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National Hockey LeagueEdit
Throwbacks were first introduced in the National Hockey League in their 75th anniversary season of 1991–92. At the time, only the Original Six teams wore throwbacks, although they were also used in the All-Star game.
While the NHL had long since replaced the heavy wool sweaters with more modern air-knit jerseys, the patterns for the 75th anniversary throwbacks were consistent with the original versions, with a few exceptions (as noted below). Player surnames were worn on the back of the throwback jerseys, even though this wasn't originally the case (the NHL did not require names on the jerseys until 1977).
The Original Six teams' throwbacks included the following modifications:
The Bruins' colours were brown and gold during this era, but the throwback jerseys use a "basic black" scheme with a small amount of white and gold trim, with the "shield logo" on the front of the jersey, and the "spoked-B" modern day regular logo placed on the jersey shoulders. For the Winter Classic that they will host at Fenway Park on January 1, 2010, they are planning to wear bastardized replicas of the first "Spoked B" logo from 1947-48 on the 1955-58 gold jerseys.
- Chicago Blackhawks - circa 1940 design
The Blackhawks' "barber pole design was used one more time, in a game against Detroit at Chicago Stadium in January 1994. A circa-1936 design, featuring beige in the colour scheme, was used in the 2009 NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2009 at Chicago's Wrigley Field; it would become the team's third jersey for the 2009-10 season.
- Detroit Red Wings - circa 1928 design
At the time the design was originally worn, the Red Wings were known as the Cougars. They wore their throwbacks again in the aforementioned game at Chicago Stadium in 1994. (The design was also used by Wayne Gretzky's team of All-Stars that toured Europe during the 1994–95 NHL lockout, and by the Adirondack Red Wings as a third jersey. For the Winter Classic in 2009, the Wings donned a modified version of their inaugural 1926 sweater, which featured a single red stripe across the chest with a stylized "D" in the centre, along with the current winged wheel logo to the shoulders.
- Montreal Canadiens - circa 1926 design
The Canadiens' red jerseys have changed very little. The differences between the throwback and their current jersey were the crew collar and the duplicate Canadiens logo on the left sleeve. Three "retro" jersey designs from the Canadiens' past were authorized as part of the team's centennial celebration in 2009.
- New York Rangers - circa 1940 design
- Toronto Maple Leafs - circa 1940 design
The two-stripe design was used for many years by the Maple Leafs, and after over two decades of the single-stripe design, the Leafs adopted a new version of the two-stripe design the following season.
- Wales Conference All-Stars - circa 1952 design (white)
- Campbell Conference All-Stars - circa 1952 design (red)
The stripes running down the sleeves of the All-Star jerseys were wider than those on the original versions.
As other leagues began using throwbacks, interest in retro jerseys increased within the NHL. To celebrate new ownership, the New York Islanders wore a modified throwback design for one game in 1998. The Buffalo Sabres pulled a similar stunt for a game in 2003. The Toronto Maple Leafs also brought back a 1960s-era jersey as a third jersey beginning in 1998–99. In 2003–04, the NHL implemented a Vintage program, allowing several teams to wear throwback uniforms that were specially branded with a vintage "V" patch. The following teams were among those that participated in the program:
- Boston Bruins - circa 1970 uniforms
- Edmonton Oilers - circa 1990 uniforms
The current Oilers only wore the white uniforms once, for the Heritage Classic. The Oilers alumni wore the blue version for the preceding MegaStars game. For 2008-09, this uniform served as the Oilers' third jersey and became the team's primary jersey in 2009-10.
- Los Angeles Kings - circa 1987 uniforms
- Montreal Canadiens - circa 1946 (white), circa 1960 (red)
The white throwbacks, similar in design to the red jersey with its blue-and-white stripe across the chest, continued to be worn as an alternate jersey in subsequent seasons. The red throwbacks featured a tie-up collar, a design feature that has seen a comeback in recent years, although it's there strictly for aesthetic purposes.
This uniform, from the team's first season featured orange numbers on white trim against a royal blue background, serving as the 2008-09 third jersey, was elevated to their full-time home uniform in 2009-10.
- New York Rangers - circa 1977 uniforms
This uniform featured the team's shield logo instead of "RANGERS" written diagonally across the chest. Ironically, these throwback jerseys were actually newer in design than their regular jerseys.
- St. Louis Blues - circa 1979 uniforms
Their then-current uniforms, introduced in 1998, were at least partially inspired by these uniforms.
- Vancouver Canucks - circa 1977 uniforms
The blue throwbacks would replace their screen-printed red/blue alternate in 2006. These throwbacks served as the basis for Vancouver's new uniforms in 2007.
- Philadelphia Flyers - circa 1974 uniforms
The first two times the Flyers wore these jerseys, the numbers were the same as the old ones. The numbers on the throwbacks worn in 2008-09 are the same as the numbers on their current road and third jerseys. These will serve as the Flyers' primary home jerseys for the 2009-10 season; a white version will be used for the Winter Classic at Fenway Park January 1.
A few teams also introduced "fauxback" uniform (a term that was coined by Paul Lukas, the creator of the Uni Watch column and blog, for a faux throwback style of uniform) designs as alternate jerseys. The Colorado Avalanche introduced burgundy third jerseys similar in design to the New York Rangers' blue ones, while the Minnesota Wild introduced a red alternate featuring a logo encased in a circle containing the team's name, a feature previously used by the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins. The 2004 National Hockey League All-Star Game also featured faux throwback designs.
The Bruins, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, and Canucks used their throwbacks through 2006–07. The Buffalo Sabres also wore a throwback blue-and-gold jersey for one season, bringing it back again in 2008-09, and making it their 2009-10 home sweater. Although third jerseys were temporarily discontinued for 2007–08 so that teams could get used to the new Rbk Edge uniforms (third jerseys returned for the 2008-09 season), Boston and Vancouver have adopted new uniforms that are based on their throwback designs.
On January 1, 2008, the Sabres and the Penguins donned throwback uniforms in the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, albeit with Reebok's "Edge" design template. The Penguins also used the throwbacks as their third jersey for the 2008–09 season. And as mentioned earlier, at the 2009 NHL Winter Classic, the Blackhawks and the Red Wings wore throwback replicas at Wrigley Field and the Flyers and Bruins will don retro schemes at Fenway Park in 2010.
In recent years, CCM, now owned by Reebok, has made additional replica throwbacks available for sale, in addition to those in current use. 1992 throwbacks such as Detroit's and Chicago's were among those reissued, while others included older-era jerseys of current NHL teams the Phoenix Coyotes, the Colorado Avalanche, the Dallas Stars, and the New Jersey Devils when they had played in their former markets of (Winnipeg, Quebec City, Bloomington, MN, and Denver). Regrettably, the forgettable "Flying-V" uniforms of the Vancouver Canucks were also reissued.