Is there anybody else out there who drew their favorite teams’ logos or jerseys in their school notebooks? When you either drifted away from the teacher or were bored to death, did you draw hockey crests, football helmets, or logos of your fav0rite team. When the NHL switched from CCM to Reebok, and the traditional box sweater was changed to a more form fitting one, design, piping, creativity, and striping was canned for stitch lines, under arm and side colors. The result was a low point in hockey style.
With the need for some teams to create additional income, the 3rd or alternate jersey crashed the NHL party. Some fans have been lucky while others have had their hearts torn out. Some teams were on the brink of disaster such as the Philadelphia Flyers. They dodged embarrassment when they thankfully scrapped a half teal jersey, had the team name written over the shoulder, and the crest lowered to wrap around the side and back (look it up- it’s awful). Other teams like the Bruins, actually wore their horrendous “Winnie The Pooh” bear nose on yellow with the sawing, fur, or whatever that design was that gave fans a panic attack.
Personally, the crest of a team doesn’t need the city’s name. If you don’t know the Bruins, Habs, Hawks, Canadiens, or Flyers by their logo then watch baseball or basketball. Shortened nicknames like Bolts or Sens also have no place on a jersey, and neither do numbers on the front. We know who is on the ice. So without further adieu, these are the worst unis in recent NHL history and probably the fewest ever drawn by students in their notebooks.
30. Anaheim Ducks: 2006-2014
Aside from the original Duck Bill in a Goalie mask, this Ducks jersey is a basket case. The 3rd jersey of 1995-96 with a duck bursting through a frozen pond was their low point and their designs haven’t improved. They had a classic at the beginning, but have since added too much writing and colors and that ridiculous duck bill/webbed foot.
Who wants to read the name of the team you’re playing against when fans and players already know. The flowing, wrap around striping is also a terrible mess because although parallel with the “sign” on the front of the chest, it adds a dizzying effect. The Ducks updated the jersey a few years ago and it was definitely the right call.
29. Arizona Coyotes: (Alternate) 1998-2003
Come on! The originals were bad enough with the Aztec coyote pieced together in quadrants and terrible piping, but between the two you’ve got Arizona Lodge throw rugs. The color combination is awful, the Coyote is off in Peyote land, and the moon? What’s with the moon on the bottom right over the canyon lands? The images of cacti are unoriginal and seem pulled from a “Road Runner” cartoon.
Do we really need to go into the canyon lands and the ugly purple shadows? This is bad, cliched South Western art pinned to a jersey and is simply not wearable. Either way, there was absolutely nothing intimidating about this jersey and the Yotes were right to ditch it.
28. Boston Bruins: (Bear Altnernate) 2008-Present
I have to be picky with the Bruins if I don’t take the easy way out with “Winnie The Pooh” jersey, and it’s time to let that mistake rest in peace. If we took this entire logo off the jersey would we still know it’s the Bruins? Of course we would. The piping is enough for us to know who is in the building. The prowling bear is cool, bur the words dumb it down.
Ditch the team name, keep the bear on a yellow circle, and we’re heading home. If that’s not perfect, how about a skating bear? The B’s are iconic, and words only insult the fans. Luckily these are only the alternates, but they pale in comparison to the traditional B’s.
27. Buffalo Sabres: (Red Alternate) 2000-06
I also can’t take the easy way out and rip on “the slug” from 2006-10 which was one of the worst logos of all time. Instead, it’s about time this mistake takes it’s lumps. Let’s start with the pants. Really? Stop with the skating billboards and leave them black. Simple fix. The logo is way too big, not centered, and the collar is weird.
Even worse is the “Buffalo” in a boring font across the ugly piping on the waist. The symbol tells us you’re the Sabres, we know the Sabres are from Buffalo, so what, whAT, WHAT were they thinking? The Sabres ditched the whole black and red look altogether after that season. The standard black jerseys were fine, but these were horrendous.
