All right, yesterday was fun so let’s do it again!
Adidas has been releasing teaser photos of the forthcoming Reverse Retro jerseys, one division at a time. On Thursday we got a look at the Pacific Division. Today, it’s the Metropolitan Division. (For those doing the math, that means we’ll probably see the Central on Saturday and Atlantic on Sunday.)
With all these new designs on the way, I enlisted the help of two talented concept artists who have contributed to Icethetics over the years. Together we’ve made some predictions and they’re here to illustrate them for us. 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 illustrated below.
The teaser photos we got today highlight some details of each Reverse Retro jersey in the Pacific Division. So we’ll start there, then you’ll see our predictions for each new sweater alongside and the original on which it’s based.
Pucky is back. This is not a drill. I repeat, Pucky is back.
Not only are the Hurricanes going back to the Whalers well for their newest retro jersey, they’re reviving the little whale mascot that sat on the shoulders. I was half-expecting a blue and green version of the Hurricanes logo to tie things back to the team that exists today.
Another surprise is that the jersey is grey. Hartford did incorporate grey into their color scheme in 1992, but the date in the collar of this one is 1979—when the Whalers joined the NHL. So with that in mind, here’s the prediction as illustrated by Avi Stein.
We’re taking the original green Whalers jersey—once worn by Gordie Howe himself—and swapping the green and white, then pushing the white to grey. I’m not entirely sure where the grey comes from, but it reads a bit like a bluer version of the “vintage white” we’ve seen on other jerseys, including the LA Kings’ Reverse Retro.
We opted for heavier use of the green based on Tuesday’s teaser video—which showed a grey base and green stripes—as well as the green letters trimmed in blue on the nameplate as seen in the teaser photos released today.
That said, as a group we think it looks better with blue being the primary color of the striping so we’re offering that option here as well. We’re also going with the two-tone Whalers crest because that’s what was always used on the team’s white jerseys, and so far none of the Reverse Retro jerseys seem to be reversing any logo colors.
Columbus Blue Jackets
We may have to call them the Red Jackets for a game or two. Get a load of this.
The Blue Jackets are looking back to their 2000-01 inaugural season for this one. But a lot of their look—at least from the teasers—reminds me of the Washington Capitals and their recent throwback jersey. But we’ll get to the Caps in a sec.
We got our first inkling that the Jackets were considering a red jersey when newly acquired Max Domi posted a photo wearing blue pants instead of the usual red.
Columbus seems to be giving the reverse treatment to their original white sweater. Here’s a look at our prediction, as rendered our by resident Blue Jackets fan, Avi Stein.
It looks like a three-way color trade like we saw yesterday for San Jose. White goes to red. Red goes to blue. Blue goes to white. And it all combines to bring a whole new spin to the CBJ brand.
All I can say is they better keep Stinger on the shoulders.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils have never been very daring with their uniforms, so this might actually knock your socks off.
Like Columbus, New Jersey is finding inspiration in its inaugural season, 1982-83—back when they wore red and green. We’ve seen throwbacks in recent years and from the looks of things, this one will follow that pattern, albeit with some colors swapped.
Here’s our prediction as drawn by Avi Stein.
I really never thought I’d see the day when the Devils would choose to wear green jerseys—though I’d always hoped. Seems a lot can change once Lou Lamoriello is out of the picture. He was notorious for being ultra-conservative with jersey design choices, even preventing his team from wearing a futuristic sweater in the 2014 NHL Stadium Series.
New York Islanders
Speaking of Lou, he’s now the GM of the Islanders, so don’t expect anything too exciting here.
The inside of the collar points to 1980. There were no new sweaters introduced that year for the Isles. However, it was the year of their first Stanley Cup championship and the start of a dynasty that saw them win four straight. The teasers also show us the jersey is very clearly navy blue—a color they used for a stretch from 1998 to 2010.
To that end, our prediction team took the white Islanders sweater design which dates all the way back to the club’s inaugural season in 1972-73, and we swapped the white for navy blue, and royal blue for white. Avi Stein shows us what that would look like.
