NHL Jerseys: 1 Old-School Sweater Each Franchise Needs to Bring Back

Dan KelleyCorrespondent IIAugust 18, 2012

NHL Jerseys: 1 Old-School Sweater Each Franchise Needs to Bring Back

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    The only thing better than a new hockey sweater is an old one.

    Over the years, NHL franchises have gone through a number of changes to their on-ice appearances. Some are mandatory, league-wide alterations, like the RBK Edge uniforms that emerged when Reebok redesigned hockey sweaters across the board.

    Others occur sporadically when the teams themselves decide that a new logo, pattern or color scheme might make their superstars look that much more captivating in front of the hometown crowd.

    But over the years, we have seen jerseys that range from classic to boring, from fun to confusing, from oh-so-right to just plain wrong.

    Still, no matter how many mishaps along the way, and no matter how sharp the starting lineup looks now, each team has an old-time sweater that we miss, at least a little bit.

    Here's a look at one sweater each franchise should bring back, if only for a night.

Anaheim Ducks

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    Sweater Worn: 1993-2006

    The Ducks have matured beyond their Disney origins, but there is no denying that the franchise is most memorable in the classic Mighty Ducks of Anaheim goalie mask and "Flying V" references.

    Fans in SoCal and throughout the league would love to see the occasional tribute to the teams of old, and the movie that gave the franchise life.

Boston Bruins

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    Sweater Worn: 1955-1967

    The Bruins only occasionally departed from the spoked-wheel design, and the results rarely capture the Bruins' classic style.

    The team's 2010 Winter Classic jersey was closely related to this one. It utilizes a bold golden color scheme that would reflect the current squads in-your-face attitude on the ice.

Buffalo Sabres

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    Sweater Worn: 1996-2006

    The Sabres have very few non-Buffaslug options that they are not currently utilizing, but the team spent 10 solid years wearing black, white, grey and red.

    There is no reason for Buffalo to depart from its current jersey options, but '90s throwback night would be a fun change from the team's more elegant look.

Calgary Flames

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    Sweater Worn: 1998-2006

    It seems few people are fans of the "flaming snot" horse head jerseys, but the Flames have very few jerseys that don't utilize a flaming "C" on a red or white jersey background.

    The alternate captain patch also pays tribute to the team's Atlanta origins. Snot or not, this jersey should make an appearance in the Saddledome again, if only for a night.

Carolina Hurricanes

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    Sweater Worn: 1979-1992

    The 'Canes themselves haven't departed much from their original 1997 design, but how cool would it be to see the Hartford Whalers skating around on an NBC broadcast game?

    The Whale may not be coming back, but Carolina could pay homage to its franchise's roots by wearing the threads of its predecessors.

Chicago Blackhawks

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    Sweater Worn: 1934-35

    Chicago's 2009 Winter Classic jerseys were inspired by this design, which would provide the perfect retro feel that an Original Six team should have.

    The 'Hawks, of course, have some of the greatest jerseys in the league, but the occasional nod to the olden days would be a classy move on the part of the organization.

Colorado Avalanche

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    Sweater Worn: 1995-2007

    Colorado's current jerseys are quite similar to the one donned by Joe Sakic in the photo, but the old threads are flat-out better.

    It's time for the Avs to return to the sweaters that we saw dominating NHL 2Night coverage before the lockout.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    Sweater Worn: 2000-2007

    The Blue Jackets have embraced their Civil War roots and Ohio state flag in their current sweaters, and while the team is barely a decade old, it might be time to see the crazy original jersey come back for a short time.

    The biggest debate will be whether or not to bring back the obnoxious wasp that inexplicably graced the shoulder patch.

Dallas Stars

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    Sweater Worn: 1999-2007

    There was something so perfect about Dallas's old jersey scheme, both home and away.

    Given how boring the current white jerseys are, it's time for Dallas to go back to these old unis.

    For good.

Detroit Red Wings

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    Sweater Worn: 1927-28, 1929-30

    The Red Wings are famous for changing virtually nothing about their home and away jerseys. So to get something eye-popping, we have to go back to before the Red Wings were the Red Wings.

    The threads here are from the Wings' original run as the Detroit Cougars from the 1920s. It's doubtful they'll ever make an appearance at the Joe, but what a night that would be.

Edmonton Oilers

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    Sweater Worn: 2001-2007

    This jersey produced mixed reactions from fans in Edmonton and around the league, but the industrial feel and logo change make it a bold departure for the Oilers.

    No jersey can compare with the team's '80s-style blue, orange and white, but it would be nice to see the franchise mix it up again, once in a while.

Florida Panthers

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    Sweater Worn: 1998-2003

    Florida has done little to change its logo or color scheme over the years, save for the team's current alternate, but the dark blue, red and white jerseys were an appropriate color scheme for a team playing in a town called Sunrise.

    Currently, the Panthers do not use the dark-blue version of its vintage trio, and thus a return to the classic look is in order.

Los Angeles Kings

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    Sweater Worn: 1999-2007

    What's a king without a purple robe?

    Sure, the team's current alternates utilize violet patches here and there, but L.A. should be loud and proud in its royalty. This former sweater should be put back in circulation for the defending champs.

