In our new series of Power Rankings we look at who is at the top and who is at the bottom, ranked entirely based on factors that are not skill. This week we start with The Worst Jersey. So, who will top the Power Rankings?
In a large league like the NHL, it must be difficult for teams to come up with jerseys and logos that not only look appealing to the eye, but represent the team, it’s city and it’s fans. Couple that with the fact that many of these teams (almost a third) have come into the league in just the past 20 or so years, the pressure to design something fresh and exciting to appeal to a new fan base as well as compete against some classic/iconic designs must be immense. Some teams have gotten it right, some gave it their best shot and others must have had an artsy interior designer whispering in their ear something like, “Trust me, Mauve and Fuchsia are all the rage right now.”
Here is part 2 of our worst jersey power rankings; the worst of the worst! You can check out part 1 here.
15. Calgary Flames
Cheering for the Oilers for as many years as I have, it’s ingrained in me to recoil at the sight of this jersey. However, in an effort to be non-partisan, I’ll put them in the middle of the pack. To tell the truth, I’ve always liked the flaming “C” (there’s a joke in there somewhere) and the colours of mine enemy are nearly as definitive as my own. I also like the provincial and Canadian flags they put on the shoulders. They’re even one of the few teams to honour their relocation predecessors by keeping the original name and fiery logo. So what’s not to like? Well, they’re the Flames.
14. St. Louis Blues
As a music fan, I enjoy St. Louis’ winged single note quite a bit; add to that the fact they’re named after a turn of the century delta blues musician and I’m all in. The bright blue lined with yellow and just a hint of red looks incredibly sharp to the eye. That being said, as a team that hasn’t won a championship since the day it joined the league when they expanded from the original six to twelve, perhaps a re-model might be just what this team needs. Then maybe they could re-name the team after a different song, like Sheryl Crow’s “A Change Would Do You Good”.
13. Tampa Bay Lightning
After ditching the front lettering and black colour all together, Tampa upgraded it’s look with a much slicker emblem and a cleaner over-all uniform scheme. While it’s not something to get overly electrified about (see what I did there?), it did bump the Lightning up several notches on this list from where they would have sat previously. Fun fact: Tampa is the lightning capital of North America. Who knew?
12. Toronto Maple Leafs
Our first of the single colour teams, the Maple Leafs can’t really be blamed for not messing with such an iconic and long lasting look, though I’ve grown tired of the basic blue and white with a photosynthetic plant part on the front of it. The Maple Leaf crest is nearly impossible to redesign without being called out for hockey blasphemy and really, how many ways can you re-draw a logo named for something that has it’s most productive days in the June/July sun and is dead by late fall?
11. New York Rangers
A trend that you will begin to notice is the ranking of original 6 teams in the lower half of this list. It’s not that I find the Rangers look particularly bad, just safe. To be fair, the blue shirts have tried a few different logo and colour configurations over the years, none of which have worked better than what they haven kudos to the organization for recognizing that what it has is better than anything new they’ve come up with so far. Plus, points for being the only team to pull off the diagonal lettering down the front of their jerseys. I’m looking at you, Colorado.
10. Colorado Avalanche
Somehow, Colorado makes bright blue and burgundy work. It’s just that when it came to naming the team, they somehow settled on a word that’s both a noun and a verb, making it difficult to depict on the front of a hockey jersey. That being said, there are probably a number of cool ways you could depict a massive slide of snow and ice down a mountainside. What you have instead is a logo that looks less like a fearsome act of nature and more like a letter of the alphabet snapping you with a towel in the locker room with a puck taped to the end of it.
9. Florida Panthers
Although I approve of the new look red, white, and flat blue and gold that the Panthers went with for the 2016/17 season, I’m not as sold on the new logo. I agree that the cartoonish leaping panther of old needed an update, I’m just not sure that the new emblem was the right choice. It looks less like a fierce woodland beast and more like that of a badge you would find on the shoulder of a forest ranger.
8. Dallas Stars
An upgrade in 2013 from the Stars uniform of old with a new brighter green, I still find these uniforms underwhelming at best. Maybe it’s my own personal bias against the team for constantly drubbing my Oilers in the 1st round of the playoffs year after year in the 90’s to early 2000’s, but I have never been able to get behind anything this franchise has put forth. Besides, any team in Texas using the star as it’s focal point is only ripping off it’s NFL counterpart with much less success.
