I know all of you saw all the new NHL Reverse Retro uniforms and thought “OH SNAP! I can’t wait to hear what that new guy Dater hired thinks of these! He ranks everything and I bet he ranks these too!”
Well here at Colorado Hockey Now, we hold ourselves to the highest levels of originality and think outside-the-box-ness so much so that I am here to provide you with those rankings you so desperately crave… rankings that you won’t find anywhere else… because I’m very original!
Before we begin, I tiered them into a few categories, but there’s no real rhyme or reason for how they’re put into the row. I’ll keep most short with my initial thoughts and not get too bogged down into the finer details of stitching, fonts, and stripes that I usually bore my wife with. However, there are times I will bog my analysis down with those details and I don’t care.
So without further ado, here are MY RANKINGS (I always feel like I need to defend stuff like this and reiterate that my brain is the only thing responsible for the following that you are going to waste your time on) and if you disagree, that’s fine. No one is going to have a perfect list that everyone will agree on except for Joe Sakic. His list would be unimpeachable!
Colorado Avalanche – BIAS!!! Look, I’ve seen the social posts from Avalanche fans on this. Some love, some hate and others are more in the ‘meh’ camp. I’m in the love it camp. I love the logo, the colors and most of all: the old-school font. I love the fact that from the crest to the shoulders, the logos have been reversed. I love that it’s crisp and white. I love the mountain peaks with the two-tone stripes. But damn it, do I love that old number font.
Boston Bruins – Full disclosure: I have the old yellow ‘Pooh Bear’ jersey. Got it at MVP Sports (a former staple of New England sporting goods store… their jingle in old ads was incredible and listen to the accent on the narrator!) for like $50 in the late 90s. What a steal for an authentic jersey with a fight strap! I forgot how long they wore those old uniforms (2006!), because they seem sooooooo 90s.The last game Ray Bourque ever played for the Bruins was actually in that jersey. Anyway, I love the white look of it. Nothing else changes except the white and yellow and really captures the spirit of Retro REVERSE. They’re great.
Florida Panthers – Awesome. The old Panthers uniform look is better than the one they have now. Celebrating their old secondary mark is great because it is so underappreciated in the landscape of 90s branding. The blue is an homage to their old alternates and the secondary color. Just a clean, good look from last year’s best team… in the regular season.
New York Islanders – After failing miserably in the 2020 Retro Reverse project, the Islanders heard the callings for their oftentimes maligned fisherman jersey and brought it back. The wavy font isn’t as wavy… that’s my only knock on this beauty.
Washington Capitals – Could use more teal (maybe under the diagonal stripe), but great other than that. I’ll take one with Joey Juneau on that back, please.
Winnipeg Jets – This is the look I most associate with the Jets from my youth before they moved. I love that logo and the color palette is awesome. I think a lot of people are happier with this than their last effort.
Tampa Bay Lightning – THIS IS THE ONE… that no one agrees on. This jersey is the American political landscape of Retro Reverse 2.0: you either love it or hate it. There is no in between. I love it. They embraced the terribleness of the design and steered into it. That’s guts from the three-time defending Eastern Conference Champions!
LA Kings – Seems a lot like the last ones. I have this feeling that they were happy with how the last ones were received and just went “Nuts to this, just flip the colors again. BOOM! That’s a winner!” And why wouldn’t they? Their regular jerseys now are basically throwbacks and so are their alternates. Might as well go with it. If it ain’t broke…
Montreal Canadiens – Points for honoring the Expos, whether you admit it or not. If you hang the banners in the rafters and give safe harbor to the mascot, you are basically taking on the Expos’ heritage anyway. Makes me think the Habs are kind of petty, too, since the Expos are named for the Expo 67 World’s Fair in Montreal… Jeez, what else happened in 1967?
Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks – Good job, good effort. Bring back the old color scheme of these jerseys and just flip the teal and purple. Do that and they’d be in The Best tier.
