Hockey fans got their first real look at NHL Reverse Retro jerseys during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 regular season when the league debuted them for the first time. It was a breath of fresh air for fans that saw the same jersey designs year-in and year-out, giving them a unique and, sometimes, historic look.
In collaboration with the NHL and adidas, each team was given the freedom to create a design that resonates with their fanbase. Some teams opted for a unique twist to an old design, while other teams opted for something completely new. Either way, fans across the country couldn’t get enough of them.
Despite the popularity and attention NHL Reverse Retro jerseys received in their first year, the NHL decided against renewing the program for the 2021-22 season – meaning there were no NHL Reverse Retro jerseys last year. Don’t worry, the NHL listened to their fans and brought them back this season.
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Which NHL Reverse Retro Jerseys Are the Best This Season?
On October 20th, the NHL revealed all 32 adidas Reverse Retro jersey designs for the 2022-23 season – one for each team in the league. The designs are more elaborate, creative, and remarkable than the original launch two years ago – some of which include colors we’ve never seen on an NHL jersey before.
“The Reverse Retro 2022 program, our latest collaboration with adidas and all 32 teams, celebrates the intersection of lifestyle, culture and of course hockey with a youthful, fan-forward focus,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Chief Brand Officer, adding they hope to connect each team’s past with their future.
Fans were given ‘championship-level looks from Stanley Cup-winning seasons and beloved logos from bygone eras,’ according to the NHL. Now that teams are finally starting to wear their NHL Reverse Retro jerseys on the ice – which started in November – let’s take a look at the 20 best designs this season!
20. Carolina Hurricanes
“The team’s current away jersey gets redesigned in a bold red for the first time in franchise history. There are two sets of hurricane warning flags on the shoulders and the “CANES” stairstep center crest to underscore the flag details,” the team explained on NHL.com. It’s a jersey fans have never seen before.
The Carolina Hurricanes are 12-6-5 through 23 games this season – their 29 points has them third in the Metropolitan Division. They’re led by Andrei Svechnikov with 14 goals, Sebastian Aho with 16 assists, and Martin Necas with 25 points. As a team, Carolina scores 2.7 goals and allows 2.7 goals per game.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets
“A black body accented with navy stripes along the sleeves honors the Blue Jackets’ original third jersey while tying in light blue from the team’s current third jersey. The original third jersey was the first display of the current Blue Jackets logo, inspired by the Ohio state flag,” explained the Blue Jackets on NHL.com.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are 7-12-2 through 21 games this season – their 16 points has them in eighth place (last place) in the Metropolitan Division. They’re led by Boone Jenner with nine goals, and Johnny Gaudreau with 14 assists and 22 points. The team scores 2.86 goals and allows 4.1 goals per game.
18. Tampa Bay Lightning
“This jersey features rain, sea and lightning sublimated in full-size graphics across the jersey, with lightning bolts down the side of the pants. It pays homage to their original 1997 storm third jersey with an electric-styled font,” the team said of their stylish and unique lightning bolt-themed jersey on NHL.com.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are 13-8-1 through 22 games this season – their 27 points has them in third place in the Atlantic Division. They’re led by Steven Stamkos with 13 goals and Nikita Kucherov with 25 assists and 35 points. As a team, the Lightning score 3.45 goals and allow 3.18 goals per game.
17. New York Rangers
“The Lady Liberty jersey returns in the Rangers’ present color palette. The shoulder patches and crest tie back to the original jersey while white and silver details create a glistening appearance around the historic New York statue,” explained the team on NHL.com, paying homage to the New York Statue of Liberty.
The New York Rangers are 11-9-4 through 24 games this season – their 26 points has them in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division. They’re led by Mika Zibanejad with 11 goals and 25 points, and Adam Fox with 19 assists. As a team, the Rangers are scoring 3.0 goals and allowing just 2.79 goals per game.
16. Minnesota Wild
“The 1978 North Stars jersey colors meet the modern Wild crest in Minnesota’s new jersey, with the star and trees of the crest featuring raised dimensional treatments,” the team said on NHL.com. Thanks to their unique blend of green and yellow, they often have uniform designs not usually seen on the ice.
The Minnesota Wild are 10-9-2 through 21 games this season – their 22 points has them in fourth place in the Central Division. They’re led by Kirill Kaprizov with 13 goals, 14 assists, and 27 points at just 25 years old. As a team, the Wild are scoring just 2.9 goals per game, but allow just 2.9 goals per game.
15. Pittsburgh Penguins
“The streamlined Penguins jersey, worn by Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr throughout most of their 1990s run together, resurfaces with additional gold and white stripe accents on the sleeve. The Penguin crest has dimensional embroidery raising the shadow of the Penguin head and wings,” the team said.
