The Summer of Ugly Jerseys

I remember being slightly disappointed when the Dallas Stars unveiled their new sweaters back in June. At the time there was no way I could know that compared to the other jersey unveilings to come this summer they’d look awfully good.

The Olympic Jerseys

When the American jerseys were revealed, there was swift mockery. Look at the stupid plastic-y stars! Look at the hideous fake laces! Then came the now famous picture of Jonathan Toews with the same stupid laces and plastic-looking finish around the shoulders, the single arm band, and the gas station-inspired crest (Petro-Canada is a proud supporter of the Olympics: coincidence?).

The American and Canadian jerseys aren’t entirely terrible, but the fake laces Nike is pushing on all the Olympic jerseys are just an incredibly ugly innovation.


The Buffalo Sabres have an incredibly mixed tradition when it comes to jerseys. The original logo and the blue and gold colouring is iconic and for my money one of the best looking in the NHL; I don’t like the modern version quite as much but it’s still very good. However, they also used the infamous Buffaslug, one of the ugliest jerseys in NHL history.

Remarkably, despite using the classic logo, the Sabres managed to top the Buffaslug disaster. Two shades of yellow in the front, a cape in the back, large (and mismatched) fonts for the numbers and letters, duct tape on the sleeves; it’s incredible that the design was ever proposed, let alone accepted by the team.


The new logo is sort of disappointing – I thought the ‘D’ and the star looked a little funny together when I first saw it and haven’t changed my mind but the colour scheme is nice, the lacing is nice, and there’s nothing especially stupid about the way they’ve put it all together. Huzzah, Dallas!

Minnesota’s new whites & the tweaks

Probably the only clean win of the summer, Minnesota’s new white road jerseys don’t try to do anything too dramatic – there’s no redesigned logo, no hideous new colour scheme, no mismatched arm bands or anything of the like. Whoever designed them stuck with the Wild’s (nice) colours, stuck lacing in at the collar and let it go at that. The teams fans – and anyone else that watches the team play – should be grateful.

San Jose simplified their jerseys a little bit, as did Carolina; I like the changes but they are pretty simple ones.

Recently around the Nation Network

Good news out of Vancouver; the Canucks will retire Pavel Bure’s No. 10 during their November 2 contest against Toronto:

Pavel Bure’s iconic Number 10 will be raised to the rafters at the Rog on Saturday, November 2nd when the Canucks host the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bure doesn’t have a familiar legacy with any current Leafs, nor did any of his best moments come against them, but this is during Hockey Night in Canada’s feature game starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, meaning all of Canada gets to sit in front of the tube and gawk at what a wonderful hockey player Pavel Bure was.

Click the link above for more details or check out some of my recent work:

  • gary b

    Sabres 3rd is a disaster, but at least it’s a 3rd jersey, and not the primary look.

    Nike may be leaders when it comes to jersey tech and innovation, but they should be banned from ever doing jersey design ever again. They’ve almost single-handedly ruined college football jerseys forever (see Oregon Ducks, for starters). and now this olympic mess? jeesus, those are awful.

  • justDOit

    I completely agree JW. I would like to see the NHL bring in a rule that allows teams to change their sweaters only once every ten years. It would build tradition and make these guys think long and hard before they unleash some of these horrific designs.

    • Batfink

      I agree with the sentiment, but new designs have very carefully calculated release times to maximise market sector profit. Shame they didn’t have carefully calculated market reaction factored in!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Gagners own personal boogeyman….Oilers could sure use a Steve Ott this season. As the talent continues to mature, it’ll be great to not have to worry about every penalty the Oilers take. Ott type penalties often serve a purpose.

    MacTavish should keep and eye on Ott’s availability this coming season. Would be cheaper to trade for, and extend, than compete with the UFA crowd next summer.