Grading all 32 NHL Reverse Retro Jerseys

nhl reverse retro
Apr 19, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; A view of the white hockey gloves and white hockey pants of the reverse retro jersey of Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) as he skates in warm-ups prior to the game against against the Detroit Red Wings at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one thing that most hockey fans love, its hockey jerseys. Now that all 32 NHL Reverse Retro jerseys have been officially released, let’s take a look at how each team did with their design!

These were graded by myself and the rest of the Empty Betters team using the following scale: Elite, Great, Good, Meh, Bad, and Delete This. So here are my thoughts, along with my colleague’s grades!

NHL Reverse Retro Jersey Grades

REVERSE RETRO
Feb 23, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; A view of the Washington Capitals reverse retro jersey logo during warmups prior to the Capitals’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim Ducks

Another interesting combo from the Ducks combining the greatest logo in hockey history with their current colors. While this one is a large improvement due to the diagonal striping on the front, and great looking numbers on the back, it will never beat the eggplant and teal one from the 90’s. Also the peanut butter color scheme needs to go. 

Nick’s grade: Meh

Arizona Coyotes

When the ‘Yotes first put this logo out, I don’t think there was a single person on this planet who could have said they liked it. However, the Coyotes have absolutely nailed the past two Reverse Retro sweaters with this logo. I love the desert scenery on this one as well as the purple one from last season. Yes it’s busy, yes it looks like a peyote trip in the southwest – but who cares? It’s fun! And that’s what This team needs right now…and a new arena. 

Harrison’s grade: Good 

Boston Bruins

Pooh Bear is back! One of the more controversial 90’s hockey jerseys in the sense that it is either loved or hated, the Bruins have brought it back in white this time around and I think it looks fantastic. Yes, the logo is totally out of left field for the Bruins but it’s instantly forgotten when you look at the rest of the sweater. The pattern is great, the colors work, and I’m a big fan of the shoulders as well.

Mac’s grade: Good

Buffalo Sabres

Ah the year of the goat head, what a time to be alive! The Sabres will be using the iconic logo not once, but TWICE this year. For the Reverse Retro series it was merged with a more current version of their colorway, however the real treat is the black and red one that is going to be released in November. While this logo makes the sweater so much better than their current one, I can’t help but think that the red and black one is going to look a thousand times better. 

Jackson’s grade: Great

Calgary Flames

First really divisive one on the list here, you either love it or hate it. Personally, I love seeing that C in white and the 3D elements and texture they added to it really make it pop. I’ve also always had a soft spot for the weird diagonal bottom stirping that the Flames have used in the past. I think this one is going to look great on the ice, and is something unique we haven’t seen the Flames do in a while. It will never beat out Blasty though.

Nick’s grade: Good

Carolina Hurricanes

I am not a fan of diagonal letters as the primary look for a jersey. There are a few expectations, especially some of the more classic looks, and this is not one of them. The Hurricanes have one of the cooler mascots and logo combinations in the league in my opinion. I think their standard primary logo is solid, and the use of the hurricane warning flag is awesome. Why they insist on constantly trying to make the “Canes” text work is beyond me. That would look great on the shoulder of their alternate jersey and nowhere else. I’m also just confused by the use of the hurricane warning flag in the “C” on the front. 

Harrison’s grade: Delete This

Chicago Blackhawks

            (See Detroit Red Wings)

Mac’s grade: Delete This

Colorado Avalanche

One of the most talked about on Twitter when it was released. I love the use of the state flag colors here, Colorado just needs to remind themselves that their state flag will never be as cool as Maryland’s. That being said, I have alway loved the pattern on this jersey, but it loses some points here for the main logo. I think that logo is great for a shoulder patch and not much else, and I would’ve liked to see them incorporate something else to help mitigate some of the white space on the front. 

Jackson’s grade: Meh

Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus, I appreciate you trying to do something exciting and different, but this was a swing and a miss. It looks like a misprint. They took the wrong crest and put it on the wrong sweater. I would’ve loved to see the bug logo come back or maybe something with the cannon on the front.

