NHL Power Rankings: The 20 Best Sweaters in the NHL

Tom Schreier@tschreier3Correspondent IDecember 30, 2010

NHL Power Rankings: The 20 Best Sweaters in the NHL

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    NHL jerseys serve multiple purposes for the league's 30 franchises.

    Fans of historically significant teams hold on to their aged or retired jerseys for their sentimental value.

    For a downtrodden franchise, a new sweater can symbolize a change.

    A new sweater can provide additional revenue for an organization (see: Buffalo Sabres).

    People wear them to represent their favorite player, camaraderie with the people of their city or to remind them of an important event they attended.

    Whatever the purpose they serve, the fibers of an NHL sweater have been woven into the history of the league.

    There are 88 sweaters in these NHL. These the top 20.

20. New York Islanders: Home

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Originally serving as alternate uniforms, the Islanders chose to use their throwback unis as their standard home/away sweaters this year.

    Perhaps a nod to the successful Islanders of the past, the jerseys are the only thing that represents this New York franchise in their glory days.

19. New York Rangers: Home

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    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    Known colloquially as the Blueshirts, the Rangers are one of the few teams in the league to use their uniforms as a moniker.

    While their third jerseys are rather disappointing, both home and away sweaters for the Rangers are magnificent in their simplicity.

18. Phildelphia Flyers: Home

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    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    The Flyers' sweaters are like the team itself: If you're in Philly you love them. If you're not, you hate them.

17. Atlanta Thrashers: Alternate

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    To people morally opposed to sweaters that feature three numbers, these jerseys will be purchased to be burned with their Ouija boards.

    However, for anyone else, these borderline gaudy sweaters have a unique appeal.

16. Vancouver Canucks: Alternate

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    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    These Canucks alternate uniforms—the combination comes in both blue and white—look great, but they are nothing compared to the old orange unis with the flying skate.

15. Minnesota Wild: Home

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Aside from those who feel that teams should have complementary home and away sweaters, the Wild have three unique jerseys; many people in the NHL community can enjoy the uniforms worn by Minnesota's franchise.

    Their current home jersey originally served as an alternate sweater. Their current third jersey is a complete deviation from anything they've worn before.

14. St. Louis Blues: Away

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    People became attached to the old note that had St. Louis written across the top, but these jerseys look great without losing the retro feel.

13. Carolina Hurricanes: Alternate

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Hurricane symbol on the shoulder should maybe have color, but Carolina has one of the best third jerseys in the league.

    The symbol in the middle represents North Carolina's research triangle: Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.

12. Chicago Blackhawks: Alternate

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Worn in the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, Chicago's new third jerseys are an improvement over their trite alternates which the team originally released.

    The aforementioned sweaters were the same as the red jerseys except they had a black background.

11. Vancouver Canucks: Home

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    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    The Canucks' home and away sweaters, which received a makeover by Reebok, are a significant improvement over their old combination.

    However, nothing tops the orange jerseys.

10. Toronto Maple Leafs: Alternate

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Leafs' alternate uniform—and really, all three sweaters—hold great sentimental value to the people of Toronto.

    However, to an outsider there's nothing too special about these uniforms.

9. Edmonton Oilers: Alternate

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    Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

    Some may be turned off by the color combination, but, like the Islanders, the Oilers have chosen to wear jerseys that remind their fans of better times.

8. Los Angeles Kings: Home

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Instead of returning to a sweater worn during the Gretzky years, the Kings have used the color scheme of the Luc Robitaille era.

    Los Angeles is written prominently across the bottom of the sweater, which is glamorously designed for the bright lights of Hollywood.

7. Atlanta Thrashers: Home

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Like the Canucks' standard sweaters, Atlanta's home jerseys—which originally served as an alternate uniform—prominently display the city's name on the sleeve.

    Original in design, Georgians who don the Thrasher blues literally wear their hometown pride on their sleeve.

6. Calgary Flames: Alternate

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    Dylan Lynch/Getty Images

    A throwback to the Flames of the '80s, when the team had arrived from Atlanta at the turn of the decade, Calgary's alternate uniforms are both ostensibly pleasing and historically significant.

5. Buffalo Sabres: Home

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    The Sabres change jerseys so frequently that they should offer a two-year plan to fans who purchase a new sweater.

    Like a Blackberry, these sweaters go out of style just when people get used to them.

    These new ones are certainly an upgrade, however.

4. St. Louis Blues: Alternate

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    With the Gateway Arch inset, the Blues' alternate uniforms are understated and classy.

3. Detroit Red Wings: Away

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    Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

    Very few people can say that the symbol on their sweater represents a lifetime of hockey excellence.

    People in Detroit certainly can.

2. Phoenix Coyotes: Alternate

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Coyotes fans cannot say the same about their symbol...but their uniform looks a little better.

1. Chicago Blackhawks: Home

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Perhaps one of the greatest uniforms in all of sports.

    Enough said.

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