Honoring the Past While Still Moving On
November 21, 2018
Throwback jerseys. Alternative sweaters. Old school sweaters. The NHL recently announced the list of teams who will be rocking some uniforms inspired by those of “old time hockey, eh?” and I am here for it.
Paying homage to days gone by, Orginal Six teams to relative newcomers, several NHL teams will debut third jerseys this year. A classicly simple New York Rangers sweater stands in stark contrast to an … let’s say ... embellished (yes, that will work) Phoenix Coyotes jersey. Some sweaters will draw praise, others derision, but as with anything, most everyone has an opinion. Even Golf Digest has weighed in with a ranking of the season’s alternate jerseys from worst to first.
Fans will bicker among fellow fans and rivals as to who has the best sweater, arguing nuances from classic, simple lines to the utility (or nonutility) of the lace-up feature. Some fans may hang their heads in shame at what has come back around. (Looking at you here Phoenix. Do better.)
But amidst the cosmetic crowing and disagreements, is an undercurrent of pride and respect for the past. The tradition of bringing back jerseys gives nod to what came before to make the league great now. And in a small way, it opens up discussion on what to keep from the past, and acknowledge how things have improved, if only on a superficial level.
Storied Winnipeg kept it sweetly simple, traditional colors and clean logo. Meanwhile, Anaheim, well, I hope when Hollywood makes another Halloween movie, they contact your organization because the stick fangs coming out of that goalie mask are a thing of nightmares.
My own beloved Red Wings don’t appear to have released an old-school sweater this year. I can only hope that is because they are designing a throw back season to a time when they had a winning record.