Like Reebok a decade ago, Adidas decided to forego alternate jerseys during the first year of their new Adizero system. This was supposedly to avoid overloading the production line, although cynics would suggest that the decision was made to increase jersey sales in the second year.
But I digress. Point is, with a year under Adizero’s belt, the much-awaited alternate jerseys are finally here. Let’s take a closer look:
For its Silver Anniversary, the Anaheim Ducks took notes from its Mighty past and unveiled a retro-inspired alternate.
This jersey retains most of what we loved from the original Mighty Ducks jerseys, including the bad-ass crest and diagonal hem stripe. However, the new black base and teal shoulder yokes make it clear that this design is not a simple replication. Additional changes include Ducks logos on each shoulder as well as the bright-orange sticks on the crest.
Although many were clamoring for the team to bring back the original jerseys, I believe this jersey is an improvement. Although admittedly less unique, the black base is sharper and teal shoulder yokes visually balance the large hem.
Unveiled the morning of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the Arizona Coyotes turned back the clock with their 1996 Kachina jerseys – only this time on the Adidas template.
The familiar masked coyote and Southern detailing makes their return on these near-replication of the black Coyotes uniforms. Even the crescent moon Coyotes patches are brought back on the deep green shoulder yokes. The most noticeable difference is the black outline around the collar, which is part of the new Adidas look.
The entire jersey has a very distinct look that fits perfectly with the non-traditional moxie of Southern expansion teams. It’s a little disappointing that the team did not go with a brand-new design, but it’ll be great to see these classics back on the ice.
Calgary harkened back to the glory days of Lanny McDonald and Mike Vernon with the reintroduction of their 1989 Stanley Cup-winning jerseys.
A definite fan-favourite, this uniform was previously used during their 30th anniversary and as a Reebok-era alternate. Although a similar red to the team’s home jerseys, the secondary black is replaced by white while the orange accents are retained, resulting in a much brighter design.
As much as I hate the Flames as a Canucks fan, these retro uniforms are gorgeous. They have a traditional layout, and the colour palette stands out in a crowd and on the ice.
Like the Coyotes, the Carolina Hurricanes also unveiled their alternate jersey prior to the 2018 draft, going with a new, yet vaguely familiar, design.
The mostly-black third jersey features thick red stripes along with grey shoulders outlined with red piping. The crest finally features the appropriate hurricane warning flags, although it is disproportionately tall. The negative space between the two flags form the shape of North Carolina, which is a clever touch.
Overall, this is a well-designed jersey. It is all-new and distinct while retaining the team’s branding. The bright red on black is a great, simple look, while the grey shoulders and low-contrast patches add complexity to the uniform.
Hartford Whalers Throwbacks
Although not officially an alternate jersey, the Carolina Hurricanes will be throwing back to an earlier era by wearing the 1985-92 Hartford Whalers jerseys.
As expected of a design from the 1980s, this uniform is traditional and clean. It makes good use of navy blue horizontal stripes, which break up the bold green and bright white. The logo is unchanged, retaining the “H” cleverly hidden in the negative space.
Since the franchise relocated to Raleigh in 1997, there has not been much in the way of dedications to its past. However, things are looking up with the team wearing green and blue twice this season. Who knows, this may be the spark that results in NHL hockey played once again on Connecticut ice.
While the Avs went retro for their main look, their alternate features a modern navy-blue design with sharp white shoulder yokes and striping. Burgundy is relegated to a secondary colour, appearing on the lower sleeves and crest, which draws inspiration from the old Rockies logo. Finally, sitting on the jersey’s left shoulder is the Colorado state flag.
The bold blocks of colour and thick striping create a simple, yet decidedly modern look for the Colorado franchise. The large and angular shoulder yokes are also quite unique, but fitting on one of the more edgy Adizero uniform designs.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Another past design makes its return as Columbus unveiled their “Cannon” third jerseys used from 2010-2017.
Aiming for the old-fashioned look, this dark blue jersey features elegant cream shoulders, as well as light blue striping trimmed in grey and cream. Its vintage, circular crest features an old-timey cannon – a nod to the American Civil War by which the team’s name is inspired.
Even without much team history to draw from, the team successfully applied traditional jersey conventions to produce a convincing “throwback” jersey. The grey and baby blue accents, however, are modern touches that gives the jersey the Blue Jackets identity.
After a one year hiatus, the Edmonton Oilers will be wearing royal blue once again, but only for four nights – not enough to make it a official alternate jersey.
Since switching to their orange uniforms full-time, fans have been yearning for the return of the Dynasty’s tricolour stripes and orange shoulders. The combination of blue and orange is timeless, but this is certainly the better interpretation in comparison.
The two colours complement each other well, and the alternating stripes frame the logo perfectly. However, this uniform was used for a majority of the Reebok-era (and even longer if you count their actual retro years), so design fatigue is beginning to settle in.