26. Calgary Flames: Alternate 3rd Jersey, 1998- 2006
When the Flames front office or marketing department was pitched this concept, what were they thinking? This is one of the worst logos I have ever seen. It’s like the offspring of Puff The Magic Dragon, Godzilla, Falkor, and all the creatures from Harry Potter in one, poor animal who will suffer the rest of his life with an Identity Crisis. The horse head looks like it could be an emoji, the mustard/yellow color is awful, and what’s going on with the teeth? Oh, and the smoke from the nostrils is just so intimidating! The Flames eventually just decided to stick to their traditional colors and to incorporate black, added the black flaming “C” on the home jerseys; a much better incorporation.
25. Carolina Hurricanes: 1997- 2013
The logo has grown on me, it’s become a top 12 crest, and is the sharpest logo since 1990. The only problem is the block, hurricane warning pattern in the waist which is so bleh it also falls into the category of overdoing it. We already have the shoulder patches and flags so the blocks are just forced and ugly. It looks like a series of old computer coding and takes away from an opportunity to add unique piping. Also, a darker red and sharper silver/gray would add more pop. It’s a shame because the new jerseys from last season got it right, and this is a step backward. In any event, the ‘Canes really haven’t had a look that really sticks with you.
24. Chicago Blackhawks: Alternate -1996-09
Another tough call because the Blackhawks know how to do jerseys and the uni works. But the Black has an uphill battle because there is no way it’s sweeter than the red or white. Those ones may be the best in all of hockey. Also, it’s a little lazy because it’s just a reverse of colors without any risk. They could have added shoulder piping like the white Rangers jersey or a solid, red shoulder through neck design. I’d also be curious what the jersey would look like with red numbers outlined in white. The Blackhawks really don’t have a bad jersey so we simply had to take the worst of the best and this one was basically chosen by default.
23. Colorado Avalanche: 2007- 2017
Another nightmare from the unimaginative folks at Reebok. They focused so much on using colored seams to separate the jersey and eliminated so much piping they deserved to lose the designing contract. The result was boring, hanging sheets without much separation or character between teams. Almost all of their styles fit three templates, and this Avs jersey was one of the worst. If Reebok just added waist stripes and eliminated the fuss, they could have used their time in the NHL to be more creative. Adidas has now brought back the previous look the Avs had in the Joe Sakic era and it’s definitely the right call.
22. Columbus Blue Jackets: 2003-07
The Blue Jackets got off on the wrong foot with one of the worst team names in hockey. Then they followed it up with this ugly logo. I love fireworks and the 4th of July, but there are way too many stars on the jersey and the wrist design is just a waste. The waist piping is terrible and not complemented anywhere else on the sweater. But the crest is an absolute tragedy.
Really, a kid from Jr. High could be more creative. They took a “C” for Columbus, a fancy “B” for Bluejackets, and added the obligatory, silly stick with a star on top. It looks like the C and B are pole dancing. The canon was a cool addition to the newer uniforms and at least reflect the name a little better.
21. Dallas Stars: 2011-13
Just when I thought nothing could be worse than the alternate from 2003-06 with the constellation of Taurus incorporated into a bull’s face, this came out. Who buried the Giant Star that covered the jersey for this? Who ever designed and chose this should be fired. Do you play for Dallas? Are you #40? I just don’t get the appeal. And the home jersey is the complete opposite, on black.
So the opponent and fans are constantly reminded who they’re playing in case they forgot. Refund everyone. Actually, if they were dumb enough to buy this uni they deserve it.
20. Detroit Red Wings: 2007- present
Another tough choice because they too have basically stuck with two styles, save for classic jerseys of years past. I couldn’t critique those, so I had to chose between two classics. My decision was made even harder because the Wings were one of a few teams who stood up to Reebok and would not let the company destroy their iconic jersey and stripes. So as the classic home and away with the Winged Wheel rolled out, it came down to taste. With apologies to Cameron Frye, I love the white. Either way, it’s hard to pick a worst jersey for original six teams because they tend not to mess with their tradition, but the Wings should consider reverting back to their 90s look in their glory days.
