Based on last week’s teaser video, we already knew that the Red Wings would be using one of their 1998 jerseys as a base, swapping in silver on at least part of it. What we see here appears to be a jersey with white sleeves and body, so it’s probably the red jersey with that color swapped out for white.
With all of that in mind, this could be what Detroit’s “Reverse Retro” jerseys will look like:
I used the silver-ified Winged Wheel from the Centennial Classic but it could just as easily be the standard one.
That said, via Twitter, Ryan Haruta pointed out a spot in the teaser image that looks like red fabric stitched onto white.
Is that a different logo, such as the Old English D? Is it a red stripe?
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of cross-era logo switching going on in this series, so I don’t think it’s a different logo. I lean towards that being a stripe and I wonder if the silver from the first teaser is not actually present on the jersey, in which case we’re looking at this:
That’s not much of a Reverse Retro, more straight-up retro, except for the position of the waist stripe. I like it more than adding silver, though. The position of the waist stripe would bother me with red pants but this might be the best option the Wings have.
The full set of “Reverse Retro” jerseys is slated to be revealed tomorrow.
Update, 1:00 PM: After further discussion, that red-on-white bit could be the jersey number on the back, which was already expected to be red. If that’s the case, that little bit tells us nothing about the stripes or logo, and I’m back to expecting the silver-striped sweater mocked-up above.
There are 31 different color/number combinations, so it appears that this video shows each team’s colors and the year of the jersey being used as inspiration.
Of immediate note is the fact that there is no red and white jersey. There is, however, a green and white jersey (presumably the Dallas Stars, wearing something based on their 1999 set). As such, it’s safe to assume the teaser doesn’t just replace white with black for the sake of being cool or something like that, these are the actual colors for each team’s jersey.
Also of note is that there is a black and red jersey with the number 40 on it. The 1940 jersey would have to represent one of the Original Six teams but red and black don’t fit for Boston, Montreal, New York, or Toronto, leaving only Detroit and Chicago.
Chicago would make more sense for red and black, except for the fact that there’s a red, black, white, and tan #95 jersey later in the video. The Blackhawks are the only NHL team to have worn that combination of colors, which leaves the Red Wings as the only team left for the #40 jersey to represent.
Either of Detroit’s sweaters from 1940 could be color swapped to have a black body and red stripes. The only difference would be the positioning of the waist stripe. The other variable would be whether the “Reverse Retro” jerseys feature the current version of the Winged Wheel or the 1940s-era version.
The end result could be something like this:
Update, 3:20 PM: I’ve been talking with Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.Net about this and he has a different theory.
He thinks that the #40 jersey is Chicago and that the #95 red, black, white, and tan jersey represents Ottawa, with the tan coming from the skin tone used on the Senators’ alternate logo introduced in 1997. I think that’s a bit of a stretch, but it does lead to a few other shifts from my original list that make sense.
In the end, it leaves the Red Wings represented by the #98 jersey, white with silver stripes and red numbers.
If Creamer is right, though, what would that look like?
Given that the promo image is white, I think they’d be using their 1998 home jerseys as a base, swapping the sleeve color from red to silver. Maybe the white stripes become red. The result ends up like this:
I don’t know. That just seems pointless to me. That said, as I mentioned in my original post, a series like this is always going to be difficult when it comes to the Red Wings because they haven’t had enough jersey/color changes to work with. Maybe any “Reverse Retro” option for Detroit is going to be a stretch.
Update, 4:10 PM: The Red Wings seemingly confirmed that they are the red, white, and silver #98.
Update, 4:55 PM: Since we know the Red Wings are the red, white, and silver team, and we know their “Reverse Retro” jersey will be based on their 1998 set, and I already put together something based on their white home jersey, here’s one based on their red road jersey from that year.
I don’t know. I don’t get it.
The concept of this series seems to be to take a jersey template each team has worn and switch the colors to match a different era. For the Wings, that’s hard, they’ve been red and white forever and their jerseys have barely changed. But to take what is essentially their current jerseys and swap out their primary color for one they’ve worn in a single game in their entire history? You couldn’t be just a tiny bit more creative?
Not much is known about the NHL’s new fourth jersey program. Supposedly, every team will participate, regardless of whether or not they have a third jersey. Additionally, the rumor is the program has been driven by the league and adidas, rather than the individual teams, and as such has some rules to be followed.
