The day has finally arrived and all 31 NHL teams' new Reverse-Retro jerseys are now unveiled! For the most part NHL and Adidas did an unreal job bringing back some of the wackiest jerseys in NHL history and remixing them in a great way. Though there were definitely some confusing or underwhelming ones too and any time you unveil 31 new jerseys there is gonna be lots of dramatic controversy among the fans.
Our mission is to go through each jersey, ranking them from worst to first! We will critique each one based on three criteria: a) jersey choice, b) colour reversal choice and c) appeal.
#31. Detroit Red Wings
We are dubbing the Red Wings the worst of the bunch primarily because of their very strange colour choices that turn one of the best jerseys in NHL history into a bland colourless design resembling a practice jersey. They could have picked a wackier jersey from their early history rather than their 1998 sweater that is pretty much the same as their current primaries. So we give it an 0/3 score.
#30. Winnipeg Jets
A very boring dark grey jersey from the Jets falls to #29 on our list. We've seen a lot of the original Jets jerseys get resurrected by the new Winnipeg franchise in recent years so we were hoping for the one-off retro to be inspired by the Atlanta Thrashers. Could have had the striping going down just one arm with WINNIPEG written down it, like Atlanta sported in the early 2000's. I think that would have looked more retro and they could have had more fun with it. But the colour choice of dark grey is the downfall of the jersey for sure. Nothing about this jersey pops or excites you. So that's another 0/3.
#29. New York Islanders
The NY Islanders missed the amazing opportunity to bring back the Fishermen jerseys and instead, Lou and company opted with a simple navy colour-reversal of their current jerseys. Any time you use your current sweater design as the base for a Reverse-Retro you know you did something wrong. So, wrong jersey, should have brought back teal... though still is pleasing to the eye so that's 1/3.
#28. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs fall to #27 on the backs of some very strange design choices. The jersey choice is perfect. It fits the retro theme as this design departs from their typical striping pattern and is the most different from their others. However, lots of changes were made! They didn't want to use the logo that belongs to this jersey because it was introduced by the "hated" owner, Harold Ballard, and many fans even call it cursed. So they went with their 1967 logo which resembles it the most so we're ok with that. But then they used the "cursed" logo on the shoulders which seems to defeat everything that was just said. But the biggest problem here is the outlined crest and jersey numbers! Not to mention the logo is gigantic! I'd say switch the logo and numbers to white/grey and this jersey would skyrocket up this list! So we'll give them a 1/3 score.
#27. Ottawa Senators
The Sens land at #26 mainly because it matches their new current set. It is basically a direct reversal of their new black home jersey. We think the right choice here would have been a red colour reversal of their white jerseys that they wore when they went to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final - or their red ones from 2007 which is even wackier! Nonetheless, this jersey still looks pretty good and could easily become their new alternate. We give it a 2/3 score.
#26. Chicago Blackhawks
Believe it or not these were the best shots of the jersey shown today with an obvious effort by the NHL and Adidas to hide the classic Blackhawks logo for political reasons. But anyways, we love the look and colouring of this jersey, but find it too clean and classic for a Reverse-Retro. We think fans were hoping for their wild pin-striped sweater from the 1940's instead. We give it 2/3.
#25. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins fall to #25 because their jersey seems more like an old classic rather than a wacky retro. We think the Robo-Penguin jersey would have been a much better choice that captures the theme better. Plus they won two cups wearing it, and we haven't seen it for a while. But the colour reversal was executed perfectly and the jersey looks awesome! So that's 2/3.
From here, we think the jerseys are all very good and capture the spirit of the Reverse Retros.
#24. Dallas Stars
The Stars picked the right jersey and we like that they used their current colours to match their brand but the execution slightly missed the mark. The biggest problem is the logo is very hard to see other than the green star. We also think it would have been cooler to keep the sleeves and bottom of the jersey green. We give it 2/3.
#23. LA Kings
It's very tough to rank these last 23 so we're gonna get nitpicky here! A cool blend between two classic Kings jerseys. But just not wacky enough for us! They had a number of pretty wacky jerseys from the 90's and 2000's that could have matched the theme a bit better. But still, this is an awesome jersey! It gets 2/3.
#22. New Jersey Devils
The Devils did everything perfect on this one. The only thing is the jersey looks too much like a classic than a retro but that's because they never had a wacky jersey yet in their history. Lou Lamoriello and company held firm to their classic look throughout the 90's and early 2000's when everyone else was drinking the wacky retro Kool-Aid. It gets a 3/3 too.
#21. Edmonton Oilers
This jersey is so so nice and is only this low on the list because it's more of a classic than a wacky retro. There was definitely one wacky jersey from 2001-02 with the one-off gear/oil drop logo that they could have went with but in their current colours. Or used the orange WHA version of their current logo as the crest. But man, this is way too beautiful to not use. It may be the best white jersey in their history! So it better stick around. So we'll still give it 3/3.
#20. Philadelphia Flyers
This is a very good looking jersey. The only knock is that it looks too frickin good. Maybe if they added in the silver they had in one of their one-off jerseys it would look a bit more wacky. 3/3 for sure!
#19. New York Rangers
We love that NYR brought back the Lady Liberty logo but outside the logo this jersey is a bit underwhelming. There were no waste stripes on the original so I guess they couldn't add any. But they removed the red sleeves which make the jersey less fun for sure. I think a better choice would have been to reverse the colours of the original with their current blue and red scheme. We still give it 3/3.
