Hat Comp

August 22, 2016

Worst NHL Jerseys of All Time

I'd hate to leave HJC without a post on Garfield's least favourite day of the week. As you are aware Ryan's computer has left him high and dry, and he's given the writers the chance to write about whatever they want.

Top 10 Worst Jersey of All Time lists are usually garbage. They are filled with the same jerseys over and over again.Wild Wing,  Fisherman, Burger King, Flying V, Turdburger and some dated jerseys from any era. To call them predictable would be an understatement. However, this past week I read a list that featured several jerseys that many would consider to be good, whether due to nostalgia or because they are good. The largest surprise was the Minnesota Wild alternate being on the list, a jersey which for a few years was the best jersey in the NHL along with St. Louis's navy alternate (2010, what a year). Along with that were some jerseys many categorize under the "love it or hate it" like the Flames horse head alternate, Buff-a-slug (RIP), or any number of throwbacks from the 30s and older.

Fun fact, I have grown to like the Burger King, Fisherman & Wild Wing jerseys. The Burger King jersey I like because it had a good logo and seeing players other than Gretzky wear it (like the fabulous Byron Dafoe) I think it was something that was essential 90s mess that. The Wild wing jersey had really nice arms striping and yoke, it could have made a great jade alternate if not for the idea of the mascot punching through ice. The Fisherman jersey gave us the fantastic lighthouse shoulder patch and once the fisherman logo was replaced with the navy Islanders classic logo, it made an okay alternate. Teal looked good with that colour scheme. However, some jerseys don't provide inspiration or anything good. Instead they bore us and replace something that was much better.

Today I wanted to push the boundaries of this list. We're not going for dated looks, we're not going for what looked good at the time, we're not going for even going for experimental that failed. We're going for objectively ugly, replacing something better or just a plain stupid decision, you won't find most of these jerseys on any other list.

10. Anaheim Ducks 2006-2014
Photo from ducks.nhl.com
Some people liked these jerseys....good for them....they were the perfect example of why using a script as your primary logo is so hard to do. The striping was an okay idea, but that stupid orange thin stripe always seemed to be sitting there and nothing else. They would look much better with a thick orange stripe the same was the other two. However all the Ducks had to do to keep these off the list would be to put the D footprint on the front and BOOM, sold at least one more. Thankfully the team made a good looking "orange county" alternate and made it their new look. Since these jerseys were retired only one team has worn script as their primary aside from Dallas (shivers). Calgary, and that worked because the script had personality. This script had not nearly enough to put on the front. If the Ducks hadn't won the Cup in these jersey I can guarantee they wouldn't have lasted until 2014.

9. Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 2003-04/2005-06
Photo from shandylo.blogspot.com
Wow are these jerseys drab and bland and sad. Call me crazy, but these are worse than the Wild Wing jerseys.....at least that jersey was interesting and as I said, it had some good parts. These jerseys have their fans and good for them, but this jersey had the issue of having nothing to do with the Mighty Ducks at all. How hard was it for the team to make a jade version of their eggplant jerseys? Eggplant and black don't look good next to each other, and they're the only two colours we really see on the jersey, with silver and white thrown in there to try to emulate the Kings chevy jerseys. The script used is extremely generic and to me reminds me of those Wal-Mart jerseys and shirts the kids who's parents either didn't know hockey or knew they'd spill shit on them so didn't wanna get them a real jersey (this is back when CCM put effort in youth jerseys with real patches and didn't do that screen printing crap or take details out of their jerseys to save money). The MD patch on the shoulder is okay at best but again, nothing to really do with the Mighty Ducks theme, the font chosen is too generic that any team could have used it. That was the biggest problems with this jersey, any team could have done this.

8. New York Rangers 1976-78

Now don't get me wrong, I happen to like these jerseys in a weird way...but....the best analogy for these jerseys is they are the equivalent to that friend you had in middle/high school who came back from summer vacation looking weird because they caught onto a new fad and by winter break they're back to normal....this was the Rangers' "punk phase" in a sense. The idea of the Rangers finally using their primary logo as just that is not a bad one, but these jerseys did not look like Rangers jerseys. For one they're far too simple, and don't have any interesting striping pattern on them. There isn't nearly enough red on the hem, something the Jets fixed when they took this design in 1979. However the numbers are biggest let down, and this is coming from someone who loves rounded numbers. That being said, this font looks exactly and I do mean exactly like something pulled out of Notepad...not even Paint or Word, but Notepad. I said in the preamble I wouldn't count experimental jerseys, but this wasn't experimental. There was nothing unique about this jersey, it's overall just lazy, and these's a reason why it didn't catch in the Gardens. It attempted to reinvent the wheel and ended up just finding a round rock and calling it a day before really trying anything.