19. Edmonton Oilers: 2007-11
Aside from the oil rig thing that looked more like a falling comet but was deemed symbolic because of 4 screws, Reebok destroyed the Oil’s jersey with this boring drape we’ll call template #2. Half stripes on the arms? Blue stitching down the sides? Where’s the great, traditional piping? The color scheme is also incredibly ugly with the addition of that bronze and yellow mash. The Oilers would right this wrong soon, only to go wrong again with their new orange jerseys. Only one team can pull off orange. The Oilers again tweaked their look with the switch to Adidas and if you’ve seen their new white unis, THOSE are awesome. The Oilers have probably learned from this atrocious mistake.
18. Florida Panthers: 2007-11
And here is another hideous design by Reebok. Is this not the worst shoulder work and stitched lines ever to adorn a uniform? Why was Reebok so afraid of the waist stripes or designs that many teams adopted years later. They also failed to add any creativity to ridiculous logos like this. Is the panther supposed to be intimidating? Ooh, I’m sacred. His claws are so sharp and his eyes so fierce! And thank heavens the new owners ditched the red, navy, and yellow markers used from a Crayola box for 5 year olds. The Panthers have altered their look altogether, going with a shield logo for the Panthers. Even though it gives more of an impression of a football jersey, at least it looks like a pro jersey.
17. Los Angeles Kings: Alternate, 1995-96
I still don’t know why they don’t return to the purple and yellow or why they ditched the royalty of those classics in the first place. I guess the Gretzky and McNall era felt they wanted to identify with the Raiders and saw black as the new color to define an era. But then this surfaced and complicated everything. What were they thinking with this beach towel imitating a hockey jersey?
As with all sports logos, faces or snarling animals are silly, and this King’s face and purple, yes, forced purple beard say nothing. And what’s with the psychedelic, carnival lollipop gray and white spiral design? Seeing The Great One in this jersey for his farewell season in Los Angeles was very sad.
16. Minnesota Wild: 2000- 2007
Why did the New Jersey Devils get all the criticism for their Christmas jersey? At least the Devils have a clean and bold logo, unlike the Wild’s crest, which is more fitting for an overnight camp. Talk about an annoying, over the top crest, this is a far cry from the classic North Star name and design. This logo should be printed on colored t-shirts and worn by kids at camp. And those furry font numbers are supposed to represent a wild animal? Ugh! The Wild have since toned down the red on their green jerseys and decided to just go with an all out alternate red instead of throwing too much onto their greens. It was definitely the right call.
15. Montreal Canadiens: 2007- 2017
The Montreal Canadiens simply don’t mess with their traditional CH look and the design of their jerseys have pretty much remained the same with minor tweaks over the course of their history. However in their centennial season, the Habs began reverting back to some of their blasts from the past. By far their worst look was the ‘barbershop’ jerseys that they wore as an alternate for several games in the 2008-09 season. I mean, just look at these. Yes, the Habs were celebrating their 100-year history at the time, but it was such an eyesore to see these jerseys hitting the ice. When you have arguably the best sweater in hockey, why would you have your team take the ice even for a second in these eyessores?
14. Nashville Predators: 2011- 2017
Similar to the Canucks, the Preds’ jersey is too loud and busy. Get rid of the stripes across the numbers, the collar to waist stitching, and the bands of color above the name and above the crest. Seriously, what do the lines across the numbers or down the front add?These are all simple but necessary to enhancing the uniform. Oh, by the way, ADIDAS just made all those changes! Some will argue that the Preds’ mustard yellow jerseys they wore as an alternate would be the right choice, but at least those were only alternates! A lot of Preds fans like the look of going a little against tradition for a hockey jersey but it’s likely these jerseys won’t age well in the future.
