeing McDavid and Draisaitl whip around in the classic Oilers jerseys, but these just aren’t doing it for me.

Nashville – Hated these jerseys when they had them back in the early ’00s and I still hate them to this day. The only redeeming thing about these is that they stuck with their current color scheme instead of making these puke yellow like the original ones. Had they done that I would say never wear these this year and just hope you can find some sucker nostalgic fans to buy a couple Roman Josi’s and cut your losses.

New Jersey – The person who designed these might legitimately be blind, or at least color blind, because I don’t know what the fuck is going on here. These tried to be too cute when it came to the retro aspect. New Jersey has never used these colors in their history. I understand that they are incorporating colors from their days as the Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies, but both of those stints were so short lived, and these colors do not mesh with the Devils logo. 2 years ago, they went with the green and red, but it was too much green. They should’ve either gone with a white Devils jersey with green accents or used these colors and paid proper homage to those other teams and used their old logos because the Rockies and the Scouts were both fire logos.

Philadelphia – Some of the classic logos had a tough go last time they rolled out Reverse Retro jerseys and it seems like the Flyers are the team to fall victim this year. You can’t do much to change their logo, nor should you, but like I said about Detroit’s jerseys in 2020, these just look like shitty practice jerseys. The Broad Street Bullies will be calling the current Flyers pussies anytime they wear these this year which is unfortunate because the players are probably hearing that from Torts on a daily basis despite a nice start to the season.

Tampa Bay – The team that has been the biggest perennial powerhouse does not deserve to be wearing these monstrosities. You can’t have Hall of Famers like Stamkos, Hedman, Kucherov, and Vasilevsky wearing jerseys that looks like an intern who got carried away in clip art put together. Let’s break this down because I honestly have never seen such a preposterous jersey in my life. Lightning bolts on the sleeves? 4 different colors (this would be acceptable if it was subtle stripes, but were talking 4 different colors for 4 different sections of the jersey)? The waves on the bottom? The rain drops in the background of the chest? What are we doing here Tampa? I guess the only good thing you can say about these is when the NHL inevitably becomes Euro soccer and starts throwing logos all over the jerseys at least Tampa won’t have anywhere to put them.

OK, But Still Kinda Suck

Calgary – I like the black chest with the white “C”, I really do. You don’t see the Flames in black very often unless they are wearing the dragon head logo and since they used that logo in 2020 I like that they went back to the classic flaming C. I just cannot get over that diagonal stripe at the bottom. It looks like they were going along the bottom with striping and the sewing machine snagged and forced the line to go diagonal. Could’ve been in one of the upper echelon categories, but that diagonal is just pissing me off.

Dallas – Similar to 2020 I like the old logo and I’m glad they got rid of the awful silver accents, but this left me wanting more. I liked when they had “DALLAS” in small font above the “STARS” and I really liked the alternates from the late ’90s when the accent striping around the chest formed an actual star. The 2020 version had the small “DALLAS” and the star shaped striping so if they could just combine that one with this one it would be perfect.

Detroit – Looks like Detroit’s design team was in the same predicament as Chicago, asked them to send them over their file and just colored in the white lines and swapped “CHICAGO” for “DETROIT”. In 2020, Detroit’s Reverse Retros looked like practice jerseys. This time they didn’t even include the winged wheel which is such an iconic logo. The only reason they are a category above Chicago is because I like the red and black together. Something about a team who is classically white and red that decides to incorporate black just looks so cool to me. It’s like when the Canadian national team wears the black jerseys with the red maple leaf. I like the red and black color scheme, but overall these jerseys are boring and still should probably use the winged wheel.

Minnesota – These are basically the same as last time, but instead of a white road jersey they made it a green home jersey. I don’t hate it, but it’s too similar to the last Reverse Retro for me to move it any higher. Just give the people what they want and make this a North Stars jersey already.

Pittsburgh – The perfect nostalgia jersey. You see these and you just think of the days of Ron Francis, Mario, and Jagr’s luscious mullet. The only problem I have with these is I just never liked this logo. You win 2 cups with the skating penguin, and you switch to this stupid thing the following year? They already did “Pittsburgh” across the chest 2 years ago and they’ve worn the baby blues recently as alternates, so I guess this was the last play they had. I just hate this logo, so I refuse to rank this higher.

Seattle – Similar to Dallas I don’t hate this, but I expected more. This is basically just their normal jersey with a couple extra stripes behind it. I love Seattle’s colors and their logo. The only reason I don’t like this more is they have such a leg up on the other teams who are strapped with designing from their past. The great part of being an expansion team and not having old jerseys is that the world is your oyster for designing these. I would’ve loved to see an actual Kraken as the logo with the normal color scheme or “SEATTLE” written out, maybe incorporate the Space Needle? I don’t know, but I do know they had limitless options and they stayed status quo.