The PIttsburgh Penguins are 11-8-4 through 23 games this season – their 26 points has them in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. They’re led by Sidney Crosby with 12 goals, 19 assists, and 31 points – all of which are team-highs this year. They score 3.39 goals and allow 3.17 goals per game this season.
14. Arizona Coyotes
“The Coyotes are the first team to ever wear a jersey featuring the earth-tone color sienna. Inspired by the Coyotes’ 1998-2003 third uniform, this jersey depicts a desert and incorporates the Coyotes crescent moon logo as part of the landscape,” said the Coyotes, who are welcoming a new color into the NHL.
The Arizona Coyotes are just 7-10-3 through 23 games so far this season – their 17 points have them in seventh place (second-to-last) in the Central Division. They’re led by Lawson Crouse with 10 goals and Clayton Keller with 14 assists and 21 points. They score just 2.7 goals and allow 3.4 goals per game.
13. Nashville Predators
“This uniform will feature Predators gold from head to toe, including the helmet, pant and socks, complimented by navy and silver accents. The jersey brings back the fanged Pred head crest from the team’s 2001 original third jersey,” the Predators explained on NHL.com. If you like gold, here you go!
The Nashville Predators are 10-9-2 through 21 games so far this season – their 22 points have them in fifth place in the Central Division. They’re led by Nino Niederreiter with nine goals, Mikael Granlund with 14 assists, and Filip Forsberg with 19 assists. They score 2.48 goals and allow 2.86 goals per game.
12. Montreal Canadiens
“The Canadiens’ 1979 uniform, from when the team won its 22nd Stanley Cup title, comes back to life in a new shade of light blue, inspired by the city of Montreal’s colors,” the team said on NHL.com. It brings fans back to a winning period in team history, but the light blue is something they haven’t seen before.
The Montreal Canadiens are 11-10-1 through 22 games so far this season – their 23 points have them in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. They’re led by Nick Suzuki with 12 goals and 24 assists, and Kirby Dach with 13 assists. As a team, they score just 2.82 goals per game and allow 3.5 goals per game.
11. Seattle Kraken
“In their sophomore season, the Kraken highlight the team’s sea green color in the body of the jersey. Below it, the “S” crest is submerged in the navy-striped sea, where the Kraken’s red eye peeks just above surface,” according to NHL.com. Considering how new the team is, we’re still getting used to their jersey.
The Seattle Kraken are 14-5-3 through 22 games in their sophomore season – their 31 points have them in second place in the Pacific Division, behind the Golden Knights. They’re led by Jared McCann with 10 goals, Jordan Eberle with 15 assists, and Andre Burakovsky with 23 points. They’ve been on fire so far!
10. St. Louis Blues
According to NHL.com, “The Blues honor their inaugural jersey presented in 1966, which was a prototype worn by the ownership of the club a year before the team hit the ice. The gold and blue pairing is inspired by the Blues’ third jersey and other vintage uniforms, including the 2017 and 2022 Winter Classic jersey.”
The St. Louis Blues are 11-11-0 through 22 games so far this season – their 22 points have them in sixth place in the Central Division. They’re led by Jordan Kyrou with nine goals and Robert Thomas with 15 assists and 19 points. They score just 2.82 goals per game and allow 3.55 goals per game this year.
9. Washington Capitals
“The Screaming Eagle makes a comeback against an all-black colorway in the Capitals’ new jersey. Asymmetrical striping, unconventional font and new blue and copper colors were influenced by the 2005 uniform,” according to NHL.com. It’s reminiscent of the mid-1990s, when the screaming eagle debuted.
The Washington Capitals are 10-11-3 through 24 games so far this season – their 23 points have them in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. They’re led by Alex Ovechkin with 13 goals and 23 points, and Dylan Strome with 13 assists. The team is only scoring 2.82 goals per game and allowing 3.04 per game.
8. Boston Bruins
“Inspired by the Bruins’ 1995 third jersey that was originally gold, this bright white jersey’s main character is the Bruin itself. Legend has it that the image of the Bruin was taken from a painting of a bear hanging on a team executive’s wall and is why it resembles a painted image instead of digital one,” said the NHL.
The Boston Bruins are 19-3-0 through 22 games so far this season – their 38 points have them in first place in the Atlantic Division and the entire NHL. They’re led by David Pastrnak with 14 goals, 18 assists, and 32 points – all of which are team-highs. They score 3.95 goals per game and allow just 2.18 per game.
7. Vegas Golden Knights
“The Golden Knights created a jersey whose design imagines what a Golden Knights third jersey might have looked like in 1995. It features a “VEGAS” diagonal wordmark and glitzy font, inspired by vintage hotel signage on the Las Vegas Strip,” according to NHL.com. It’s a simple, yet very effective design.