Arizona (State) Coyotes – Since moving back to the Kachina look, they’re hemmed in by what they can do. It’s basically the same as last time… but in orange! Maybe trying to get in the good graces of their new landlord to knock the rent down a bit?
New Jersey Devils – This jersey is probably the reason the Avalanche couldn’t go full Rockies like many mocks predicted. They’re still mad about 2001 and trying to get Retro Reverse revenge.
Buffalo Sabres – Take a great logo and put it in the franchise’s best color schemes.
San Jose Sharks – Another one people seem to love. To me, they’re good, not great. If they wear white skates with them, though, I will rocket them up to near the top.
Dallas Stars – Look, I hate the Dallas Stars. I hate them from the 1990s, the 00s and I hate them from 2020. But this is a good look. Especially since all their other current jerseys/logos stink out loud.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Can’t go wrong with ‘Robo Penguin.’ I want Jean-Claude Van Damme to drop the puck at every game they wear them and I want the people of Pittsburgh to give him a standing ovation in appreciation for everything he did for them that night so many years ago…
Vancouver Canucks – This is the one jersey in Good that could have been in the Great tier. I love Johnny Canuck. I even love the number on the front. The stripes on the bottom are too big for my liking, and I’m knocking them down one tier for it.
COULD BE WORSE
Seattle Kraken – They have no retro to reverse. Love the colors. The striping is too much for me.
Ottawa Senators – I mean… whatever. It’s… okay. Meh.
Calgary Flames – I love the pedestal. It’s hard to do one of these when your normal jerseys are some of the best in the league and you already used your one ‘wacky’ jersey the first time around and have embraced it again. You can’t use the Atlanta jersey because it’s basically the same as the one you have now. So you’re left with the pedestal and that’s just fine by me.
Columbus Blue Jackets – I actually like it. But I think it could be one of their current jerseys and be great there, too. PLEASE someone over there in Ohio needs to embrace the bug and bring him back!
Philadelphia Flyers – Bring the Cooperalls back full time with these and not just for warm ups and you jump up at least one tier.
Vegas Golden Knights – “A reimagining of what a third jersey in the 90s would have looked like…” I mean, they are better than the last retro uniform (which isn’t too hard to accomplish). Points for thinking outside-the-box with glow in the dark lettering. I am sure that will be very handy when they play games in June in the old Boston Garden.
Edmonton Oilers – Didn’t like this jersey then. Don’t like them now. Don’t make our beloved Ryan Murray wear these!
Nashville Predators – Nashville is hard to rate since they really don’t have any great uniform sets in franchise history. And if they do, they move on from them in a season or two, because — like the Minnesota Wild — they can’t be happy with one and just stick with it. These could be a lot worse… but imagine if that yellow was navy blue: they’d be so much better.
New York Rangers – The Rangers forgot the assignment and when it was due they went in and changed the color from their last Retro Reverse uniform slightly and turned it in. The teacher should’ve written “See me after class” on the top of it.
St. Louis Blues – I don’t know why… I just don’t like it. It’s too much.
Minnesota Wild – See the New York Rangers. The Wild are also in a similar spot as the Kings, but they weren’t able to do it as well.
FIGURE IT OUT
Chicago Blackhawks – I assume they wanted to stay away from the logo. This just seemed… lazy. “Oh but it’s from the old Chicago Falcons!” Don’t care.
Detroit Red Wings – It’s hard when you have a darn-near perfect logo, color scheme and jersey to go messing around with it. So it makes sense that the Red Wings are by far the worst team when it comes to retro reversing. They have nothing to work with and it seems pretty evident they want no part in these experiments.
Carolina Hurricanes – This is their regular jersey, right? They already wear this, right? THIS IS NEW? You saw that the Avalanche “won” the last RR because they took a beloved, vintage logo and put it in their colors, right? You know you could’ve done the same thing, right? You chose to do this instead?
Toronto Maple Leafs – At least they didn’t let Bieber do it.