NHL fans have either waited eagerly, or have dreaded, the day that the league and Adidas would reveal what all 31 NHL teams' hockey sweaters would look like for the 2017-2018 NHL Regular Season and so on. Recently, each team respectively introduced their state of the art jerseys (Adidas Adizero), and while a majority of teams made minimal changes, there were a handful of clubs that made notable modifications.
Teams such as the New Jersey Devils and the Minnesota Wild fit into the category of establishing a new layout and design for their hockey sweaters, and both fan-bases made their reactions known -- especially over Social Media.
And, while NHL fans alike were nervous Adidas would brand all of the NHL teams with its notorious three-stripes (on most apparel), the soccer-based brand did not do so, luckily. In fact, the Adidas logo, which is located on the back and top half of all the sweaters, compliments the modernized jerseys. Additionally, the sweaters will also be manufactured differently, to make the jerseys more breathable in the shoulder areas, and to weigh less.
So, now is the time to critique each hockey sweater. The Sportster ranks The NHL's Adidas Adizero jerseys from worst to best.
31 Ottawa Senators
Missed opportunity – is the first thing that should come to most NHL fans alike. The Ottawa Senators went from being a club with one of the more unique jerseys since its inaugural season (1992), to some of the worst after Reebok took over the NHL’s jersey rights (2006). What’s the missed opportunity?
The Sens should have introduced their most recent black alternate sweater as the new home uniform, but instead Ottawa made changes to the sweater’s sleeves that could be easily overlooked. The “O” alternate logo, which is stitched as shoulder patches on the team’s current sweater, would be an ideal replacement to Ottawa’s current primary logo, right? The appearance the Senators have established with their both their new, and former, jersey portrays an image that almost looks like the sweater’s design is incomplete.
30 Anaheim Ducks
Sure, there were no notable changes made to the Anaheim Ducks’ sweaters. The new Adidas Adizero jersey for Anaheim just entails a different design for the sweater’s collar – like every NHL team. Yet, like the Ottawa Senators, this was another missed opportunity to unveil one of the league’s best alternate jerseys as the club’s new primary home jersey.
Too many teams in the Western Conference, specifically the Pacific Division, don black as a base color for a team’s respective home or alternate sweater. And, if the Ducks didn’t want to establish the club’s orange alternate jersey as the new primary, why not unveil a newly designed orange jersey. The key here was to use orange as the base color for the team’s new home jersey…
29 Nashville Predators
Now, post 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the hockey world can confirm that a game at Bridgestone Arena, and the Nashville Predators, are anything but the term, “boring.” However, the club’s new Adidas Adizero sweaters can be put down as both boring and disappointing. The Preds' former Reeebok jerseys were not the best the NHL had to offer, but the new Adidas jerseys are a downgrade and here’s why…
The Predators and Adidas teamed up to establish a “cleaner look” to the new jersey and wanted to embrace the color gold – which now occupies just about every single seat during a Preds’ home game. While a majority of the sweater’s minor and cool details, such as the guitar strings running horizontally across the player’s numbers are still present, the jersey ultimately lost most of its character.
28 New Jersey Devils
Arguably the most disappointing Adidas Adizero jersey that was recently revealed would be the newly designed sweater for the New Jersey Devils. The Devils haven’t drastically changed their home and away jersey designs since the 1993 NHL campaign, when the organization officially switched from a red and green color scheme and to red and black. And, Jersey’s Team had established a consistent brand with its’ sweaters that was comparable to a prestige-like Original Six identity.
If you’re the Devils -- you either make no changes at all, or you go ahead and pull the trigger by taking advantage of an opportunity to go against the grain, for once. Truthfully, this jersey enthusiast would have liked to have seen the Devils’ red and green jersey design brought back, but with the team’s current, red, black and white color scheme. New Jersey’s - new jersey goes down as one of the worst sweaters the NHL now has to offer.
27 Calgary Flames
Similar to other clubs already mentioned on this list, most NHL fans were probably expecting and hoping for the Calgary Flames to reveal a completely different sweater design than the one the team has worn for the past decade. The Flames made minor changes to their sweater, and if any at all – considering every NHL team has a newly designed collar area, too.
Calgary’s vintage bright red, orange and yellow sweaters seem to be widely accepted by all hockey fans alike, and now was the time to revert back to an old flame in Calgary, Alberta. Keep in mind, the Flames do have one of the best logos in all of professional sports, but the team’s jersey design does take away from that rooted-classic logo.
