NHL Reverse Retro 2.0 power rankings

The NHL and Adidas have finally released their second set of Reverse Retro jerseys. Adidas had absolute home runs mixed with major head scratchers. We will be ranking all 32 new renditions of the Reverse Retro jerseys and giving them a rating out of 10. Without further ado, let’s start it off at the top!

1. Florida Panthers – 10/10

The Panthers absolutely killed this design. The light blue pops and gives great contrast to the alternate logo featured on the chest. A classic Florida template incorporating all of the teams colours. I hope these look as good on ice as they do casually.

2. Vancouver Canucks – 10/10

Vancouver brings everything I want in an alternate jersey with their second rendition of the Reverse Retro. The combination of the Johnny Canuck logo (my personal favourite Canucks logo) on the chest and utilizing an alternate blue that follows suit with the Canucks branding is a win.

I’m happy they avoided the Yellow/Black/Red era of the team and stuck to an old fashioned template that screams Canadian pond hockey. Additionally, the jerseys feature players numbers on the chest as well as the sleeves and back.

3. New York Rangers – 10/10

The second New York Rangers set follows the same Lady Liberty concept as the Rangers’ alternate jersey from the late 90s. The 2021 version of the Reverse Retro jersey also included the Lady Liberty logo but utilized the same primary colour of the original, navy blue. Incorporating more traditional colours this season as well as the split red sleeves gives this jersey an easy top-5 finish in my eyes.

4. Buffalo Sabres – 10/10

Buffalo brought back one of the best logos from the team’s history and combined it with their best franchise colour scheme. Seems like a simple recipe for success that many of the teams on this list seemed to diverge from. The angry Buffalo and jersey template originates from the Sabres’ red, silver and black era that lasted from 1996–2006. A simple concept executed to perfection.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins – 10/10

Pittsburgh aims to target their early success with a home version of their classic white jersey from 1992–2002. The jersey first appeared after the Penguins back-to-back Stnaley Cup wins in 1990–91 and 1991–92. This is another timeless classic with a great refresh that will draw fans from all ages.

6. Anaheim Ducks – 10/10

What logo in hockey is better than the Mighty Ducks? That’s a rhetorical question—the answer is no one. After the absolute disaster of a design the first time around, the Ducks have thankfully redeemed themselves. The classic Mighty Ducks template from the team’s inaugural season in 1993 updated with the team’s current colours is once again, another example of that perfect recipe I mentioned earlier. Fans don’t want wild and crazy with this jersey series, they want nostalgia with a modern twist, and Anaheim did exactly that.

7. Edmonton Oilers – 9/10

The fans in Edmonton have spoken and Adidas has delivered. After a 15 year hiatus, the Oil Drop logo is finally back. Edmonton has had a hot potato approach to their branding since 2015, changing their home jersey four times in seven years. It appears the combination of navy that was featured on last year’s home jersey won out against the classic blue. Personally I think this is a great addition to an already good mixture of classic and modern options the Oilers jersey arsenal holds.

8. Boston Bruins – 9/10

Similarly to Pittsburgh, Boston went with a classic colourway flip on the 1995 yellow alternate jersey. The primary white is a great balance with the brown and yellow accents. These are going to look great on ice and hit a very niche era of Boston Bruins culture. The yellow inspiration for this edition was last worn in 2006.

9. Washington Capitals – 9/10

Washington takes a solid approach with an almost identical template to the first Reverse Retro. The classic Bald Eagle logo on the black sweater gives me visions of Alex Ovechkin in his early days. No red is seen anywhere on the new version and is instead ditched for the 90s gold and blue, staying traditional to the template.

10. Vegas Golden Knights – 9/10

Vegas debuts its first primarily black jersey this Reverse Retro round and I have to say, they did a great job. I was surprised to see the diagonal “VEGAS” wordmark as the focal point of the jersey but it includes a very interesting feature. In the second image included below you can see the sections of embroidery that utilize glow in the dark thread. This is a first on a professional jersey as far as I know and a really cool feature that brings together the very classic and formal design template.

11. Philadelphia Flyers – 8/10

Philly did a great job keeping it simple here. Although their jersey isn’t super exciting, an equipment bonus brings them up to 11 on my list. Some fans might not know about the historic Cooperalls that caught the hockey equipment scene by storm in the 80s.

Although the Flyers will only wear the Cooperalls for warmup, it’s still a great homage to hockey history and keeps the jerseys design in correlation with its era of inspiration. Included below is a look at the full warmup set the Flyers will don for their Reverse Retro nights.

