Paying homage to the early years of the league, the NHL and Adidas released all 31 Reverse Retro jerseys. These jerseys are meant to reflect the league and individuals team’s history over the last 100+ years. The inspiration for the jerseys reach as far back as 1940 (Chicago Blackhawks) and they even successfully found a way to pay tribute to hockey in Vegas! After some lengthy back and fourth between the Hot Sauce team, we have decided to put together our very own Reverse Retro Power Rankings.
The concept is simple, each one of us (Terry, Duke, Alex the Intern and myself) ranked our Top and Bottom 5. Using a weighted Point System (5 for first place, 4 for second and so on), we created an official Power Rankings. These rankings will include a brief history as well as some comments from the team about why they picked a certain jersey.
If you are looking for a full history and inspiration of each jersey, the NHL has broken them down on their website. I am not sure if this next video was made for this jersey collection, but it goes through the years of the NHL, showing each team’s expansion as well as logo updates.
Without further ado here are the official Hot Sauce Sports Reverse Retro Power Rankings:
1. Colorado Avalanche
“VIVE LE QUÉBEC LIBRE!” – Duke | “Tab**nak sont beau” – Terry
Paying tribute to the past, while keeping the current colour scheme, the Avalanche jersey is an easy pick to top this list. Winner by unanimous decision, the fleur-de-lys are a beautiful touch and it has an obvious emotional connection for all of us. The simplicity of this jersey works very well, and the Nordique’s powder blue mixed with the Avalanche maroon compliment each other perfectly to rank this jersey at the top.
2. Carolina Hurricanes
“Old School is always nice” – Alex the Intern
I’m not sure why the first thing that pops into my head is Will Ferrell as Frank the Tank but these jerseys are spicy! The jersey design itself replicates the franchise’s original jersey when they were in Hartford. The use of grey as the primary colour is meant to give this jersey a modern day twist and tie in the current jerseys. The whale patch on the shoulders is the perfect final touch.
3. Los Angeles Kings
“All Kinds of Porn” – Terry
This concept is a true mish mash of nearly every decade in the King’s existence. The logo is from the 90s, the colours are from the 60s and 70s, and the overall jersey composition is from the early 90s. My bias towards Purple (technically blue) and Gold is why I had them at the top, but this was still an overall popular choice among the staff. The Crown logo would have been preferred, but these are beautiful regardless.
4. Montreal Canadiens
“Instabuy! Would have preferred the numbers in red with a white outline though.” – Duke
Finally, a Habs jersey that is not red! Yes there was a weird a time where the Habs rolled out every Vintage jersey they had including their Barber shop experiment jerseys. Part of the allure of the icon Habs jersey is the fact that it has for the most part remained relatively unchanged. However, a simple switch in the colour scheme while keeping the overall lay out of the jersey in tact was a beautiful compromise to fit the Reverse Retro theme. I’m with you on this on Duke.
5. Washington Capitals
“AMERICAAAA! F**K YA!” – Jon
I never understood the Capitals choice to rebrand and leave the Eagle behind. Thankfully Adidas brought it back to create this patriotic masterpiece. I preferred the Eagle concept in the black and bronze (think Ovie’s draft jersey), however the red, white and blue are more symbolic and appropriate for the theme they were going for with this one. As a huge Ovechkin fan, these jerseys bring back memories for our very own Alex the Intern; well done Adidas.
Honourable Mentions: Chicago Blackhawks, St Louis Blues
Now for the obvious misses!
5. Vancouver Canucks
“They look like a Sprite Can” – Alex the Intern
The Sprite Can has become a popular comparison on the internet, but these jerseys we’re a classic Sammy Sosa strike out. They missed a great opportunity to go back to the their jerseys from the mid-80s to the late 90s. Pavel Bure was and still is my favourite player. The thought of him buzzing around in the Black and Gold with the Canuck’s Skate across his chest is a cherished childhood memory. A sentiment loudly echoed by Terry, however, rather than do that, let’s bleed the original (and current) colour scheme together in a jersey and call it a day!
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
“These jersey look like the made it to the first round of the design process then quit” – Jon
What did they really change? The Leafs jersey doesn’t really look any different other than a few changes to the sleeves. Not to mention this jersey series is Reverse Retro, what’s been reversed here? I would have loved to see the Leafs go back to their St Pats days to mix things up a bit. This is an underutilized and missed revenue stream for the team in my opinion. What’s with the ‘n’?
3. Detroit Red Wings
“We talking ’bout practice” – Allen Iverson
Straight up who forgot to do their job here? A white jersey with a logo on it? So a practice jersey? The boys were far too nice on the Red Wings here, I had them as my worst ranked jersey and it wasn’t even close. You would have to assume that the buckets, gloves and pants will all be red to give this some sort of pop, but I feel bad for Red Wings fans. This jersey is perfectly summed up in this one tweet.
2. Anaheim Ducks
“Overdone, cheesy, poorly designed. Teal is nice.” – Duke
Easily the most polarizing jersey of the entire set, Anaheim brought back Wild Wing! I have zero idea why they went with this Wild Wing over the classic goalie mask, but I have long assumed that Disney owns the rights to that logo and are petty. Not sure if I am correct on that or not but there is no other logical reason for never bringing back that logo, but I digress. Some people love it but we aren’t those people, this looks like it heat pressed jersey and a little amateur for a professional team. Purely from a colour standpoint, as Duke mentioned the Teal is nice, but why didn’t they incorporate more of their classic dark purple as well?
1. New York Islanders
“Missionary Position” – Terry
Is there a better metaphor for this jersey? I guess it’s true, it get’s the job done, but there are so many better options. Getting back to the jersey, what did they change? Despite the fact that this jersey looks essentially the exact same as their current jerseys, there is a much larger problem here. HOW DID THEY NOT BRING BACK THE FISHERMAN LOGO! I feel like Jacobim Mugatu on the Derelicte Runway here.
But this is where it get’s even better. Look at what the team released THE VERY NEXT DAY! They are trolling their fans on Long Island.
A couple honourable mentions here that received some mixed reviews from the team: Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild and the Arizona Coyotes.
A final shootout to the Jets. They are in an awkward position where the history of their organization begins in Atlanta, but the city has a long history with the Jets name. The Reverse Retro jersey itself is pretty nice, a little simple yet nice. However, a throwback to an Atlanta Thrashers jersey would have been AMAZING. Another missed opportunity, depending who you ask in this case.
Love them or hate them, these jerseys will be on sale starting December 1st, and teams will be wearing these jerseys sporadically through out the season. I have a snap back that would perfectly go with the Habs new jersey, a Weber jersey would be nice to add to my collection of traded away players.
If you are looking for additional hockey content, check out this week’s episode of Weekly Sauce with Alex the Intern, Terry and Andrew Zadarnowski to hear all things Habs, hockey and more!
For anything NFL, NBA or even Sports Gambling related, check out our latest episode of the Podcast as Peeze, Terry and Eagle sit down with Brandon Keiller and Andrew Pace from inplayLIVE to discuss a different angle to Sports Gambling
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