This blog was written by Nick Purdy.
Over two years ago, Adidas pitched Gary Bettman and the National Hockey League on a league-wide project to design 31 Reverse Retro jerseys, one for each NHL team. The motivation behind the designs was to create jerseys that honored the history of each franchise while instilling a sense of modern flare to finish the look.
The new NHL Reverse Retro jerseys were unveiled on November 16th, and the designs from top to bottom are all pretty much a bull’s-eye, which makes my job tough here, trying to rank all 31 of them.
While I certainly got this wrong unless you’re a Hurricanes/Whalers fan (tell us why your team’s Reverse Retro jersey is the best in the comments!), I’ve settled on a ranking that looks just like this:
Honouring the New York Islanders dynasty of the early 80s, this jersey pulls the reversal on the 1980 white home jersey, flipping it to a former shade of Islanders’ navy blue. I’ve put it at the bottom though because I believe the Islanders missed on the obvious opportunity to revive the horrendously infamous Fisherman (or “Fishsticks”) logo… They lost even more marks when I realized the navy blue colour they return to here is the colour from that very Fisherman logo they were too afraid to incorporate. And to think that now, after the Reverse Retro jerseys have been released, the Islanders are selling Fisherman-branded gear again in their gift shop! It’s nice, but it could have been way better – and they know it.
I like this jersey. Detroit went uber-simple with their take on the Reverse Retro jersey, and I like that simplicity, showing off one of the coolest logos in the league. This one harks back to the 1998 Red Wings, when captain Steve Yzerman hoisted the franchise’s 9th Stanley Cup. It then weaves in a touch of the team’s NHL Centennial Classic jersey, with the silver stripes on the sleeves and bottom hem. I do think it might have been cooler to add more reversal to the design by flipping the white for the new-look silver.