The Philadelphia Flyers' color palette is a simple one: Orange. Black. White. It's been that way since they broke into the league in 1967, and there's never been a diversion, no fourth on their colour wheel.
But there almost was. In the 1990s, the dark age of NHL jerseys -- and by "dark" I mean garish, cartoonishly colorful, and horrible -- the Flyers briefly flirted with a third jersey that would have introduced a fourth color: teal. Feast your eyes on the jersey the club only narrowly avoided rolling out in 1996:
That's right. Teal. Bluish-green. Dark cyan.
It was a hip color back then. It was the default background color for the Windows 95 desktop. The San Jose Sharks had debuted in it just four years earlier. But the Flyers? What was the NHL thinking?
Non-traditional. According to Ken Loh, who designed the jersey for the Mednick Group, (as well as the LA Kings' Burger King logo), the NHL was looking to push the envelope, even to the point of introducing the phrase "Flyer teal". From Icethetics, who did great work in bringing this unfortunate design to our attention:
The league ... wanted us to push the envelope, which is probably why there were some pretty garish patterns and gradients being used for other third jerseys around the league. Personally, I was never a fan of that approach so I tended to stick with solid colors in my designs.
[...] I don’t really remember any specifics around the use of teal, but as I noted, we were encouraged to experiment with “bold” statements so I imagine that was part of where that came from.
Among the bold statements that the league did roll out that year. The now-infamous Anaheim Ducks' icebreaker jersey.
Also bold: the alternate Flyers' logo on the arm:
That's the most 90s thing ever. The teal. The overuse of gradient, bevel, emboss and other exciting new Photoshop layer styles.
Loh only designed this stuff, however. He wasn't in the room when the Flyers rejected it, so he doesn't know how or why that happened. My theory: someone opened a window, and with the fresh air came a great deal of common sense.
With the Flyers set to unveil a new third jersey later this week, this look into what might have been gives us all an indication of what we should be expecting: not teal.
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