The NHL is a league filled with players from all over the world and hockey is a sport where fans are very passionate about their own team. So, it comes as no surprise that when you go to a hockey game anywhere in North America, not only do you see the jerseys of the home team, you also see fans supporting the visiting team. When a fan looks into buying a jersey they always consider which version looks the best and which name they want on the back.
It's been said over and over again, the logo on the front of the jersey is definitely more important than the name on the back. A lot of organizations pride themselves on the jersey their team is wearing and want them to represent the rich history of the franchise. Teams have a home and away jersey, while some have one or more alternate jerseys as well. For example, the New York Islanders, following their move to Brooklyn this past season, came out with alternate jerseys that match the color scheme of the Brooklyn Nets. Teams also break out new jerseys for special other occasions like the Winter Classic, Stadium Series games or an anniversary year.
Every NHL team has gone through at least minor changes to their jerseys throughout the years and now that we've gone through the different types of jerseys each team has, let's look at each NHL team and pick out their best version.
30 Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks have gone through some changes throughout the years. They broke into the league as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1993. They were founded by the Walt Disney Company and were based off the 1992 film, The Mighty Ducks. However, Disney sold the franchise in 2005 to Henry and Susan Samueli, with the help of General Manager Brian Burke, and prior to the 2006-07 season the team was rebranded as the Anaheim Ducks.
29 Arizona Coyotes
The original Winnipeg Jets left the city after the 1995-96 season and relocated to the southern USA in Phoenix, Arizona to become the Phoenix Coyotes. In their 20 years in Phoenix, the Coyotes haven't had much success. They have no Stanley Cups, Conference Championships, or Presidents’ Trophies and just one Division Championship. The Coyotes have gone through bankruptcy and at times have struggled to find an owner. After the team was purchased in 2013 by a group headed by Team President Anthony Leblanc, they were rebranded as the Arizona Coyotes.
28 Boston Bruins
One of the "Original Six" teams that was founded in 1926, the Boston Bruins are a franchise that is beloved by their fans. However, step out of the Massachusetts area and everyone seems to hate the team. The Bruins style of play is often compared to the people from Massachusetts: hard-hitting, hustling, grinding out every play and getting under the skin of others.
27 Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres joined the league in 1970 when the NHL expanded to 14 teams. They have advanced to the Stanley Cup Final just twice and have yet to win the big prize. Though the team doesn’t have a Stanley cup ring under their belt, they have won three Conference Championships, one Presidents’ Trophy and six Division Championships.
26 Calgary Flames
The team originally resided in Atlanta, Georgia when they were founded in 1972 as the Atlanta Flames. This was until the team moved to Calgary in 1980 and became the Calgary Flames. During the team’s history, they have won two Presidents’ Trophies and one Stanley Cup. The Flames have had their fair share of nice jerseys, from the Atlanta throwback jersey with the flaming "A" on the chest to the alternate jersey introduced in the 2013-14 season with Calgary written across the chest.
25 Carolina Hurricanes
The team was founded in 1971 as the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association and made their way into the NHL in 1979 as the Hartford Whalers. They didn’t become the Carolina Hurricanes until 1997 when the team relocated to North Carolina. The team has won one Stanley Cup, two Conference Championships and three Division Championships.
24 Chicago Blackhawks
Another "Original Six" team that started play in 1926, the Chicago Blackhawks are a cherished franchise that has won six Stanley Cups, four Conference Championships and 15 division Championships. Recently the Blackhawks could be considered a dynasty after winning three Cups in six seasons.
23 Colorado Avalanche
Originally founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques, a team in the World Hockey Association, it wasn’t until 1979 that the team joined the NHL. Following the 1994-95 season, the team was sold to Comcast and relocated to Denver, Colorado to become the Colorado Avalanche. The franchise has won two Stanley Cups, two Conference Championships, two Presidents’ Trophies and nine division titles.
22 Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets were an expansion team that made their NHL debut in 2000. They are a team that doesn’t have a long team history and another team that hasn’t won a Stanley Cup. They also have no Presidents’ Trophies, Conference Championships or Division Championships. As a matter of fact, they only made the playoffs for the first time in 2009.