26 Columbus Blue Jackets
First and foremost, the Columbus Blue Jackets sweaters shouldn’t be labeled as terrible by any means, but in comparison to the rest of the league the jerseys still fall at the bottom of the list. Since Reebok introduced the Edge Series in 2007, the Jackets haven’t made any notable modifications to their sweaters, which has served as positive for this specific NHL expansion franchise (2000).
However, one has to wonder and believe that Columbus will eventually ditch the “Reebok piping” appearance that run down both of the jersey’s home and away sleeves. Perhaps a layout similar to the Dallas Stars, or even the Buffalo Sabres, would suit the Blue Jackets better, no? It will be interesting to see if the Jackets will unveil an alternate sweater for 2018-19 and if it will entail the club’s alternate cannon logo, too.
25 Vegas Golden Knights
It probably wouldn’t be fair to rank the Vegas Golden Knights any higher for this specific list, especially since NHL fans have yet to see the club’s sweaters take to the ice for a game. Still, the Golden Knights did a commendable job for the NHL’s latest expansion franchise; and considering these are a much better look than the first uniforms that teams such as the Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets), Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets all unveiled almost 20 years ago to the date.
Fans should appreciate the color scheme, and the hidden designs that are located in the jersey’s main crest, plus in the sparkling gold stripes on the jersey’s sleeves. Why is their red? The red pays tribute to the notorious “Welcome To Las Vegas” sign that lights up in red when arriving to Sin City. As noted before, too many teams out west wear the color black, so I think the gray home jersey suits Vegas well.
24 Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes' latest jersey design has the Canes’ ranking surpass a number of teams, as last season saw Carolina previously ranked at the bottom of the list for the NHL’s worst overall sweater. The Hurricanes made the right decision by incorporating more black into the home red jersey; and also reintroducing the square “Warning Flags,” that entail two different red colors on the base of the jersey, was a much needed and improved trait for the team’s sweaters.
While Carolina’s most recent sweater design may in fact fit Adidas Hockey’s marketing campaign of “Form The Future” the as one of the top jerseys to do so, the Canes have a long list of competition ahead of them. It will be interesting to see what the white sweater will entail, too.
23 Vancouver Canucks
No drastic changes were made to the Vancouver Canucks uniforms. And, while any hockey fan can appreciate one’s favorite respective team staying true and consistent to an organization’s brand, you almost have to wonder if the Canucks could have ditched “Vancouver” which arcs above the team’s primary crest.
Yes, removing “Vancouver,” from both the home and away jersey is a minor change – but would it hurt the overall appearance for each? Probably not, so go ahead and make the modification. The list is starting to get tight here and competitive, as every minor detail will matter for each club’s overall uniform design. Plus, Vancouver should be more focused on putting a competitive team back on the ice any, right? It will be interesting to see if the team unveils an alternate after this season…perhaps a navy blue sweater could be introduced?
22 Minnesota Wild
Yes, the Minnesota Wild are one of the few teams to completely redesign their uniforms, but most expected a little more character from the newly revealed Adidas jersey. Reintroducing the Wild’s primary logo as the home sweater’s crest was a good decision, and having the Montreal Canadiens-like horizontal white stripe across the center is flashy. Additionally, adding a thin red stripe into that same white belt is a nice compliment, too.
Still, this is too plain, especially considering it’s the State of Hockey. Any type of traditional hockey stripe, or stripes, should be added on the base area of the jersey. The “modern” look some clubs are trying to implement by leaving the front-bottom of a jersey primarily blank – just looks odd. Better luck next time, ‘Sota.
21 Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings fall lower than most might expect, and in large part because it’s time for the City of Angeles to go back to its’ Gretzky roots. The Kings jerseys are essentially exactly the same, and they were some of the better designed jerseys the NHL had to offer….six years ago.
Adidas let a prime opportunity slip away after failing to redesign and reintroduce a look that portrays the Kings’ jerseys from the late 1980s until the mid-1990s. Also, keeping the piping that runs down each of the jersey’s sleeves will just remind fans of the when Reebok produced the league’s jerseys, and it takes away from Adidas putting a stamp on its first-go-around with the NHL’s jerseys. Change is good, in Los Angeles – perhaps it would help bring them another Stanley Cup, too.
20 Arizona Coyotes
This had potential to be bad, very bad. The Arizona Coyotes have changed their jerseys too much over the past two decades, but thankfully the club stuck with its’ most recent design which was introduced last season. Zona’s hockey sweaters aren’t terrible, and if anything they complement that modern look that more teams should look to follow/duplicate, too.