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ leaked design, for example, takes their mid-1990s road (black) set, flips the colors to become a white jersey, and the switches the athletic gold to the “Vegas gold” the team introduced in 2000. The Philadelphia Flyers, meanwhile, use a version of their orange jersey introduced in 1982 with the black and white swapped. Vegas’ design is taken from the Las Vegas Thunder of the International Hockey League, with the Golden Knights’ colors and logos swapped in.
Further, there are rumors that the Montreal Canadiens will wear a jersey based on their current home sweater, with the blue and red swapped, and the Washington Capitals will wear a version of their mid-1990s set in red, white, and blue.
So if we’re assuming the base will be an existing jersey – rather than a totally new one – with its colors swapped, where does that leave Detroit? The team has a lot of history to work with but not a lot of different designs or colors, giving them a surprisingly limited set of options.
Detroit could wear a color-swapped version of their current home jersey, which would essentially be their road jersey without the red sleeves. The team wore this as their road jersey from 1934 to 1961, though, and if this Reverse Retro program is intended to avoid actual throwback jerseys, it would seem this would be ruled out.
They could color-swap their current road jerseys, giving them a red jersey with white sleeves. It’s a clean look that the team has never worn but others across hockey have, so it might not be an option, either.
The Wings could go back to their roots as the Detroit Cougars. Even then, though, there are issues. Their initial set from 1926-27 was the basis of those 2009 throwbacks and the color-flipped version has already been worn in the Alumni Showdown as part of the 2013 Hockeytown Winter Festival.
The Red Wings wore the 1927-28 Cougars’ sweater as part of the NHL’s 75th anniversary proceedings in 1991-92. I suggested the color-swapped version as a possible option for what was then the 2013 Winter Classic but, as I noted then, the red lettering on a white stripe seemed off to me. With a new template, I drew it up anyway, and don’t dislike it as much as I did originally. It could be an option. That’s a lot of stripes, though.
Out of sheer, morbid curiosity, I swapped out that red “DETROIT” text for the Winged Wheel and… It’s certainly something, but, again, isn’t as bad as I expected.
The 1928-29 set opens up another option. This is the sweater that the Centennial Classic jersey was based on and a color-flipped option has never been worn, though I suggested it in that Winter Classic concept series and the eventual 2014 Winter Classic jersey did take some cues from it.
The 1928-29 sweater also gives options for the crest, depending on what the Reverse Retro “rules” are for such things, as the standard Winged Wheel could be used, or it could be placed under “Detroit” text as the cougar head logo was in the original.
With the striping in the Cougars’ 1929-30 set the same as the 1927-28, there’s not enough difference there to pick one over the other. If the striping on the 1927-28 set is problematic, the Detroit Falcons’ 1930-32 sweater isn’t going to be any better, so I didn’t even try.
So these might be the options we’re looking at for Detroit’s coming “Reverse Retro” jersey. Or there could be other rules for these jerseys that we don’t know yet, opening up other choices. Maybe they’ll decide the Falcons’ brief use of black is enough to make the Red Wings’ old black fashion jerseys an official alternate. With the entire 2020-21 NHL season in flux, who knows when we’ll even see the actual designs?
Personally, I really like the color swap of the current home jersey, but I’ve always preferred the Red Wings’ white jerseys to their reds. With no other colors to balance it out, I find their current homes to just be a bit too much red. For the same reason, I like the color swap of the current road jersey.
That said, for a team with as much history as Detroit, I like to see them pull from it more. The 1928-29 Cougars’ set would be a safe place to go for that.
The usual jersey design caveats apply here, of course. These aren’t meant to be predictions, just artists renderings of possibilities. They’re not even my designs, really, just existing jerseys redrawn into a modern template with the colors appropriately swapped.
The Red Wings unveiled their 2016 Stadium Series jerseys on Monday and reaction has been… Let’s go with “mixed.” I’m sure they’ll sell a bunch of them because that’s how this works but I can say I won’t be adding one to my collection.
What bothers me is that there are design elements included seemingly for the sake of including them. Specifically the “sash” across the front and the giant sleeve numbers.
