Ranking of the 31 NHL retro reverse jerseys for the 2020-21 season


Nostalgia may be the National Hockey League’s most trusted export. In a recent NHL poll that asked fans to rank the top 25 team jerseys, about 90% of them were homecoming jerseys.As Adidas hockey envisioned its next collection of NHL jerseys, he felt it needed more than nostalgia as a selling point. Since so many retro jerseys had already been taken out of the mothballs by teams for retail sales and special events, Adidas wanted to go in another direction. This is how the “reverse retro” line was born.

“It’s a meeting between the old and the new. It is a meeting between authenticity and the street. We do not design new models. It’s a remix, basically, of the brands that represented this team or this city, ”Dan Near, senior manager at Adidas hockey, told ESPN last week. “It was an interesting trip. Presenting those ideas, lining up the team and finally getting them on the ice… it feels like hockey is doing something big here, which is cool to be a part of.

The process of creating the jerseys was a little different from the usual one. When teams want to add a jersey to their outfit, they create a proposal and hand it over to the official NHL partner for the kit, and the development process begins. It was a league-wide initiative launched by Adidas, whose team pitched their concepts to a full meeting of the NHL Board of Governors and then to individual teams.

“It wasn’t quite ‘pick one of these three we show you today,’ but it was closer to that in our typical process with the NHL,” Near said. “I was stretching the truth if I said everyone was unanimous from day one. It doesn’t really work like that. ”

While the jerseys cite specific years as an inspiration for their appearance, the reality is that Adidas has simply used them as a guide marker for some teams by mixing up different eras. The Los Angeles Kings jersey, for example, originated in 1989, but features the Wayne Gretzky era jersey crest mixed with the purple and gold of the “Triple Crown Line” era jerseys.

A big difference between the “retro inverted” jerseys and the third jersey program: these jerseys will be worn only a limited number of times during the 2020-21 season only, and are “while stocks last” in terms of relates to retail sales. The Adidas reverse retro jerseys will be available on December 1 for $ 180 to $ 225 in the United States and between $ 200 and $ 250 in Canada on the Adidas and NHL online sales sites, then at other retailers starting on the 6th. December.

Some of these jerseys are instant classics. Others will disappear in memory. Here is a ranking of the 31 retro inverted NHL jerseys from Adidas:

The best of the reverse retro collection, and it’s not really particularly close. The Avalanche have tried to stay connected to their Quebec roots since moving to Denver in 1995, but this is the most overt use of Nordic iconography in franchise history. The logo of the Quebec igloo and the fleur-de-lis border are remixed with brown and Colorado blue.

“The team was quite receptive to this concept from the start. It wasn’t the only idea. But maybe that was the only one we showed them, “Near said, laughing,” because we wanted it so much. ”

Adidas has spoken to the Canadiens about how this jersey might be received in Quebec. “We have information on the market, in terms of demand and enthusiasm. There are certainly people who believe that the Colorado jersey will be very popular north of the border. I don’t know if I can find this in the province of Quebec. Intuitively I would, but I don’t have the data to prove it, ”Near said.

Some might see this as blasphemy. We see it as a clean, vivid homage to a franchise’s past – and the most successful mix of old and new among those 31 jerseys.


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