Is the primary crest of the jersey still too enlarged? Yes, but luckily with the new Adidas Adizero theme – logos are apparently almost 50% lighter, as they’ll use less material to make.
Things have been drastically changing for the Coyotes organization, especially with long-time team captain Shane Doan not returning, but luckily the team’s fashion and style on the ice is not changing. All Arizona has to do it minimize the size of that logo, and maybe the Yotes will find themselves ranked better on this list for next season.
19 Washington Capitals
Why are the Washington Capitals this low on the list? Similar to other clubs mentioned above, most fans were more than likely hoping for the modern-vintage appearance; meaning that it would have been nice to see the Capitals don their original red, white and blue uniforms. The Capitals have worn both the red and white vintage sweaters in the recent past, but as an alternate sweater.
Overall, it’s disappointing to see Adidas not take a stand and have a team like the Capitals and all-star forward Alex Ovechkin stray away from the Reebok Edge appearance (2007). What a sight it would be to see the Pittsburgh Penguins and Caps meet for a third straight year in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but with Washington wearing the modern-vintage themed sweaters – and finally beating Sidney Crosby and company...
18 Winnipeg Jets
Landing almost in the middle of the pack for this list from TheSportster are the Winnipeg Jets. There’s no doubting that the Jets’ jerseys are unique, especially in comparison to not only the rest of the NHL but the other six Canadian franchises. Winnipeg’s re-entrance to the NHL can still be considered fresh, and the club’s sweaters arguably didn’t need any type of make-over, at all.
However, perhaps the white jerseys could be cleaned up a tad. I’d like to see the Jets away uniforms stray away from the appearance the club introduced back in 2011. The Jets reminded NHL fans during this past season’s Heritage Classic – that stripes and shoulder yokes are a good look for the club. Another question to keep in mind, is if the team will finally unveil an official alternate jerseys after this upcoming season’s end?
17 Buffalo Sabres
At last, the Buffalo Sabres did away with the arch-like gray-piping underneath their sweater’s sleeves. It’s a subtle change, but one that can be appreciated by Sabres fans. Also, there was no need to change the jerseys overall design, which resembles the club’s vintage jerseys. Still, it would have been nice to see Buffalo go back to the bright blue as the base color for the home sweater.
The navy blue would look better as an alternate jersey, and the replacing that color with more of a royal blue would make the Sabres really stand out from the rest of the league. It’s time to do away with gray as the third color, too. The Sabres would have a top ten jersey if they wore a less modernized version of the club’s original sweaters.
16 Colorado Avalanche
Do these look familiar? Good, because they should for anyone who labels themselves as even an average hockey fan. Since Reebok redesigned the Avs’ sweaters (2007), Colorado has arguably had some of the worst jerseys in all of hockey. But, the Avalanche finally went back to their root and by switching to the team’s original jersey design (1995).
If you’re wondering why the base of the sweater has what appears to be a large triangle – it’s supposed to resemble mountain tops. Sure, it would have been a good idea to introduce the club’s most recent navy blue alternate as the new primary home sweater, but the Avs couldn’t have gone wrong with this decision to don the original sweaters, right? Perhaps there actually is hope in Denver and for Joe Sakic and company.
15 Edmonton Oilers
Last season, the Edmonton Oilers donned a hockey sweater that arguably fell in the top five out of the (then) 30 currents teams. However, since Adidas recently introduced its Adizero line of newly designed jerseys, the Oilers hockey sweater is sadly just average at best. It was already a bold decision by the organization to make the (previously) orange alternate jersey the primary home sweater; but Edmonton took things two steps further and this time in the wrong direction.
The Oilers made a mistake by ditching royal blue as a secondary color, and replacing with it navy blue. Oil Country did something similar to that and with uniforms back in the mid-'90s too (eventually went back to royal blue in 2010). So why change back again? It was also a bad decision to modify the orange jersey’s stripes on both the base and sleeves of the sweater to resemble the team’s away design.
14 Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers uniforms have always been a controversial topic, and even as recent as last offseason when the Cats unveiled a completely new design for their sweaters. Yet, the change Florida made was a bright and positive one for the Sunshine State. The Panthers went from arguably one of the worst jerseys in the NHL – to one of the better and more respectable modern jerseys a team could don.
