This article is part one of a four part series here on Bleacher Report power ranking NHL uniforms. This series will cover past and present, best and worst, standard uniforms and alternates. For updates on when the following parts are published either check Robert’s writer profile or follow his Twitter feed here.
With the playoffs right around the corner and the playoff races hotter than ever, now seems an appropriate time to take a deep breath, relax, and delve into a little league history.
There is nothing more iconic about the NHL than the jerseys and uniforms each team wears on the ice. They are the most decorative and creative in all of North American team sports and have been nearly since the league’s inception in 1917 with only four teams.
As the first of a four part series on Bleacher Report, this article covers the 50 best uniforms in NHL history. Some of them are new designs, some are old favorites teams have since discontinued, and some are classics that are relatively unchanged from seasons past. Some of these jerseys are even from teams and franchises that no longer exist.
This is an opinion article, but each uniform will be ranked based on a maximum 10 point score in four categories: creativity, contrast and color choice, visual flow and tradition.
Creativity is the overall uniqueness of the jersey that makes it stand out from others in the league.
Contrast and color choice is the amount of “pop” and overall appeal the color choices give the uniform.
Visual flow is a measure of how plain or busy a uniform is. Looking like a blank wall with a sticker in the middle is bad; looking like a collage is equally or more so.
Tradition is the trickiest category as many teams haven’t been in the league very long, whether or not their franchise is old. In the case of “younger” teams, this value will represent the uniform’s ability to portray the mascot or namesake of the team. In the case of older teams, this value will be a measure of how well the uniform ties in not only the namesake or mascot of the team but also how it ties the team’s original logo and color scheme into a modern look. In cases where the log has changed recently, the logo will be judged in the same manner as the “younger” teams.
On each slide, the number in parentheses next to the name of the team is the total number of points it earned out of 40. Ties are broken based namely on opinion but also a team with one or two very low scores in a category or two will typically rank lower than one with lower but more consistent scores in all four categories.
For this article, the home and away jerseys being ranked are the top and bottom jerseys in the picture unless otherwise stated.
Illustration by Andrew M. Greenstein, The Hockey Uniform Database