The biggest news in Nashville among Predators fans is the five-game losing streak the team is on after opening the season with two Global Series wins. After dropping Saturday night’s game against Philadelphia “Well, are you going to watch this?” Flyers, the Preds have time to regroup before returning to the ice against the St. Louis Blues at home. The bottom line? There is currently no joy in Smashville.
As a cleanser of hockey’s social media palate, I present my ranking of the best and worst reverse retro jerseys announced last week by the NHL and Adidas. My decisions are based on a few basic criteria – color combinations, logo, general fashion (keep in mind that my fashion pic involved jumpsuits, flannel shirts tied around the waist, and combat boots… the first time) and, perhaps, my completely unbiased feelings about teams.
Let’s start close to home with the Central Division.
8. Arizona Coyotes
I know the Coyotes have been through some things this year, and I don’t want to pile it on, but those reverse throwbacks ultimately didn’t land for me. The Kachina logo is strong and the gecko shoulder patch is a clever touch. I love the desert landscape, especially since it comes in a “V” shape in the front and wraps around the back of the sweater.
If I like it so much, why is it at the bottom of my list? It’s the color. The earth tone scheme is unique, but the sienna color that dominates the jersey is just a shade or two for me. It’s probably the jersey with the smallest margin between being bottom of the league and “so close” to breaking my top five if not for shade.
7. Colorado Avalanche
While I’m at peace with the Stanley Cup champions who swept the Preds in the first round of the playoffs being a bit lower on any list, my Avs reverse retro ranking is truly rooted in fashion and not in revenge. Colorado reverse mirrors are based on the state flag with the main logo in the center a red “C” with the yellow sun inside. The color palette isn’t great, although I have a phobia of the lesser ketchup red and mustard yellow side by side, like the stripe does on the Avs RR.
Honestly, the problem for Colorado is that they already hit the reverse retro jackpot when they released the Quebec Nordiques tribute uniforms. As much as I hate to say it, those Nordic pullovers will probably never be topped, and anything Colorado does will land flat.
6. Dallas Stars
The fact that the Stars aren’t at the very bottom of this list is a testament to my ability to separate sentiment from fashion, as any association of a special jersey and the Dallas Stars instantly fuels a “Corey Perry dirty elbow to Ryan Ellis “visceral. head” answer. Bitterness (mostly) aside, fashion keeps the Stars solidly at number six in central.
The Stars reverse retro is inspired by their inaugural season look and is overall a solid pullover. I love the star’s three-dimensional look and the color scheme makes a strong statement, but there’s an arrogance in referring to green as “victory green”. I also think there are other franchises that would like to use a star as part of their reverse retros.
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Plus, Corey Perry Winter Classic 2020. That’s a “meh” to me.
5. Minnesota Wild
Speaking of teams that would like to use a star, the Wild’s reverse retros are inspired by the 1978 North Stars. The jerseys feature the current Minnesota logo (see “star hoarder” above) with the ’78 color blocking. I’m a fan of the shoulder yoke and number shading, but with the logo being essentially the same except for a few extra 3D seams, it’s hard to rank the Wild reverse retro higher in the division.
4. Chicago Blackhawks
There’s nothing inherently wrong with the retro reverse Chicago sweater. The colors are bold, the stripes are crisp, and the emblazoned “Chicago” on the front is crisp. This jersey doesn’t rank higher for me because 1. the Chicago Blackhawks are one of the oldest franchises in the league and have a history dating back to 1926 to draw more creative ideas from, 2. it looks great to a rugby jersey from the 90s, and 3. it looks too much like the Detroit one.
3. Nashville Predators
Predators fans have been clamoring for a navy jersey for years, and while the Stadium Series sweater is mostly navy blue, it missed the mark for much of the fan base with the large gold stripe and awkward “Smashville” typography. “. Hopes were high for a navy reverse retro, but the designers took a different direction – and still not quite where Preds fans were hoping for.
While the Nashville reverse mirrors have the “mustard cat” logo, the overall color misses. Instead of a retro Dijon hue, the jersey’s dominant color is too golden to be mustard. The skull patch on the shoulder is a cool touch and the stripes on the sleeves add a little something extra, but it’s not navy and it’s not Gray Poupon. The front logo makes up for it a lot, and I imagine they’ll sell well in Smashville.
2. Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg has become a 90s classic with its retro reverse design. The logo is the win for me with this look. Any time you can use a hockey stick to create not one, but two letters in a team name, it instantly ups the cool factor, and the sleek little throw adds just enough pop to keep it from being too bland. I wasn’t initially a fan of the predominantly white style, but the bright colors of the stripes give this sweater a boost and make it a top contender in the Central Division.
1. St. Louis Blues
The collaborators of the Blues understood the mission. The logo – a sassy black loop over the team name – is the ultimate throwback to a prototype logo designed by the Blues’ first general manager but never worn by the franchise. The arched lettering and white outline of the “Blues” on the logo add that touch of uniqueness, and the team stepped out on a limb with their first all-gold look.
The combination of light blue and white color accents soften the bold gold look and make this look definitely ranked in the top five leagues.
It’s official! The Nashville reverse retro has arrived!