21 Dallas Stars
The Stars date back to 1967 expansion, but they didn’t get their start in Dallas. The team began in Minnesota, as the North Stars. Due to financial problems, the North Stars got permission from the league to merge with the Cleveland Barons and before the start of the 1993-94 season the team moved to Dallas. The organization has won one Stanley Cup, two Conference Championships, two Presidents’ Trophies and eight Division Championships.
20 Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are one of the league's most respected teams. They are another "Original Six" team and are third overall in total Stanley Cups. Even more impressive, the team has made the playoffs in 29 of the last 31 seasons; their playoff streak is also up to 25 consecutive seasons. The organization is one the NHL can be proud of as the Red Wings have 11 Stanley Cups, six Conference Championships, six Presidents’ Trophies and 19 Division Championships.
19 Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers were founded in November of 1971 as a team in the WHA before joining the NHL prior to the 1979-80 season. The franchise as of late has been struggling on the ice, but it wasn't always a struggle in Edmonton. The Oilers have won five Stanley Cups, seven Conference Championships, two Presidents’ Trophies and nine Division Championship - all in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
18 Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers entered the league during the 1993-94 season. The big names the franchise was able to bring in were John Vanbiesbrouck, Rob Niedermayer and Scott Mellanby, who scored 30 goals in the inaugural season. The Panthers are still in search of their first Stanley Cup; the team made one appearance in the Cup Final in 1996 and lost to the Colorado Avalanche. The team has only made it back to the playoffs four times since never making it beyond the first round. The Panthers have only one Conference Championship and two Division Championships.
17 Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings entered the league in 1967 as a part of the first NHL expansion and they were one of the six teams that began play that year. The franchise has two Stanley Cups, - all won within the last five years - three Conference Championships and one Division Championship. The Kings are usually just sneaking into the playoffs, but when they make it into the postseason they are a scary team to play against.
16 Minnesota Wild
The first team to play in Minnesota since the North Stars, the Wild were founded in 1997, but didn’t debut in the NHL until the 2000-01 season. The Wild made their NHL playoff debut in 2002-03, where they made a run to the Western Conference Finals. Since their inaugural season in 2000, the Wild have a winning percentage during the regular season of .537. However, they are not so lucky in the playoffs with a winning percentage of just .032. They also have just one Division Championship to their name.
15 Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens are another "Original Six" team that has a lot of rich history. However, even with so much history, believe it or not, they haven’t had many jersey changes. The Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cup Championships, 8 Conference Championships and 23 Division Championships. Despite all of these achievements, they have never won a Presidents’ Trophy since the award was introduced after their most dominant years.
14 Nashville Predators
It was rumored in 1995 that the New Jersey Devils would be relocated to Nashville. That wasn’t the case and the Nashville Predators entered the NHL in 1998 as an expansion team. The Predators have not yet won a Stanley Cup, Conference Championship, Presidents' Trophy or Division Championship, but that doesn’t stop the Predators fans from coming out every year and cheering for their team in hope of a different outcome.
13 New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils were founded in 1974 in Kansas City as the Kansas City Scouts. The team then relocated to Colorado in 1976 as the Colorado Rockies, and then moved to New Jersey in 1982 to become the New Jersey Devils. Since then, they have won three Stanley Cups, five Conference Championship and nine Division Championships. They have no Presidents’ Trophies, but the Devils have been a team that’s typically in playoff contention.
12 New York Islanders
The New York Islanders were founded in 1972; the team came about as a way for the NHL to keep a team from the rival WHA out of the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Islanders have four Stanley Cups, five Conference Championships, and six Division Championships. They have no Presidents’ Trophies, but with the team they have now, you would have to believe there may be one in the near future.
11 New York Rangers
The New York Rangers are another "Original Six" team that has a lot of history. Playing in the borough of Manhattan, in the “World's Most Famous Arena”, the franchise has won four Stanley Cups, two Conference Championships, three Presidents’ Trophies and eight Division Championships. Their most recent Championship in 1994 ended 54 years of waiting for the fans of New York's biggest NHL franchise.
10 Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators that we know today were founded in 1990 and broke into the league in 1992. The team is the second Ottawa team to play in the NHL, with the first team having played from 1917 to 1934. The original franchise was an 11-time Stanley Cup Champion prior to moving to St. Louis. The current Ottawa Senators have no Stanley Cup championships, one Conference Championship, one Presidents’ Trophy and four Division Championships.
