The NHL has three outdoor games scheduled for 2016, the Winter Classic (Bruins-Habs) in Foxboro, and 2 Stadium Series games (Wild-Hawks and Wings-Aves) in Minneapolis and Denver, respectively.
One of the best things about these outdoor games are the specialized jerseys that come with them. The reason that these sweaters are always a welcome perk isn’t because they are always sweet jerseys, but because they are almost always either (fire flames emoji) or (poop emoji). Almost never in between, and at either extreme, they make great content, be it for your blog, podcast or group text.
2016 is no different, so let’s take a look, and power rank the outdoor jerseys for this NHL season.
(Note: It should be noted that this is susceptible to sensibilities for the obvious reason that you are judging what amounts to art, but also because the Stadium Series looks are always much more experimental and even futuristic, which gives the throwback Winter Classic ones a distinct advantage.)
(Note 2: I reserve the right to completely change my mind based on how they actually look on the ice.)
6. Boston Bruins
You know what has never been a great idea? A dark brown jersey. Like, never. You know how you can make a dark brown jersey even worse? Mix it with mustard yellow stripes and WHITE NUMBERS.
The old school Bruins logo is legitimately cool and I probably would have had this above the Hawks if they had simply used colored numbers, but the white numbers take it from a decent jersey even if it’s got bad colors to a clashing monstrosity.
5. Chicago Blackhawks
The good – The Blackhawks have a good logo. That’s it. Otherwise, these are puke city. Some people are fired up about the six stars from the Chicago flag, but frankly that does noting for me. The shoulder caps are weird, the oversized shoulder numbers are ugly. Too much black and white, not enough tones or trim, and the only color outside of the logo is a single elbow stripe. They manage to somehow walk the line between boring and tacky.
That’s the bad. Now on to the good.
4. Montreal Canadiens
The #4 ranking really isn’t fair for these Canadiens sweaters, which I actually really like.
First things first, in the unveiling pictures they appear to be an old school sort of off-white. Here’s hoping that is a more accurate depiction than the one on the NHL shop which appears to be a more traditional white.
As for the jerseys themselves, there are only so many directions that you can go with a Habs jersey, and what this one lacks in originality, it makes up for in sharpness. The blue looks great, the mirroring of the chest on the sleeves is great, and I really like the two stripes at the bottom (an underutilized jersey trim.
3. Detroit Red Wings
(No further photo identification needed
There seem to be differing opinions on this one, but I like it, and here’s why:
Firs of all, I kind of like the idea that it is a fresh, different jersey, and yet the signature back of the jersey remained unchanged.
Also a fan of the D logo, a classic but also sort of modern/italic looking design, and the classic winged wheel looks awesome on the shoulder. Finally, with the dual-chromed design, the bigger arm numbers look way better than they have on the other jerseys to use them for stadium games.
As for the diagonal chest stripe, I don’t know…I like it.
2. Minnesota Wild
It was really hard not to put these at number 1.
First of all I’m just a huge fan of the off-white, forest-green and dark-red color scheme. Arguably (probably) my favorite for any sports team. Just looks unbelievably sharp with any design.
As I go through this it is hitting home that the big numbers are a fact of life with the stadium jerseys, and like Detroit, they work here. Unlike with some designs, I actually think that the bigger numbers are a plus with this jersey, because of the spacing and the breadth of the arm strips. I’m also a big fan of shoulder caps, and the off white ones are great here.
Also major shoutout to the Wild for actually having the full uniform in the photoshoot. Couldn’t for the life of me find that for any others, and in a shocking turn of events that was more helpful and interesting than players standing awkwardly with the sweaters pulled over street clothes.
1. Colorado Avalanche
(While we’re grading things, Landeskog’s mop gets an A+++)
Sharp all around. Great colors, love what they’ve done with the sleaves, the new logo is great and the elevation is a nice touch.
I’ve bumped them up because it’s much harder to design an alternate white than an alternate colored jersey, and because the Avalanche rolled them out at the same time as these:
Which are (insert 10 million fire emojis).
Hopefully by next year these two will be the full time getups for the Avalanche.
SO…there you go, your official jersey rankings for the year. Now we just need to kill a month so that we can see these babies on the ice and figure out if I was full of crap on the entire list.