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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    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 30: John Scott #32 of the Chicago Blackhawks fights with Cam Janssen #55 of the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on November 30, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    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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    UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 16: Matt Moulson #26 of the New York Islanders skates against the Anaheim Ducks at the Nassau Coliseum on December 16, 2010 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    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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    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29:  Michael Del Zotto #4 of the New York Rangers attacks against the Pittsburgh Penguins during their game on November 29, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
    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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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 20:  Jeff Carter #17 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates during a hockey game against the Florida Panthers at the Wells Fargo Center on December 20, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
    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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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 10:  Evander Kane #9 of the Atlanta Thrashers against the Colorado Avalanche at Philips Arena on December 10, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    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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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - DECEMBER 18: Goalie Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks keeps an eye on the airborne puck after making a save against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period in NHL action on December 18, 2010 at Rogers Arena in Vancouve
    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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    ST PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 25:  Mikko Koivu #9 of the Minnesota Wild skates prior to the start of the game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Xcel Energy Center on September 25, 2010 in St Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    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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    UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 11:  David Backes #42 of the St. Louis Blues skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on March 11, 2010 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    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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    RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 29:  Tim Gleason #6 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the Dallas Stars at the RBC Center on November 29, 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Stars defeated the Hurricanes 4-1.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    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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    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 10: Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks to pass up the ice against the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center on November 10, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Coyotes defeated the Blackhawks 2-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty
    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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    TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 06:  Clarke MacArthur #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Buffalo Sabres at the Air Canada Centre on November 6, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. The Sabres defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    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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    EDMONTON, CANADA - NOVEMBER 5: Tom Gilbert #77 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Detroit Red Wings on November 5, 2010 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
    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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    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 11:  Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings starts a rush against the Minnesota Wild during the game at the Staples Center on December 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    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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    ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 25: Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Atlanta Thrashers carries the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at Philips Arena on September 25, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
    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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    EDMONTON, CANADA - OCTOBER 16:  Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla #12 takes a breather during a stoppage against the Edmonton Oilers at the Scotiabank Saddledome  on October 16, 2010 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  The Flames beat the Oilers 5-3.  (Ph
    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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    BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 23:  Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres plays goal against the Florida Panthers at HSBC Arena on December 23, 2010 in Buffalo, New York. Florida won 4-3.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    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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    ST. LOUIS - DECEMBER 1: Erik Johnson #6 of the St. Louis Blues breaks his stick while taking a shot on goal against the Washington Capitals at the Scottrade Center on December 1, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Capitals beat the Blues 4-1.  (Photo by Di
    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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    EDMONTON, CANADA - NOVEMBER 5: Pavel Datsyuk #13 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Edmonton Oilers on November 5, 2010 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
    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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    GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 20:  Shane Doan #19 of the Phoenix Coyotes warms up before the NHL game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Jobing.com Arena on March 20, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Blackhawks 5-4 in an overtime shootout.  (Phot
    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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    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 03: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the United Center on November 3, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Devils defeated the Blackhawks 5-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Perhaps one of the greatest uniforms in all of sports.

    Enough said.

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