Reverse Retros – How do they Rank?

This past Monday the NHL and Adidas unveiled all 31 Reverse Retro jerseys, and man were there some very interesting jerseys that we got to see become a reality. However, how do they rank to a jersey collector like me? After doing some digging and evaluating, here is my official ranking of all 31 NHL Reverse Retro jerseys.

* Jerseys ranked from Last to First.

#31 – New York Islanders

New York Islanders Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

WOW!! Really Islanders? Talk about a blunder, and we’ll get to a few others in a moment, but just wow. The Islanders Reverse Retro is based on their 1980 jersey, which ironically is what they are wearing currently for their home and road jerseys, so what did they do? They made the blue a darker navy color which is what they wore before they went back to the lighter 80’s blue. So this was just lazy. I for one would have loved to see the Fisherman come back, as I love those jerseys, but a simple color swap would have sufficed here. All that would have needed to be swapped would be the blue and orange, and it would at least be more original then what we got.

#30 – Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Basing their jerseys of of what they wore in 1998 when they defeated the Washington Capitals for their second of their back to back Stanley Cups, which feels like trolling given the Capitals and Flyers Reverse Retro jerseys, the Red Wings did a touch up to a jersey they are still technically wearing to this very day. The Wings took the red stripes on the jersey and made them silver. It’s ok in principle, but it’s not very original as they did that for the NHL Centennial. I think the Wings should’ve left the red alone, but make the jersey Silver to honor those Stanley Cup victories instead. It’d still rank low, but it’d be a bit more original than this.

#29 – Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Basing their uniforms off of the 1999 jerseys they wore when they won the Stanley Cup against Buffalo, the Stars took something so great and made it so bland. Going with what they call an “icy white” look, and utilizing their current colors, the Stars took a massive step back from how great this jersey once was. However, I will take a positive out of this because if Dallas were to host an All Star Game in the future this right here would be the prefect design to base the jerseys for said game on.

#28 – Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg Jets Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

For the Winnipeg Jets they go back to 1979, but with the their current colors. As a result of using their current colors they made this jersey look too dark. Especially with the logo. An injection of red in the jersey and logo would definitely liven it up, but it is what it is. Definitely a missed opportunity to do a color swap here.

#27 – Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

So there is controversy with this jersey because of the way it was unveiled, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Let’s talk about the jersey first. Basing their Reverse Retro off of their 1940’s jersey, the Blackhawks removed the barber poles look and did a more basic black jersey with red and white piping. They also cleaned up the 1940’s logo a tad bit, but let’s talk about the logo. When the NHL and Adidas unveiled the Blackhawks’ jersey, this is what they gave us:

Chicago Blackhawks Reverse Retro Reveal Image – NHL/Adidas

This raised a lot of eyebrows in the hockey community, especially given the recent history of sports teams being put into the spotlight for their racist mascots (see the Washington Football Team), and the Blackhawks are no exception. Despite opening up about the reason behind their logo and making an initiative to educate on Native American History and Heritage, this reveal was rather telling that something is wrong. Even the reveal video barely shows the front of the jersey. It wasn’t until the Blackhawks’ team store showed images on Twitter and on their website that we would see the logo. The Blackhawks can easily keep their name, keep their tradition, and change their logos to something that isn’t offensive to Native Americans.

#26 – Florida Panthers

Florida Panthers Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

The Panthers go back to 1996 when they made their lone Stanley Cup Finals appearance, but their is one problem with their Reverse Retro. They did this jersey as their legitimate alternate jersey in 1998. Only difference is the white piping on the jersey being more bold. Good idea, but this jersey already existed so can’t really call this a good Reverse Retro.

#25 – Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Going back to 1990 the Bruins took a classic look that was donned by the likes of Cam Neely and Ray Bourque, and went gold (yellow). Honestly it doesn’t do a lot for me personally, but I definitely like seeing the old 90’s B and bear shoulder patch return.