12. Dallas Stars – 8/10

Simple and successful. Dallas brings back the black primary that was featured in the team’s home jerseys for most of their franchises history. A return of the Star logo is seen again from the first version. The logo, which originally featured gold lettering, works great on the jerseys template that was originally debuted in the Stars 1995 home jersey.

13. Calgary Flames – 8/10

The Flames will be donning these bad boys soon enough. I think most fans would’ve liked to see a white or red version of this closer to the original pedestal jerseys debuted in 1995. The white “C” featured on the original red pedestal design makes a return but on a black primary background this time.

I personally really like this design but it seems to veer off of the Flames branding path slightly. It appeared that when the team went back to the retro style jerseys full time we would be seeing less and less of black being included in the teams branding. Blasty is the only black jersey we need in my opinion but this will undoubtedly look amazing on ice.

14. New York Islanders – 8/10

This one might raise some mixed feelings from fans but overall I think the Isles faithful will be happy with this spin on the 1995 failed attempt at a brand refresh. The fisherman logo only appeared for two years on a much more distorted wave-like jersey template.

The only thing I would’ve liked to see the Islanders do with this is stick to their primary lighter blue as the base colour for the jersey. Although they went back to the blue classically featured on the fisherman jersey, they did a great job calming down the stripping and shoulders. Overall a better product than their first Reverse Retro in my opinion.

15. Toronto Maple Leafs – 8/10

Keeping it classy in the Six. Toronto stayed true to the franchise’s history and did a great job on refreshing the old Leafs logo and using a classic jersey template from the same era. Similarly to Vancouver, this gives me another pond hockey feel and screams Original Six franchise. This Reverse Retro is the first meaningful victory this franchise has had in a long time and redeems itself after the first go with the disgustingly bland grey/blue abomination.

16. Carolina Hurricanes – 8/10

Join me in a quick golf clap. Not too shabby Carolina.

After the tribute to the Hartford Whalers, this was a logical step for the Canes. After announcing this offseason that the team will be using the former black alternate as their primary home jersey this year, this fits perfectly in their current jersey lineup. Utilizing the same template as the team’s current away uniform, a simple colour swap is utilized and really makes the text pop. Perfect representation of what this team’s new era is looking like.

17. Winnipeg Jets – 7/10

Two-tone blue is the star of the show here much like the team’s usual home and away uniforms. It’s a good attempt to revamp a timeless classic but I think it misses the mark a bit. No red on the jersey makes it seem too one dimensional with all of the cold colours featured. I would’ve loved to see a red base on this same template utilizing the navy blue and white as accent colours.

Also, when is Atlanta gong to get some love in Winnipeg? That’s two Reverse Retros in a row snubbing the all mighty Thrashers. With anticipation that Calgary will feature an Atlanta Flames Reverse Retro soon, maybe the Jets will do the same and combine their logo with one of the Thrashers distinctive jersey templates.

18. Los Angeles Kings – 7/10

Return of the purple and gold! The Kings stuck to the same plan as their first go at the Reverse Retro, bringing back a rendition of the classic purple and gold base but with a primarily white sweater. The first Reverse Retro was primarily purple and featured the classic “KINGS” crest.

I like the return to the crown here but it would’ve been cool to see them combine the old logo and colours with a mid-2000s jersey template. But at the end of the day, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

19. Colorado Avalanche – 7/10

I really don’t like this one aside from the crest. Combining the Avs’ current logo on the shoulder with the template they currently use in their home and away jerseys leaves more to be desired. Last time, the Avalache featured the Nordiques logo on their Reverse Retro and went with their current colour scheme. I would’ve liked to see their current colours on this rendition as well. Overall though this was well executed and will look great on ice.

20. Minnesota Wild – 7/10

This one was very predictable in my eyes. The first Reverse Retro saw the Wild going with almost an identical design but in a primarily white colourway. I think keeping the North Stars colours involved is good but maybe a different crest would’ve helped to lift this higher on my list. I think it would be really interesting to see a “W” styled north stars logo for the next rendition.

21. New Jersey Devils – 7/10

New Jersey pays tribute to both its former franchises as the Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies colours are featured on the white sweater. The jersey’s template takes inspiration from both of the former teams and features a classic Devils logo with blue accents. (This is exactly the type of approach I’d like to see Winnipeg utilize next time with the Thrashers uniforms as inspiration using their current logo). The Devils’ green Reverse Retro edges out this edition, but still a solid effort from New Jersey.