Critics would say that the Panthers’ newest jersey resembled that of a Futbol club’s jersey; but the reality is they suit the Cats well, especially with a brand such as Adidas. The Panthers made minimal changes to their jerseys, and if anything have moved up one spot, or two, for ranking every NHL teams Adidas Adizero jersey from worst to best. And, perhaps a team such as the Vegas Golden Knights could use a similar layout and design for their next set of uniforms…
13 San Jose Sharks
Yes, the San Jose Sharks were ranked higher on a similar list last season. But, there’s a reason why the Teal have dropped out of the top ten and when ranking every team’s Adidas Adizero sweater. During the latter part of last season, San Jose unveiled a few new alternate logos (futuristic appearance) that would only be featured on merchandise – at first. Was it an experiment to see what the Teal’s loyal fan base would think; or preparation for all fans to get used to a logo with a notable futuristic appearance?
The Sharks added one of the few new logos to the shoulders of their new Adidas sweaters. And, while that may sound like a subtle change…it’s the little things that matter the most in relation to ranking the league’s (now) top ten sweaters.
12 St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues uniforms are sleek, to say the least. The last time the NHL switched its brand to manufacture and design the league’s sweaters was in 2007 (Reebok) and the change was not a positive one for the Blues. Luckily, St. Louis reverted back to one of its more accepted jersey designs in recent memory (2014).
Now, the Blues essentially wear the same jerseys from the past three years, and are ranked just outside the top ten.One minor change that the Blues did make to their sweaters – is located on the inside-back area of the collar. The team’s establishment, “1967,” is no longer printed on that location. Now, it’s the city’s flag. Keep in mind, St. Louis arguably has one of the best road-white jerseys, especially with how the blue crest pops on the white and outlined in yellow.
11 New York Islanders
The New York Islanders have had a rough go-around for the past two decades. And, not just in relation to the team’s ownership problems and mind-bottling mistakes the club’s former regimes of front offices have made, either. The Islanders have rebranded their uniforms a handful of times since the mid-1990’s, and have also introduced some of the worst alternate jerseys Professional Sports has ever seen. However, the Isles have proven that they’ve finally learned…
The Orange and Blue will continue to take to the ice, sadly at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, with their modern vintage sweaters the team has been wearing for the past few seasons now. The only downside this hockey jersey enthusiast can knit pick with this sweater is the orange NHL patch located on the base of the collar area – it doesn’t look like it belongs, and it should be changed to blue.
10 Tampa Bay Lightning
In 2010, the Tampa Bay Lightning went through a complete transformation and rebranded the club’s logos and uniforms. The notable change has proven to be a success, as the Bolts’ new sweaters find a way to progress and win the hearts of all NHL fans alike and by each passing season. The modern and timeless design/layout Tampa uses is both classy and appealing.
The “Lightning Blue”color the team has donned since that time does portray a unique look; and the organization has established the brand successfully to the point where it felt like it was time to remove “Tampa Bay” from the road whites (used to be located above the center crest). Now, seven years later, the Lightning strike the ice while wearing a top ten NHL sweater. However, most would like to see the Bolts reincorporate jersey ties/laces to each sweater as well.
9 Dallas Stars
Similar to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL’s Texan club has successfully defined what it means to design a jersey where - modern meets vintage. The Dallas Stars Victory-Green home uniforms are a beauty, and no other team dons, nor could pull off, the same look as good as the Stars do.
The Stars road white jersey could do without the green shoulder yokes, but other than that Dallas hit the jackpot when it rebranded back in 2012. The logo did take some time to get used to at first, but now the Stars noticeably have well appreciated sweaters; and even the non-traditional hockey fan could back that statement up, too. NHL fans alike are still eager and waiting for the club to unveil a black alternate as well.
8 Toronto Maple Leafs
Sophomore skater and phenom, Auston Matthews, plus the Toronto Maple Leafs will look sharp again when they take the ice for the 2017-18 regular season at Air Canada Centre. The only minimal change to the Leafs’ newest sweater, which was unveiled last offseason, is the collar area; and both Toronto and Adidas didn’t miss that net on that change either.
Similar to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Maple Leafs receive a grade of an A-plus when it comes to an organization rebranding – to have its team have a modern meets vintage appearance. However, Toronto’s logo is one of the best in all of professional sports and case could be made that the sweater is the best Toronto has ever worn to date, right? The future is now, Toronto.
7 Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins have not only been achieving a number of things, including back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, lately, but the club also officially upgraded its hockey sweaters this past season. The Penguins introduced a modern-vintage sweater last season (Dark home; circa 1992) as an alternate last season, but Pittsburgh also re-introduced the vintage to its road white jersey, too.
