On May 16, Reddit user humanpizza posted a photo to r/hockeyjerseys, one which they claimed to be the upcoming third jersey catalog from Adidas. Coming a year after all 31 teams unveiled their Adizero homes and aways, the news was well-expected, albeit a bit earlier than anyone thought. 19 jerseys were named, although all were labelled “confidential.”
So far, we’ve seen 3 revealed, 2 of which are new, but familiar in their own ways. While the Flyers opted to bring back their black thirds from last season, the Coyotes brought back a fan favourite when the original Kachina homes made their grand return to the desert. Meanwhile in Carolina, a new version of their beloved black alt — now featuring two warning flags, and a negative space North Carolina — was unveiled, one that has won over fans.
But what about the rest? With the league not being afraid to experiment, or even re-experiment as seen with the return of the Avs’ and Coyotes’ beloved 90s jerseys, what can we expect from the remaining 16 teams?
Face it, every hockey fan who grew up in the 1990s — or has a heart — wants one thing: the return of the Mighty Ducks in some way. Years after new ownership overhauled the identity following the sale from Disney, Wild Wing has been returning in larger ways, first as the shoulder patch in the Ducks’ thirds-turned-primaries, then finally brought back as the main crest on their florescent orange alt up until the Adizero switch.
With the reveal date set for this upcoming Saturday — at a season ticket holder beach party, no less — will the Ducks give the people what they want? According to a source per Icethetics, the jersey will be black and will feature the Wild Wing crest, so it appears so. Perhaps something like this?
— KP8 (@KP8Design) June 24, 2017
As with the Ducks, retro will prevail. Unless they go in a far out direction, it’s time to bring back the original reds.
However, the Flames have stalled numerous times in seeing them return. Although they made their return as full-time alternates in 2009, they were briefly shelved for three years in favour of these. It would itself briefly return a season before the Adizero switch.
Face it, the fans love it. The players look good in them. They’re one of the sharpest sets in NHL history, far from the not-as-vibrant set they wear now. What kind of flame is black, anyway?
The Avs were one of the teams that lost a beloved alt in the Edge to Adizero switch. The throwback to the Colorado Rockies days — given a new, navy twist — proved to be a fan favourite, even going as far as being rumoured to be the new primaries in 2017.
The Avs are well aware of this, so expect them to bring this back in some form. The question is, will they keep the navy, or perhaps go in a different direction. Being that they brought back the beloved “mountain striping” jerseys of the glory days, perhaps they go more radical in their thinking? A light blue or burgundy third with the Rockies crest maybe? Something like this by Icethetics submitter Nick Burton would be great.
Columbus Blue Jackets
A lot of these teams settled into third jersey looks that, well, worked. One of them was the Blue Jackets, whose cannon jersey lasted 7 years.
The cannon was introduced in 2010, alongside a mascot that gained notoriety for other reasons. Since then, it’s divided fans, some saying it should be made the full-time home, with others dismissing it as typical NHL faux-vintage.
Although reports say it will return, I sort of want them to go in an abstract direction. After all, what are third jerseys for, right? Who doesn’t want to see the Jackets decked out in red versions of their homes, or a navy-and-red version of the cannon? James Taylor’s concept on Icethetics brings to mind what could be done.
According to Icethetics, the blues will be back as the new thirds, to the joy of most Oilers fans presumably. But the Oilers’ colour scheme change last year leaves one question: royal or navy blue?
While a royal blue jersey would be familiar — and have five Stanley Cups associated with them — a navy version with the orange yolk would be unique. Or, if we’re in a creative mood, something without the yoke, essentially their 1996-2007 navy set with orange instead of copper and red. I’m thinking something like this.
Los Angeles Kings
As much as I’d love to see the Kings embrace forum blue and gold once again, it’s really obvious they’re dead-set on their Raiders silver and grey. So expect them to once again bring a grey alternate into the fold.
That being said, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And the Kings’ latest grey offering — their 50th anniversary jersey — was the best of them, and maybe some white added to the mix — and the 50th anniversary details removed, of course — could be a great improvement and a sharp look.
New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils were a surprise in the Adizero catalog page that got leaked, being that they have never had a regular third, partly because it was verboten under Lou Lamoirello. However, Lou is long gone, and being that their Adizero makeover is unpopular, could we see the old homes return? Or, as many are expecting, the classic Christmas tree jerseys?
However, I’d like to propose a compromise. What if we got a unique mix of the two? How about, say, a near-black green, set in a combination of the 1982 and 1992 jerseys? One can dream.
New York Islanders
The Islanders’ last few stabs at alternates have generally been misses. After the Brooklyn black and white, like their arena situation there, went awry, the Isles are expected to go with a prominently orange jersey with the “NY” crest, as per Icethetics.
Of course, Isles orange makes one remember the last time they made that venture. While some fans remember those fondly, by the description so far (orange jersey, blue shoulders), it’s possible this one could quickly join its fellow Isles alts in a few years.
Of course, it’s possible it won’t be a dud. The last orange jersey lasted 5 years, and as the Islanders usher in their post-Tavares era/Lou era, this could be one of its symbols. Don’t forget Lou is in charge now, and given his distaste for anything untraditional, it could indeed end up surprising us.