Minnesota Wild

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    Sweater Worn: 2000-2007

    Minnesota has been committed to the wilderness silhouette since the team's inception in 2000, departing from the design only in its current alternates.

    The only former sweater to go back to is the original road jerseys, which fully embrace the call of the wild by superimposing the beautiful logo on a forest green sweater.

Montreal Canadiens

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    Sweater Worn: 1944-1947

    The Habs only wore this beauty for three seasons in the mid-'40s, but the occasional retro night can lead any fan to want to see these babies made permanent.

    The design is simple, yet completely classic. This sweater is a personal favorite of mine.

Nashville Predators

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    Sweater Worn: 1998-2007

    The Preds have embraced gold in their modern getups, but any form of yellow is hard to pull off.

    The franchise needs to return to the dark-blue base they sported up until last season, with the golds serving as an occasional alternate option. Nashville should be known for loud music, not loud jerseys.

New Jersey Devils

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    Sweater Worn: 1982-1992

    Much like Detroit, the brass in Jersey doesn't like to depart from its simple, classic design.

    However, there is little in the Garden State that looks cooler than the classic Christmas-colored unis of the '80s. They'll never make it into the year-long rotation, but who doesn't enjoy seeing David Clarkson deck the halls while he decks opponents?

New York Islanders

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    Sweater Worn: 1995-1997

    Like an awkward school picture, bad uniforms are sometimes meant to be embraced. The struggling Islanders would be doing themselves a favor by paying homage to their failed '90s experiment/killer from I Know What You Did Last Summer.

    Besides, the current alternates are equally ugly, without the comical personality of this mishap.

New York Rangers

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    Sweater Worn: 1996-98, 1999-2007

    The Rangers, Madison Square Garden and the Statue of Liberty are all iconic symbols of New York, and this writer believes they should be embraced all at once.

    These popular alternates were taken out of the jersey lineup in '07, but their comeback is already long overdue.

Ottawa Senators

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    Sweater Worn: 2000-2007

    The Senators tried to go back to black with their "Sens" alternates in 2009-10, but the team should go for a noble, classic look rather than a hip new gimmick.

    These jerseys contain a gold trim that seems to connote power and sophistication in the capital of the Great White North.

Philadelphia Flyers

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    Sweater Worn: 1997-2007

    Philadelphia embraces the loud, obnoxious orange jerseys that have come to define the team, but any group as tough as the Flyers deserves a black alternate.

    These threads replaced the orange in the standard rotation for a while, and a throwback to the Legion of Doom years might be enough to remind opponents that the "City of Brotherly Love" is just a name.

Phoenix Coyotes

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    Sweater Worn: 1996-2003

    The Coyotes spent seven years in these jerseys before conforming to a more conventional design in 2003-04, but for all its craziness, there is something so appealing about this jersey.

    Besides, if the Coyotes don't find a way to generate interest soon, they'll be trading in their current threads for some updated Nordiques unis in no time.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Sweater Worn: 1992-2002

    I don't know if this sweater made Mario look good or if Mario made the sweater look good, but either way, this classic look will bring back tons of great memories for Penguins fans.

    There would certainly be something special about seeing Sid the Kid don Super Mario's old look.

San Jose Sharks

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    Sweater Worn: 1997-2007

    San Jose had a great thing going with its teal, silver and black scheme, but the modern orange lining to the jerseys just feels less bold.

    If the Sharks go back to these babies full time, they'll be among the best dressed and coolest-looking teams in the league.

St. Louis Blues

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    Sweater Worn: 1987-1994

    The in-your-face blue and yellow pairing makes this jersey one of the all-time greats.

    The defending Central Division champs already have some great sweaters in their current wardrobe, but the Blues are one of those teams that never looks bad in retro gear.

Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Sweater Worn: 2001-2007

    This season, the Bolts embraced a logo and uniform change, forcing the old black, blue and white scheme into the "classics" category.

    For a team with little history but big accomplishments, a throwback to the 2004 Stanley Cup unis is apropos.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Sweater Worn: 2000-2007, 2008-2011

    The Leafs have taken the uncommon approach of utilizing white in their alternates in recent years, instead of going for bold colors. The tactic completely works, as this recently-retired sweater is one of the sharpest you'll find in the Leafs' closet.

    Toronto would be foolish not to bring this baby back into the rotation in 2012-13.

Vancouver Canucks

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    Sweater Worn: 1989-1997

    The Canucks have a wider array of throwback options than I know what to do with, but this '90s home jersey is different enough from the current logo and color scheme while still not being a gigantic red "V" on a yellow background.

    An honorable mention should also go to the team's 10-year experiment with their blue and maroon threads.

Washington Capitals

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    Sweater Worn: 1997-2007

    The Caps are happy to be back in red, white and blue, but the team's recent eagle jersey certainly had a strong modern feel to it.

    The sweater celebrated a classic symbol of America while keeping the Caps looking sharp and swift on the ice.

Winnipeg Jets

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    Sweater Worn: 1990-1996

    Winnipeg's updated jerseys are wonderfully modern, but these jerseys have a special place in the team's history.

    Not only were they worn by Winnipeg's original franchise, but they consistently popped up between 1996 and 2011 as a symbol of the city's support and desire for a reborn NHL franchise.