Adam Pyde

How Things Have Changed: NHL Uniforms in 1999

How Things Have Changed: NHL Uniforms in 1999

Fifteen years ago was a long time ago. Think about it. Probably a lot of the stuff you thought was cool isn’t anymore (kick scooters), but hey some of it probably still is (Lego, Pokemon, Backstreet Boys). This applies to fashion too. Remember the 90‘s fashion? Especially late 90s when everything had to be shiny or gaudy and bright? Well the NHL was no different.

It used to look ugly. Really ugly, but some of it has come back to look pretty good. Actually it looked good. Nope ugly. Dive in.

By: Adam Pyde – @Adam_Pyde

Anaheim-Mighty-Ducks-Purple-Jersey-1993-2006We start in Anaheim, where they were very 90s.

Just look at those colours. Teal and eggplant. It looked tacky at the time, but honestly, the look as aged quite well which seems to be the case of most old uniforms. Maybe its my Mighty Ducks movies nostalgia.

“Rabble rabble rabble GET RID OF THAT OLD STUFF! ITS TIME TO MOVE ON! WE NEED A NEW LOOK! rabble rabble rabble”

Then you get new looks, and they usually suck but you buy it and defend it because of team allegiance. But 10 years later people are clamouring for the classic look. And this one was no different.

In fact Anaheim brought it back and the team hasn’t looked so good in the last 8 years. Gone was a 90% black uniform and in came something that really popped. In a league full of boring black and navy uniforms, this was a welcome change.

You’re welcome to bring these back full-time at any moment, Anaheim.


Next we stop in Boston where, uh, they wore… this.


Really Boston? Who approved this? Who approved putting one of the greatest defencemen of all time in this? Are you kidding me?

“The hot new trend is a third sweater these days! Let’s make one bright yellow and put Smokey the Bear on it! It’ll sell like hotcakes and look great!”

Awful. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last terrible yellow uniform we’ve seen.

But still, woof. I get Anaheim. That was 1995.

But this? It looks like one of those hilarious minor league sweaters worn on fundraising nights for local charities.

“Come on out to the Garden to support our local boy scouts raise funds for wildfire awareness!”

Luckily for your eyes, the Buffalo Sabres actually were wearing a pretty decent uniform in 1999.


Not bad. And I would probably like it more if half of the Minor Hockey Associations across British Columbia didn’t feel the need to switch to this design. It’s probably the second best uniform set in franchise history, trailing only behind the classic 1970’s look.

Plus, this sweater accompanied Buffalo’s only trip the Stanley Cup Finals where… oh right. This happened.


Would you look at that. What a travesty. And of course I’m talking about the Dallas Stars ever ditching those classic green star uniforms.


Damn. That looks good. Oh so good. And so unique. The Stars used to be the only team in the entire league to wear green in their uniform. No idea why. Green is a great sweater colour.

And look at that design. They are called the Stars, and their uniforms were star designed. And it worked. Good job marketing and design teams!

Similar to the Buffalo Sabres, this was the only sweater that ever got the Stars into the Stanley Cup Finals, and they won. Then the franchise struck futility for years wearing boring black uniforms.

But times are good right now, and its no coincidence its because they’re mean in green again.

Curious of another NHL team that seemed to hate the idea of colour in their uniforms? Why the Los Angeles Kings are they!

palffyLook! Colour! And a totally unique purple. Very royal. You know, for a King.

This is my favourite Kings uniform of all time:

– Original colour and design

– The Los Angeles across the bottom is a nice touch. Best use of a city name as a wordmark I’ve seen in hockey.

– The team was also bad and I didn’t have to worry about them.

Good times.

This brings us to the New York Rangers who actually wore a crest instead of a dumb wordmark.


Damn that looks good. This was also another uniform design mimicked by the other half of Minor Hockey Associations in British Columbia when I was growing up. The red pants really take this to a whole new level.

But the good can’t last for long, because… the Phoenix Coyotes.

khabibulinAwh man. I’m all for new colours and unique designs, but this one came straight out of roller hockey.

I know what they were going for. Phoenix is in the desert. Bricks are a desert colour. So is cactus green. And, yeah why not black because everything has to have black. If it isn’t dark and broody, what’s the point?

So i can live with the colours. But what is with the robo-coyote for a logo? Even worse, who did they pay for this?!


THAT! I’m pretty sure I scribbled a sweater like that during colouring class in grade 2. Where is my royalties cheque? It doesn’t show it well, but they had cacti lined across the bottom and swapped the brick colour for bright purple.

And to round out the tacky themed uniforms we have the Tampa Bay Lightning.399818Yup. Crashing waves across the bottom, rain drops spread across the front in white and black, oversized shoulder yolks, yellow lightning bolts just above the wrists and that classic Clip Art Lightning logo.

Man this league used to look ugly, but also terrific. Even those bad sweaters have a charm to them where I’d seriously considering buying one if I saw it in a store.

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