NHL Reverse Retro Sweater Rankings: Avalanche win the day

Shawn McKenzie & Justin Bourne break down the top two NHL reverse retro jerseys.

The NHL released 31 fresh takes on old threads on Monday with a new series of sweaters that make up the Reverse Retro collection.

Generally speaking, they’re all pretty awesome — who doesn’t love a good reimagining of an old design? Of course, some are better than others. Here’s our take on where these new/old sweaters rank

1. True throwbacks: Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, Carolina Hurricanes
The Avalanche, Wild, and Hurricanes went all-in on their throwbacks, paying homage* to their pre-relocation roots with Nordiques-, North Stars-, and Whalers-themed threads.

*Is there an argument to be made against these new/old sweaters, considering the relocation left behind some passionate hockey markets? Absolutely. But from a retro design standpoint, these win the day.

2. ’90s perfection: Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues
Bold, bright, and everything we could want in a ’90s remix.

3. Local love: Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers

Flames fans’ cries for the return of Ol’ Blasty were rewarded, and the Senators’ new/old logo is revived in red.

The Sabres’ and Blue Jackets’ got the colours spot-on, while the Rangers really embraced their NYC roots.

4. Can’t mess with a classic: Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers
While these don’t exactly scream retro like some other teams’, the clean lines and fresh colour blocks are tough to argue against.

5. Deja vu all over again: Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals
It feels like the Lightning and Panthers reached all the way back in their closets for a pretty literal revival of their familiar look (not that we’re complaining!) while those Capitals sweaters have us channeling Rookie Ovi a la The Goal.

6. Nothing new: Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers
The throwback designs and clean lines are there, but all three teams could have done a little more to breathe new life into old threads.

7. Missed opportunities: San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs
When your primary colour is teal, it feels like retro is in your DNA — but the Sharks’ design doesn’t quite meet it.

The Maple Leafs, Canucks, and Jets, meanwhile, have some stellar throwbacks in their repertoire they could’ve revived, which makes these feel a bit underwhelming and leaves us wanting fresher takes.

8. A little underwhelming: Detroit Red Wings, Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars
The Red Wings’ fresh take is nice, but looks incomplete compared to the rest of the reveals.

And in all fairness to the Golden Knights, their designers are averaging about three new sweaters per year at this rate so we’re prepared to cut them some slack here.

9. Did you… even change anything?: New York Islanders
Is this a good-looking sweater? Absolutely. Is it the same sweater the Islanders have been sporting the past few seasons? Sort of feels like it, doesn’t it?

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