We knew 2019 would be big. Our lofty expectations already included the Draft, a captaincy announcement, two jersey retirements, and all the typical anniversary festivities.
But then someone caught a glance at Adidas’ catalogue and saw four placeholders under the Vancouver Canucks.
That’s right – we were getting four new jerseys. In addition to the customary retro uniform and an expected change in the regular set, the team unveiled a brand-new Heritage jersey to kickstart its Golden Anniversary celebrations.
The New, Old Logo
Sitting front-and-centre is the Canucks’ newly-redesigned Stick-in-Rink secondary logo. Now on a white foundation, the stick has been recoloured blue and features a more exaggerated angle, adding movement. Additionally, an inset green outline, when combined with the increased padding around the stick’s shaft, forms a more distinct “C”. The result is a modern look in classic colours.
Despite making its first appearance on an on-ice jersey, a similar design was seen on the Vancouver Canucks’ CCM Team Classics sweaters. Based on Vancouver’s original logo, it also featured the same white base and padded green outline, and likely served as inspiration for this new crest.
Taking cues from the westernmost team’s inaugural uniforms, two green stripes are worn on the Heritage jersey’s sleeves and hem. Instead of the original’s white, however, a thin blue line separates the pair. Consequently, there is little contrast between the torso and stripes, and both seemingly blend together at first glance.
A significant missed opportunity is the absence of an overlaid “V” on each sleeve, which was present on the Canucks’ first jersey. Not only would have this added some much-needed balance to the design, it would have been a unique element not seen on any other NHL uniform.
While the font of the Canucks’ main uniforms is retained on the Heritage alternate, a little local flair was added in the form of perforations. Instead of the standard Adizero fare, the hockey club elected to opt for a gradient, wavy pattern on the numbers, which is meant to represent the Pacific Northwest’s abundance of rain.
A Bold Collar
Instead of the half cut-off template seen on Vancouver’s regular set, the Heritage third jersey features white around the entire collar. However, the crewneck design results in the band being uniformly thick — almost overwhelmingly so.
The Canucks’ new alternate jersey is also the first to feature hanger detail; written on the inside of its collar is the team’s slogan, We Are All Canucks.
The new logo is an absolute home run, and I say that as someone who dislikes the use of shoulder patches as main crests. However, the remainder of the Heritage jersey leaves a lot to be desired.
Most noticeably, the design is seemingly without a cohesive colour scheme, where high-contrast white is only found above the crest and low-contrast green is only found below.
With that being said, we have yet to see the jersey in the context of the full uniform. But a good design should stand on its own nonetheless, given that fans donning it are unlikely to be suiting up in Canucks shorts, socks, and helmets.
In the spirit of blending old and new, I adapted the team’s inaugural design to the new Adizero template, and added the updated Stick-in-Rink logo:
For comparison purposes, below are more concepts created by fans on social media:
Despite my thoughts on this uniform, the 2019-20 season will be a truly special year.
Vancouver had to fight to get its own NHL franchise, only to watch as seemingly nothing went the Canucks’ way.
The city suffered in agony as our team reached but one short step from hockey’s sacred summit.
Yet, we still had our moments.
Linden and McLean’s hug. Burrows’ slaying of the dragon. Petterson’s historic rookie season.
These are the memories we will be celebrating this coming year.
They are the legends formed over the last five decades that will continue to transcend cultures and generations.
And they are the reasons that the blue and green stripes are imprinted onto the sleeve of every Vancouverite.
So what are your thoughts on the new Heritage jerseys?
Do you prefer any of the concepts above?
For a comprehensive history of the Vancouver Canucks’ uniforms, visit Identity Crisis.