Nothing too exciting here. It’s a simple classic. It’s just fine. But I’m not sure it completely adheres to the spirit of the Reverse Retro collection.
I think we’re really getting to see the personality of each team’s front office. The Ducks were happy to revisit what’s arguably the ugliest sweater in hockey history, but the Islanders refused to revisit theirs from the same year—the jersey with the fisherman on the front! They also had an orange third jersey in 2002 that would’ve been interesting to see again.
At the very least, they could’ve taken their Stanley Cup era just and given it an orange base. That’s really the idea behind these, right?
But some people are just too into appearances, am I right?
New York Rangers
Now here’s something to get excited about—a Rangers design that should never have been gone this long!
When we first learned the Rangers retro year was 1996, we all rejoiced at the return of the Lady Liberty crest. Now, based on the teaser images, we’re not really sure what exactly they’re reversing.
So our prediction is basically that they’re keeping it the same. One possibility is that they reverse the white and red on the sleeves, but I really hope they don’t mess with a classic that way. It’s too perfect the way it is. Here’s the rendering from Avi Stein.
Another reason we think it’s going to remain the way it was when it launched is the red numbers with silver trim on the back. That’s exactly what we saw in the teaser video on Tuesday. The only thing we don’t know for sure yet is the sleeves. So this is where we stand.
Anyone else excited to see this one finally make its return to the NHL?
An eBay seller took the wind out of the Flyers sails a little bit when this one leaked last month.
Despite the leak, one mystery that remains the why 1995 is called out in the collar treatment. The Flyers didn’t add any new sweaters that year nor did they do anything particularly noteworthy on the ice—that I can recall. But I’m sure we’ll get an explanation with the official reveal on Monday.
Even though we already know what it looks like, Avi Stein still put together a graphic for us, just like the rest.
We can see from the leak they’ve left the orange intact while swapping the black and white for a unique new spin. This one will fit in well and I can only imagine the Flyers will look good wearing them.
Like Philly, there’s not a lot left to wonder about for the Pens following last month‘s leak.
If not for the leak, I think the shoulder patch in the teaser photos would’ve been surprising and confusing. The Penguin without the triangle was first introduced on the yellow Stadium Series jerseys the team wore in 2017.
The year in the collar is 1997, which is when they used the Robo-Penguin, as its commonly called, for their primary mark. You would expect to see that one come back. Given the leak, we know the original jersey is the black one with Pittsburgh spelled diagonally crossed the chest—which was retired in 1997. So again, I’ll be interested to hear more about how the year was determined.
Here’s Avi Stein’s illustration alongside the leaked Fanatics replica jersey.
As colors go, white replaces black, black replaces yellow, and yellow replaces white. The Robo-Penguin? Nowhere to be found, sadly.
I am a little surprised they’re not looking to their third jersey from 1995, but maybe we’ll see it some time in the future.
We wrap up in Washington, where they’re applying new colors to an old jersey.
The teasers tell us the Capitals are looking to 1997, which happens to be the year they adopted a black third jersey with the Capitol Dome on the front. But the shoulder patch seen above and other trusted reports tell us that’s not the jersey they’re reversing. It’s the one with the so-called “Screaming Eagle” that debuted two years earlier in 1995.
Predicting this one is a little tricky because the Caps used three colors back then—blue, bronze and black. Today they only have red and blue. So Avi Stein had to take a few liberties as he put together this prediction.
I can’t say with 100% certainty that we got the striping right on this one, but I am confident in the overall colors, given the teasers. One other possibility is seen in this prediction from another Icethetics concept artist, Lucas Daitchman. I’m sure one of them will hit the target.
More to come...
And that wraps up the Metro Division. This one was a lot more confusing when it came to the retro years being referenced. I’ll be interested to get all the explanations from Adidas on those decisions come Monday.
Until then, we’re still waiting on the Atlantic and Central Divisions. If Adidas continues to alternate between East and West, I imagine we’ll see the Central Division teasers tomorrow. That will include a possible North Stars jersey for the Wild and potential Nordiques design for the Avalanche. Stay tuned!