7. New York Rangers Stadium Series
Photo from bluelinestation.com
Sometimes a jersey just isn't meant to be. This isn't to say the Rangers shouldn't use modern logos. Lady Liberty was so good it could have replaced the classic set for a good period of time, and that logo STILL looks great 20 years later. If they had put Lady Liberty on this jersey it would be fine, but they opted to copy their AHL affiliate. It's very rare to see an NHL team copy their minor leaguers, but the Rangers did and looked like idiots while doing it. On top of that the jersey was late to the party with the futuristic design. 20 years ago, the Rangers had lightning in a bottle and they tried to replicate it 20 years later outdoors. The Stadium Series are supposed to push design boundaries through tempting a design (when teams feel like playing along), but these didn't do that, not without a logo.

6. Carolina Hurricanes 2013-Hopefully Sooner than Later
Photo from rantsports.com
If you look up uninspired in the dictionary, these would appear next to them, highlighted and with a pop out tab. The white jerseys are a fine addition if the Hurricanes wanted to go for something more subtle. I've understood people making connections to the Red Wings/Maple Leafs with the Lighting, but the Hurricanes right now currently wear a Team Canada jersey, simple as that. The Charlotte Checkers pulled this look off  better by adding a black stripe. One black stripes saves these jerseys. These jerseys are not only a downgrade, but one that could have been easily avoided. So many concepts went above and beyond anything the Hurricanes have ever had....let alone these... The exciting or toilet related logo the Hurricanes have looks so out of place on such a simple jersey.

5. Columbus Blue Jackets 2003-2007


Why teams add black when they don't need to makes no sense to me, but  when people defend this jersey, it's under the guise of "the precursor to their current jersey which aren't that bad". Those people are right....but that doesn't excuse the fact that of all the colours they could have added to the upper arms of this jersey, they chose black...not red....not white..not baby blue.....but a colour that blends right into the dark navy. This is one that could have been saved. When I look at this jersey, I can't even tell there's black at first, and it hurts my eyes to tell the two colours apart. The black also clashes when the blue and black meet with the red pants and the socks. Everything looks out of place for such a simple design. The mismatching shoulder patches only add to the oddity of this jersey, but the fact it lasted as long it did is incredible. I could understand people not liking the original primary logo the Jackets had, but all the team had to do was swap out that for the current primary, and not subject fans to a literal eyesore.

4. The Turdburger
Photo from thescore.com
Sometimes the clickbait gets it right. It's not like this jersey couldn't have been saved, it would just involve taking the entire back of the jersey out of the picture. When people began speculating what  this jersey would look like, there was some serious hype and people thought this would be a fresh design we had never seen before and could be a trendsetter....it was a new design alright...but the lacklustre unveiling in what looked like the back of a sketchy warehouse and shock people experienced when they saw these can only be described as a bad smell that lingers and then hits you with one big whiff causing you to nearly vomit. This jersey once again has almost no white to be seen, with the back containing none at all, making the jersey look muted and bland. The front is a little more appealing, but again, very little white and what there is just blends into the grey. It's hard to map this jersey out in your head, as when you look at the front and then the back, it appears to be two different designs some mad seamstress sewed together while intoxicated on all you can drink nyquil. The rounded numbers, while they do look good on their own, look very out of place with the angles on the jersey. There were at least two positives on the jersey, the unique crossed Sabre captain's C and the script under the collar...but if those are best things about the jersey, and you can call it the Turdburger without sounding immature...that should speak for itself.

That being said, you should own one if you collect jerseys because like the Burger King & Wild Wing jersey, I think this will be a jersey that the team can't get rid of fast enough and suddenly they're worth 500 bucks.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs 2007-2010
Photo from zimbio.com
ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The nickname these jerseys have in Toronto is the pyjama jerseys and for a good reason; these jerseys look like they are part of a onesie or a big shirt you'd wear to bed. The font on the back looks fine and all, but from the front, thee's almost nothing. They look like cheap practice jerseys. No shoulder patch, no hem stripe, and from a few angles and in crowds nothing but a blue shirt....a $120 blue shirt...The Leafs are constantly criticized that they don't care about their average fan and most of their best seats are business meetings rather than full of their jerseys, but this is just highway robbery...This isn't a case of a Reebok cookie cutter template, this is just stupid. The Leafs knew they messed up with these jerseys, and corrected it relatively quickly.