7. Columbus Blue Jackets
It’s not that the colour scheme is so terrible (their shades of red, white and blue work well together) it’s just that when it come to the over all design and look, it appears as if they’ve just phoned it in. Uninspired and unimaginative, it looks as though whoever was in charge of the team said “Let’s just go with something American-y.” I get that it’s supposed to honour Ohio’s civil war history, but the over all look isn’t much better than you could have created with a 5th grader, a US flag and a pair of scissors. Although, I have to say that the current logo is much better than the cartoon bug with pink eye look the organization went with a few years back.
6. Detroit Red Wings
I suppose that having more than one colour (white doesn’t count) may be confusing or overwhelming to some. Though the “pegasus wheel” emblem is easily recognizable it, like the rest of the Red Wings look, is in dire need of a modern make over. Much like the on ice product, the marketing department seems to be on auto-pilot, resting on the laurels of the last 15 years or so.
5. Minnesota Wild
How do you go from the gold and green of the Minnesota North stars to the cub scouts at camp looks the Wild went with? The hunter green and red colouring along with unidentifiable animal face logo on the front make for a truly rank uniform. Furthermore, this is a team that has constantly found itself on the bottom of just about every team uniform ranking known to mankind and has never even taken a stab at altering its colours. I guess at the very least, they’re not as bad as the all-red with the let’s just stick our name in a circle jersey the team had a few years ago, but that’s really not saying much.
4. Montreal Canadians
Okay, I know I’m going to take a lot of flack for this ranking of a the classic hockey jersey, but come on, take a step back and this look is straight up borrrrrring. Sure the colours are decent and bright shades that pop, but don’t you find it the least bit ironic that a team located in and called les Canadiens has its southern neighbour’s chosen colours of red, white and blue? And how about the logo? A C and an H. Wow. I can just imagine the conversation when that idea came up. “You want just a C in the middle?” Yup. “Do you want to stylize that at all?” No. “Change the font?” Nuh-uh. “Are you sure?” Fine. Put an H in the C. That’ll do. “Would you like to..” Nope. My work is done for the next 100 years.
3. Arizona Coyotes
You may argue that the Coyotes franchise owned the worst all-time jersey back in the 90’s with the Aztec look they sported at the time, but at least they were bold and made a statement. The current edition of Phoenix’s silks are about as boring as filing a tax return and offer no inspiration what’s so ever. The single, solid “Desert Red” colour takes a typically exciting hue, dulls it for the senses and is barely noticeable up against almost any other teams look. Even the Coyote Head logo on the front doesn’t look like it’s as much howling as intended, but rather yawning before curling up for a good night’s sleep.
2. Carolina Hurricanes
Some teams lack any real imagination and the Hurricanes uni’s are certainly proof of that. An almost exclusively red on white colour scheme with a logo that appears to be inspired by those spiral thingy’s that come at you in the early 80’s Atari game Yar’s Revenge (if your under 34, look it up) you get an idea of how lazily these jersey’s were put together. What’s worse, if you consider they inherited the old Hartford Whalers team, there was plenty there to have drawn some decent design ideas from (love the Whale!). I could give them the benefit of the doubt and think that perhaps the team and it’s owners were aiming at something simple and classic like the Detroit Red Wings until somebody (probably an office intern) let them know that an all red jersey already existed and said, “Ok, let’s throw in a splash of black. Perfect.”
1. Vancouver Canucks
A team with a rich history of terrible jerseys (remember the yellow “flying V”? ) the Canucks easily top my list as worst in the NHL. Back in the 90’s when Mark Messier joined the team and pushed Trevor Linden out the back door, Vancouver changed it’s entire look from the one good crest and colour scheme they ever had (the black, red and yellow skate) and went with a red, white and blue look centred by a giant C giving birth to an Orca. Not to be outdone, the team took it a step further and decided to go back to it’s original colour scheme of blinding blue and sick-at-sea green. Also, they felt the uniform wasn’t busy enough so they put Vancouver across the top (in case they forgot where they’re from?) and put their old, unimaginative skinny-hockey-stick-inside-a-block-to-form-a-C log0 on the shoulder. Blechhh!