This morning, the Calgary Flames officially announced new home and road sweaters featuring familiar designs. The team is going “full retro” in 2020-21.
No new jerseys were revealed today. The Flames are really just playing musical chairs with some existing designs. But it’s something many fans have been requesting for years. Now it’s finally coming true.
The home and road sweaters are Adizero replicas of what the team wore for its inaugural season in Calgary in 1980. But they really date back to the 1970s before the franchise relocated from Atlanta.
Calgary wore the red retro sweater as a third jersey off and on throughout the 2010s. The design was originally retired in 1994 but resurrected for the club’s 30th anniversary in 2009. An Adizero version was added as an alternate in 2018.
Then just last year—25 years after its last game on NHL ice—the white throwback returned for the 2019 Heritage Classic in Regina. Now it’ll be used for all road games going forward.
But that doesn’t mean the black “Flaming C” is gone quite yet.
As part of today’s announcement, the Flames confirmed the previous red sweater will be used as a third jersey next season.
The Los Angeles Kings did something similar in 2011. They converted their third jersey to a home jersey, added a white one for the road, and kept the old home sweater as an alternate.
To some degree it’s likely a nod to fans who purchased a new Adidas jersey in the last three years. It’s a way to keep their relatively new purchase from being immediately obsolete.
Personally—and I’ve said this before—but I’m not a fan of teams going “full retro” like this. I think throwback jerseys are something special. We should use them to honor the past, not live in it.
That said, I do like these jerseys a lot. They’re simple and true to the tradition of hockey sweater design. They’re a part of the Flames’ history—what they wore when they raised the Cup in 1989.
But I’m also interested in their future. What does the next generation of Calgary Flames sweaters look like? Hopefully we’ll get an interesting new third jersey in a few years. Or maybe a fun fourth jersey next season.
Until then, I know these will fly off the shelves. And frankly, the Flames will look good in them.
I will say that my lack of enthusiasm for full time retros is outweighed by my delight in seeing some of the worst of the Reebok Edge era slowly disappear.
The Flames’ original Adizero jerseys were a mild improvement to an awful Edge template. Same with Ottawa, which soon replace theirs. And Buffalo, who did.
Speaking of Buffalo—and I know I’m rambling at this point—you mind be wondering why I was so positive about their retro look, and a little down on Calgary’s. Honestly, it comes down to the modern touches on the Sabres’ new look.
They were inspired by their past, as they should be, but not beholden to it, as Calgary seems to be.
And that’s about all I have to say on that. Thanks for reading this far.
What’s your take on Calgary’s new/old look? Do you agree or disagree with my take on full time retros?