22. Arizona Coyotes – 7/10

I don’t hate this, but they could not have picked a worse year to feature an off-orange and burnt red colour that looks too much like Arizoza State University’s primary colours. I don’t know if these colours were intentionally picked to be featured while the team plays in ASU’s arena, but it’s not a great look either way. The uniform is inspired by the green alternate worn from 1998–2003 and is the same look as their first Reverse Retro—aside from the primary colour of course. I think this is kind of a lazy attempt honestly. Need to see more creativity next year and less of this offputting yellow.

23. Montreal Canadiens – 7/10

Double blue seems to be a theme among this year’s Reverse Retros. Montreal features its first baby blue primary jersey ever with their second Reverse Retro set. Using the same template as their dark blue Reverse Retro, the Canadiens take a fresh approach to the colourway for their young core with this edition.

24. Ottawa Senators – 7/10

Ottawa does alright with this drawing template inspiration from the red alternate jersey the team first debuted in 1997. A simple two-tone approach is taken on the jersey colourway which works well to promote the gold in the logo. I like this jersey because it fits great with the style the team has going on right now. I could honestly see this staying as a full time alternate in Ottawa after this season.

25. San Jose Sharks – 6/10

Okay, I totally appreciate the homage to the California Golden Seals here but it’s just so… blah. I love that they stuck true to the seals style for the “Sharks” text featured on the chest but the colours throw me off so much. This hits a very small timeframe of pro hockey in California, but and provides a historical connection to the sport in the region. Lacklustre, but historically accurate.

26. Seattle Kraken – 6/10

Meh. That’s pretty much all I have to say here. It’s not really fair to be overly critical of a retro jersey for a franchise that just celebrated its second home opener ever. I like the fact that they went primarily teal but the dark blue section across the center is too much. I really hope Seattle gets creative with their future alternate jerseys. With one of the best modern logos in sports and a insanely cool team name, they have tons of giant squid/ocean themed approaches they can take down the road.

27. Nashville Predators – 6/10

This is the worst part of Nashville’s branding history. This rendition of the Sabretooth logo looks like it belongs in a cut scene from an episode of the Power Rangers. It’s not a horrible jersey but I think going to a blue primary colour here would’ve helped the jersey’s success.

The Preds already wear yellow home jerseys and haven’t had a blue jersey in regular rotation since 2011. Beyond the logo and colour, is it really necessary to include “Nashville” in size 10 font across the chest? It just gets lost in the design and takes away from the ugly cat—although maybe that’s the point.

28. St. Louis Blues – 6/10

This is very close to a success in my eyes but the crest really throws me off. I love the yellow primary and light blue striping accents on the arms and shoulders. The logo featured has never made it onto a jersey in the franchise’s past and incorporates a rounded text line that overtakes the music note. Close, but no cigar. Their first Reverse Retro was a home run for St. Louis and this year they struck out looking.

29. Tampa Bay Lightning – 5/10

Tampa gets some creativity points here but the final product is lacking. The team wore a blue version of the design as an alternate from 1996–99. I personally like the original design a lot better. I think the yellow featured in the arm lightning bolts is out of place and would’ve looked a lot better as a straight silver. Maybe I just don’t have enough of an emotional connection to this design’s roots. I’d compare this to the Islanders/Bruins Reverse Retro approach this year but with mediocre results.

30. Columbus Blue Jackets – 5/10

The sun must not shine much in Ohio because aside from the cannon alternate jerseys the team has worn since 2015, their branding is wildly underwhelming. This jersey does give me Ohio vibes: not much exciting going on but you hear from the people that they don’t hate it.

I would’ve loved to see another red jersey like the first Reverse Retro for the Jackets. The black just seems very out of place. If the primary colour of this edition was red, it would’ve made the top 20.

31. Chicago Blackhawks – 3/10

Okay, this is just confusing. Chicago has some of the best jersey’s in the league and they’ve stayed almost the same for their entire history. The only thing I can think is that the team and Adidas wanted to stray away from the “Blackhawk” chief logo, but it’s still being featured on the shoulder patch anyway. This is just such a poor effort in my opinion.

32. Detroit Red Wings – 2/10

I swear I almost went blind when I saw this. What is going on here, Detroit? I know it’s probably tough to find a fresh twist on a timeless classic when you’re an Original Six franchise that’s had the same colours and logo since 1932, but come on guys. We could’ve thought of something better than a jersey originating from 1927. A stylized D like the one featured in the 2009 winter classic would’ve been a much more obvious route to take. Although Yzerman’s Wings are on the rise, this is an absolute flop.

All images sourced from sportslogos.net.

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