The NHL season is now upon us and as mandated by my Canadian passport, I’m obligated to make some sort of hockey-related post. In a former life, I used to work at a store that sold jerseys, with NHL jerseys being our most popular sellers, so this is a subject near and dear to my heart. Of the four major North American sports leagues (we here in Canada still like to think of the NHL as being part of the four major North American sports leagues, and in fact aren’t so sure if the other three measure up), I’d say that hockey lends itself best to providing really ugly jerseys. Most of this has to do with the simple fact that hockey jerseys (or sweaters as traditionalists like to call them, even though they stopped being sweaters sometime around the advent of colour TVs) are the biggest jerseys, and thus provide a bigger canvass for people with no taste to mess with. It doesn’t help that NHL teams aren’t exactly run by the savviest of marketers (when much of the talent and front office personal in a sport come from backwater Saskatchewan and the like, fashion sense isn’t an overly valued commodity).
So while baseball has its basic button up shirt designs, football has its basic colours and big numbers design, and basketball has the smallest canvass to work with, hockey jerseys are neck to thigh, full sleeved chances to throw in far too much colour, piping, or horrible logo choices. The flip side to this is that when a jersey is done right, it can be amongst the best looking jerseys in all of sport. But that’s not the case with these abominations.