Nick’s grade: Bad

Dallas Stars

I really like what the Stars did here. I don’t think this one was getting talked about enough, and I think they did a MUCH better job than last year. I’ve always been a proponent for the Stars ditching their current look, and it’s great to see them use this logo again. I think the numbers look great and the retro orange NHL logo really pops on this one. I personally would have given this one a score of “Great”

Harrison’s grade: Meh

Detroit Red Wings

(See Chicago Blackhawks)

Mac’s grade: Delete This

Edmonton Oilers

I love that Oily Country brought this look back. This was one of the uncut gems of hockey jerseys from the early 2000’s. I think they absolutely nailed this one, I love the use of the orange on the sleeves to add some color in there. My only complaint is the oil drop in the center of the logo should have been blue, to appear less egg-like, and the orange should have instead been used as a border for the logo to make it stand out. 

Jackson’s grade: Good

Florida Panthers

Props to the Panthers. They went crazy with it, and totally stuck the landing. I’m typically not one for bright or crazy colors like this as a primary color, but I think it works really well here. I love the palm tree and hockey stick logo on the front, and the arm striping works really nicely too.

Nick’s grade: Great

Los Angeles Kings

With all these great looks in the Kings’ arsenal, it’s surprising they’re still rocking sweaters that look at home in a Medieval Times gift shop.   The kings have so many good sweaters in their past and I love what they did here. This look was never my favorite when it was all-yellow, but the white with purple on the shoulders and sleeves works so well together here. 

Harrison’s grade: Great

Minnesota Wild

Last year it looked like a Subway cup. This year it looks like another Subway cup. I like the color combo, I just don’t think it works well with this look. The Wild had some crazy looks in the early 2000’s and I think a lot of fans wanted to see those make a return. Stick with the dark green, cream, and red – it’s just better for everyone. 

Mac’s grade: Meh

Montreal Canadiens

 I should probably have said this earlier, but Original 6 teams typically have a tough kick at the can when it comes to stuff like this. Typically, they’ve been rocking the same look for so long, that if you tried to do anything different 75% of the fanbase would try and have you killed. Montreal is definitely one of those teams, and I appreciate the (ahem) effort with the light blue, it just doesn’t do it for me. 

Jackson’s grade: Meh

Nashville Predators

I already don’t like Nashville’s current look but I have to give them some props here. I’ve always been a big fan of the “LSD cat” logo and think that they did a great job bringing that back, but a big reason why the original jersey was so loved (despised) was because of how ugly the mustard color was. Also, the small text that says nashville on the front just seems way out of place, and looks like it should say “Adidas” or, “CCM”. That’s right CCM, it’s time to come home. 

Nick’s grade: Good

New Jersey Devils

 A throwback to their days as the Kansas City Scouts and then the Colorado Rockies, the Devils revived their classic colorway with a more modern look. I love that they didn’t use the current sweater design they have, as I think the Devils need to go back to the early 2000’s era sweaters ASAP. While the color combo is something new and exciting that we haven’t seen from them in a while, it doesn’t do much for me. I would personally love to see the classic Devils look over black. 

Harrison’s grade: Meh

New York Islanders

Finally! It took these guys forever to bring back the fisherman, but they did it! I love this look for the Islanders, and my only real complaint is I wish there was some teal in the striping along the sleeves and bottom of the jersey. Very nicely done!

Mac’s grade: Great

New York Rangers

A similar design to last year, but with a modern colorway that I think works well here. Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of this look for the Rangers, solely because they have one of the most iconic looks in all of sports. Similar to Montreal, they have a tough time deviating from their primary look. Overall, I think they tied the current and past together pretty well. This is going to look solid on the ice. 

Jackson’s grade: Good

Ottawa Senators

The Sens took a big step forward with their look by going back to the 2D senator head. It looks a lot cleaner and smoother, except for this design. I always liked the nonsense the Senators had going on with their look in the early 2000’s. But with this one it just seems like everything is out of place or the wrong size. 