Winnipeg – Similar to Minnesota, I feel like these are too close to their previous editions. My complaint last time was that they went with a random color pallet, so I am glad that they corrected that and went with the crossover of old school logo with new school colors, but since they used the old school logo last time, I just wish they would’ve swapped this crossover. Go old school colors with the new school logo. Still, pretty solid jersey, I guess.

C’s Get Degrees

Boston – Every jersey in this category is perfectly fine, but has at least one thing I would change about it. I’ve always loved this Boston jersey as an alternate. Wear it sparingly because the spoked “B” is just so iconic, but if you’re going to do the big Bruin head you have to go all the way and make this jersey yellow. Other than that, I love this thing.

Carolina – Ideally, this should be a Whalers jersey, but they did that last time and I’ve criticized others for running back the same jersey in a different color. The Whalers always play though. I do like that they switched it up and went with a Canes logo, but this is too similar to what they already wear in white. I like that they brought the little boxes back on the bottom trim because I believe they got away from that for a while. My only change to this, because it is so similar to their normal road jerseys, is I would bring back the logo where it’s a hockey stick with the flags blowing in the wind. I always liked that look.

Colorado – Another one where they could’ve gone Nordiques and it plays, but once again, they did that last time. The last ranking had them in the “Pure Sex” category for their flawless Nordique logo/Avalanche color scheme crossover. I do really like that they got creative here and thought outside of the box. I love the Colorado state flag, and this is an ode to that as well as the Colorado Rockies a little bit. Here it works better than it did with the Devils even though they have never used this color scheme either because of the regional and flag relevancy. I just wish the main color was something other than white. I like Colorado’s flag because of all the color it brings, and I just think this jersey could bump up a category or two if it was mainly blue or red. Maybe they tried it out and it was too much, but in my head, it looks cooler in another color.

Columbus – Here’s what I wrote 2 years ago: “It’s tough when you don’t have a lot of history to pull from, but these reds are just gross. Use this OG logo on the OG blue and call it a day. Don’t get too cute with it.” They finally get the colors right and then they use their awful current logo. Their current logo sucks. They look like a 12-year-old Little League All-Star jersey. If they would’ve used the logo from 2020 on this jersey it would’ve been a slam dunk.

New York Rangers – The first team to get a pass on the same jersey, different color and people will be PISSED. I said 2 years ago that I love this logo for the Rangers even though everyone else hates it. Lady Liberty is as patriotic as it gets. She’s basically America’s receptionist. That green vixen stands on her island and welcomes people to our country. When you think America she’s right up there with the bald eagle, baseball, and apple pie. If you don’t like Lady Liberty, move to Canada and suck off Tim Horton. I still like this jersey, but they could’ve used the Ranger crest I suggested last time if they wanted to switch it up.

Vegas – Still new to the league so no history to draw from, but I like what they did here. With no historical value I couldn’t rank them any higher, but I do think they did a solid job once again. Kept it simple with black this time and went with the diagonal name across the chest which is sort of a vintage move to get some retro feel to this one.

Love, Love, Love These

Buffalo – I really liked what Buffalo did last time with the crossed swords, but this time they did the classic cross over style I like so much. Last time Colorado nailed it and this time I think Buffalo did it better than anyone. The old school Buffalo head with today’s colors turned out very nice. Dominic Hasek and Mike Peca would be proud.

New York Islanders – I don’t know if you guys have picked up on it yet between the previous blog and this one, but I love an obscure logo that is so random from a team’s standard look. There are plenty that flop, but the fisherman Islanders jersey was always my go to when I played with them in NHL on XBox. Wouldn’t have minded if they threw in a little more teal like the old ones had, but this still works.

Ottawa – They went with this logo last time, but this time they went with black jerseys (which I think is the best color for these) and they cleaned up the accent coloring which was my only complaint last time. This reminds me of Alfredsson, Chara, Hossa, and Heatley. Just in time for the new regime of Tkachuk, Stutzle, Debrincat, Chabot, and Giroux to bring them back to relevancy.

San Jose – PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA GOLDEN SEALS SO THANK YOU SAN JOSE!! I’ve long said that the California Golden Seals should get as much shine as other old school teams like the Nordiques, Whalers, and North Stars. I wish the old logo came into play and I wouldn’t have minded if they went with the Kelly Green and Yellow colors, but this is a perfect marriage with the Sharks already using teal. It’s subtle, but the “S” being the same one that was used in Seals is a nice touch. A little too much white otherwise this would’ve been a top tier jersey for me, but that’s only because I’m obsessed with the Seals jerseys. It’s too bad every time we see these this year, the team wearing them will probably be getting dusted.