The Penguins went from having just an average jersey, at best, and to one of the top sweaters in all of professional sports. In fact, the Penguins' Adidas Adizero sweater essentially looks the same as it did this past season. Pittsburgh has one of the more original designed sweaters in all of the NHL, and it will be interesting to see if the club introduces the throwback yellow-based sweater as an alternate come 2018-19.
6 Philadelphia Flyers
South Philadelphia plays the role of home for one of the Hockey World’s most popular franchises and in NHL history. The Philadelphia Flyers have gone through a few different phases in relation to their hockey sweaters, but there’s no mistaking that the Broadstreet Bullies have one of the most iconic uniforms in all of sports.
And, no other team could ever pull off an orange and black color scheme better than the Flyers, right? Keep in mind, no other NHL team wears the same design and layout that the Flyers do – it’s one-hundred percent original. Luckily, there were no major changes to the uniforms too. It’s subtle, but it was the right choice by Philly and Adidas to keep the NHL patch (base of collar) white, as it flows well and quietly compliments the orange home jersey.
5 New York Rangers
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the New York Rangers are in the top five for having one of the best sweaters in all of hockey. And, the Rangers have continued to stay true to the Garden Faithful and their brand by essentially not making any notable changes to one of the best uniforms in all of sports.
New York’s new Adidas Adizero hockey sweater should be a top seller for the upcoming season, and for all the right reasons. However, there is one minor detail this hockey jersey enthusiast would like to see changed for 2018-2019. The NHL crest, located in the lower collar area, should be blue and not red. Some may think that red pentagon shape is a compliment to the sweater, but if the collar area was colored as all blue – the Broadway BlueShirts’ jersey would have a more sleek appearance, overall.
4 Chicago Blackhawks
There are a few question marks surround the Chicago Blackhawks as they enter the 2017-2018 NHL Regular Season; but one question that’s been answered is that the Hawks are still going to (basically) ‘look the same’ when they take to the ice in Chicago at the United Center come October. Chicago will continue to wear the red sweaters on home ice, and but with a little more room to breathe as all fans watch forward Patrick Kane dazzle around the ice with his playmaking abilities.
The Blackhawks have always had a top five hockey sweater, but they do fall at number four for this list. One addition this hockey jersey enthusiast would have liked to have seen Chicago pull off – was to add tie-strings below the collar area (Similar to the New York Rangers etc.).
3 Detroit Red Wings
When most think of the National Hockey League, the Detroit Red Wings franchise is the first team that usually comes to mind. And, while the Red Wings consecutive Stanley Cup Playoffs appearances (25 straight years) was broken this past season, one thing that was not interrupted was Hockeytown’s iconic hockey sweaters.
The Wings will enter the 2017-18 season with a younger group of players, but those young guns will still have the honor of wearing a jersey very similar to the one a number of Hockey Legends have donned for over 100 years. Similar to the Red Wings’ rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks, it may be in the team’s right interest to add jersey ties below the red collar of the sweater. Luckily, Adidas didn’t do anything drastic to change the Red Wings’ notorious image on the ice, right?
2 Boston Bruins
New York, Toronto and Montreal fans will all cringe when they see this, but the Boston Bruins have arguably the best hockey sweater in all of hockey. The Original Six franchise has always stayed true to the its’ brand and team colors, but the jerseys the Bruins currently don just might be the best they’ve ever worn.
Boston and Adidas teamed up to make only minimal changes to the Bruins’ sweater, and the most notable change entails the player’s names and numbers. The font was modified, and Adidas did away with the tri-color numbers (Yellow, white and black), as the numbers will now just be yellow and white (Black and yellow for the white jersey). The Bruins have a complete hockey sweater, and more teams should consider using a similar design and layout that Boston has worn for almost eight years.
1 Montreal Canadiens
Currently, the best sweater in all of hockey can usually be spotted at almost every hockey arena and on any given night. Yes, that means Boston and New York, too. The Montreal Canadiens sweater essentially remains the same, and as it should. While other teams are trying to portray a more modern design and layout that the Habs have established (center piping across the front and back of the sweater), Montreal has kept it consistent.
A great addition of the jersey is the message on the inside of the collar, as the team's torch motto is imprinted, reading in French, "From failing hands, we throw the torch,”
It’s a subtle detail, but it was nice to see the Canadiens carry over the jersey ties to its sweaters, too. In fact, all Original Six clubs should have jersey ties, and this hockey jersey enthusiast thinks that Montreal should be one of the few teams that wear their dark jerseys on home ice.