California Reverse Retro Hockey Jerseys Get Rave Reviews – Orange County Register

The Anaheim Ducks released their “reverse retro” jerseys on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. Ducks defenseman Simon Benoit, right, clears the puck away from Florida Panthers center Sam Reinhart, left, during the hockey game of the NHL in Anaheim, California. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

There are no realistic championship dreams for California’s three professional hockey franchises this season, however, the trio appear to have curious earning potential that could ring their cash registers.

The National Hockey League last month released the designs for its 32 teams’ “retro-reverse” uniforms, jerseys designed to reflect a team’s stylish heritage with pops of color. The Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks ranked in the top six in the compilation of my trusty spreadsheet rankings by eight sports news websites.

I am a huge hockey fan and an original Ducks season ticket holder. And I know these uniforms aren’t just about looks. These are serious matters.

Consider the price: They start at $190 each — part of the $15 billion-a-year team-licensed apparel business across all North American sports.

Teams tweaking their uniforms in relative unison is nothing new. The NHL did this “reverse retro” two years ago. Professional basketball has had its “city edition” jerseys for six years. Baseball’s “city connect” uniforms have been added over the past year.

But the fashion stakes are particularly high for professional hockey as it recovers from the financial blows of the pandemic.

Unlike other major professional sports, hockey relies heavily on ticket sales, corporate partnerships, and game-day items like apparel for business success. This is because the NHL gets modest television revenue compared to football, basketball, and baseball due to hockey’s loyal but small viewership.

The dashboard

California retro jerseys have made their cloth hockey history work, according to my mix of eight “reverse retro” rankings.

The Kings finished No. 2 honoring a great playoff streak from 40 years ago. The designers used the color palette of that era while reimagining the team’s distinctive crown logo.

Los Angeles Kings version of the 2022-23 season "reverse retro" jerseys.  (Source: NHL)
Los Angeles Kings version of the 2022-23 “retro reversed” jerseys. (Source: NHL)

“The purple and gold color scheme never fails, does it? The crown logo is also seriously understated,” TheScore wrote in their review.

The Ducks placed fourth by reusing its angry duck logo that dates to the team’s founding in 1993 by the Walt Disney Co. – with a hue change to orange and black from 2022.

“Old cartoonish logo, current colors. Perfect. This is the mission. Why is it so difficult for everyone? Athletics wrote.

San Jose went further back in time — taking the Bay Area’s NHL first-team jerseys and replacing the word “Seals” with the California Golden Seals switch “Sharks.” The Seals folded in 1976.

“It may be a hokey nostalgia game, but it feels good to see these jerseys on a modern NHL team,” USA Today wrote.

San Jose Sharks version of the 2022-23 season "reverse retro" jerseys.  (Source: NHL)
San Jose Sharks version of the 2022-23 ‘retro reverse’ jerseys. (Source: NHL)

The consensus No. 1 retro backhand was the Florida Panthers, who took an old logo — a very Miami-like mash-up of a sun, a palm tree and a hockey stick — and made it the graphic. dominating on the chest.

The buzzer

It’s not just a sale.

Fans can already purchase their team’s main “jerseys” — what hockey purists call a uniform top — designed for home and away games. Many teams already have a third uniform which is used on various occasions.

There are “authentic” versions of these jerseys – what players wear and priced like “reverse retros” – and replicas for much less money. So even the die-hard faithful need to be convinced they need more team gear.

This motivates some franchises to get upset with these “reverse retro” designs when working with Adidas, the NHL’s jersey maker. This risk-taking leads to large differences in the classification of certain jerseys.

My spreadsheet created what I’ll call a fashionable ranking – using a geeky “standard deviation” – to mark the gaps in the rankings of the eight websites. And by that calculation, the most controversial jersey came from the Vegas Golden Knights, who ranked 16th overall. And controversy sells things.

Expect! How does a franchise only playing its sixth season become nostalgic? Guessing what their 1995 jersey strength have been.

And it worked. At least for ESPN, which ranked Vegas No. 6. “You get all the ostentation in Vegas: hidden stars that glow in the dark.”

Still, it didn’t work out for Yahoo Sports who scored it last. “A shortcut to creating any hockey jersey is diagonal lettering. It’s not reverse or retro.

FYI: On that buzz scale, the Sharks were seventh, the Kings No. 18 and the Ducks No. 22.

“Hands down, my favorite part of the program is the debates. The idea that one expert can rank a sweater low while another looks at the same content and says it’s “top 5!” Fascinating and cool!” says a social media post by Dan Near, the hockey marketing guru for Adidas.

At the end of the line

Hockey’s reverse retro sales officially open on November 15, although pre-sales have already begun.

The best publicity will center on fans watching two to eight games when their teams are wearing their retro jerseys. The Ducks retro jersey debuted on Nov. 6 and the Kings on Nov. 12. The Sharks wear the new look for the first time on November 25.

Will reverse retro be a cash register success? Fans love novelties. The holidays are coming. Need I say more?

All teams will not have the same value. And will sales success align with each team’s jersey reviews?

Just so you know, here’s my full consensus ranking using reviews from Athletic, Daily Faceoff, ESPN, The Score, The Hockey Writers, The Win, USA Today, and Yahoo Sports.

1. Florida Panthers, 2. Los Angeles Kings, 3. Pittsburgh Penguins, 4. Anaheim Ducks, 5. Buffalo Sabers, 6. San Jose Sharks, 7. Washington Capitals, 8. Colorado, 9. Vancouver Canucks, 10. New York Rangers.

11. Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild, 13. Montreal Canadiens, 14. Edmonton Oilers, 15. New York Islanders, 16. New Jersey Devils and Vegas Golden Knights, 18. Arizona Coyotes, 19. Winnipeg Jets, 20. St. Louis Blues.

21. Nashville Predators, 22. Dallas Stars, 23. Ottawa Senators, 24. Philadelphia Flyers, 25. Tampa Bay Lightning, 26. Seattle Kraken and Toronto Maple Leafs, 28. Carolina Hurricanes, 29. Calgary Flames, 30. Detroit Red Wings, 31. Columbus Blue Jackets, 32. Chicago Blackhawks.

Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be contacted at [email protected]


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