#18. Minnesota Wild
We love that Minnesota brought back the North Stars colours with this one. It's a pretty awesome jersey that you would've only thought you'd see in a concept online! The only changes we would make is have green numbers so they stand out more, and switch the crest to their "M" logo to match the North Stars "N" logo better. But we still give this a 3/3 score.
#17. Carolina Hurricanes
We love this Whalers jersey from top-to-bottom. It's perfect! Our only problem is this team is the Carolina Hurricanes. A one-off Whalers jersey is fine but they already have that and wear it every year. So we were hoping for a Hurricanes throwback to when they won the Cup in '06 with all the little warning flags and wonky striping that fits this retro theme. But this jersey is still awesome, so it get's a 3/3.
#16. Boston Bruins
This is a great looking gold version of their 1990's black jersey. The shoulder patch does have a wacky retro feeling to it but the rest of the jersey is too clean and classic to have it higher on the list. Still gets 3/3.
#15. Buffalo Sabres
This jersey is awesome and perfectly captures the retro theme. Though we think a swap between the crest logo and the shoulder patch logo could've made this one even better. It still gets 3/3.
#14. Montreal Canadiens
Another awesome jersey that we thought was bound to come sooner than 2020 for this original six team but they've been reluctant to go blue. The only knock is that it is to clean and classic, and not wacky-retro enough. But like the Devils, there aren't any wacky jerseys in their history unless you go way back to their pin-stripe craziness from 1911-12. Another 3/3.
#13. Vegas Golden Knights
Despite the Knights being only 3 years old, they managed to find a perfect retro design from Vegas hockey history to base this jersey off of - The Las Vegas Thunder. They did everything right with this one but there's just not enough attachment to this unknown team's jersey to push it up the list.
#12. Calgary Flames
Calgary fans should be excited to get the flaming stallion jersey back again. It's an awesome retro jersey with an awesome retro logo. But not much of a colour reversal here which keeps it lower on the list. They could have made it a red jersey but this gives them variety within their current set. So it still gets 3/3.
#11. Columbus Blue Jackets
A lot of Blue Jackets fans are hating because they say they look too much like the Caps, but we disagree. This jersey looks nothing like any Caps jersey and many teams share the same colour scheme but are still unique (ex. New Jersey/Carolina/Chicago or Boston/Pittsburgh). We think this is one of the best jerseys in their entire history, it's awesome! The only thing missing from this retro is their stinger logo as the should patch to match their retro crest. It gets 3/3.
#10. San Jose Sharks
This is a terrific jersey that helps the Sharks celebrate their 30th Anniversary. It was the right jersey choice and it was executed perfectly. The only thing stopping it from going higher is the grey base... just not as exciting as some of the others. But definitely gets a 3/3.
#9. Nashville Predators
This is a pretty awesome jersey from the Nashville Predators. It ticks off all the boxes and remarkably may be better than the original AND might even be better than their current home jersey! We're just hoping to see them bring back a navy jersey in the near future too! No doubt 3/3.
#8. Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver clearly recognizes the purpose of these jerseys as they reach back to a one-off gradient jersey and reverse it in their current colours... And it surpisingly looks amazing! Could this put the gradient back in style again??... Ok, maybe that's asking too much. 3/3.
#7. Anaheim Ducks
This may be one the ugliest jerseys here but it had to crack the top 10 for the amazing bravery someone had to bring it back. Plus, it is a fan favourite regardless and probably the wackiest NHL jersey ever. 3/3.
#6. St. Louis Blues
Not thought of as a red team but this reverse retro is a pretty cool one-off jersey for the Blues and fits the criteria perfectly. 3/3.
#5. Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa will finally have a blue AND black jersey for the first time since 2014 and this should definitely please their fans. An awesome blue version of their Cup winning sweater from 2004 which will be a perfect fit for the 2020 Stanley Cup Champs. That logo certainly fits the retro bill and these jerseys still feel more true to Tampa than their current set. An easy but perfect choice! 3/3.
#4. Florida Panthers
This might be the best Florida Panthers jersey in their entire history. Their 90's jerseys reversed in their current colour scheme. If they just modernized the arm striping to be straightened, and switch the crest to their modern "leaping cat" logo, it would be a pretty awesome home jersey for them. 3/3.
#3. Colorado Avalanche
The Avs brought back the Nordiques sweater for the first time since 1995 when they relocated from Quebec, recoloured in the Avs burgundy and blue. Not sure if this pleases Nordiques fans but this is gold for us jersey nerds. Can't wait to see MacKinnon dawn these threads! 3/3.
#2. Arizona Coyotes
The Yotes are the first team other than the LA Kings to wear purple! This is a very cool retro jersey that features the most absurd waist stripe design and it looks awesome! It also uses the Kachina Coyote head logo as the crest which we think could be the best logo they have. It's perfect. 3/3.
#1. Washington Capitals
The Caps claim top spot as they strike gold taking their 1998 retro jersey and swapping the colours with their current palette. This combo makes for one sweet jersey that we think could top their current set with a few tweaks to modernize it. The Great 8 should look even greater sniping one timers in these unis. 3/3.
There you have it! That was one heck of a surprise from the NHL and Adidas that we needed this long unending off-season! An amazing league-wide jersey series that seemed only possible on the hockey concepts pages across the internet. Overall, only a few disappointments but most of them were great.
Stay tuned for some more alternate reveals as we approach the new season!