The sleeve numbers are a Stadium Series tradition. You pretty much knew they’d be included. They’re a bad tradition, though. No one has ever said, “Man, those giant numbers look awesome!” They try to pass it off as being for the fans in the stands, seated so far away that they need bigger numbers to identify the players. This, though, ignores the fact that the Winter Classic jerseys do not include giant numbers. I mean, the Red Wings played in the 2009 Winter Classic (which was also at a baseball stadium, so the difference between football and baseball stadia can’t even be cited as an excuse) without any sleeve numbers.
The sash, according to the Red Wings, “celebrates the iconic stripe of this storied Original Six franchise.” For the life of me I don’t know what iconic stripe they’re talking about. The hem stripe that has appeared in some form or another on Detroit’s jerseys since they became the Red Wings? Hardly iconic, as it’s a design element shared by many teams. The chest stripe of the 1926-27 Detroit Cougars? It’s been worn for all of two games in the last 88 years.
The sash and the large numbers are contrived. They’re not necessary.
That especially annoys me because the stylized D logo created for the Stadium Series is really sharp. I get that they use these games to try out new things and, in that context, I appreciate this new logo. Yeah, I think it looks like something from the Zephyr X-line. No, I don’t ever want it anywhere near Detroit’s actual jerseys. For this game, though, I’m okay with it.
The Stadium Series jerseys were close. That they were makes the stuff they got wrong that much more glaring. Here’s my take:
The sash is replaced with a white stripe similar to that of the 1927 Cougars or Detroit’s 2009 Winter Classic set. Unlike in those sweaters, the logo extends outside the boundaries of the stripe, similar to the numbers on the back. We know this works because those numbers are the ones worn by the Red Wings in the Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park.
The sleeve numbers are a normal size because anything else isn’t necessary.
We keep the sleeve stripes as-is but add a hem stripe because this is meant to be worn with red gloves and pants so we want to break up that block of color a little bit more. The hem stripe allows us to incorporate another element from Detroit’s standard home jersey.
The “Red Wings” text from the collar is eliminated because I just think it’s gaudy.
In going with this design we can justify all of the elements. Nothing is there just for the sake of throwing something on a jersey.
Unlike the Winter Classic, the Stadium Series is typically not the NHL’s stage for throwback sweaters. Last season, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks wore two-toned monstrosities with giant sleeve numbers. The previous year we saw six of seven teams clad in jerseys that featured “chromified” logos, diagonal striping, contrasting-color shoulder yokes, and extra-tall numbers on the back. Only the New Jersey Devils bucked the trend, opting instead to wear their jerseys from the 1980s, which they have taken to wearing as an unofficial alternate in recent years.
Detroit has no such unofficial alternate to fall back on. I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see another color-on-color matchup as we did in the 2014 Winter Classic, so with the Avalanche in blue at home I think we can rule out the Red Wings breaking out their red jerseys from that game. Detroit could throw back to their primarily-white 2009 Winter Classic jerseys or their 1991-92 throwback set but I think we can count on the Stadium Series template trend continuing and the Wings going along with it.
With that in mind, here are a few ideas for how the Red Wings could look on February 27th.
My first concept is the most conservative. The white on the Avalanche design becomes red and the colored areas become white (aside from the collar), leading to a primarily white jersey with thin red stripes on the sleeves, a red shoulder yoke (the shape of the yoke is only different from theposted Avalanche design because I used a different template), and a red collar. We don’t know the number/lettering styles but this design has me thinking something like Team Canada or the Carolina Hurricanes so I ran with that.
Colorado appears to be rolling with a new logo for their Stadium Series jersey, a modernization of the Colorado Rockies’ logo of the 1980s. I don’t think we’ll see the Red Wings modify the Winged Wheel but they could use it in a couple different ways, one of which is as-is.
This much white on the jersey screams “practice jersey” to me but it could also be taken as a bit of a throwback, as it comes across as a modernization of the white jerseys the Red Wings wore from 1934 to 1961.
Another conservative idea makes the red not just a stripe on the sleeve but extended all the way to the cuff (taking the place of both the white stripe and the burgundy area of the sleeve in the Avalanche design). This helps break up the big mass of white on the jersey (though I think a hem stripe would do a better job of that, as appeared on the aforementioned 1934-1961 sweaters).
The crest should be familiar as it comes from one of my Winter Classic concepts. The modern Winged Wheel is placed under an arched “Detroit” in a block font, based on the 1928-29 Detroit Cougars jerseys (an element also used in the 2014 Winter Classic jerseys, with a “fancy” font and a retro Winged Wheel), so once again we get a little bit of a throwback element in an otherwise modern uniform.
