The NHL and Adidas continued to the reveal of their new Reverse Retro jersey collection today with the final set of teaser photos. Today we get a look at some details from the Atlantic Division—home to half of the Original Six teams.
As ever, along to help with illustrate some predictions are two talented concept artists who have contributed great work to Icethetics over the years. The designers are Avi Stein handling Eastern Conference teams and Orion Taylor covering the Western Conference.
The three of us have had ongoing conversations about what to expect and that’s what you’ll see below alongside the official teaser images.
Because we’re going alphabetically, we start with the team with the least amount of mystery.
Photos of the Bruins jersey were leaked last week and they line up with the teaser photos that were officially released today.
The year in the collar is 1990—unusual since the Bruins did not make any uniform changes at that point. The jerseys they wore in 1990-91 were introduced in the early 1980s and based on the leak, we can see the color reversals are based on the white home jersey.
For the sake of continuity we still have a prediction graphic from Avi Stein. Plus, nothing’s official until it’s official, right?
As we can see, we get a three-way color trade. White to yellow. Yellow to black. Black to white. The crest remains as it was back then as do the shoulder patches.
It’s a good look and worthy of an Original Six club.
The Sabres made waves over the summer with a return to royal blue—and here we get even more of it!
I know a lot of fans wanted to see Buffalo return to their red and black era for this Reverse Retro jersey. And in a way, they are. This one is clearly labeled 2000, a year when the Sabres introduced a third jersey for the first time. It was red with a new logo depicting crossed swords.
The trick to this one is it adopts their new (old) colors—royal blue and gold.
Our group went back and forth a few times over this one, but here’s what we came up with, as illustrated by Avi Stein.
Some of the colors aren’t a direct swap from the original design, but we mainly traded red for white, black for blue, and included some yellow trim where it made sense.
As a side note, I think we may be getting back the original name and number font that was used on this uniform. On the teaser shot of the shoulder, you can sort of make out what looks like a captain’s patch.
Detroit Red Wings
You could argue the Red Wings have had the most consistent uniforms in the NHL history. Yeah, there was a little craziness in the early years while they were still trying to settle on a nickname—Cougars and Falcons, at first. But when they landed on Red Wings in 1932, it was smooth sailing from there.
So in seeking out a retro jersey design, you either have to go back more than 90 years, or get creative. The Wings are doing the latter.
The year in their collar is 1998, significant perhaps because it was the second of back-to-back Stanley Cup victories. There were certainly no uniform changes that year.
The teaser video from Tuesday seemed to have silver in it, though it’s not visible in the teaser photos. We’re thinking they might be swapping the red stripes for silver in honor of the Stanley Cup. So here’s our prediction, as rendered by Avi Stein.
It’s not the most exciting thing to look at, and I kind of hope we’re wrong. But this is a tough one to guess.
For what it’s worth, it wouldn’t be the first time the Wings incorporated silver into a uniform. Anyone remember the NHL Centennial Classic from 2017? Maybe they even bring back the crest from that jersey. We’ll find out tomorrow.
About a decade ago, the Panthers finally shifted away from blue jerseys. Now they’re going back!
The collar references 1996, the year the Cats made their first and only Stanley Cup Final appearance. They lost to Colorado but it was certainly the best season in franchise history. I’m starting to wonder if that’s the inspiration for some of these retro years.
From the teaser, we can see the original shoulder patch and the modern shade of gold as opposed to the bright yellow of the original. Put those details together, and here’s what our crew predicts.
We took their white inaugural jersey and swapped the blue and white, then switched out yellow for the current gold. I have to say I think this one looks like a million bucks. The white cuffs are especially nice looking.
That being said, we did wonder if the Panthers would be inclined to use their modern leaping cat logo. But given the shoulder patch, the original seems like a better bet. Avi also put together a version with the cuffs in blue and honestly, that’s not a bad look here. It’s a bit of a challenge to predict the exact details on this one, but we’re definitely in the neighborhood.
An untouchable will be touched. Prepare yourself.
It’s difficult to imagine the Montreal Canadiens in blue, but that’s certainly where we’re headed. This was another one of my original predictions when I first reported on the Reverse Retro collection in JerseyWatch 2020. And it seems to be coming true.
The original teaser video released by Adidas showed Montreal’s retro year as 1977. But you can plainly see 76 inside the collar. Both were Stanley Cup championship years and it’s a minor discrepancy that doesn’t do much to change our prediction. Here’s the illustration by Avi Stein.
As I mentioned, the Habs won their first of three straight Stanley Cups in 1976 and the 1976-77 was voted the No. 3 greatest team of all time during the NHL Centennial. So for a team that hasn’t had much jersey variety over the years, this seems like as good a season as any to choose.
But still, Montreal in blue. Strange times.
The Sens just debuted new home and road jerseys based on their original look—and we may be getting third version of those.
The collar calls back to the Sens’ inaugural season in 1992-93, which also served as the inspiration for the team’s new primary sweaters for next season. So this one shouldn’t be a stretch to predict.
We’re taking their black road jersey and doing a direct swap of red and black. Here’s the preview from Avi Stein.
One small detail I’m curious about is whether they’ll go with the original crest from that year—which had the team name spelled out within the gold circle—or if they’ll use the updated crest on their new uniforms—which doesn’t.
We won’t have to wait long to find out. These will all be unveiled officially tomorrow.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ottawa’s expansion sibling in Tampa resisted the urge to go blue through most of their first two decades in existence. Not anymore!
The year in the collar is 2004, noteworthy not for the launch of any new uniforms, but because it was the first time the Bolts hoisted the Stanley Cup. They essentially wore the same uniforms from 1992 to 2007.
That makes our prediction fairly straightforward, as illustrated by Avi Stein.
Now, we went ahead and included the victory stripes under the arms, but I’m not sure the Adizero jerseys are set up to do that. But we’ll keep our fingers crossed. That was a great little gem from those original Bolts sweaters.
While the uniforms didn’t change over those first 15 years, the name and number font changed several times. I’m wondering whether we see any of the old designs come back. If they stay true to the 2003-04 jersey, the font should be the same as it is currently. That design was introduced in 2001.
I know some fans were hoping to revisit the storm jersey from the late 1990s—and frankly I was one of them—especially after seeing what the Ducks have in store, but it doesn’t look like we’ll get that this time around. Perhaps down the road.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Last up we have the Maple Leafs, who are looking back to 1970.
This was the year Toronto introduced a new, simplified shape for the crest and new uniforms with a shoulder yoke that ran the full length of the sleeve. It hasn’t been long since we last saw this logo—it was replaced in 2016. But the jerseys haven’t been used (or even revisited) since 1992.
One key detail from Tuesday’s teaser video as well as these new photos is the use of grey rather than white. I think Adidas is using a light grey as a sort of “vintage white” for some teams—as we saw with Carolina’s Whalers jersey.
All that makes this prediction seem fairly easy. Here’s the rendering from Avi Stein.
The jerseys introduced in 1970-71 were already reverses of each other, so that’s probably another reason we’re seeing grey introduced. In our prediction, we’re imagining a reversal of the white jersey. White to blue. Blue to grey.
Another quirk of this design is that the shoulder yoke is narrower than it is on the Adizero template. So the Adidas design team probably had to do some extra work on this one.
One last thing...
All that’s left now is the official unveiling of all 31 sweaters. The teasers were all published at 9 AM PT over the past few days, so I’m expecting the full reveal around that same time Monday. I’m also expecting back stories for all of these looks. Be sure to check back here to see it all.
Until then, what do you think of our last batch of predictions?