How the 1994 NHL lockout spared us another hideous jersey design

The Pittsburgh Penguins faced off against the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night wearing their new third jerseys. They’re not technically new, as the uniforms are the same design that Mario, Jaromir and Ronnie Franchise wore during their back-to-back Stanley Cup years in 1991 and 1992.

Unlike previous efforts, these uniforms were lauded by Penguins fans. It’s rare that an NHL team’s jersey is collectively praised, even from non-fans, given the league's penchant for the color black and horrible design schemes that clubs pump out on an annual basis so their cash registers stay busy.

When the NHL went through their 1990s third jersey explosion, we saw a ton of legendarily bad designs. We'll never forget the LA Kings’ Burger King jerseys or the Wild Wing ones that the Mighty Ducks tried to pull off or even the New York Islanders’ fisherman logo. But the Penguins almost had a jersey of their own that could have topped them all.

Look. At. These.

Arghhhh!!!! My eyes!!!!!! 

Either one could be described as the lovechild of the Washington Capitals blue jerseys and the Vancouver Canucks' skate jerseys. Or maybe Pittsburgh's entry into Roller Hockey International.

The one positive: I kind of dig the igloo shoulder patches on the Robo Penguin logo jersey. But that’s it. That’s where I’m drawing the line.

So how come these never saw the light of day?


Theses [sic] two sublimated jersey designs were the finalists to become the new alternate, or third, jerseys for the Penguins for the 1994-95 season. Designed by Vance Wright Adams and Associates of Pittsburgh. The designs were nearly submitted to the NHL for approval, but the league’s labor dispute ultimately cancelled the project.

Pittsburgh would never use this design on a game uniform.

Thanks, 1994 lockout!

Vance Wright Adams and Associates, you might recall, were the team behind the Penguins' new jerseys beginning with the 1992-93 season, hence the re-use of the Robo Penguins logo.

It’s bad enough Wayne Gretzky had to don the Burger King jersey. It would have been just as terrible if no. 66 had to suit up in one of these. Yeesh.

Stick-tap Icethetics

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!