The template seems made for at least three colors, so a break from tradition could see the Red Wings add black to their sweater for the first time in team history (ignore the black outline commonly shown on the Detroit Falcons’ wordmark, that’s wrong). Here we have red trimmed in black. I don’t like this idea at all but I could see the Red Wings taking the opportunity to finally do it, hiding behind the idea of being forced to by the three-color constraints of the template. And there’s something that feels appropriate about having what comes across as a 1990s roller hockey jersey in use in Denver.
For the logo, I break out another idea from my Winter Classic concepts, including the Winged Wheel in a roundel. With the Avs’ crest featuring one of their current logos inside a geometric shape, I could see something similar going on for Detroit. Again, not saying they should, just saying I could see it.
Much as with my Winter Classic concepts, I have no advance knowledge of what the Red Wings will wear for this game, I’m just looking at trends and working from there. I did the same thing looking at the Grand Rapids Griffins’ fan-submitted jersey concepts last summer and both of the ones they picked ended up being from my top ten. That said, it’s entirely possible the Red Wings buck the trend or the NHL doesn’t do templates or Detroit wears red on the road or I’m just wrong on all accounts.
Taking on the Blackhawks, one of Detroit’s heated rivals, and removing their cherished logo? Yeah, I don’t see this going over well. I wanted to get the idea out of my head though, so here we go.
My initial thought was “What if the Blackhawks had appropriated (or modified) the 86th Infantry’s insignia?” As I started drawing, though, I ran into the problem of what I was putting together was too clean and I was thinking from a 21st century marketing perspective. I decided to treat it as a faux-back. Don’t design for their inaugural year, design something from today that throws back an alternate inaugural year where they had adopted a military theme.
With Chicago in the Winter Classic this year – a game hosted in Washington, DC – it makes some sense to wear something Army-inspired, no matter what this alternate version of the team might be wearing now. So consider this a Winter Classic concept from an alternate universe, perhaps where the Indian head was never used.
I use the “vintage” red, white. and black that I’ve been overusing of late. We start with a black hawk, as seen in the regimental insignia. This hawk also carries a red shield, this one outlined in white (as is the hawk). Rather than the “BH” initials, this shield bears two six-pointed stars, borrowed from the version of Chicago’s flag that would have flown in 1926.
The bird is on a red shield but that’s where things really start to differ, as this shield looks much more like a modern military patch. The two chevrons at the bottom of the shield/patch are meaningless, there because they “look military” (I would have loved it if majors wore chevrons so it could be a reference to McLaughlin but no such luck). An arched black box appears at the top with “Black Hawks” in white. Our world’s Black Hawks featured the team name in their original logo so I figured this version’s would, too. That’s all outlined in black and then white.
Since the Blackhawks are the road team in this year’s Winter Classic, the sweater design is based off of their first road jersey from our timeline. I changed the collar to black for more contrast and added a black stripe above the red hemline because I hate that the shoulders have a black border but the hemline doesn’t. The name and number are the modern Blackhawks’ font while the shoulder patch is the same shield as appears with the hawk in the crest.
I’m not going to say “Oh my god, they should totally use this!” The Blackhawks have too established of an identity to mess with. For a mental exercise, though, it was fun and I think it turned out okay.
Update – 11/13, 8:50 AM: Hockey Brunch in Chicago tells me that the Blackhawks have sold merchandise based on the 86th Infantry’s insignia before, so apparently basing a concept off of that isn’t as crazy of an idea as I thought. That said, I don’t think it makes using an idea like this any more likely.
The sublimated stars are removed because they’re a horrible idea. The blue shoulder is retained on the white jersey, however, in the form of a more standard yoke design.
The sleeve stripes on the blue jersey are lowered to a more traditional location and mirrored onto the white jersey, where blue swaps for white. Those stripes are also added to the waist of the jersey in another traditional design concept.
The shield remains in place but slightly larger.
My template doesn’t show it but the jerseys would feature standard lace-up collars.
With a handful of changes the 2014 jerseys go from a mish-mash of too-modern ideas to a classic-looking concept.
On and off since it was first announced that the Red Wings would host the 2013 Winter Classic, I’ve made attempts to predict what the team would wear for the game. With Sunday’s formal announcement that the cancelled 2013 event would be rescheduled for 2014 and the unveiling of the related uniforms, we know I got a couple things right but was mostly wrong.
