The NHL knows that just about the only thing that will keep it culturally relevant is its jerseys. They’re fashionable to everyone, or can be, and every body type can wear one and look good. Football jerseys are boring, baseball jerseys only make sense at a baseball game (and not even really then, and if you’ve worn one on a 90-degree day on your fifth beer, you know why), and you have to be a crossfitter to make a basketball jersey work.
That doesn’t mean the NHL can’t fuck up the one thing it can use to remain in the mainstream, and maybe the height of its popularity is still Snoop in the “Gin & Juice” video, which was three decades ago. But still, it’s a big deal when teams introduce new threads, and the league will be counting on these to provide some extra revenue for a season that increasingly looks like it won’t involve fans again.
So how’d they do?
2 / 7
Blasty is back. The best of the early aughts alternate logos, and the only jersey that should be black for a team whose colors don’t normally involve black, the only horse of the apocalypse has returned! That’s right, the only horse, because he killed the other ones and married their wives!! Look at him and tell me he didn’t.
The only way this could be better is if the logo was Jarome Iginla with a flaming sword riding Blasty with flames shooting out of his nostrils as they turn Milan Lucic into mere dust.
Ha, just kidding. Lucic has been dust for the past five years.
I’ll be honest with you, dear reader, I hate everything about the Ducks. I hate everything about Anaheim. And really, Orange County. It’s a wannabe MAGA chud stronghold except everyone there is too chickenshit to admit it or give up the perfect weather to go be amongst their people. Honda Center is a bastion of grossness and ignorance and acts as a beacon for an area that is essentially the runoff out of L.A.’s mouth when a belch got a little too aggressive.
And yet these are awesome.
These were universally panned when they came out in the 90’s and seen as the ultimate symbol of the “Fox-ification” of the league when it signed a TV-deal with Fox. But we’ve come to embrace the ridiculousness. And Wild Wing breaking free of his ice-shackles to right the wrongs of society with righteous anger is what we need right now. It also helps that this is such a departure from the normal Ducks jerseys, which have been the league’s most boring this side of the Rangers for years.
Los Angeles Kings
Not all of California nailed it (we’re coming for you in a second, Sharks), but the southern part sure did. This is the perfect blending of old-school colors and a different old-school logo, and the combination feels new and exciting. And the details will be easy to marvel at as Drew Doughty drags his fat, overpaid, alleged-rapist-ass up and down the ice for a couple shifts before stopping at a Staples Center ATM and his 14th Wahoo Taco of the day.
3 / 7
Detroit Red Wings
I suppose it’s fair that the Wings put as much thought into these as anyone does into their playing roster, but this is a goddamn practice jersey. This is what you submit when you forgot the paper was due the next day and you purposely try and put it in the middle of the stack of your fellow students’ papers, hoping by some miracle or work of Loki that it’ll just magically disappear while the teacher is bringing it to the lounge or car. It’s the one he or she hands back with that expression of pity, anger, and frustration that you both wasted any time on it. It’s the one that doesn’t even have a grade but a “See Me” on it, only plunging both of you deeper into the despair that you have to talk about this poor excuse of an effort even more. It’s the kind of thing that makes a teacher question their whole career and you as a student realize life’s biggest doors are now closed to you.
See above. The Stars were somewhat hamstrung in that the Wild had claimed the North Stars model for themselves, and the Stars have so little history in Dallas, but this contains all the imagination of filling out a form in an urgent care waiting room.
St. Louis Blues
You’re the Blues. Blue. Azul. Azzurri.
I guess we know where Thom Brennaman’s next job will be now, considering homophobia is on the SAT in Missouri. They could have used the Arch logo jerseys from a few years ago, or brought back these beauties. But like everything else in that Mos Eisley on The Mississippi, they have to pay homage to the Cardinals. Woof.
4 / 7
What The Fuck Is With All The Grays?
What The Fuck Is With All The Grays?
This is what happens when you can’t decide if you want to make a home jersey or road one, and so you decide to do neither. The Sharks have spent 20 years fucking up the best expansion era jersey ever, throwing more colors and stripes onto it every year until they all gave up and just combined to make this… thing. This is the phenomenon of a band having three guitarists when the lead singer feels inadequate and has to put on a guitar to occasionally play a chord, otherwise known as the “Jagger/Vedder Maneuver,” in a hockey jersey.
Because the Jets refuse to acknowledge that their history is in Atlanta as the Thrashers, they don’t have much to draw on, which is why they didn’t draw much. These jerseys look like an MRI result.
The Canes were so close, and have used straight-up Whalers jerseys before. The actual Hartford Whalers did wear gray for a portion of their time, but was unquestionably the worst of what was on offer. Pick white, green, or even blue and these would have probably been the best. Being this close and yet opting for this exit is basically begging for sex.
5 / 7
Isn’t it funny that during the social media unveiling, the Hawks were the only team not to show their logo? Why could that be, one wonders? Feel like you’re doing something wrong there, Hawks? Feel like you know what the right choice is but you’re too greedy/lazy/scared to make it? Couldn’t be, could it?
6 / 7
A shout out to the Bruins shoulder patch, who clearly wasn’t told his buddy Fitzy sprinkled angel dust on the weed tonight:
Also to the Sabres, who almost got it right but need to flip the shoulder patches with the swords logo, as the shoulder patch is the buffalo who’s had just one too many beers, and is the perfect metaphor for Buffalo. Need to get rid of the “Buffalo” script on the bottom stripe, and replace it with something more befitting the city. Maybe a silhouette of Patrick Kane getting hauled off again to the police station or something.