If Fashion Decided the Cup…

In what will amount to my NHL preview, what would the world be like if a team’s style determined the standings? Yeah it would probably suck, but with the influx of these new jersey styles it’s time to take a look at who looks good and who makes me want to puke.

Keep in mind these are not predictions based on talent whatsoever.

Western Conference

  1. Columbus Blue Jackets – This may be the best jersey in the conference, if not the league. The logo, the Ohio state flag wrapped around a star, is among the flashiest, while the look is simple and patriotic. Even a Canadian – like myself – can appreciate the underlying theme. This is one jersey I’d consider buying (if I wasn’t broke). The Blue Jackets marketing department should consider a Red third jersey. – Stanley Cup finalist
  2. Calgary Flames – It’s hard to screw up the red and black. The flaming C is one of the best logos in hockey and while the vertical lines don’t really do it for me in general, they seem to work here. The Alberta flag on the shoulder clashes with the overall concept and maybe they should have stuck with the Canadian flag on both shoulders. – Western Conference finalist
  3. St. Louis Blues – I’ve always been a fan of the St. Louis logo. The music note speaks to me. This new jersey, on the other hand, does not. There is too much going on with the vertical lines on the home jersey. The road whites aren’t half bad but maybe it’s just the note singing to me and ooh baby, can it sing. – Central Division runner-up
  4. Minnesota Wild – Stylistically it’s very much like Columbus in its simplicity. But both the road and home jerseys are missing something. I prefer the logo used on the home jerseys to that of the road jersey but the colour scheme is better on the road. – Northwest Division runner-up
  5. Detroit Red Wings – Detroit kept it simple and perhaps to a fault. The Red Wing is a classy look and will suffice but the shoulders look like a blank canvas. Something should have been done to make this jersey less boring. You don’t screw with something as historic as the Red Wing but I see no reason for the lack of creativity on the shoulders. – Central Division playoff team
  6. Chicago Blackhawks – While some jerseys are far too busy, this jersey strikes me as being empty. I’ve always liked the Blackhawks logo and colour scheme and there is only a subtle change in the look for the new jerseys. However, the excess amount of white at the bottom of the home jersey is almost alarming. Maybe it will grow on me after seeing it on the ice. – Central Division playoff team
  7. Anaheim Ducks – I’m indifferent to this jersey. The major changes made to the Ducks look over the past few years remain intact and therefore there isn’t as much of a difference from last year to this year. Would I wear it? Probably not, but then again I don’t live in Orange County. – Pacific Division champs
  8. Edmonton Oilers – I don’t mind this jersey. That said I’m not ecstatic about it. If I were from Edmonton I’d wear the home jersey. Like many teams, the road whites aren’t very enticing. – Northwest Division fringe playoff team
  9. Colorado Avalanche – This looks like a practice jersey and I can’t tell if I hate it or not. I know I don’t like it. They tried to be far too stylish and ended up over-thinking themselves in the process, a common theme with some other teams. – Northwest Division fringe playoff team
  10. Phoenix Coyotes – This is half decent though it’s nothing special. It could be far worse. – Pacific Division cellar dweller
  11. Los Angeles Kings – When have the Kings ever had a nice jersey? Well it’s another strange jersey for LA this go round. The Los Angeles strewn across the bottom is unnecessary and the logo is far from one of my favorites. The sleeves are different and time will probably tell that different is yet again, not good. – Pacific Division cellar dweller
  12. San Jose Sharks – The colour scheme and logo are great but putting the player’s number in the top corner feels like they just did it because they can. Captains will have an incredibly busy-looking jersey the sight of which should not be seen by hockey fans. I urge you to avert your children’s eyes, they may be scarred for life. – Pacific Division cellar dweller
  13. Dallas Stars – Personal Foul! What is this basketball? Was Mark Cuban consulted? This is an atrocity. The road jersey isn’t nearly as bad as the home jersey but there’s no forgiving this faux pas. – Pacific Division cellar dweller
  14. Nashville Predators – It’s safe to say the logo sucks. Despite what seem to be good intentions with the colour scheme there is no getting around the disgusting figure pasted on the front. I’d rather wear a Michael Vick jersey. – Western Conference bottom feeder
  15. Vancouver Canucks – Living in Vancouver we know far too much about the process that went into making this jersey, including the million dollars in research. Logos such as the Johnny Canuck or the stick in the rink were thought to be the answer but this is a massacre. Were it not for Vancouver spread across the top I wouldn’t have a major problem with it. But it’s there and I do. The orca is horrible and for the life of me I can’t understand why they wouldn’t go in a different direction. Everyone loves the stick in the rink. There’s your f*cking research. Slap it on a jersey and you’re sitting pretty. – NHL bottom feeder

Guess what Canucks fans, Vancouver still can’t win a cup. Even in a weak Western Conference they can’t even beat out the cellar teams. Interesting to note that the Pacific Division is incredibly weak while the Central Division got every team but one into the playoffs. The Northwest, as it does today, decides the remaining few playoff positions.

