NHL Column: NHL and Adidas going old school

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Adidas will be helping bring back old school jerseys, so the Coyotes’ jersey (pictured above) will get a bit of flare to it.  (Dinur/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Adidas will be helping bring back old school jerseys, so the Coyotes’ jersey (pictured above) will get a bit of flare to it. (Dinur/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Remember the good old days? We often perceive these memories as fonder than the images of present day. As we blur out the hardships of the past, the colors illuminating from the past appear only as vibrant and beautiful.

Sports are no exception to this philosophy. Fans love to reminisce on better times. Of course, they focus on winning days rather than losing ones.

The NHL and Adidas recently revealed they will be looking back to past decades this year, as some throwback jerseys will be worn as the new alternates for teams. The aforementioned colors of the past will truly be coming back to life as teams don their retro sweaters this season. When teams introduce new third jerseys, fans are often heavy on criticism. Jersey designers often try to pull off a look that does not fit with the team’s usual appearance, so these jerseys are seen as a money grabber rather than a reboot of the team’s appearance.

But fans usually welcome retro jerseys with open arms. Is this because they remind us of the aforementioned good old days? Or is it just that we are addicted to that classic look from years before?

Either way, fans absolutely devour throwback jerseys, making it a keen move by Adidas and teams around the league to flash back to them with the introduction of their alternate uniforms.

The Arizona Coyotes were the first team to bring back an old treasure when they unveiled their black Kachina jersey in June. These jerseys are inspired by Kachina figurines, which were created by Pueblo Indians in the Southwest to embody an ancestral spirit. The jersey features a coyote in the form of one of the figurines and has it wearing a purple hockey jersey with a crescent moon on it.

The Coyotes’ sweaters possess some wild colors as well, mixing dark green, maroon, black and beige; making it one of the most unique uniforms in all of sports. The Coyotes originally boasted these sweaters when they first joined the NHL and wore them through the 2002-2003 season. They will return to “the ice in the desert” 14 times this year, 13 of which will be Saturday home games promoted as Kachina Saturdays.

In July, the Anaheim Ducks introduced a revamp of their retro jerseys, putting a twist on the ones they wore as the Los Angeles Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. They will wear the jerseys, which resemble the ones worn from 1993 until 2006, in recognition of the team’s 25th anniversary.

These sweaters are some of the most iconic in hockey history. They picture the classic Mighty Ducks logo, which is a combination of a duck and an old-style goalie mask, planted on crossing golden hockey sticks. What really brings these uniforms to life are the colors, which are unparalleled in all of sports. Exhibiting an eggplant purple shade and a greenish teal diagonal stripe, this hockey look is iconic.

Unlike the Coyotes, the Ducks actually had some success in their original uniforms, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2003, where they lost to the New Jersey Devils in an epic seven-game series. The Devils, at that time, repped the same red and black that they do today. Before that, they skated in red and green.

That Devils’ green is returning this upcoming season, as the team announced they will wear their original home uniforms for five games this year. The Devils are the only team to throwback to a white jersey as their alternative. This creates a fresh look while still looking back to the organization’s infancy.

These sweaters have the same Devils logo as today, but with green instead of black. They feature red shoulders, piping and stripes, bringing back another unique look that has disappeared in modern sports.

The St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers are also returning to a more classic look in their alternate jerseys this year. Next season, the Vancouver Canucks will join the party, bringing back the flying skate logo and their original orange, yellow and black colors.

With all these classic uniforms returning to the NHL over the next couple seasons, one can wonder why so many teams ditched these beauties in the first place. Adidas and the NHL will be rewarded by flashing back to a golden era of style. Hockey has revolutionized over the past couple decades, but when fans inspect the ice this year, they will be glancing back on the good old days.


Dylan Barrett is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus.  He can be reached via email at dylan.barrett@uconn.edu.

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