13. New Jersey Devils: 1992- present
The inaugural, red and green jerseys were worn from 1982 to 1992, and then the Devils changed to this classic design. They have also never created some pathetic 3rd or Alternate that says “Devs” or New Jersey. Although, a black alternate would probably look cool given their team name. It’s pretty awesome that a franchise that Gretzky mocked and fans don’t support has created a winning and traditional culture. The Devils have brought back their old “Christmas” jerseys for some retro nights, but I feel the Devils need to update their look a little, as these jerseys now feel stagnant after all these years.
12. New York Islanders: Brooklyn Black
This is what the team came up with after finding a new home in Brooklyn. This schmatza is almost as bad as the team’s management. It has to hurt every hockey fan to see how far this once great franchise has fallen in almost every aspect. The Islanders have had some ugly uniforms, from the Gordon’s Fisherman to the orange star, but this is the worst. Black and white isn’t a bad idea, but the big, white NY and the 4 thin white stripes is so bland and boring it makes an Oreo cookie look exciting. And yeah, we know what the stripes represent. Real clever.
11. New York Rangers: 1990- current
This jersey goes back much further than the 1990s and will last much longer, which is a shame on many levels. It’s classic in terms of age but nothing else. First, the team name refers to their old Texan owner, and I don’t think New York still has to honor him. The home and away jerseys need to switch from stitched print to the image they have used of Lady Liberty. Some fans might disagree with this, because the Rangers have such a long history and they’ve pretty much had the same look forever, but there is a way to give these jerseys a little tweak and still honor the team’s tradition. For my money, Lady Liberty on an NHL jersey looks a lot cooler.
10. Ottawa Senators: Alternates – 2000-07
It’s easy to get sick looking at the Predators old mustard colored jerseys, so why would the Senators use the same color? And those black… what are they? A one legged duck’s footprint? The whole excessiveness is distracting and makes the “Sens” jerseys look awesome. Also, why did there seem to be a need for so many NHL teams to adopt a black third jersey in the 90s and 2000s? Yes, black could look really cool on a jersey but some teams just aren’t cut out to infuse their logo with the darker shade. The Sens have altered their jersey so many times in their existence. Let’s hope they get it right for good eventually. Or is this all just a way to sell more jerseys?
9. Philadelphia Flyers: 2007-10
This is the worst of all the Reebok designs. The Flyers always had great shoulder piping and Reebok chucked it for this ugly elbow pattern. What is going on there at the elbow? It’s a desperate attempt at something creative which was just clown like. It even looked worse when worn as if the pieced together patterns were too tight in the shoulders. We should all be happy they ditched this thing even if you hate the team. Just awful. The Flyers had a perfectly good design before and they’ve now brought back more orange into their jersey which is a good call. The iconic logo gets lost when placed on a black backdrop, whereas the orange lets it pop more.
8. Pittsburgh Penguins: 1995- 2002
No logo without the skating penguin and the scarf is acceptable. It’s such a classic hockey crest that it deserves to stay, even if it’s surrounded by the city and team name. This was the worst Pens uniform because of the horrendous yellow/gray blend that emanates from the underarm of the yellow wing. The same horrendous “fade” blends into the numbers on the back of the uniform. The Penguin is also a disaster as it seems to pose with it’s chest out and wings spread wide. You’re not an eagle, you’re a PENGUIN! A simply hideous jersey and the Pens can’t even blame Reebok. The Penguins eventually switched to the ‘Vegas’ gold look, but they reverted back to their classic early 90s look of black and yellow, which remains their BEST jersey in recent times.
7. St. Louis Blues: 1995-98
Wow, what did Wayne Gretzky do to deserve this? Just when he thought he finally thought his days of wearing bad jerseys were behind him, he got traded to the Blues just as they were sporting their worst look in recent memory. The original Ducks jersey is the only one that could pull off the diagonal waist design, as shown here by this disastrous Blues uniform. It’s another terrible use of 3 Crayola markers and is more fitting for a 10 year old boy’s bicycle.
