- The Best NHL Jerseys
The Best NHL Jerseys
Let’s talk NHL jerseys, shall we? Which are the best hockey jerseys? Who’s got the best NHL uniforms? How are NHL jerseys ranked in terms of coolness? Fans have been debating such questions since 1917, when the NHL was born.
And still no decisions. Despite the dozens of unofficial “NHL Jerseys Ranked” articles that come out on a regular basis, it’s impossible to arrive at any definite conclusions. Let’s face it: home team loyalties and differing personal tastes make it impossible for everyone to agree on who has the best hockey jerseys.
Nevertheless, Pro Stock Hockey is going to wade (or skate) right into the “best NHL jerseys” discussion with our own picks. They are (in no particular order):
- Chicago Blackhawks (Our headquarters are in Chicago; what did you expect?)
- Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (First edition)
- Quebec Nordiques
- Minnesota North Stars
- Colorado Rockies
- Hartford Whalers
- Winnipeg Jets (1979-90)
- Los Angeles Kings (1967-88)
There you have it. We’ve devoted full-length articles to each of these eight, which we think are the coolest NHL jerseys.
Features of the Best NHL Jerseys
What makes these jerseys the best hockey jerseys? Even in the abstract, it’s hard to pin down an answer.
Some would say a simple design is the key to having the best NHL uniforms. Look at Toronto: the team’s simple logo and blue-and-white color scheme have changed very little since the 1927-28 season, when the team changed its name from the St. Pats to the Maple Leafs. No one can argue the Maple Leafs have an extremely cool NHL jersey. But then look at the Blackhawks. The iconic Indian head is anything but simple, with an intricate design and very involved color scheme. But the Blackhawks jersey, too, stands out from the crowd.
Certainly, longevity is a factor in building emotional attachment among the fan base to a team’s uniform. The Montreal Canadiens, a charter member of the NHL along with Toronto, have given their fans more than 100 years to get acquainted with their logo and jersey. If a “Best NHL Jersey” vote were held in the Centre Bell, the Habs would win 21,000 (roughly capacity) to 0. But then again, expansion teams such as the Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild and Vegas Golden Knights came on the scene with uniforms that could hold their own in any discussion of best hockey jerseys.
NHL Jerseys and Fans
NHL fans love to wear their teams’ jerseys to the game — more so than in any other professional sport. No matter what NHL ice arena you’re in, you’ll be in a sea of home team colors dotted with islands of visiting team colors throughout. No doubt about it: hockey fans love to support their team and favorite players by donning their favorite sweater on game day, wherever they are and whatever they’re doing.
Because the team jerseys — home, away, and for some teams, an alternate version — symbolize so much to the fans, the informal “rules” of fan jersey wear are taken very seriously. A few of the more important ones:
- Spend the whole night in the penalty box if you wear the jersey of a traded player.
- Wearing the jersey of a retired player is A-OK — unless the player was a big problem for the team in some way. Dredging up bad memories will earn you several penalty box minutes.
- If you wear your jersey to a game, check to make sure your team is actually playing. Wear your Bruins jersey to a Red Wings-Flyers game, and they may not serve you any nachos.
- It’s frowned on in some quarters for a fan to wear the jersey of a player younger than himself or herself. The workaround is to wear the jersey of a retired player, but that doesn’t always work. For example, there are no ex-Golden Knights enjoying their golden years, since the team entered the NHL in 2017. Older fans of the 2000-01 expansion Blue Jackets and Wild could run into the same problem. But we think hockey fans in the upper age brackets have earned the right to do whatever they want. No penalty box for them!