St. Louis – I like them going predominately yellow with these for a change. The arch lettering for the St. Louis arch is a nice subtle touch and I like that they switched the musical note a little bit too without getting away from who they are completely. Hopefully they wear blue pants with these because if they go yellow it’ll be a disaster. You’ll just look like a puddle of piss.

Toronto – Original 6, don’t fuck with it. Kept it simple and it paid off. Last time the leaf was way too big, and it just didn’t look right.

Vancouver – Last time they had one of the worst jerseys. The obvious choice was still out there with the Bure era skate blade (which I alluded to last time I did this), but I like these too. Once again, a random logo that has nothing to do with any of their traditional logos, but I like just a random Canadian dude hitting the pond to play some pickup with the boys. I also am a big fan of the number on the shoulder. Don’t see that too often, but it’s something unique that just works for me.

Hang Them in The Louvre

Anaheim – Finally!!!! 2 years ago, they put out that abomination and I thought it was maybe a licensing thing with Disney that was holding them up from using the Bombay Mighty Ducks logo, but apparently not. Obviously, I wish it was the OG with the purple and teal, but I get wanting to do the crossover style. The orange does look good, and they didn’t overdo the gold, so it turned out nice. With this logo, it’s hard to screw it up. Zegras is going to fuck around in these bad boys. Get your popcorn ready!

Arizona – Just like 2 years ago, Arizona goes, “How can I make this as ugly as possible that it actually turns out looking cool?” Very similar to their previous Reverse Retro jersey, but this just reminds you of the southwest. I look at it and I feel at peace. Serenity, Bliss, Tranquility, The Arizona Coyotes 2022 Reverse Retro jersey. It’s a shame they will only sell like 10 of these, but I’m sure they will fetch a pretty penny in 20 years when the Coyotes have long since relocated out of the desert.

Florida – It’s beach season baby!! Florida uses this logo on its shoulder for almost every jersey they wear and it’s awesome. Love that they blew it up finally and made it the star. The giant sun looks great and the blue just reminds you of Miami beaches. Florida has finally started to hit their stride the last couple years and they’re gonna look good pumping in 6 goals a game in these bad boys.

Los Angeles – Another great throwback. It’s similar to their previous version, but I’m fine with them recycling these. I’ve always thought the Kings should go back to this color scheme anyways. Purple is the color of royalty so the Kings should be required to have purple in their jersey. Sacramento uses purple in the NBA. Ditch the black and white and go back to these full time please.

Montreal – I said it last time and I’ll say it again. The Original 6 teams have a hard task with these jerseys. You don’t want to compromise a classic look, but you also want to get something new and fresh. It’s a fine line to walk, but so far Montreal is 2 for 2. They didn’t touch a classic logo, while incorporating a new color, this time baby blue, and the final product comes out looking fresh as hell. It doesn’t matter what your colors are in professional sports, baby blue always works.

Washington – They nailed the crossover with these last time and this time they opted to just go vintage throwback. I always loved the Peter Bondra/Adam Oates teams that wore these and maybe they are hoping for one last hurrah with Ovi and Backstrom in these. They also leave themselves another great option with the Capitol building for the next time the NHL inevitably rolls these out again.

So once again, there you have it. The definitive list of who nailed and who bombed their Reverse Retro jerseys. Some teams continued their winning ways, some fell flat again, and some learned from their mistakes last time. Let’s take a look at some of the movement:

Chicago stayed winning, now finding themselves going 0 for 2 in these. Chicago (which happens to be the team I root for) is the only team to land in the bottom category in both rankings…Yikes! 3 teams remained in the top category: Arizona, Montreal, and Washington. Maybe Chicago should get on the horn with these design teams the next time around. St. Louis and Vancouver made solid jumps from Hot Garbage to Love, Love, Love These this time around and Anaheim was the biggest mover of all going from Hot Garbage all the way up to the top category this year. Other solid showings were Buffalo (2nd highest category twice in a row) and Los Angeles and Florida (Both went from Very Solid, No Complaints last time to the top spot this time). The biggest fall from grace was Tampa. They were riding high off a Cup and on their way to a 2nd last time while wearing jerseys that landed them in the Very Solid, No Complaints department, all the way down to the bottom category this time. Hate to see it.

As always, feel free to leave your comments on which ones you like and which ones are straight doo doo. Until next time friends!

Photos courtesy of Adidas

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