A major part of the spectacle that is outdoor hockey is the special jerseys teams wear for those games.
Both the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins will sport some old-school designs for the 2016 Bridgestone Winter Classic. The Canadiens’ sweater is a nod to a design from the mid-1940s, while the Bruins pay homage to the franchise’s first jersey from 1924.
With an eye on design, here are our rankings of the best sweaters from the Winter Classic and Stadium Series outdoor games.
10. Islanders – 2014 Stadium Series
The New York Islanders strayed away from its traditional circular logo for a meeting with the New York Rangers in a 2014 Stadium Series showdown.
The “NY” logo features chrome piping, which gives it a modern feel without completely reinventing the familiar element.
9. Kings – 2014 Stadium Series
The Los Angeles Kings leaned on several past designs to deliver a sharp looking sweater for a 2014 game versus the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium.
We have the iconic silver and black colours that first debuted in 1988 and the inclusion of a crown logo that has existed in several different incarnations of Kings’ uniforms since they first arrived in the NHL in 1967.
8. Blackhawks – 2009 Winter Classic
A nod to the mid-1930s was in order for the Chicago Blackhawks’ date with the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigely Field for the 2009 Winter Classic.
A streamlined version of this historic sweater included the classic “Black Hawks” logography. Duncan Keith (pictured) is obviously saddened by the six goals the Red Wings put on the board that day, not the beauty sweater he’s sporting.
7. Capitals – 2015 Winter Classic
The Washington Capitals opted for a historic look for the 2015 Winter Classic, even though their own history only goes back to the mid-1970s. These wouldn’t look out of place in the 1930s.
Special marks for the subtle tribute to the Washington Monument in the peak of the “W.”
6. Flyers – 2010 Winter Classic
The Philadelphia Flyers reverted to their 2010 Winter Classic look as their primary road sweaters for the following season.
It’s a similar design to their threads of the 1970s and 80s, with the addition of a black nameplate box.
5. Penguins – 2008 Winter Classic
The Pittsburgh Penguins are veterans of the outdoor circuit today. Their first brush with the elements came at Ralph Wilson Stadium in 2008 versus the Buffalo Sabres. Their baby blue sweater with a circular logo launched some copycats with the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets adopting similar designs for third jerseys shortly after.
The Penguins wore this design as their primary sweater for several years beginning in their second NHL season. The Penguin was freed from the surrounding circle to start the 1971-72 campaign.
4. Devils – 2014 Stadium Series
When you’ve undergone just one uniform design change over the course more than 30 years in the NHL, there’s not a lot to draw on for unique designs for an outdoor game. The New Jersey Devils handled this scenario perfectly, merely dusting off the designs they wore for the first decade of their existence.
New Jersey captured the spirit of the 1982-83 Devils and laid down for a 7-3 beating at the hands of the Rangers, too. That’s commitment.
3. Capitals – 2011 Winter Classic
The Capitals abandoned their longstanding look for the 1995-96 season and it’s been a long slow crawl back to tradition since. Washington brought back its inaugural logo for the 2011 Winter Classic contest versus the Penguins.
The Capitals have flip-flopped on wearing their classic threads on the road and at home as alternate sweaters over the past few seasons. Maybe one day they’ll get it right and resurrect these classics for good.
2. Penguins – 2014 Stadium Series
A 2014 Stadium Series meeting with the Blackhawks saw the Penguins ditch their reliance on navy and baby blue for outdoor games and the result was one of the best sweaters we’ve seen on the stadium circuit.
An excellent effort in combining the standard logo while ditching the shoulder and underarm designs of their standard sweaters. The chrome finish is subtle, which is a nice touch.
1. Sabres – 2008 Winter Classic
After 10-plus years of blatant design crime, the Buffalo Sabres began the process of righting the wrongs of two separate uniform and logo overhauls in the mid-to-late 2000s. The 2008 Winter Classic served as nationally televised reminder that the Sabres’ classic logo was a much better option than the “buffa-slug” thing they were sporting following the failed black, red, and silver buffalo head they wore for 10 seasons.
You can go home. The Sabres did, and we’re all better for it.