Top 10 Non-NHL Jerseys
I’ve done a poor job of posting on a regular basis, so I am taking the easy way out to get another post up. I’m presenting another top 10 list – this time the best jerseys not worn in the NHL. As with other list this is completely subjective based on my opinion.
10. Orlando Solar Bears
I’m starting my list off with a controversial pick, the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL. The colors are not traditional hockey colors. In fact I’m not a big fan of any team using purple in their colors, but with a name like Solar Bears purple and teal just seem like polar bear colors. What I like about the jersey is the logo. The old logo used to be a polar bear with sunglasses holding a hockey stick, but they’ve simplified it to just a polar bear head with sunglasses and the sun.
9. Manitoba Moose
The Manitoba Moose jersey make my list not so much for the Winnipeg Jets template (which I do like quite a bit), but for the logo. The original Moose logo that originated during their days in Minnesota was solid, but a little Johan Hedberg moose mask-ish. The updated logo takes it to another level. One could argue that the Minnesota boy’s high school hockey team from Monticello wears the logo better with their red-white-black color scheme.
8. Peoria Rivermen
The first IHL hockey game I saw was between the Chicago Wolves and Peoria Rivermen in Chicago. I am not a fan of the Blues. I have strong feelings against them in fact, so the Rivermen jersey I chose for this list is surprising. I just think that Blues template works well with the Rivermen logo and colors. As an SPHHL team the Rivermen have another logo of a boat captain at the wheel, but I like the old logo they have on this alternate sweater of theirs that harkens back to their IHL days. I chose an image of the jersey when it was worn during their IHL days because this is a jersey from the year I first saw them play with the IHL 50th anniversary patch on it.
7. Norfolk Admirals
The Admirals have had some nice jerseys over the years. Most recently their logo was a battleship firing its big cannons, but instead of mortars, it was shooting hockey pucks. I have always liked designs that incorporate hockey into them, but this updated Admirals is so clean and classic looking, while paying homage to the large U.S. Navy base in Norfolk I love it.
6. Spokane Chiefs
This Spokane Chiefs jersey is one I fell in love with as a kid when I first saw it on an Upper Deck hockey card of Trevor Kid back in the ’90s. Sure it has the Canadians template, and most jerseys look good with that template, but the logo is simple and compliments the template so well. In my opinion it’s just a simple, classic jersey. The organization has tinkered with it over the years, but seem to always come back to this one.
5. Des Moines Buccaneers
I’m a sucker for the New York Rangers jersey template, but it’s usually the white one, as that was the template used for my college’s jerseys. The Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL went with the simple blue Rangers template, but they have such a great ’70s era logo, and they have stuck with it, that it stands the test of time in my opinion.
4. Ottawa 67s
Clearly inspired by the original Ottawa Senators jerseys, the 67’s have that great red, white black barber pole template, and their iconic logo right on the chest. This is a jersey that has remained virtually untouched over time.They’ve played around with other designs, but like Spokane come back to the classic. Some of the other designs over the years weren’t bad as they kept the striping on the shoulders.
3. Sault St. Marie Soo Greyhounds
Another jersey on my list whose template comes from and NHL club I don’t like, but the logo is another old school logo that has stood the test of time. The Greyhounds really haven’t messed with the jerseys over their years either. Gretzky sure looked good in these. The jersey has a Hamilton Mustangs feel to it as well.
2. Tucson Roadrunners
If I wasn’t originally from Chicago there is a chance this jersey would occupy the top spot. I’ve actually liked the logo from the days of the IHL Phoenix Roadrunners when my parents brought me a Roadrunners t-shirt home from a trip to Arizona. The logo is a little cartoonish, but I love that it is of a roadrunner playing hockey. What really makes these jerseys though is the color scheme. I appreciate that they didn’t simply go with the parent team jersey pattern and slap their logo on it. Instead they added a desert orange and black. I really want to add one of these to my collection.
1. Chicago Wolves
Since the first game, the Wolves have had one of the best jerseys in all of sports. The awesome wolf head itself could carry this jersey, but the designer took it a step further and added a hockey puck and stick to the design. When designers can add a stick or puck to a design tastefully I think it adds to the logo. The team started play in 1994, an era when logos were getting overly cartoonish with bright colors, but designer Andy Baron went for something that would turn out to be a classic logo. The wolves color scheme is also fantastic. While not one you really see elsewhere, it just works so nicely. The Wolves started as an independent team, but have been affiliated with some NHL clubs over the years. They never altered their colors to match the parent club on their main jerseys, and I appreciate that.