As you might have heard, Adidas is taking over as the NHL's new uniform supplier. But that deal doesn't kick in until the start of the 2017-18 season, so Reebok is still the league's uniform outfitter for now, and there are plenty of uni-related changes for the coming year.
With the puck slated to drop on the regular season Wednesday, here's Uni Watch's annual team-by-team breakdown of all the changes you can expect to see on the ice (for photos contained in embedded tweets, you can click on the photos to see larger versions of them):
Jump to a division:
Atlantic | Metropolitan | Central | Pacific
• The Bruins are hosting this season's Winter Classic on New Year's Day, and they'll almost certainly be wearing some sort of retro- or throwback-themed uniform for the occasion. Nothing has been unveiled yet, but the logo the Bruins have been using to help promote the game is based on the team's 1924 uniform:
As you can see, the '24 uni was brown, and team president Cam Neely recently stated the Winter Classic uni will be black, so they apparently won't be going with a straight throwback, but here's hoping they do something close to the original. (Meanwhile, you can see additional notes about the Winter Classic's visual program here.)
• Welcome news out of Montreal, where the Canadiens are switching to a lace-up collar -- an old-school detail that feels just right for this most storied franchise. In addition, the NHL crest on the collar of the red home jersey will have LNH (for "Ligue Nationale de Hockey"), the first and so far only French version of the logo to appear on an NHL uniform (additional info here):
Habs switching to the old-school lace-up collar this year. pic.twitter.com/bBHbsID2A8— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 28, 2015
Habs home jersey has LNH logo this year (Ligue Nationale de Hockey). Only French version of logo to appear on a uni. pic.twitter.com/dOaEILFBZ2— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 28, 2015
Also, the Canadiens will be facing the Bruins in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1. No word yet on what they'll be wearing, but the game's logo suggests they might be going with a throwback based on the uniform they wore from 1922 through 1924:
• No changes this season for the Lightning, but here's their home jersey schedule.
• Nothing new this season for the Maple Leafs, but expect them to go with five different throwbacks for their centennial in 2016-17.
• Panthers: No announced changes or news.
• It's a well-established rite of fall: Alarmed Red Wings fans write to Uni Watch, saying, "The Red Wings have changed their nameplate font!" Relax, people -- they do this every preseason. The familiar vertically arched typography will return once the regular season starts:
As usual, Red Wings using block nameplate font in preseason. Will restore familiar vertical arching when games count. pic.twitter.com/fJcEkkioiF— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 24, 2015
Also: The Red Wings will be playing a Stadium Series game against the Avalanche on Feb. 27 at Coors Field. The Wings' uniform for that game hasn't yet been unveiled, but some retail catalog leaks have given us a look at the chest logo they're likely to use:
• Addition by subtraction in Buffalo, where the Sabres have scrapped their miserable alternate jersey. That noise you just heard in the background was the sound of hockey fans everywhere celebrating (further info here):
• No changes this time around for the Senators, but next season will be the team's 25th, and the Sens have already released an anniversary logo and hinted a new look might be on the way:
Blue Jackets now using 3rd jersey chest mark as shoulder patch on home/road jerseys. Old shoulder patch now scrapped. pic.twitter.com/CXNRpgDMUa— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 28, 2015
• The Capitals have color-swapped their throwback alternate uniform from white to red. The good news is this means they'll be able to wear it more often for the home fans; the bad news is this design, like so many NHL unis, looks better when rendered in white:
Caps' throwback alternate uni changing from white to red this season. pic.twitter.com/1cmT42lF9h— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 28, 2015
• No major developments for the Devils, but it's worth noting left winger Mike Cammalleri is now wearing No. 13, making him the first Devil ever to wear that number. Also: Although it hasn't yet been announced, expect the Devils to maintain a longstanding tradition by wearing their green-accented throwbacks on St. Patrick's Day, when they'll be hosting the Wild.
• Nothing new this season for the Flyers, but it's worth noting goalie Steve Mason's new mask shows former Flyers greats as zombies:
• No changes or news for the Hurricanes, but here are the dates when they'll be wearing their black alternate jerseys.
• This is a big season for the Islanders, who are moving from the Nassau Coliseum to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (right down the avenue from Uni Watch HQ, don'tcha know). They're marking the occasion with an inaugural-season patch, which will be worn on the right shoulder:
Very happy with this Islanders Inaugural season in Brooklyn Patch. pic.twitter.com/0dqDFny5JM— METS BRO (@METS_BRO) August 19, 2015
Also: The Isles have mercifully retired their brutal alternate uni (easily the worst design in the league and arguably in all of sports) and replaced it with a new black-and-white alternate that mimics the color scheme and minimalism of their new arena-mates, the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. (Here are some additional photos, the alternate uni's schedule, an in-depth analysis of the new design and your friendly uniform columnist discussing this design on a podcast.):
In addition, the Isles have also added a left-shoulder "Al" patch in memory of former coach Al Arbour:
And one more visual change for the Islanders -- no more Ice Girls:
• No changes this season for the Penguins, but here are the dates when they'll be wearing their throwback alternate uniform:
• Rangers: No announced changes or news.
