The NHL is home to some of the most creative and iconic jerseys in sports.
Since the league decided that teams would wear dark-colored jerseys at home following the 2004-05 lockout, every club (with the exception of the Winnipeg Jets) has created at least one alternate jersey to make money and give some variety to the normal home/away attire.
Designing an alternate jersey is not an easy process. A lot of teams get too creative and end up with a jersey that is discontinued after a short time because the fans won't buy it.
With that said, there are many clubs that have done a fantastic job designing and marketing a third jersey for home and away games.
Let's take a look at the best alternate sweaters in the NHL.
The San Jose Sharks have one of the best logos in sports, which makes this black alternate jersey a must-have for hockey fans in the Bay Area.
A lot of NHL jerseys that feature large logos on the chest have the player number on the back and arms only, but this design puts a number to the left, above the primary logo. It was a bold and well executed move.
Unlike a lot of jerseys, there are no stripes at the bottom of this San Jose alternate, but this is a rare case where the lack of stripes is no problem.
This is the Sharks' third alternate jersey in club history, and the team has improved its design each time.
Whenever a team models its alternate jerseys after a fan-favorite from the past, the results are usually positive.
This is the case with the Washington Capitals, whose third jerseys are very similar to the popular home uniforms used from 1987-88 through 1994-95.
The Capitals didn't try to do too much with this design. A simple retro-look with the old-school logo and stars is perfect.
Even though this sweater is awesome, my personal favorite in Capitals history is the one used in the late 1990s.
These alternate jerseys from the Minnesota Wild are the team's first to have the text of "Minnesota" on the chest instead of the animal logo.
The lettering is perfectly executed on this sweater, and even though there isn't a lot of red in the design, the color scheme still works well. The shade of green used is absolutely perfect.
This is a great example of how a simple design can be really effective when building an alternate uniform.
The St. Louis Blues always wear some of the best jerseys in the NHL, and the team's current alternate is no exception.
Not only is the navy blue color scheme a nice change from the regular home jersey, the primary logo with the blue note on top of the Gateway Arch is creative and nicely designed.
St. Louis always does a nice job of taking an iconic logo and giving it a fresh and creative look whenever a new third jersey is made.
The Calgary Flames have used some of the coolest jerseys in NHL history. The team's current alternate is quite similar to the red and yellow sweaters used in the 1980s and early 1990s when the franchise was a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
In a lot of situations, too much of one color makes the jersey unoriginal and boring, but the intense use of red in this version works very well. Not only is the white flamed-C logo with yellow trimming flawlessly executed, but the yellow, white and red stripes at the bottom of the jersey fit the design perfectly.
The Flames will likely be one of the worst teams in the NHL over the next couple of years as they enter a rebuild, but at least their players will look good every night these alternates are worn.
Getting away from the iconic spoked-B on the chest was a bold move by the Boston Bruins, but the bear logo was done beautifully with this alternate jersey. Putting the spoked-B on the shoulder, right above the number, is certainly a nice touch.
This isn't the first time that Boston has used a bear logo on its alternate sweater. The most famous one was featured on the alternate used from 1995-96 through 2005-06. It's hard to believe that terrible jersey was used for a decade. This bear looks a lot more intimidating than the previous version.
We rarely see an Original Six team create an alternate that fans will unanimously appreciate due to the history of the normal home/away sweaters, but Boston gets an A+ for its current design.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are one of the teams that should make their alternate uniforms the normal home sweater.
These jerseys have a great shade of blue, an awesome military cannon logo and a perfect white, silver and blue striped design at the bottom. This cannon logo is far better than the primary one that has been used since the 2007-08 season.
You could make a strong argument that these Columbus sweaters are among the five-best in the NHL (home, road and alternate included).
Nicholas Goss is an NHL columnist at Bleacher Report. He was a credentialed writer at the 2011 and 2013 Stanley Cup Final, the 2012 NHL playoffs and the 2013 NHL draft.