Los Angeles Kings
Two seasons removed from their Golden Anniversary celebrations, the Los Angeles Kings bring back an iteration of the celebratory uniforms worn that year.
The design remains mostly unaltered, with the return of its grey base, thick striping, and black shoulder yokes. The only change is, appropriately, the removal of gold from the crest and numbers which results in a very clean look.
Although many fans were anticipating the return of LA’s classic
purple Forum Blue and gold jerseys, the team went the opposite direction with modern colours and design. The absence of piping in comparison to the Kings’ main set is a significant improvement.
New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils adapted their inaugural uniforms to the modern Adidas template to create these stunning retro (albeit not officially alternate) jerseys.
Replicating the retro design almost perfectly, sharp red shoulder yokes are outlined in white and green while the same colours are used for the jersey’s striping. In fact, black is completely absent from the palette, resulting in a look appropriate for the festive season.
Interestingly enough, the Devils based this off their old white uniforms. While this differentiates it from the team’s 2014 Stadium Series design, it also severely limits their use to opponents that are able to carry their dark uniform sets on the road. ∎
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders refresh their 2014 Stadium Series look with a few subtle, but beneficial, refinements.
Gone are the jagged shoulders and god-awful chrome effects, and in its place is a clean, blue jersey with traditional orange and white stripes. Simple white shoulder yokes complete the look, along with the simplified crest. Also, the orange numbers throw back to the team’s original jerseys which is a nice touch.
The simplification of the design’s striping and crest result in a significantly-improved uniform for the Islanders. The hanger effect, however, is downright odd. It is a silhouette of Long Island, but at a glance, it simply looks like a stain.
Adopting the black and orange look from their 2017 Stadium Series uniforms, this design is incredibly clean. With a few simple, orange stripes on the all-black base, the Flyers managed to create a distinct uniform while maintaining brand identity.
While white is incorporated into the Flyers’ logo, it does not appear elsewhere on the jersey. Visual balance would be improved if the colour was used to outline the orange stripes.
With the return of Pittsburgh gold last year, the Penguins unveiled a third jersey inspired by their 2017 Stadium Series uniforms.
Although based on a similar template to the team’s home jerseys, the
striping along the hem are absent and the torso is recoloured gold. Flanking it on both sides are black sleeves with two white and yellow stripes. The triangle behind the skating penguin is also removed on the crest.
One of the more unique elements on this uniform are the TV numbers, which are placed on the shoulders as a throwback to the Super Mario era. Overall, the bright gold leaves no doubt that this jersey belongs to the Steel City.
San Jose Sharks
One of the few all-new jerseys released for the new season, the San Jose Sharks’ Stealth alternate hides surprising complexity in a clean design.
Similar to Carolina’s new alternate, the jersey is mostly-black with a contrasting trim and subtle, greyed-out details. In this case, the contrast is provided by bright teal, found in the arm stripes, collar, and shoulder patches. The crest has also been reduced to black, grey, and teal to complete the look.
The team does a great job creating a sleek, modern look. While some may consider the circuitry detailing on the sleeves gimmicky, it represents Silicon Valley, the country’s technology hub where the Sharks call home.
St. Louis Blues
Retro is certainly the way to go this year, and who can blame the Blues for going with their stunning Winter Classic uniforms?
Inspired by those of their inaugural-season, the jersey features classic white and yellow striping overlaid on a distinct light blue base. Furthermore, the iconic St. Louis Blues note is also recoloured to match the torso underneath.
Disappointingly, the crew-neck collar that was found on the Reebok edition is missing. While this is likely to be an Adidas limitation, we did see something similar on the Rangers’ Winter Classic jerseys.
Tampa Bay Lightning
This black design gradually transitions to Storm Grey towards the sleeves, doing so using an interesting (but barely-noticeable) dithering pattern. The Lightning logo is silver, matching the helmet decal. Other than this, however, there is not much else happening.
While certainly an interesting concept, the Lightning’s new design is incredibly dull. It shares some similarities with San Jose and Carolina’s third jerseys, although the main brand colours are nowhere to be found.
Washington brought back another Reebok-era alternate in the form of their star-studded inaugural throwbacks.
The Capitals stayed faithful to their original jerseys, despite the beyond-abysmal record accrued by the team wearing them. However, with so many teams rehashing previous uniforms, it would have been nice to see Washington try something new.
For their first foray into third-jersey territory, the Winnipeg Jets opted to keep things simple instead of utilizing all of Adizero’s bells and whistles.
Unveiled was a tried-and-true hockey design over an aviator-blue base. Thick, white horizontal stripes are flanked by black on its sleeves and hem. While it may seem new, the “Jets” wordmark is really an evolution which takes elements from the team’s previous logos.
Winnipeg was able to come up with a unique design which still tied into its heritage. The new wordmark is exceptionally-well thought out and adds some flair to the jersey. While the format may be traditional, it is sleek enough to fit into the modern NHL.∎
Are the new alternate jerseys a hit or miss? Let me know in the comments!