The other insult is “St. Louis” printed in the note. Really? Did the Gretzky and Hull era make the team so desperate they had to raise money with these? Thankfully the Blues didn’t stick with these for much longer.
6. San Jose Sharks: 1998-2007
It’s hard to believe this jersey lasted almost 10 years. Their original jersey and later models had some serious and unique piping and lines, but this is like a quilt. It’s almost like a real shark tore it apart and there was only gray and black fabric to stitch it together. The numbers and lack of the dorsal fin even made it worse. There was simply way too much gray on these jerseys and the Sharks have since thrown more teal or have worn an alternate black jersey – by the way, that’s a black alternate that actually works – and the Sharks also have a more traditional hockey looking jersey today. Anyway, it’s hard to imagine that any Sharks fans would be clamoring for this to return.
5. Tampa Bay Lightning: 1996- 1999
This was the only jersey worse than any of the “Bolts” jerseys they wore or still wear. Not only that, but this mess wins the award for the ugliest jersey ever made. We actually have a jersey depicting a storm brewing in the ocean with large waves forming at the waist and rain pouring across the logo. The lightning bolts on the sleeves are cartoonish and straight from a bad Halloween costume. At best, this is a roller blade or Arena Football League jersey and is simply the most obnoxious uniform ever worn. Tampa doesn’t deserve another cup until this jersey is publicly flogged. The Lightning looked like a Mickey Mouse organization wearing these and while they’ve had some bad looks, this easily takes the cake.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs: 1992-2000
It’s hard to pick the worst Leafs’ jersey so it comes gown to the details, the Leaf. I love the traditional and contemporary leaf, not the cut out one that seems sketched with the help of a ruler. It’s the Leafs after all, and they deserve better. They’ve always been able to recreate their piping, but this Leaf and lettering is too stenciled. Like the other original six teams, the Leafs have had the tendency to more or less stick with their tradition. Their recent change back to the classic badge that was worn in the 40s and 60s. It seems the Leafs are ready for a new era and the new/classic maple leaf is going to be their look of the Auston Matthews era.
3. Vancouver Canucks: 2007- present
Nothing about this sweater works and it’s like a pizza with 10 toppings. The “C” with an Orca is forced, shameful self promotion. It also clashes with the classic blue and green sweater, so it needs the black, red, and gray. The city name adds just the busy noise of a huge billboard advertising an amusement park. The whole image needs to rid itself of the chaos and start over. Or, bring back the “V’s”. There doesn’t seem to be a Canucks jersey in their entire history that is unanimous among the fan base so we really could have gone with any of their looks here. Perhaps we should take a poll among Canucks fans and see if there’s a consensus of what their best and worst unis really were.
2. Washington Capitals: 1997-07
The orange was almost as nasty as the Predators’ mustard, the numbers were gaudy, and the logo was loud, childish, and bubbly. The Bicentennial numbers would possibly work on the Philadelphia 76ers’ jersey but would still need to be deflated. Crossed hockey sticks and a puck? Soft and Puh-lease. These looked like the White House was running the team and it seemed as if these jerseys were meant to represent a political party. The Capitals should be all about just sticking to the classic American colors of the red, white and blue. Take your pick over any of those color patterns but I think pretty much everybody could agree that this look for the Capitals was simply terrible. Please, Caps, don’t bring this back for a retro night.
1. Winnipeg Jets: 1990-96
Now Jets fans seem to be very defensive about their team so don’t take this personally.
We decided not to include the Thrashers into the equation and stick to the jerseys of either Winnipeg incarnation.
This is certainly a classic jersey, but the old logo doesn’t compare to the new one with a red Canadian Leaf and Jet. The new crest doesn’t need words, nut the colors of the new sweater are bland and boring. It’s an easy fix. Take this sweater and add the new logo and wallah, the new Jets have landed. Maybe the folks in the Peg will realize this and combine this jersey with the new log before they create a 3rd or alternate that says “The Peg.”
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