Last time we talked about the NHL third jerseys that almost had it but just found a way to mess things up and make a team look bad. But those have nothing for what we will see coming up. These jerseys have been referenced in countless lists as some of the worst jerseys in NHL and sports history. If the Panthers want to avoid ridicule and shame when designing a new third they better look at these follies of fashion and graphic design.
NHL jerseys serve as a large canvas for designing whatever you want and back in the CCM days, especially the expansion era of the 1990s; some teams were pretty much throwing designs into the air and seeing what stuck. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were owned by the Walt Disney company and should have had a wealth of knowledge from all the designers and animators they had under contract. Well they went wacky by designing a jersey that featured mascot Wild Wing bursting through the ice on an eggplant green background. It was just too much and the Ducks would rarely show up in the jerseys after subjecting themselves to laughter around the league.
Their rivals up the freeway did not fare much better. The Los Angeles Kings saw the third jersey program as an opportunity to cash in on new jersey sales while they still had the arguably greatest player ever on their payroll. It’s too bad they didn't design a third jersey worthy of being worn by him just one worthy of being worn by the Burger King. Yes this jersey was just bad. It was with a silver gradient flowing across the chest from the side. The "Burger King" moniker comes from the crest set on the left side of the chest with an angry looking king. To reintroduce the LA Lakers gold and purple back into the Kings scheme they made the king’s beard purple. It just looks weird and silly. You just wonder if the Kings and Ducks should play their outdoor game on April Fool’s Day and bring these jerseys back just for a laugh.
The Dallas Stars had done a nice job of separating themselves from their Minnesota roots and finding success in Texas. Their original third jersey, based on the NHL All Star jerseys, would be the one they wore on the way to the Stanley Cup in 1999 and become the base for the team afterward. A new third would need to be made. What they would come up with is the prime example of how an ill-fated change of color and logo design can make you a league laughingstock. The striping was not bad but the addition of red, a color the team never used not even in Minnesota, was perplexing. The crest logo is something that Stars fans dare not mention and one the organization still catches flak for today. It is a bull’s head facing forward with lines inside of it to look like a constellation with a red shooting star placed alongside the bull’s right horn. The constellation and bull’s head however resembled a woman’s uterus and then hilarity ensued. The jerseys are now affectionately called the "Mooterus".
The Phoenix Coyotes had quite a radical jersey design to start with but they weren’t bad for the team and the 90s saw lots of teams in all sports trying to be the next trendsetter in design. The third jerseys the Coyotes busted out in 1999 were just taking it too far. In what looks like a jersey designed by a person on acid we have a coyote head looking like he is having an acid trip. An Arizona landscape of mesas, cacti, and a moon align the jersey tail and sleeves. It is bad but in a "boy the 90s sure were wacky" kind of way.
The Nashville Predators for the longest time were a team struggling to make a foothold in the Music City. They finally have broken through in connecting with Tennesseans and finding a color combination and primary jersey designs that speaks to their region. But in 2001 they brought out one of THE most atrocious looking colors to ever grace a professional sports playing surface. It is called mustard but the combination of that, and a horrendously rendered Smilodon as a crest with Smilodon skulls serving as shoulder logos, made these jerseys look sickening.
Another bad color choice in third jersey-dom is the current Islanders alternate. During the late 90’s and through the mid-2000s an obsession with black in sports jerseys swept the spoting landscape as teams created black alternate uniforms even though black is not their primary color or merely a small accent. Starting in the late 2000s the trend began to fade as teams started coming to their senses even though some stragglers are left. In the NHL teams like Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Chicago can get away with it because it is part of their color scheme. But the Islanders have no business wearing black, at least not until they go to Brooklyn. The striping is not bad, the use of the name as the crest is weird but not terrible. Just that black mixed with the grey is off to me.
These next two examples are reasons why you should never use nicknames as crests. These designs seem to be bad only in the way everything is clashing together. The Lightning had a terrible third in the 90s but they seemed to have been content in having a new terrible one now in the Edge era. The jersey is not unified in any way and there is too much going on especially when looking at the area along the inside of the sleeve.
The Sens were very much the same with stripes and colors coming out of every corner. This seems to be the issue for many teams in the Edge era as they continue to learn what works and doesn’t work with the current material and technology available.
The Sens have since made up for their 3rd faux pas but the Bolts are still dragging their blue eyesore around even though their primary jersey is now blue also.
I won’t go on anymore with ugly third jerseys as you might need some eye drops by now. Thankfully the Cats haven’t gone on to make a travesty of a third jersey yet. This is why it is important to look at what works and what doesn’t before moving forward with designing a new third. Next time we will discuss the elements of an NHL jersey and what the Cats could do in picking a combination that will make a solid third jersey.