9 Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers broke into the NHL in 1967, as part of that year's expansion. Of all 24 expansions teams, the Flyers have the most Conference Finals appearances (16 appearances, eight wins). They are also second behind the St. Louis Blues for most playoff appearances of all expansion teams (38 out of 48 seasons). The Broad Street Bullies have also won two Stanley Cups, eight Conference Championships and 16 Division Championships. One trophy they have yet to win is the Presidents’ Trophy.
8 Pittsburgh Penguins
Another one of the first expansion teams in 1967, during the league's upgrade from six teams to 12, the Pittsburgh Penguins have had good times and bad. They've won three Stanley Cups, four Conference Championships, one Presidents’ Trophy and eight Division Championships. The fans of the Penguins also had to sit through tough times after Mario Lemieux’s retirement and before the emergence of now captain Sidney Crosby.
7 St. Louis Blues
Another expansion team from when the NHL went from six teams to 12, the St. Louis Blues were one of the last expansion teams added to the league in 1967. They are also the oldest NHL franchise to have never won a Stanley Cup. However, they are cutting close to it with the team they have now. In addition to no Stanley Cups, the Blues have no Conference Championships, one Presidents’ Trophy and nine Division Championships.
6 San Jose Sharks
One of the first NHL teams to be put in the San Francisco Bay area since the California Golden Seals 1976 move to Cleveland, the San Jose Shark were founded in 1991. They have been a team with plenty of regular season success, winning six Division Championships. However, the postseason has not been friendly with the Sharks. They have no Stanley Cups and they haven’t appeared in a Stanley Cup Final, although that could change this year. They also have won one Presidents’ Trophy.
5 Tampa Bay Lightning
Nicknamed the Bolts for short, the Tampa Bay Lightning were established in 1992 and they played their first game on October 7, 1992 in front of a crowd of 11,000 people. The team shocked the Chicago Blackhawks in a 7-3 victory. The 2004 Stanley Cup is the only one the franchise owns, along with two Conference Championships and two Division Championships. The team is hoping to add another Conference title and Stanley Cup this year. The Bolts have yet to win a Presidents’ Trophy.
4 Toronto Maple Leafs
The last "Original Six" team on the list, the Toronto Maple Leafs as of late have been struggling on the ice. Off the ice, the Maple Leafs are one of the league's most valuable teams, along with the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens, and have an estimated worth of $1.3 billion. The Maple Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups and five Division Championships, but have not won a Conference Championship or a Presidents’ Trophy. All of their Cups came before the league split into two conferences.
3 Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks joined the league 1970 along with the Buffalo Sabres, and have reached the Stanley Cup Final three times, playing the New York Islanders, New York Rangers and most recently, the Boston Bruins. The Canucks have also won three Conference Championships, two Presidents’ Trophies (back-to-back), and 10 Division Champions. However, they never were able to win the grandest prize of them all, the Stanley cup.
2 Washington Capitals
Founded in 1974, the Washington Capitals joined the NHL along with the Kansas City Scouts. The team was originally owned by Abe Pollin, the owner of the Washington Wizards/Bullets who passed away in 2009. Never making it over the full hump, the Capitals have yet to win the Stanley Cup. They have won one Conference Championship, two Presidents’ Trophies (including this year) and nine Division Championships.
1 Winnipeg Jets
The original Winnipeg Jets were founded in 1979, and played in Winnipeg until the 1995-96 season after which they moved to Phoenix to become the Coyotes. The Winnipeg Jets we know today were originally the Atlanta Thrashers who began playing in the NHL during the 1999-2000 season. Atlanta was the home of the Thrashers until 2011 when they were relocated back to Winnipeg. Both Jets teams combined have no Stanley Cups championships, Conference Championships, Presidents’ Trophies and just three Division Championships. The original Jets did win three Avco World Trophy as part of the WHA.
When you consider all of the jerseys of both Jets teams, of which there haven't been a whole lot of changes, their best has to be their original 1979 dark jersey. Although it is quite plain looking, the jersey still has a lot of history behind it.
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