Let me start off by saying I’m a total jersey nerd. I have to believe that one of the big reasons I got into hockey as a little two year old lad was the awesome, bright, crazy unis of the 1990’s. That love has followed me into adulthood, and I have built up a mighty fine collection of some beautiful jerseys over the years (and some pretty ugly ones too).
One of my biggest gripes with the current state of the game today is how many teams have absolutely shocking uniform designs and decisions. I would assume these franchises are paying for top-quality business consultation and design people, yet we continue to see insane decisions like the Flames and Capitals just made recently when Adidas took over, to ditch the beautiful retro looks they had, and go with plain, pipe-y, pyjama-looking trash, while 99.9% our jaws dropped at how such a decision could be made. Is there some ugly jersey conspiracy that we’re all totally oblivious to?
But alas, we don’t have any say in which jerseys our teams will don. But it won’t stop us from dreaming! So I decided to do a series on the best jerseys that each franchise has worn. You may agree with some, you may think I’m crazy. Either way, let me know by tweeting me at @BLTJay!
Blue ‘Vintage’ Jersey (2008-2017)
The Edmonton Oilers are a curious rollercoaster franchise, both in terms of on-ice performance, and on-ice looks. They came into the league with a powerhouse team, making the playoffs for 13 straight seasons and winning 5 Stanley Cups as one of the best dynasties in the history of pro sports. They won these cups with awesome royal blue and bright orange jerseys, and Gretzky even rocked the classic JOFA bucket to complete the look.
Post-dynasty, the Oilers changed their look to an okay – but not great – darker navy blue and copper jersey, as you can see below. It’s not terrible, and there were certainly worse looks in the 90’s, but it is most definitely uglier than their original uniform.
They proceeded to suck worse and worse as the years went on, and so did their jerseys. What the fuck are these? Like holy shit, looking up these images, they are way worse than I even remember. Maybe some of the most boring, useless uniforms in NHL history. Those same adjectives could be used for Dustin Penner and those whole Oilers squads too.
It’s all good though! While the Oilers continued to suck in 2012 and beyond, they finally returned to their roots and brought back the look that delivered them success in the 80’s. It didn’t help them return to form, but it improved upon an already great look (let’s be honest, any RBK version of a classic is sharper, and an improved fit than the actual classic itself – ala Flames, Blackhawks, Red Wings, etc.)
Damn, those are sexy… And I hate the Oilers. I have no idea why they switched to the all orange jersey and darkened their blue to a gross almost-black when Adidas took over. The only thing that makes sense is that they had saturated the market on the nice jerseys, and needed an ugly one so that fans would buck up and pay to look like idiots in their nice new arena. Seriously, these are obviously so much worse:
So what are your thoughts? Do you like the classic look best? Maybe the white version of it? Maybe you’re weird and like the new abomination orange look? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me at @BLTJay!
Check out the best jerseys of each franchise so far, here:
Looking to get your summer hockey fix? Check out Eppy 6 of our new NHL podcast, Post and Out: