The Reverse Retro Worst to First

photos courtesy of NHL.com and Adidas

In the spirit of continuing with our run of jersey talk on TheFHN (Notably from our Halloween special) we are going to keep the wheels rolling here and give our ranking of “worst to first” of the newly released Adidas Reverse Retro jerseys. While not a perfect list by any means and honestly a really hard one to put together, we took a crack at ranking these and having some fun with the “throwback elements”.

First up – certainly not the worst jersey on the list but is it really a reverse retro? No, it is not and therefore the Islanders jersey is right off the bat. Where is the reverse retro here? Anyone?


And now for the list:

30. Detroit Red Wings

We know there is not a ton of room for “reverse retro” for Detroit but this is a gigantic swing and a miss for the organization.

29. Dallas Stars

While the throwback to the 90’s is beautiful (thank the heavens they didn’t go back to the Mooterus) the bottom “star” trim of the jersey looks unfinished – there is just too much white going on here.

28. Chicago Blackhawks

This jersey just screams Stadium series or Winter Classic. While not terrible, there does not seem to be much ingenuity in this design or flair.

27. Nashville Predators


A vast improvement over the original jerseys and honestly their current home jerseys. The Preds just fall into that category where the colors do not mesh well – notably the silver.

26. Vegas Golden Knights

While it is hard to get on a young franchise for retro reverse jersey (they really do not need one considering they just released their first third) but the tie back to the Las Vegas Thunder while nice really seems weak in the overall design. To be fair, this jersey does look better than their current home setup (as does the new third)

25. New York Rangers

The Rangers only find themselves at 25 and not right after Detroit because of the Lady Liberty logo. This jersey may be the biggest disappointment on the list. They took a marginally unfished original jersey and made it look more like a practice one than a game jersey.

24. Columbus Blue Jackets

The CBJ logo is one of the worst in NHL history. The jersey itself is gorgeous but that logo just takes away far too much.

23. Ottawa Senators

Another tough one as the jersey overall is nice but it feels like it needed some more color to really pop. The logo itself almost seems lost in the sea of red. Some added gold to the sleeves and striping on the bottom may have made a huge difference.

22. Anaheim Ducks

For the Ducks, this is a hard one as they honestly made great improvements over the original third jersey but they could have hit an absolute home run with a reverse retro of the original Mighty Ducks jerseys.

21. Boston Bruins

The Bruins have a tough one here. In one hand, the iconic franchise and their jerseys are a timeless classic. The jersey overall honestly feels like one color change. Played it safe but did not really jump out of the pack.

20. Toronto Maple Leafs

Another franchise that cannot really do too much (other than a St. Pats throwback) The jersey while looks great is another safe play that does not jump out from the rest.

19. Edmonton Oilers

Once we get to a certain point in this list the ranking becomes almost impossible. We’re closing in on that area as these next jerseys just fall into a numbers trap. The Oilers jersey while fantastic looking just seems to similar to jerseys of old for the franchise.

18. Montreal Canadiens

We dropped teams like Toronto and Boston in the list for not doing anything to stand out but that changes here for Montreal. The Canadiens really jumped to the best of the “Original 6” by taking a strong change with the deep blue color that really pops. One negative is the bottom striping which does not seem to fit with the rest of the jersey.

17. Buffalo Sabres

We get it, you are Buffalo. This jersey while nice in the original form, was the launching pad of throwing BUFFALO onto third jerseys and that has not worked well for them. Remove Buffalo and this is a top 10 one. Bring back the Sabre head as the crest and it would have been a top 5 gorgeous jersey on the list.

16. Pittsburgh Penguins

While a nice throwback for the Penguins, a nod back to the “robo chicken” would have been a better suit. For a team that has endless thirds, stadium and winter classic jerseys, the well is running dry. While a great jersey it just does not jump ahead of the remaining teams.

15. St. Louis Blues

Personally we’re huge fans of the 90’s Blues jerseys. The bar lines add a unique design not found in any other jersey in NHL history. The big downfall is the “St. Louis” in the note – it serves no purpose and was a big negative in the original design

14. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa has no negatives really in this jersey. They could have done a retro of the terrible Bolts third jersey but to bring back a form of the original “black” is a nice touch.

13. New Jersey Devils

Christmas is back and COVID cannot keep this one off the rails. The only thing wrong here is that the Devils went away from the Christmas theme all together.

12. Philadelphia Flyers

A retro back to the “Legion of Doom” era, this jersey is a great throwback to the bad boy days of the Flyers.

11. Arizona Coyotes

The original Coyotes third was so beyond awful it was great and became a cult classic much like how the Kachina jerseys are a must want or almost any fan. The purple in this jersey makes the Yote absolutely pop and creates a dynamic jersey that is not just a roller hockey jersey anymore.

10. Calgary Flames

The Blasty is back with a clean sleek and classy look. While not overly complicated in design, the jersey and logo work perfectly together. The Rangers should have taken notes…

9. Vancouver Canucks

While not a fan at all of the original third jersey for this retro, the Canuck found a way to combine old with new and create a great look. While the flying skate would have been phenomenal (they could easily make the skate a permanent one and use these as thirds)

8. San Jose Sharks

Owen Nolan – need anything more? Nice to see the Sharks bring back Marleau’s rookie jersey for likely his last season in the NHL.

7. Winnipeg Jets

The Jets original logo is so simple it is ironically iconic. While not the original colors, the Jets found a way to link the original franchise (now Coyotes) colors with their new scheme. The result? A solid, classy and timeless looking jersey.

6. Florida Panthers

Bring back the leaping panther PLEASE. This jersey is a work of art on an already iconic setup. The original jerseys for the franchise are a fantastic setup and this jersey is right up there with them.

5. Minnesota Wild

Minnesota may have found the color scheme and identity that they should have never steered from. They found a way to take their terribly boring, drap current color scheme and jersey design but mix their logo with the old North Stars colors to create a fantastic look. Rebuild for the franchise? Add this to the permanent mix.

4. Washington Capitals

Who ever thought the screaming eagle could scream louder than on this jersey. The red makes the whole setup really pop and brings out the dynamic of the logo. While the Capitals wording is a bit foolish, this jersey is one of the perfect retro in the collection.

3. Carolina Hurricanes

You just cannot go wrong with the Whale. Even for a cash grab, this Whalers jersey is a terrific job by the Hurricanes. Adding Pucky the Whale to the shoulders – just shut up and take my money.

2. Colorado Avalanche

Another grab at the past (bitter for Quebec more-so than Hartford) the Avalanche hit a grand slam with their Avs color scheme being added to the simple yet iconic Nordiques jersey. One thing of positive note for Nordiques fans, Joe Sakic did once were your proud Quebec jerseys.

  1. Los Angeles Kings

The original color scheme of Forum gold and blue added with the Chevrolet Wayne Gretzky logo and this one is the best of the best. The Kings found a way to not only reverse retro, but do so using 2 iconic eras in color and logo combined. While the Kings have almost always had a classic jersey (we’re forgetting the Burger King for a moment) they may have just created the greatest of franchise history here.

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