Should the NHL get City Connect Jersey collections like MLB?

Matt Barnes #32 of the Boston Red Sox. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Matt Barnes #32 of the Boston Red Sox. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Should the NHL follow in the footsteps of MLB and adopt City Connect jerseys?

Back in the old days, of a few seasons ago, NHL teams had two jerseys. They had one for their home games, and one for road games. Pretty simple right? Then somewhere along the line alternate third jerseys became a thing. Three’s company so why not!

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Then sports executives saw that more jerseys means more jersey sales and some leagues have gone crazy with multiple jerseys. The NHL even admitted that the wildly popular reverse retro jerseys were a way to get some of the money back from all the lost revenues over the past year. You can’t fault them for that, but when every NBA team has enough jerseys to fill a closet, it can get a little confusing.

Enter MLB and their new City Connect jerseys. Seven of the league’s teams would get new alternate jerseys inspired by their cities. The NBA already has something similar in place. Some of the new MLB jerseys got rave reviews, such as the Miami Marlins and Chicago White Sox jerseys. Others, like the Boston Red Sox version, look like a yellow hockey practice jersey.

Chicago White Sox
Aaron Bummer #39 of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

MLB and the NBA both have alternate jerseys that pay tribute to the cities they represent. Could the NHL be next, and should the entire league get them?

Where other sports leagues go, the NHL usually follows. Will the NHL ever get these City Connect jerseys? After how quickly the reverse retro sold out last year, the league saw the added value new jerseys can bring.

Here’s an idea if the NHL ever decided to go the City Jersey route. Follow MLB’s example and only have it for a few teams. Those few teams should be the Original Six. If these City Connect jerseys are all about celebrating city and team history, you can’t find better candidates than the Original Six.

Jazz Chisholm (2)
Jazz Chisholm Jr. #2 of the Miami Marlins. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

What they might exactly look like is up for debate. For example, the New York Rangers tried to honor their city with the “Lady Liberty” jerseys of the 1990’s. That design made a comeback for their Reverse Retro. Even if the obvious example has already been used, there is still plenty of inspiration around New York for an entirely new design. As Baseball’s City Connect jerseys have shown, they don’t need to always follow the current color scheme of the team they represent.

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The NHL has already done something similar with Winter Classic jerseys. Remember when the 2020 Winter Classic jerseys for the Nashville Predators paid homage to the city’s old team the Dixie Flyers?. Instead of drawing their inspiration from hockey history, the City jerseys should draw their inspiration from city history and each city’s unique identity.

If done right they can be amazing. After the Original Six get there’s done, maybe the concept will expand to all of the NHL’s teams. Let’s see how they handle hockey’s most storied franchise’s jerseys first.