When you look back at the history of the NHL, it’s amazing their death toll isn’t higher. Players went about for years without helmets as they took serious hits and some nasty shots but kept on going. The uniforms could be a bit drab as it took a while for the NHL to make helmets mandatory and also to make uniforms flashier. That’s worked for a lot of teams to be better but it hasn’t always worked out as planned. It doesn’t help that NHL teams have several alternate outfits and throwback uniforms that can add to the bad design work.
When polling NHL fans asking about what they think the best uniforms in the league are, the answers invariably come back to the original six, given that their looks are classic and ageless. A lot of the newer teams seem to constantly be tweaking their uniforms, still looking for the perfect look.
It was really terrible in the 1990s as designers tried to get some “new looks” for audiences that just ended up working terribly. Some outfits may have been okay in the shops but actually used on the ice looked terrible in many ways. And some outfits should never have been taken out of the page but kept in a deep, dark closet to never see the light of day. There have been so many examples for so many teams but every one in the NHL has had at least one jersey they deeply regret. Whether regular, away, an alternate or such, these are the worst of the worst for every current NHL team, jerseys you can’t believe were ever designed, let alone worn and each team having to bear it as part of their legacy.
30 Anaheim Ducks, 1995-96 Alternates
29 Arizona Coyotes, 1997-98 Thirds
28 Boston Bruins, 1995-2006 Winnie the Pooh
27 Buffalo Sabres, 2013-14 Thirds
26 Calgary Flames, 1998-2006 Thirds
25 Carolina Hurricanes, 2013-Present Alternates
24 Chicago Blackhawks, 1950s
23 Colorado Avalance, 2001-07 Thirds
22 Columbus Blue Jackets, 2003-07 Thirds
21 Dallas Stars, 2003-06 Thirds
20 Detroit Red Wings, 1991-92
19 Edmonton Oilers, 2001-07 Thirds
18 Florida Panthers, 1998 Third
y obvious choice here. The logo wasn’t too bad but trying to “arch” the sight of a charging cat came off more cartoonish than intended, even breaking a hockey stick. Even without that, you had a terrible mix of blue, red and yellow and cat-shaped neck lining that looked like a color-blind child’s design. It was a horrible sight on the ice and amazing Florida kept to it for a while as the Panthers failed to click over with this design.
17 Los Angeles Kings, 1995-96
16 Minnesota Wild - Reds
15 Montreal Canadiens - Barbershop Jerseys
14 Nashville Predators, 2001-07 Thirds
13 New Jersey Devils - Green
12 New York Islanders, 1995-99
11 New York Rangers, 1996-2007 Alternate
10 Ottawa Senators, 2009-11 Thirds
9 Philadelphia Flyers, 2002-07 Thirds
8 Pittsburgh Penguins, 1992-97
7 San Jose Sharks, 1998-2007
6 St. Louis Blues, Proposed 1996 Thirds
5 Tampa Bay Lightning, 1996-99
4 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1927
3 Vancouver Canucks, 1995-97 Thirds
2 Washington Capitals, 1974-75
1 Winnipeg Jets (Atlanta Thrashers), 2007-11
The Jets have a complicated history having started off in 1972 and then moving to Arizona to become the Coyotes in 1996. In 2011, the city regained a team when the Atlanta Thrashers moved there and were renamed. Thus, the currents Jets have sadly inherited the legacy of one of the worst jerseys ever seen, the infamous “motocross” outfits. They don’t even look like they were designed for hockey, red and white with no team logo, an ugly affair and Jets fans should be happy the team left these in Atlanta.
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