Black jerseys have been considered a scourge on the NHL.
Some teams have no business wearing them. They’re used for a cash grab, or because someone in marketing saw the sales figures for the Oakland Raiders for the last 20 years and said “GIMMIE.”
Since it’s Black Friday – a day dedicated to commercial excess and clichéd marketing – we figured it was a perfect time to look back at the history of black sweaters in the NHL, pit them against each other and come up with a definitive ranking … as definitive as one man’s opinion can be, when that man is nursing a turkey hangover.
Here are the Black Jerseys in NHL History: RANKED!
Please note that all the jerseys are linked to the NHL Uniform Database, so click the names to see the sweaters. Also note that these are for jerseys that are primarily black. So that Tampa jersey with the Lightning on it? That’s a blue jersey.
And here … we … go. (And let us know if we spaced on any. )
A steep downgrade from the typical jerseys, a boring crest, the clumsy introduction of gray … maybe they’ll work better with BROOKLYN on the front one day, because these looked like indoor lacrosse jerseys.
On the plus side, the greatest sports uniform to ever feature a diagram of reproductive organs. At least until the Seattle Testes join the NHL.
Ugh. From the “trying too hard” files, the Capitals introduced this third jersey in 1997. We’ll assume the subsequent “Rock The Red” campaign was to compensate for sucking the patriotism out of this era of DC jerseys.
This is when the Ducks were all grows’d up, abandoning a logo crest for the team named with a webbed ‘D’. Mahaps the “other” team in SoCal should veer away from black as the primary base?
Hey, just what a Senators fan needed: a target for gut-punches.
So drop the iconic logo and go with the faux RANGERS pageant sash? So disappointing.
Another one of those “what have you done to earn this bad-assary?” jerseys. Unless this jersey was meant to symbolize what their arena looks like in June every season. And besides, teal rocks. Embrace the teal.
These aren’t bad, just bland, as evidenced by how stark and memorable their turn back to green was recently.
“Hey, where do I play?” *Checks crotch* “Oh, right, Los Angeles.”
Like the next entry, but devoid of any personality. Just blah.
The color scheme isn’t bad, but the logo launched a thousand “Super Nintendo Entertainment System” jokes.
This inexplicably became the Penguins’ primary logo during the Ian Moran era. The best team to ever look like a discount airline serving New Zealand.
Not a bad looking sweater, although not nearly as fun as their primary jerseys during the Mighty Ducks era.
A Reebok EDGE influenced redesign that made it seem like they were sweating blueberries.
The logo was a nice change from the “swallowing Coyote” primary logo, but there really wasn’t anything all that memorable about the running ‘Yote.
It still as the greatest logo in sports, but in comparison to its red counterparts, there is no comparison.
There’s a real love/hate with the orange and bronze “webbed ‘D’” jersey. We’d love it had they gone with an old, recolored Mighty Ducks logo instead.
The trim was like someone was trying to fast-forward to a better jersey.
The first black jersey ever for the Bruins had the ‘B’ but, alas, no spokes.
The surly goat jersey. Yes, it’s the definitive look for Miro Satan. But it’s just not the Sabres.
These third jerseys, which would become their primary jerseys, introduced “Vegas Gold” to the Penguins years after Jagr used to actually wager gold in poker games when visiting Vegas.
After the death of the Flying V, the Canucks unleashed this new jersey with the “electric skate” logo. A little heavy on the red, making it look like a new fast food franchise, but still solid.
The purple is dropped. Some people loathed the “pencil point” logo, but it’s a pretty darn cool look and one that’s now synonymous with the Jonathan Quick era.
The Flyers earned the right to look like bad-asses, and yet there was something more intimidating when they looked like pumpkins. The essential Keith Primeau look, however.
The sweater the Blackhawks based their Wrigley Winter Classic jersey on. And it’s a classic looking jersey, right down to the Saul Bass-looking Indian head.
This logo is so leaps and bounds better than their standard ones. We also like the little checkers at the bottom. Demits for being a team that really doesn’t need a black jersey.
Do not poke this alternate jersey.
The first Tampa Bay look is still the best, from a jersey point of view. Ah, visions of Darren Puppa and Roman Hamrlik dance through our heads! Alas, the Floridian reference in the logo is counterbalanced by that silly font.
The stampede reference logo couldn’t come close to topping the Flaming ‘C’ but the jersey overall is pretty sweet.
Serious love for these jerseys, as the Senators enter the league looking like bad-asses. Yes, even Sylvain Turgeon.
A quick note to those who expected to see this at the bottom of the ranking: You’re completely, hopelessly wrong. It does justice to the team colors, it’s memorable, it’s stark and it’s not some boring recolored version of their other jerseys. VIVA LA FLYING ‘V.’
The joyous green of the North Star years becomes black as the Stars arrive in Texas. I always saw this as symbolic mourning over leaving the State of Hockey. Great jersey, great logo.
The Blackhawks reversed their color scheme (such as it was) in 1927, and the results were these awesome jailbird black striped sweaters. C’mon, you know Capone had one.
A riff on their previous jersey, but they toned down the red. Just a classic look, if only for the fact that Pavel Bure used to wear it.
The Gretzky Jersey. ‘Nuff said.
In 1955, the Bruins finally married the Spoked ‘B’ and the black sweater and the result was one of the most iconic looks in sports history. There have been spins on this through the years, but we’ll go with the Bobby Orr era ones as the nominee. The black really hid the blood from Terry O’Reilly’s knuckles well.
There are people who question the existence of the Phoenix Coyotes. Simple answer: Without the Coyotes, we would have never gotten this peyote trip to jersey nirvana, from the wacked out native influenced logo to the Southwestern rec room rug trim. If you hate this jersey, you probably live in Winnipeg.
And finally …
Just the best. The perfect Penguins logo (even without the toque), the perfect black to gold ratio. The Penguins revived this look in 2014, and it was like they could never wear anything other than this again.