#24 – Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

The Penguins went back to 1997 and they disrespected the legacy of the RoboPenguin. Overall they jersey was never a horrible jersey back when the Penguins wore it from 1992 to 97, and while the white version of this jersey is ok, but the fact the Penguins used their current version of their Penguin logo instead of the RoboPenguin feels off. Overall it’s decent.

#23 – New York Rangers

New York Rangers Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

In 1996 the Rangers debuted their first ever alternate jersey, and it became iconic right away. Come to today and the Lady Liberty is back, but it feels like it’s really lacking. The lack of red really hurts this jersey in my opinion, and honestly this should have been a color swap. Doing a red jersey with the navy on the bottom half of the sleeves. I also would have left everything else alone with the numbers. They feel very off too. It’s nice to see the Lady Liberty back, but this isn’t doing it for me and I’m disappointed by that.

#22 – Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Going back to the 1970’s and a very popular jersey in franchise history, the Leafs did some tinkering to this classic as all of the white has been replaced with gray (silver), and the logo on the front is from 1967, which is a little confusing, but not that much of a deal breaker for me. The blue font for the numbers makes it feel a bit dark, but definitely not as bad as the Jets jersey.

#21 – Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Going back to the days of the Legion of Doom in 1995 the Flyers, the Flyers gave us some Legion of Gloom with this Reverse Retro. Ok, so maybe gloom isn’t the right word, but it definitely feels off to me. At least the jersey isn’t black which has always been a horrible look for the Flyers.

#20 – Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

For the Canadiens this has been a long awaited move for them as they finally do a blue version of their classic uniforms. The Canadiens have been wearing the same uniforms since 1976, though some tinkering has been done over the years, this color swap for Montreal looks pretty solid.

#19 – Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver Canucks Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

In an interesting choice the Canucks go back to 2001 and did some changes to their then alternate jersey. The navy/green gradient works better than their original jersey, and the current colors work well with this style.

#18 – Vegas Golden Knights

Vegas Golden Knights Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

For a team only three years old in the NHL, the Golden Knights had to get creative for their Reverse Retro. Going back to 1995 when the IHL still existed the Knights pay tribute to the Las Vegas Thunder. The red jersey is a good compliment with the gold, grey, and black piping. The alternate logo taking center stage on the front is a nice touch.

#17 – Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Going back to win their first Stanley Cup in 2004, the Lightning did a color swap so the blue would be the base color instead of black. It’s simple, and good to see the original logos back too.

#16 – Edmonton Oiler

Edmonton Oilers Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

For the Oilers they go back to 1979 when they first entered the NHL, and also marked Wayne Gretzky’s first season in the League as well. The Oilers went with a simple color swap, and switched the orange with the blue. It’s simple. It’s smooth, and it works.

#15 – Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles Kings Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Sticking with Gretzky, the Kings took their Gretzky era jerseys and color swapped them with their pre-Gretzky era colors. The Forum Blue (purple) and yellow work well with this style of jersey, and the logo looks pretty good too.

#14 – Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

For the Hurricanes they continue to honor their past in Hartford as the Whalers. Going back to the 1979 jerseys again, this time the Hurricanes re-envisioned the home whites, and made the base gray which is the only color the Hurricanes and Whalers hold in common. The return of Plucky the Whale on the shoulders is a very nice touch, and keeping some white for the piping was a good call as it brings a little life to it.

#13 – Nashville Predators

Nashville Predators Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Going back to their inaugural season of 1998 the Predators bring back their best jersey in franchise history, but still stick to their current color scheme. Replacing the primary navy is the current gold (yellow), but what stands out the most is the return of the silver shoulders/sleeves, and the excellent font for the numbers.