Yeah, my first concept nailed the idea of the city name arched over the Winged Wheel. I also called the use of vintage white. That’s it, though.
In my defense, I didn’t think they’d make up an entirely new striping pattern. I like it, but I didn’t expect it.
I also didn’t expect that they would base the entire sweater around what I consider the worst design element the team has ever used: The “fancy” numbers from the 1982-83 season. As I’ve said previously, this is something that was such a bad idea it only lasted for a season. There is nothing particularly endearing about the Reed Larson-led 1983 lineup that this could be an attempt to evoke the memory of.
I won’t be buying one of these Winter Classic jerseys but if only they’d gone with a standard block font, they could have had something nice.
I think this is pretty self-explanatory. All uses of the “fancy” font are replaced with a standard block font. Additionally, the vintage white” (they’re calling it “antique white”) is replaced with standard white because they didn’t use a dark enough red to make the off-white work. The diamond-bordered captain’s C is kept but moved back to where it belongs, rather than being placed on the sleeve for some ungodly reason.
I think it works and I might actually pay money for something like this. What they actually produced, not so much.
Standard disclaimer from all of my concepts: I know the template isn’t quite right, specifically I’d expect a lace-up collar that isn’t shown here. I also left the Winter Classic logo off the shoulder out of laziness. I will say I love the placement of that patch on the shoulder, but that might be because the Wings never have a shoulder patch so it’s something new.
1. They are drastically different from the current look.
2. There will be a new logo.
3. Green is the dominant color.
Of those, I managed to get one right when I drew up a concept for them a couple months ago, so I figured since I hate hockey a little less today I’d get around to posting that concept.
There were two things I was trying to do with this. One is the elimination of black (and therefore a switch to green as the primary color, which Heika says will happen). The other is a traditional look that calls on the franchise’s history.
Update – 1/7/2013, 9:45 AM: After chatting with Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.Net about what a new Stars logo might look like, I decided to update my concept to use a new logo. I think it’s derivative and looks better as a shoulder logo, but I figured I’d post it anyway.
It’s also worth noting that, as with my Winter Classic concepts, I would expect laces on both of these designs but I’m too lazy to update my template to show them.
From the t-shirt design we can see that the Wings would be using their oversized “fancy” numbers from the 1982-83 season, the only year they did not wear block numbers. Oddly enough, the t-shirt does not feature the vertically-arched lettering introduced that same season (and carried on to this day), instead showing a standard block font.
On the front, the original Winged Wheel appears under “Detroit” in an “old-timey” font similar to the “fancy” numbers.
I’m also assuming that the Wings wouldn’t break out the “fancy” numbers without putting them on the sleeves, so I eschewed the 1928-29 striping pattern for one that would leave room for sleeve numbers.
This design actually includes several of my previous design elements. The city name arched over the logo from the 1928-29 sweater is used, as is the original Winged Wheel. The striping pattern, though unconfirmed, is from the 1934 white jersey and a standard block font is used for the nameplate.
The specifics are where it goes wrong, in my opinion.
I have no problem with mixing eras in a fauxback jersey or throwing back to an era as recent as the 1980s. That said, choosing the “fancy” numbers as one of your key design elements is just wrong. This is something that was such a bad idea it only lasted for a season. There is nothing particularly endearing about the Reed Larson-led 1983 lineup that this could be an attempt to evoke the memory of.
On the front of the jersey you have the same problem that the Vancouver Canucks’ current jerseys have: There’s too much going on. A full-sized logo with the city arched over it just looks messy. The Dallas Stars (and many collegiate teams) show that you can use the city name on the front of the sweater just fine if your other design element (be it the player’s number or a logo) is smaller.
Additionally, there’s something needlessly sloppy to me about using the “old-timey” font for “Detroit” on the front. It’s not something that has ever been part of the team’s identity. To me, the text actually looks of the “painted on the side of a Volkswagon bus in the 1970s” style, so I don’t know what era it’s supposed to represent.
Maybe it doesn’t matter and I’m way off on what I’m reading from this t-shirt. As I’ve said before, I have no advance knowledge of what the teams will be wearing, this is my semi-educated guess. As I’ve also said before, I know my template isn’t quite right but I’m too lazy to fix it right now.