Bloody or brand new, the Tampa Bay Lightning's uniforms have changed over the years. Which one takes the top spot?
Hockey sweaters usually have one thing in common—tradition—and the Tampa Bay Lightning are no different. The Lightning’s uniforms have been through just one major change in the team’s history, but there are a few that stand out to fans.
The Lightning used a similar logo from the first unveiling in 1992 until 2011. In 2011, Tampa Bay made its first major change to the uniform calling it "bold, classic and hockey-centric."
Here are the top five uniforms in Lightning history based on style, creativity, tradition and, obviously, personal preference.
All photos courtesy of NHLUniforms.com
Many Lightning fans can still remember the original uniforms worn from 1992-93 inaugural season. The original uniforms weren’t flashy. They adhered more to the quiet, traditional uniforms that most NHL franchises use like Detroit, Chicago, Toronto and Montreal.
The little bit of flair added to the uniform was under the arms with a few stripes that were called “victory stripes.” The Lightning used similar jerseys at home and on the road until 2007.
It was a classic look for the Lightning that brought them some memorable franchise moments.
Tampa Bay’s first real overhaul of their uniforms came in 2011. Traditionalists can argue it was a bad decision, but the new identity was a welcomed change. The Lightning dropped black from the main colors and implemented a new logo.
However, these uniforms have brought the Lightning within one game of the Stanley Cup Finals and displayed one of the game’s best scorers in style.
The Lightning made a slight change to the number style from 1999-2001. After a couple years, Tampa Bay switched back to more of a block font to make the numbers easier to read. The new style stuck around from 2001-2007 and no one in Tampa Bay could complain.
The color scheme was very similar to the inaugural uniforms, but these sweaters brought a new magic. It was this black home sweater that hockey fans around the world saw as captain Dave Andreychuk hoisted the Stanley Cup for the first time in his career in 2004.
These jerseys are part of the first Stanley Cup in Lightning history.
Years in the making, Tampa Bay finally accepted the “Bolts” nickname and put it on a jersey. The diagonal nickname on the front of the jersey wasn’t a groundbreaking design, but it was a great choice.
Tampa Bay has used this alternate since 2008. The primary blue color and sharp colors with “Tampa Bay” written across the lower backside is classy.
This is one of the best uniforms a fan can wear on game day with the simple, classic logo and the sharp, modern look.
The traditionalist will hate this selection, but taking the top spot is the alternate uniform from 1996-99. Put simply, just look at that sweater.
The Lightning went way outside the box with this one and the creativity is one of a kind. Waves across the bottom? Check. Actual lightning bolts on the sleeves? Check. Traditional logo with the Tampa Bay blue on the body? Check.
These uniforms were things of beauty. Unfortunately, their career was short lived. I wouldn’t be mad if they brought them back, though.
As always, let us know what your favorite Lightning jersey is in the comments.