2.  Dallas Stars 2007-2013 (excluding the 2007-11 white jersey that had a logo)

The worse of the edge script jerseys, we have a jersey here that was lazy in design, but worse than the Leafs jersey it couldn't even use the Stars colour scheme properly. I could understand the Stars desire to go back to black as a primary colour, especially wanting to correct the Moo-terus jersey, one that just missed the list because I happened to like the arm stripes. Like the Leafs jersey, from a few angles the jersey looks like a blank black/white jersey with an NCAA arched script on the front. What makes this jersey  worse than the Leafs jersey is that these jerseys lack a logo, and without spending the extra money on a name/number, the jerseys are nearly blank....$120 on a shirt with 6 letters on it. I get that Texas loves football and this is supposed to be football-esque, and if this was an alternate it would be a write off, but when for 6 seasons a team wore these almost every game.  The stripes on the arm are sparing...literally, with a large blank space between the stripes leaves very little colour on the jersey without numbers, which is only further amplified without a hem stripe. Couple that with the controversy the Stars and Reebok had in the early days of the Edge system by refusing the do screen printing to carry over their existing design from 2006-07, and these jerseys are best buried and sold on clearance racks.

1.  Edmonton Oilers 2007-2012

These jerseys had no thought put into them, no design to them, and look like a knockoffs. In the bland jersey club, these are the supreme leader. It was tough to say which jersey between this and the Leafs or Stars jersey are worse, but it came down to this: While the Leafs jersey is a blue shirt with stripes on the arms and the Stars jerseys have almost no design to them and no logo...this jersey takes it one step further. THEY COULDN'T EVENT COMPLETE THE ARM STRIPES. I can't believe no one in the design process stopped and said "maybe we should finish the stripes to go all the way around the arm". It wasn't even that there was a design on top arms like how the Jets or Panthers have done....NOPE, the top are are desperately blank, again especially without numbers or shoulder patches. The striping pattern on the socks are not great, but it's something. The Bettman apron seals this as the worst jersey to come out post lock-out and I highly doubt it will be beat. Some people will complain about the colour scheme, but I can assure you that was the least of this jerseys problems. This is the jersey equivalent of when a classmate forgets a project is due so they half ass an unfinished report full of grammatical and spelling errors and the only thing done by handing in such a report is wasting the professor's time with looking at it. The fact it took the team 4 years in the Edge system to correct this is a joke, the fact the navy jersey was kept for an extra year is a bigger joke.

6 comments:

Søren Frost said...

Woah woah woah, the Rangers didn't copy the Wolf Pack for their Stadium Series jersey. The Wolf Pack have adopted the look starting this season after wearing jerseys similar in style to the Bruins.

winnipegjets96 said...

They did in style, particularly in their script. That script is the exact same as Hartford's home jersey script. The jerseys weren't exactly copies of Wolfpack, but they looked like Wolfpack jerseys

Burkus Circus Concepts said...

2 things:
1: I'm a Blue Jackets fan and I thought that the arms were blue. And I HAVE THIS JERSEY. I literally ran up to my closet, grabbed this jersey, and said, "Oh... I am an idiot"

2: The best alternate in the NHL came out in 2010: CBJ's third. Dang that thing is AWESOME. 2nd and 4th (Minny and St. Louis) also came out in 2010. 3rd is Carolina's because of the flags.

GO JACKETS!!! GO MONSTERS!!! GO BUCKS!!!

Burkus Circus Concepts said...

Also, is there a limit for how many time a specialty jersey (Stadium, Classic, etc.) can be worn? Is it the same as a third (between 12 and 15)? Want to know for a project I'm working on...

Phil Beck Designs said...

Islanders black and grey jersey from 2011-2014 should be on this list. I know you like them for some reason though.

winnipegjets96 said...

^Thanks for remembering! Yeah I figure that would be on many people's lists, even the orange alternate I've seen on a few for some reason