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Unpacking the NHL Reverse Retro 2.0 Launch: Ranking them 1-32

Jordan Wohl, Guest Writer

Images courtesy of Adidas Hockey

The National Hockey League and jersey producer Adidas enter their fifth and final year of partnership with the co-release of their second Reverse Retro Alternate series. This release and the first Reverse Retro series in 2020-21 season are the only two times in NHL history that all teams will have an alternate jersey, adding a splash of fresh paint on each franchise as well as a much-needed new revenue stream. The talk of escrow and salary cap implications can wait for another day…let’s rank the designs:


Tier One: Best in Class



1. Tampa Bay Lightning (Based on 1997 Alternate)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Yes

The Bolts did an unbelievable job here. This is the standard of a good hockey jersey: bold logo, strong supporting elements on the sleeve and bottom, and a detailed background. 10/10


2. Boston Bruins (From 1996-2006 Alternate)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Narrowly, yes

Bruins came out firing with a very clean and fashionable offering. They’re 2-for-2 on Reverse Retro designs in my book. 10/10


3. Los Angeles Kings (1980’s Home Jersey Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Somehow, no

Kings brought back a classic and very popular front logo and color scheme. Their primary black and silver have gotten a bit stale. It would be nice if they brought back the purple and yellow on a more consistent basis. 9/10


4. Anaheim *Mighty* Ducks (Original 1993 Home Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No, debatably

The most recognizable hockey logo in pop culture. Just a tad plain. 8.5/10


5. Washington Capitals (1990’s Home Jersey)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Yes

Called the screaming eagle jersey, the Caps went to the 1998 Finals in these jerseys. Ovechkin also donned the screaming eagle in his rookie campaign. 8.5/10


6. Florida Panthers (Compilation of a Few Different FLA Jerseys)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Somehow, no

What a cool color scheme. The baby blue is a reach but really pops. 8/10


7. Toronto Maple Leafs (1962 Away Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: By far

This one is getting a lot of heat from fans, but it is so hard to mess up the blue and white. I love the skinny shoulder design. Minnesota did something similar for their 2022 Winter Classic jerseys. 8/10


8. Montreal Canadiens (More of an Expos Tribute but they’re saying 1979 Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Close but no

This and New Jersey’s are two of my favorite color schemes. That baby blue on red is so iconic and so Montreal. 8/10


Tier Two: Still Icy



9. Winnipeg Jets (1990-96 Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No

Good color palette, just plain. Logo is a classic but it’s just too plain to hold up. 7/10


10. Pittsburgh Penguins (1993 Away Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Yes

The robo-penguin was a good 90’s classic. They did a good job with this style but could have done so much more with the original design. 7/10


11. St. Louis Blues (1966 Original Concept Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No

This one is much higher on most lists but I just don’t love logos that are not contained within a strong shape. For me, it’s just a faux pas. 6/10


12. New Jersey Devils (KC Scouts/Colorado Rockies Tribute)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Close but yes

Such a beautiful color scheme. This is a jersey that will look so much better on the ice. 6/10


13. Calgary Flames (1995-2000 Pedestal Jersey Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No

Original and creative but too quirky. Color scheme does not sit right. 5.5/10


14. San Jose Sharks (1974 California Golden Seals Tribute)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Nope

This is a vintage football jersey. 5/10


15. Nashville Predators (Slight Tweak of 2001 Alternate)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No

Looks better than the original but the silver accents don’t work on this edition. 5/10


16. New York Islanders (1995-96 Fisherman Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No

So much potential. So much left to be desired. 5/10


Tier Three: Swing and a Miss



17. Vancouver Canucks (1962 Original Concept Tweak)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No

This one was partially leaked early and I expected it to be my favorite. The front logo is the star of the show but has a lousy supporting cast. The sleeves are too busy and the left chest number does not work at all. 4/10


18. Philadelphia Flyers (80’s Coveralls Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No

Plain but clean. Just not enough creativity. 4/10


19. Minnesota Wild (North Stars Tribute)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No. Last one was legendary. Google it please

The white and yellow come out as very soft in the design. They do not pop as well as they did in the 1.0 design. 4/10


20. Colorado Avalanche (1970’s Colorado Rockies Tribute)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Yes

The colors bring me back to old VHS tape highlights of Lanny McDonald and Chico Resch. Just so much more that could’ve been done with an iconic color scheme- I wish they would’ve brought out a royal blue home jersey concept. 3/10


21. Arizona Coyotes (1998 Alternate Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Not at all

What a hot mess. That’s all I’ll say. 3/10


22. Ottawa Senators (1997-98 Alternate Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No

Red elements behind the logo take the bite off of the strength and boldness of the black. It will look really odd on the ice. 3/10


23. Edmonton Oilers (2001 Alternate Jersey Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: No

The wrong orange, too pale of a color. The jersey does not pop at all. 2.5/10


24. Dallas Stars (1993 Away Jersey Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: They both stink, but no

Black and Green just clash too much on this design. 2.5/10


Tier Four: If the Detroit Lions were a hockey jersey…



25. Buffalo Sabres (Goat-Head Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Not at all

Silver does not make sense with the yellow and blue. I also wish there was much more blue on the sleeves, maybe that would have saved the design. 2/10


26. New York Rangers (Late 1990’s Alternate Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Yes

The red sleeves are too strong. They distract from the center logo. I would have liked to see an away jersey concept of this jersey. 1.5/10


27. Columbus Blue Jackets (2003-07 Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: They both stink

Alright, from here on I’m not even going to waste your time with a description. They are all 1/10’s.


28. Carolina Hurricanes (Mashup of a Few Team Jerseys)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Not even close


29. Vegas Golden Knights (Random Vintage-Style Concept)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Yes


30. Seattle Kraken (Random Vintage-Style Concept)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Yes


31. (sigh) Detroit Red Wings (1920’s Cougars Tribute)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Both terrible. But somehow yes

There may be something wrong with me because I will still buy it. I will say: what makes it better than Chicago’s is that the white of Chicago’s design provides an even worse and more chaotic look. Somehow less is more for this poor attempt.


32. Chicago Blackhawks (1938 Away Remix)

Better than Reverse Retro 1.0?: Nope. Nope

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