#12 – San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

For the Sharks they go back to their jersey that was introduced as an alternate in 1997, but became their official home and road starting with 1998 until 2007. Turning the jerseys gray (silver) was a nice touch, but it would have been better if they went with the type of silver they used on the original jerseys (like what Nashville did with theirs). Overall a solid look, and great to see the original Sharks logo back. Would be a great replacement to their current Blackout garbage alternates.

#11 – St. Louis Blues

St. Louis Blues Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

So first and foremost, I love the 1995 Blues jerseys, and if you were going to do a Reverse Retro to any of the jerseys for the Blues, this one would be the easiest one to do. The color swap of the red and blue works, and the fact nothing else had to change or be tinkered is a good thing. Now I know everyone has been complaining that the team is the Blues and the jersey is red, but let’s be honest, the Blues would not be able to do a blue jersey for the Reverse Retro. It’d either be red or yellow as the primary color. So at the end of the day, this works, and it looks good.

#10 – Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Blasty is back as the Flames return to their first ever third jersey with some minor changes. Gone is the red on the bottom of the jersey and sleeves which was replaced with black. Unlike with the Rangers Reverse Retro where it hurt the uniform, this change for the Flames is more to the benefit of the jersey. Also the change of the Flames logos on the shoulders to white is ok, but doesn’t hurt the jersey overall.

#9 – New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Returning to their first decade in the New Jersey, the Devils do a new take on their Heritage jerseys as they go full Christmas tree by going with a green primary jersey for the first time in their franchise history. It’s a very solid jersey, and it does look really good.

#8 – Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Columbus goes back to their inaugural jerseys and this red look is really good for them. The overall look really compliments itself and I really like it. Only wish they had kept the original shoulder patches though as I liked the bug logo they had.

#7 – Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

When something you wouldn’t think would work, but in reality it does. The Wild pay tribute to the Minnesota North Stars, and man do these look good, and dare I say that the Wild should change their colors to this permanently as this works oh so well. Very well done.

#6 – Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Continuing with their full blown rebranding back to their inaugural look, the Senators revealed a red version of their jersey for their Reverse Retro and it is amazing. It works so well as an alternate for the Senators too.

#5 – Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Going back to 2000 when they revealed their first alternate jersey the Sabres utilized their new current colors on their original alternate and it works really well. Especially for the logos and the fonts. Seeing the goathead again makes me happy as it is my favorite logo in their franchise history, and it looks really good with the royal blue and yellow with a little silver. Just perfect.

#4 – Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

The Quebec Nordiques are back… via Reverse Retro and it’s fantastic. I love how the Avalanche used their purple as the primary color for the logo and jersey, and made the Nordiques blue a part of the jersey for the numbers. The two colors compliment each other really well. Absolutely love it.

#3 – Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Going back to 1997 when the Capitals were wearing their beautiful Blue Eagle jerseys, they created these updated Reverse Retros in their current colors and it works nicely. Actually very better then a lot of the fan made concepts. Only changes I’d do is make the stars on the eagle bronze like on the feet and beak to give it a more rounded look. Also I want to know why the captain C is on the right side and not on the left like it normally is. That’s confusing, but not a deal breaker for me.

#2 – Arizona Coyotes

Arizona Coyotes Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

I just love the original Coyotes look so much. They should have never changed away from their Kachina looks in the first place, and now they have brought back their original alternate jerseys with an amazing Reverse Retro touch to it. Replacing the primary green with purple was an amazing touch, and makes this jersey stand out even more. Just love it!

#1 – Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim Ducks Reverse Retro – Image by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database

Going back to 1995 the Ducks revive their best alternate jersey in franchise history as the Wild Wing jersey returns. Thankfully they did not do an orange version of this and just did a color swap with the teal and white. This is definitely the best jersey out of all 31 because it also is more original and outside the box then all of the other jerseys in the Reverse Retro line. *Chef’s Kiss*

* Feature Graphic courtesy of Icethetics.
* Jersey Images by The (unofficial) NHL Uniform Database (https://www.facebook.com/NHLUniforms), and the NHL.

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