The NHL and Adidas recently announced their brand new line of “Reverse Retro” jerseys.
Set to be worn whenever the 2021 season begins, each jersey (supposedly) gives a nod to their respective franchise’s past while ‘remixing’ it and giving it a modern touch.
Some were bold. Some were conservative. Some were outright confusing.
Here’s a full ranking of each of the 31 NHL teams’ Reverse Retro jerseys, from worst to best.
31) New York Islanders
Yikes. I’m not quite sure how “reverse” or “retro” this jersey is. The Islanders would’ve broken the internet if they had revived the infamous ‘Fisherman’ logo, but they chose… this route.
30) Detroit Red Wings
This jersey looks too much of a practice jersey for me to rank it any higher. It’s so incredibly bland for a team with such a rich history.
29) St. Louis Blues
There’s something off about this jersey. The way in which Adidas creates jerseys as uninteresting as Detroit’s to ones that hurts my eyes like this St. Louis sweater is baffling. And, let it be known, I’m not a fan of red as the primary color.
28) Dallas Stars
Here’s an example of a ‘retro’ logo turned too ‘modern’ – I like the logo itself, just not the color.
For a fanbase that had been demanding the return of this 1999 away jersey for the past few years, this response is totally underwhelming (the logo is barely noticeable over the white base).
27) Vegas Golden Knights
I think a lot of teams pull off red really well. I don’t think Vegas does, however. The striping at the bottom is a nice ode to the Las Vegas Thunder, but I can’t say I like much besides that. Vegas will be coming out colorful next year, donning this jersey while also debuting their brand new alternate jersey.
26) Nashville Predators
In order to truly live up to the title of “Reverse Retro,” I really wish the Predators had embraced the navy blue for these uniforms.
Not everyone wouldn’t have liked it, for sure, but maybe it could have given it a little more of a “throwback” look.
25) Minnesota Wild
Very unpopular opinion: I do not like these jerseys. However, I understand the intentions; the nod to the North Stars, using their current primary logo to modernize a retro look. I simply don’t think they work together.
The reason I haven’t given it a poorer ranking is because of the way it accurately represents “Reverse Retro.”
24) Edmonton Oilers
These jerseys do look reversed… just reversed from the Oilers’ current away uniforms. It really doesn’t impress me.
23) Philadelphia Flyers
I don’t think this is a bad jersey. The Flyers looked to modernize the “Legion of Doom” jerseys, and they pulled it off. The striping starting at the shoulders and around the arms looks a bit unnatural, but it’s fine.
22) Ottawa Senators
I love the logo. This jersey had good intentions. It’s just a lot of red. Adding a few more stripes to balance out the red base and red on the logo would’ve brought this up to the top 15 for sure.
21) Toronto Maple Leafs
The only thing that is a bit strange about this jersey is the size of its logo. Other than that, it’s not bad.
20) Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets certainly don’t have the richest of histories in the NHL, but I think they made this work. Swap the white on the shoulders and arms with that large, navy stripe and you have yourself a nice jersey.
19) Buffalo Sabres
This jersey gives a good nod to those Sabres teams of the early 2000s, – though they weren’t too good themselves – and it’s not terrible. I like the ‘Buffalo’ at the bottom, but it doesn’t really balance out with the rest of the jersey, as there isn’t much happening in the shoulder area.
18) Washington Capitals
These are somewhat similar to the Buffalo jerseys in terms of the writing at the bottom. It’s not the best among the Reverse Retro jerseys released and the Capitals had a few other options to choose from, but it certainly doesn’t deserve the slander it’s been receiving.
17) San Jose Sharks
San Jose were bold with the grey base, and it paid off. The stripes look sharp and the logo will always be one of the best. I’ve never been a huge fan of the all-teal jerseys, so I think this is a nice addition to the jersey rotation.
16) New Jersey Devils
I like the green and red color scheme the Devils have used in the past, but I like when they use black to compliment it. This jersey screams “Christmas,” but it’s clean and is a nice, modernized 1982 look.
15) Montreal Canadiens
It’s certainly strange to see the storied Habs logo on a jersey that is anything but red. However, these are very nice. The Canadiens – a team with so much history and various uniforms to go along with it – were able to create a new, creative jersey. A job well done!
14) Anaheim Ducks
I truly don’t understand why these are getting so much hate – they’re so much fun. I applaud the Ducks for taking a risk here. While some might argue that they are childish and messy, they’re bold and pay great homage to the Mighty Ducks. And keep in mind that these aren’t primary jerseys. They aren’t even alternates. You won’t be seeing this jersey every night, and the same goes for the other 30 sweaters.
13) Vancouver Canucks
When I initially saw a prediction for this jersey, I laughed – because gradient on a hockey jersey is not something you see every day. I’m not a fan of those red and navy gradient jerseys of the early 2000s, but this jersey really works with the current blue and green.
12) Boston Bruins
The yellow reminds me a lot of Pittsburgh yellow, but I love the classic ‘B’ logo. Bonus points for the bear on the shoulder.
11) Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks have had a lot of jerseys in their history – especially in the last decade, with all of their outdoor games – so they don’t have a lot to work with, but this jersey is nice. Many ‘Hawks fans wanted those nice 2009 Winter Classic jerseys to return, but this jersey is clean and gives a nice balance between the past (using the old-fashioned logo) and present.
10) Winnipeg Jets
This jersey has grown on me a lot. At first, I thought the grey base didn’t work, but now I think it totally does. I love the sleeves, logo – all of it.
9) Carolina Hurricanes
I love this Whalers jersey a lot, I truly do. I just hope that Carolina will start marketing off their own history soon – so they can stop resorting to profit off of an old team. Nonetheless, these are really nice and I’m a big fan.
8) Florida Panthers
This Panthers logo – along with the palm tree, which made an appearance as the shoulder patch – remains their best logo by far. The sleeves add a lot to the jersey and make it more interesting than some of the other jerseys that brought back retro logos (hint: lady liberty).
7) Pittsburgh Penguins
I really don’t know why these jerseys aren’t getting more love – they’re beautiful. As a Rangers fan, I’m a big fan of the diagonal lettering (and I don’t mind if other teams use it, quite frankly) and I think this jersey is a perfect ode to the Lemieux days.
6) Tampa Bay Lightning
This is another slightly controversial opinion. I love the logo, and the thick stripes don’t overwhelm the total design. A job well done for the reigning Stanley Cup champs.
5) Arizona Coyotes
I love the teams that take risks with jerseys, and Arizona’s are no exception. Also, purple jerseys definitely need to become more common, because they look incredible.
4) Calgary Flames
Blasty makes a comeback on these sweet, black jerseys. I’m a huge fan of the black, red, and yellow combination, along with the thin stripes on the sleeves and base.
3) New York Rangers
Ah, the return of Lady Liberty. Rangers fans have been patiently waiting for the beloved Lady Liberty jerseys for years, so it’ll be exciting to see these out on the ice in 2021. However, I think adding more color on the color and sleeves would’ve given it more of an exciting look. But the logo is why I’ve ranked it this high – I just love it.
2) Los Angeles Kings
I love everything about these. I’m glad they stayed true to the signature Los Angeles purple and gold, and the logo is, in my opinion, a thousand times better than their current one. I would not mind at all if LA decided to stick with this jersey for years to come.
1) Colorado Avalanche
I had to put this Nordiques – or Avalanche – jersey at the top spot. I love the combination of the current burgundy and blue, truly capturing the idea of “Reverse Retro.” It will be interesting to see how the Quebec-diehards react to this jersey when the Avalanche debut it in 2021, but this was the perfect route for Colorado to go.
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