The Vegas Golden Knights are 17-6-1 through 24 games so far this season – their 35 points have them in first place in the Pacific Division and third in the entire NHL. They’re led by Jack Eichel with 11 goals and 26 points, and Alex Pietrangelo with 18 assists. They score 3.42 goals per game and allow 2.63 per game.
6. San Jose Sharks
“The typography and colors of the 1974 California Golden Seals, the Bay Area’s first NHL team, merge with a new “Sharks” wordmark,” according to NHL.com. The jersey reminds me of the Los Angeles Chargers, if they were an NHL team. Whether or not you like the design, you have to enjoy the colors!
The San Jose Sharks are just 8-14-4 through 26 games so far this season – their 20 points have them seventh place in the Pacific Division. They’re led by Logan Couture with 13 goals and Erik Karlsson with 21 assists and 32 points. They score 2.92 goals per game and allow more than 3.4 goals per game.
5. Colorado Avalanche
“The Stanley Cup champions honor their inaugural, and first Stanley Cup championship, season by paying homage to their state. The center “C” crest is derived from the state flag and the angled stripes mimic the Rocky Mountains,” according to NHL.com. Will they win back-to-back Stanley Cups this year?
The Colorado Avalanche are 12-7-1 through 20 games so far this season – their 25 points have them in third place in the Central Division. They’re led by Mikko Rantanen with 13 goals and 29 points, and Nathan MacKinnon with 22 assists. The team scores 3.3 goals per game and allows just 2.6 per game.
4. Florida Panthers
“Once on the shoulder of the 1998 jersey, the iconic sun, palm tree and stick logo was moved to centerstage of the Panthers’ 2022 jersey. The light blue color was derived from the team’s 2009 third jersey and is paired with its current primary colors of navy, yellow and red,” according to NHL.com.
The Florida Panthers are 10-9-4 through 23 games so far this season – their 24 points have them in fifth place in the Atlantic Division. They’re led by Carter Verhaeghe with 12 goals and Matthew Tkachuk with 19 assists and 29 points. As a team, they score 3.35 goals per game and allow 3.48 goals per game.
3. Buffalo Sabres
“The Sabres uniform blends the style of the 1996 logo with the colors of today. The body stripes and horn-shaped outline on the upper arm compliment the center crest, the bison/buffalo,” according to NHL.com. Fans were ecstatic to see the ‘goathead’ logo make a return, this time with new colors.
The Buffalo Sabres are 10-12-1 through 23 games so far this season – their 21 points have them in seventh place (second-to-last) in the Atlantic Division. They’re led by Tage Thompson with 14 goals and 29 points, and Rasmus Dahlin with 18 assists. They score 3.7 goals per game, but allow 3.61 per game.
2. Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks paid homage to the past and present with their jersey design. “The 1993 signature asymmetrical body stripe, chevron sleeve stripes and three-color player numbers is an ode to the Ducks’ inaugural season uniform, remixed with the team’s modern-day color scheme,” according to NHL.com.
The Anaheim Ducks are 6-15-2 through 23 games so far this season – their 14 points have them in eighth place (last place) in the Pacific Division. They’re led by Troy Terry with 10 goals, 14 assists, and 24 points – all of which are team-highs. They score just 2.48 goals per game and allow 4.13 goals per game.
1. Los Angeles Kings
“The Kings honor the 1982 uniform celebrating one of the greatest NHL comebacks ever, the “Miracle on Manchester.” The white jersey features purple and gold trims with a royal crown crest sewn with raised gems and a satin stitch embroidery,” according to NHL.com. There’s just something about this jersey!
The Los Angeles Kings are 12-9-4 through 25 games so far this season – their 28 points have them in third place in the Pacific Division. They’re led by Gabriel Vilardi with 13 goals and Kevin Fiala with 19 assists and 26 points. As a team, they score 3.36 goals per game and allow 3.6 goals per game.
Should They Have NHL Reverse Retro Jerseys Every Season?
It’s safe to say fans were pleasantly surprised when they were first introduced to NHL Reverse Retro jerseys ahead of the 2020-21 season and while that surprise came to a screeching halt last season, the jerseys are back and better than ever. Don’t worry, the jerseys officially went on sale November 15th.
The 2022-23 NHL Reverse Retro jerseys are made with ‘adidas innovation Primegreen: a series of high-performance materials containing a minimum of 50% recycled content,” according to the NHL. They might be a little expensive – $190-240 per jersey – but it might be your only opportunity to purchase one.
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While we’d like to think the Reverse Retro program will be renewed every season moving forward, there’s a chance they will shock us by not bringing them back – much like they did after the first year. Even if they do renew them, the designs are likely to change each season, so they’re only available for a limited time.
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