• Lots of news for the Avalanche. First, they're marking their 20th anniversary with a patch, and the patch logo will also appear at center ice:
Good look at the Avs' 20th-anniversary patch. pic.twitter.com/lo8armoQk8— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 25, 2015
In addition, the Avs have retired their "Yeti" shoulder patch and replaced it with a "C" logo inspired by the Colorado state flag:
Before/after showing the Avs' new shoulder patches. pic.twitter.com/uTXmLYJw9T— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 25, 2015
That same "C" logo appears on the chest of the team's new Stadium Series jersey, which will be worn for an outdoor game against the Red Wings at Coors Field on Feb. 27. The design features some comically massive sleeve numbers and also has an odd-looking "5280" on the collar, a reference to Denver's mile-high elevation (additional info here):
What do you think? 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/NQy1XJMM7r— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) September 21, 2015
Finally, the Avs are also expected to have a new third jersey this season. It hasn't yet been revealed, but the usually reliable Icethetics blog has reported the third jersey will have a triangular crest inspired by the old Colorado Rockies uniforms from the late 1970s. You can see the prospective design at the bottom-right corner of this tweet:
• No changes or news yet for the Blackhawks, but Chicago will be playing a Stadium Series game in Minnesota on Feb. 21, and it's a safe bet they'll have a new uniform for that game. Stay tuned.
• Blues: No announced changes or news.
• The Jets have a new fifth anniversary logo, although for now it's only being used on merchandise:
• This season's NHL All-Star Game will be played on Jan. 31 in Nashville, Tennessee, so the Predators are wearing a jersey patch (further info here, and there's some excellent background on the development of the All-Star graphics here):
• No uniform changes this year for the Stars, but eagle-eyed fans will note the red line at American Airlines Center, which had previously been adorned with red stars, now has a Texas motif:
• The Wild have a new 15th anniversary logo. Surprisingly, it isn't being worn as a patch, although it did show up in a Minnesota corn maze:
The Minnesota Wild have released their 15th anniversary logo! pic.twitter.com/2m5b6TCpBQ— Hockey Headlines (@HockeyHead1ines) July 17, 2015
It's also worth noting the Wild will be hosting an outdoor game at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21, and they'll presumably have a new Stadium Series uniform for that game. No word yet on what that design will be, although a Reebok merchandise catalog suggests it might feature a recolored version of the team's primary logo (further info here):
Also, it looks like that Stadium Series game's alumni contest will feature a Wild jersey rendered in Minnesota North Stars colors! Here's hoping that turns out to be true:
"N-Stars players get to wear Stars jersey in Stadium Series alumni game, & Wild players will don something like this" pic.twitter.com/vTK0KuvPCu— Vintage MN Hockey (@VintageMNHockey) August 18, 2015
• Rogers Arena is celebrating its 20th anniversary this season, and the Canucks are joining in by reviving their "skate" jersey design as a throwback on Feb. 13 (additional info here):
• Last season, the Coyotes changed their geographical affiliation from Phoenix to Arizona. This year, they've followed up with a new uniform set. The increased use of black seems unnecessary and clichéd, and the sleeve designs feel better suited to football than to hockey, but it's nice that the home pants now offer some contrast from the jersey and socks (additional photos and info here):
Before/after comparison of the Coyotes' new home uniforms. pic.twitter.com/5PzE8i6myx— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 28, 2015
Before/after comparison of the Coyotes' road uniforms. pic.twitter.com/6jShpPiilA— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 28, 2015
• The Ducks will have a new third jersey this season. It won't be officially unveiled until sometime in October (and will make its on-ice debut on Oct. 16), but the excellent Icethetics site is reporting the third jersey will feature the franchise's old Mighty Ducks crest rendered in the team's current color scheme as seen in the bottom-left corner of this tweet:
Meanwhile, here's a subtle change most fans won't even notice but is still worth pointing out (because that's why you read Uni Watch, right?): The collar laces on the Ducks' home jersey have changed from black to white. It might not seem earthshaking, but it makes a surprisingly big visual difference because the black laces were barely discernable against the background of the black jersey:
Ducks changing home collar laces from black to white this season. pic.twitter.com/0QVeSSZGIj— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) September 28, 2015
And speaking of subtle changes, the stripe painted at the top of the boards at the Honda Center has changed from red to black:
• Flames: No announced changes or news.
• No uniform changes for the Kings, but they've made a subtle change to their center-ice design, adding a black outline to their team logo:
• Cool move by the Oilers, who have added an orange throwback that hearkens back to the franchise's WHA days (further info and a promotional video here, and the dates when the orange jersey will be worn can be found here):
Also: This will be the Oilers' final season at Rexall Place, and they're commemorating their farewell campaign with a new logo, although it's not being worn as a patch:
• Has it really been a quarter-century already? The Sharks are marking their 25th season with a new throwback alternate, which will be worn Nov. 3 against the Blue Jackets, Dec. 1 against the Penguins and Jan. 18 against the Senators:
In addition, the Sharks have unveiled a series of anniversary logos, one of which will be worn as a good-looking jersey patch (further info here, and additional info on the team's 25th anniversary promotions is available in this infographic):
That's it. Did we miss anything? If so, you know what to do.
Paul Lukas looks forward to walking down the street to catch some NHL games at the Barclays Center this winter. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.