NHL, Adidas unveil 2020 All-Star sweaters with St. Louis flair

The minimalist jersey design plays off last year’s team-specific uniforms but stands out with a unique splash of color.

Last Wednesday, the NHL and Adidas revealed all 62 jerseys available for the 2020 NHL All-Star game in St. Louis.

Like last year, there are just two sweaters for the four division-based All-Star teams—one dark, one white—and each player wears his team’s crest on the front. Unlike last year, these jerseys are not made of discarded plastic found in the ocean and they do have a bit of color.

I may be a week late in getting this news on the blog—sorry, been traveling—but oddly enough I was dead on with my prediction for the unveiling date of January 8. Not all of those predictions panned out, but this one sure did.

So if you haven’t already seen all the individual jerseys, here they are. We’ll kick it off with the host team’s division—the Central featuring the Blues, et al.

2020 Central Division All-Star jerseys

Couple of interesting color choices here. The color I most associate with the Blackhawks is red—even though “black” is in their name. And the Jets have gone with Aviator blue instead of navy.

Another item of interest here is the Dallas Stars set, which uses an inverted design dependent on the background color. It aligns with their official style guide.

2020 Dallas Stars All-Star jerseys

Here’s the Metropolitan Division.

2020 Metropolitan Division All-Star jerseys

Pretty straightforward. None of these really seem out of place. You might argue that the Penguins crest—like that of the Predators—disappears a bit with yellow over white. But the shape and color are still identifiable enough.

This is the Atlantic Division.

2020 Atlantic Division All-Star jerseys

It’s the only group where any teams have different-colored crests between their jerseys. The Lightning and Maple Leafs both have blue logos on the white jersey and white logos on the dark jersey—a necessity since the blue would be tough to see on the charcoal grey.

2020 Lightning and Maple Leafs All-Star jerseys

Incidentally, these are essentially the same crests you find on their home and road uniforms.

And finally, here’s the Pacific Division.

2020 Pacific Division All-Star jerseys

The missed opportunity here was a gold crest for the Golden Knights. It’s also worth pointing out that like the Lightning and Maple Leafs, the Canucks normally have two different crests for different background colors, but they used the same design for both jerseys here.

Inside the Design

The overall design unique because of how it merges one team’s branding with every other team’s.

The press release says the “jerseys pioneer a revolutionary look pulling design inspiration from the league’s 31 teams and fusing those elements with the renowned musical scene from the game’s host city.”

It refers to the five horizontal bars that stretch across the chest and sleeves—making up a musical staff. It’s a design element that has been used in St. Louis Blues branding in the past. That means if you buy a 2020 All-Star jersey, you’ll necessarily be wearing a hint of Blues branding underneath your own team’s crest. Not that most people would really even notice that.

I can’t think of another time in NHL history where this has ever happened.

Recent All-Star uniforms have relied on local flavor for design inspiration, but they’ve been thematically distinct from the branding of the host team. Hollywood glitz for the L.A. game in 2017. A tropical palette for the Tampa game in 2018. And tech iconography for the San Jose game last year.

For the record, I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Simply unique in the history of NHL All-Star uniforms.

While the design seems to be evolved from last year’s look, I think it’s more visually interesting. I understand the desire for monochromatic crests. It’s a way to show that while each player hails from a different team, he’s also part of this All-Star team. There’s more visual continuity if each player’s crest has the same treatment, even though the designs and colors are unique.

The only problem is it was a bit sterile last year. Especially for an All-Star game.

I appreciate the choice to add color this year. The logo treatments are still similar, but now each team gets a bit of its personality back. It might be easier for fans to recognize their favorite players now with that splash of color.

What’s Next?

With the All-Star jerseys revealed, that just leaves the official reveals of the Stadium Series sweaters for next month. Both leaked in November, so there won’t be any surprises there.

The other reveal that could come in the next couple of weeks is the Vegas Golden Knights third jersey. It should be very gold.