Ice Hockey Wiki

National Hockey League[]

In the National Hockey League, each team has its own distinctive jersey design (hockey tradition usually refers to jerseys as "sweaters," since hockey players actually wore sweaters on the ice until the 1960s). Prior to 1995 (save a few isolated instances), each team only had two jerseys — one for home use, and one for the road. One jersey was dominantly white (or in a few instances, a light color), and the other dominantly a dark color. The white jersey was originally the road jersey with the dark jersey being home, but this was reversed from 1971 to 2003.

With the introduction of the third jersey, teams were allowed to use a completely new style for their jersey, (and in some cases, corresponding alternate socks, helmets and other uniform elements). Every team in the league except the Detroit Red Wings and the New Jersey Devils have introduced a third jersey at one point since the program began. However, Detroit used a "throwback" jersey for the 2009 Winter Classic (which was used again against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 11, 2009) and New Jersey used "throwback" Green and Red Jerseys against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 17, 2010. Including a replica helmet worn by goaltender Martin Brodeur that was made to look like the original helmet he wore in his first game with NJ back in 1992. Montreal introduced several "throwbacks" in 2009 to celebrate their centennial season. Following the NHL's lead, the National Basketball Association and National Football League also use third jerseys. The National Hockey League suspended the Third Jersey Program after the 2006–07 season because of logistics problems involving the new Rbk Edge style NHL jerseys, which were unveiled at the 2007 NHL All-Star Game. An exception was made during the 2007–08 season for the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic, where the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres wore throwback uniforms for the game. After the one-year absence, third jerseys returned to the league for 2008–09.


The infamous, never used St. Louis Blues jersey.

Once a team has been granted permission by the league to use their new design, they will request and be allowed ten to fifteen games during the season in which they may use their third jersey. They may continue to use the third jersey in subsequent years as well. This alternate design allowed the team's appearance to flirt with radical designs which have occasionally gone on to become the new looks for some of the participating teams, though they can also be quite garish. An infamous example is a third jersey planned to be used by the St. Louis Blues: an over-the-top mix of trumpets, musical notes and staffs, it was rejected by then-coach/GM Mike Keenan, who reportedly banned the jersey from use. Sales of third jerseys to fans have also provided significant additional income for cash-strapped NHL teams.


Several teams have had multiple designs of their third jersey.