Nick’s grade: Bad

Philadelphia Flyers

I see what they’re doing. And I’m sure it will be a great thing for Flyers fans to have this season, but I think everyone wanted to see a better version of a black sweater for these guys. I know there are plans for the Flyers to wear those retro full-length pants in warmups as well, which is not doing them any favors in my book. 

Harrison’s grade: Meh

Pittsburgh Penguins

Before anything is said here, just a disclaimer that I hate this hockey team more than just about anything on the face of the earth. That being said, they made the right call bringing back the robo-penguin logo. The only thing this sweater is missing is the gradient from the original, but otherwise this is a great look for this team. 

Mac’s grade: Good

St. Louis Blues

Hello yellow! The Blues went wild with this one, debuting a prototype look for the original uniform that was never used. I love the classic music note and the arm striping, but yellow is a very tough color to make look good as a primary. If the UCLA hockey team came out with this, I wouldn’t be shocked at all. 

Jackson’s grade: Meh

San Jose Sharks

I LOVE the history behind this one. Who didn’t use the California Golden Seals jerseys in NHL video games when they were a kid? This team needs all the help in the world right now, and these jerseys are a great start. Solid look, I can’t wait to see these on ice. 

Nick’s grade: Good

Seattle Kraken

For the league’s newest team, I’m a tad disappointed. A lot of us were hoping to see the anchor logo be the primary on this sweater and the excessive teal color blocking up top doesn’t do much for me. I think with a mascot this cool, and essentially a blank canvas to work with, the Kraken missed big time on this one.

Harrison’s grade: Meh

Tampa Bay Lightning

By far the most “90’s” jersey out of this batch, the Lightning were quite busy when they were coming up with this new take on an old design. I’ve always kind of liked the original, and the weird gray shoulders are a big miss for me. It just seems out of place and I would’ve liked to see them make the design flow better. That being said, it’s one of the coolest designs in the batch and you have to give them props for bringing back this look. 

Mac’s grade: Good

Toronto Maple Leafs

Another blue and white Leafs jersey with a Maple Leaf on the front. It’s significantly worse and somehow not all that much different from their current look. I know it is tough for them to come up with unique designs for these, but I was not a fan of this one. 

Jackson’s grade: Delete This

Vancouver Canucks

SHEESH, these are sweet. I love everything about these bad boys, except for the number on the front. I forgive that because the rest of this look is outstanding. The dark blue and green combo is fantastic, the logo is something we haven’t seen from Vancouver recently, and it just all fits together so well. I think these will be one of the best looking jerseys on ice, and is absolutely the second best jersey out on the list. 

Nick’s grade: Elite

Vegas Golden Knights

Much like I said about Nashville, I hate Vegas’ look. However, they nailed this. Earlier I mentioned that I hated the diagonal text when talking about the Carolina Hurricanes, however this is one of those exceptions. Vegas pulled this off really well, and this should be their full time alternate instead of furthering their lifelong dream of becoming the Vegas Mustard Knights. I would’ve said “Great”, but I don’t mind where Harrison put them. 

Harrison’s grade: Elite

Washington Capitals

Disclaimer: lifelong Washington Capitals fan here. I have many great memories of being picked up from school, taking the metro into DC, and watching the Caps rock the black sweater with the Capitol dome logo on it. I always loved the screaming eagle/dome era and Caps fans have been begging for this look to come back. And they absolutely nailed it. They did the epitome of what Reverse Retro was supposed to be, a modern twist on an old design. Best sweater out of them all by a mile. If you don’t believe me, look for any pictures of the full uniform. 

Mac’s grade: Elite

Winnipeg Jets

So, I think the Jets did a lot better here than people are giving them credit for. They really only have one logo to turn to for Reverse Retro stuff, and it’s the one their fans think of fondly. I love that they went with a while look here since no one does a whiteout better than the Jets during the playoffs. Yes Penn State, that includes you. Outside of that, it is a tad bland for my taste. I would’ve given this one “Good” but Jackson clearly had other ideas.

Jackson’s grade: Elite

What did we get right? More importantly, what did we get wrong? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out the full video!

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Empty Betters

Nick Mannella

Harrison Schulz

Mackane Vogel

Jackson Gross