Eastern Conference

  1. Washington Capitals – Thank god they went back to this jersey. It’s automatically a cup-contender in the fashion world. Stylistically similar to the other jerseys in contention and a colour scheme and logo that is one of the most under-appreciated in the NHL. This is a jersey I would pay money for, especially with Ovechkin scribbled across the back. – Stanley Cup Champions
  2. Atlanta Thrashers – The colours are odd and yet it works. It very simply integrated the new designs and they didn’t go overboard with the vertical lines. Atlanta written down the sleeve is a nice touch and it shows they used some creativity while trying to play with the different parts of the jersey. – Eastern Conference finalist
  3. Philadelphia Flyers – There are some wacky sleeve designs and colour schemes in the NHL and this happens to be another one. I don’t mind it here, however. The logo is still obtrusive and a tad peculiar but this Halloween look has made a good impression on me. – Atlantic Division Champs
  4. Tampa Bay Lightning – The logo is, well, new. I’ve always thought it would be hard to screw up this combination colour scheme and team name, which is clearly one of the best in the league. But they can’t find a logo that goes with it. This is another poor attempt at a logo on an otherwise nice looking jersey. – Southeast division contenders
  5. Carolina Hurricanes – I have no idea what the squares encircling the bottom of the jersey are supposed to symbolize. I hope they do indeed symbolize something because that makes an otherwise nice jersey come off as strange. The rest of the jersey keeps it simple and it gets by because of it’s impressive logo. – Southeast division contenders
  6. Montreal Canadiens – It’s another one of those jerseys you can’t mess with. Too much tradition, too large of a fan base that’s based mainly on the history of the club. It’s a classy look and it will stay that way. – Northeast Division champs
  7. Ottawa Senators – The logo change is a welcome one. Though the sleeve design is somewhat strange the colours save the look and make it bearable. I like it but I wouldn’t buy it. – Northeast division contenders
  8. Pittsburgh Penguins – Very similar to Ottawa in style and it looks too much like a practice jersey for my tastes. I love the penguin but I’ve never understood the significance of the triangle behind it. – Atlantic division fringe playoff team.
  9. New York Rangers – A classic look that I think most people like but similar to New Jersey, there isn’t much creativity here. The third jersey logo (statue of liberty) with the same sleeve design as Columbus would have been a major improvement, at least as I can see it in my head. Maybe it’s something they will keep on as a third jersey anyways. – Atlantic division fringe playoff team
  10. Boston Bruins – It’s very similar to the old design because it’s one of the few logos you really can’t mess around with. There’s simply too much tradition behind it and the backlash that would occur going in a different direction would be catastrophic. It’s not a pretty jersey but it won’t make me spew. – Northeast division cellar
  11. New Jersey Devils – The jersey is very similar to the old style and while it isn’t flashy the logo goes well with the colour scheme. Something tells me they could have gone a little further with the overall design but it’s a solid jersey and a safe design. – Atlantic division cellar
  12. Florida Panthers – Another case of jersey designers gone mad. What the hell is going on with those sleeves? It’s a complete style clash almost as if they couldn’t decide which direction to go so they just combined the two. I like the colours, but from the back it looks like a Team USA basketball warm-up jersey. – Southeast division cellar
  13. Buffalo Sabres – Like San Jose and Dallas in the west, I’m not a fan of having numbers on the front of the jersey. We saw this last season from Buffalo and there wasn’t a very positive reaction. The colour scheme is good but the logo isn’t much to look at. The sleeve stripes are different from most teams and will cause a second look but this isn’t a playoff jersey. – Northeast division cellar
  14. New York Islanders – This version of the orange and blue doesn’t really do it for me. I don’t think the sleeve design goes well with this particular colour scheme. Maybe it’s just the colours in general. The logo in large is in need of wholesale reconstruction. – NHL bottom feeders
  15. Toronto Maple Leafs – What can I say … I live in Vancouver. There’s absolutely nothing nice I can say about Toronto. The jersey has too much history behind it to change it and with a rather self-centered fan base there is no chance in hell it changes anytime soon. Toronto sucks. – Is NHL scum too harsh of a term?

So Alexander Ovechkin brings home his first Stanley Cup only to realize that it means absolutely nothing. At least there are more contenders in the east than there are in the pathetic Western Conference. How is it that such a hotbed for hockey (the southeast division) produced the highest amount of decent looking uniforms, whereas the six Canadian cities couldn’t get it right?

So many questions, so few allen iversons.

Too view the jerseys, visit NHL Shop here.

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