The Pens finally figured everything out in 2016, when vegas gold went… well, to Vegas, and the Pens finally brought back their beloved early 90’s gold and black jerseys. In their first alternate since the switch, I say take it back a little further. Did someone say Sunday jerseys?
I’m talking about the gold jersey, introduced in 1981 as an occasional home jersey worn on Sundays, which would briefly become the full-time home until 1984, just in time for rookie Mario Lemieux to don them in the pre-season. Since then, the Pens have worn gold once, at the 2017 Stadium Series at Heinz Field.
But with the team having embraced the Lemieux-era black and gold full time, why not bring back the gold thirds? Being that third jerseys were created to market to fans, I can’t think of a better jersey to market than this one.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues hit one out of the park with their 2017 Winter Classic jersey, modelled after their inaugural threads. Although their previous full-time alternate lasted a good 8 years, the Blues have rarely worn throwbacks, the last time being in 2003-04 when their late 70s set was worn for a few games as part of the NHL vintage program.
So why fix what ain’t broke? The Winter Classic ones were popular, and look pretty sharp, and offer something different, especially in comparison to the current modern Blues. Expect that we haven’t seen the last of them.
San Jose Sharks
Two years ago, the Sharks introduced a new set of logos, at the time for use at the Sharks’ Los Tiburones Night. Designed by Terry Smith — the same man who designed every Sharks logo from the beginning — these logos have been rumoured to make a splash (couldn’t resist) for some time. Last year, they would be added to the new Adizero jerseys’ shoulders. This year, they may make the jump to primary logo.
The Sharks have been rumoured to be bringing back their black alternates in some way — after all, their original set was one of the sharpest of its time. Bringing the “yelling shark” (as it’s been lovingly named) to the front of one of those would indeed be sharp.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay’s current look is pretty boilerplate when it comes to hockey jerseys. For a team that came into the league over 25 years ago, with an abstract name and location, you wouldn’t guess these were the kind of jerseys they would be wearing now.
That’s why myself — and many fans — would love to see a return to black, one which puts an actual logo in the centre instead of, well, a diagonal “Bolts.” The original logo is favoured by Tampa fans, although it still looks like it was scribbled by Phil Esposito on a cocktail napkin (actually true), while the 2007 updated logo is a far, far improvement, but one that doesn’t fit with the Bolts’ current branding.
So while slapping their current logo on a black jersey wouldn’t be out of left field, I’m curious if something new could come from this. A new alternate-specific logo would be a welcome addition, one that would potentially make the jump to primary in a few years. However, since people love nostalgia, expect something like this to be unveiled.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs have been on a roll with their jerseys over the past few seasons. After ditching the Ballard logo for the new, updated veiny Leaf, and rolling out a great set of throwbacks for their 100th anniversary, things look good in terms of a Leafs third.
Again as per Icethetics, sources say the St. Pats jerseys worn in 2017 could be returning. Like the other Original Six teams, the Leafs have a ton of throwbacks to choose from, and the St. Pats are definitely at the top. While I’d love to have seen their blue-shoulder yoked aways — famously the Leafs’ thirds from 2000 to 2007, and again from 2008 to 2011 — make a return, the St. Pats are a fun third, almost like the real life version of putting your team in one of the vintage jerseys in the NHL games. There’s also not enough kelly green in the league, so no complaints.
The Canucks have stuck with the orca for 20 years now. A lot has happened since then, including a certain not-so-beloved Canucks captain and a Cup run. However, like the Sedins did this past season, it’s time to move on.
With Seattle pretty much a done deal, and with the team likely taking the lead from its other sports teams and wearing green, expect the Canucks to take a different route with their alt. While I’d be on board for a whole new identity — after all, it’s been over a decade since the Canucks went back to the blue and green — the “spaghetti skate” of the Bure and Linden days remains popular, as seen when the Canucks wore them a couple of seasons ago.
Will the “spaghetti skate” return, potentially full-time? Although there’s nothing very “Canuck”-ish about them, it does bring back a flood of nostalgia for fans. The Canucks haven’t done anything left field with their identity since bringing the orca in, but as the Sedins era rides off into the sunset, and the Boeser era begins, seeing the team throw everything in trash for something else would be great.
The Cup champs have played it safe with alternates over the past few years. Ever since returning to their red and blue colour scheme in 2007, we’ve seen their original red and blues return a few times over the years, both the home and away at different points.
But while the Caps’ vintage set is definitely a likely thing, the Caps could go into a far, far more different direction. As seen last year at the Stadium Series, the Caps finally delved into something navy, one which included a “caps” logo. Something like that, perhaps with the “Weagle” finally making its appearance in front of a jersey, could be unveiled this summer. However, as the Caps seem happy with their vintage set, it’s likely we won’t get much change.
Ever since returning in 2011, the Jets have pretty much tried to start from scratch in terms of branding. Until finally caving in and wearing WHA throwbacks for the 2016 Heritage Classic, the Jets barely wore anything to acknowledge their predecessor.
This could change, though. With their first alternate lined up, we could see a slow shift to something like the WHA throwbacks, if not those. After all, with their 24 years of existing, there’s enough throwbacks to choose from.