This first installment of the Worst to First Jerseys features the Vancouver Canucks, and part of the series is hosting the full posts on the blog of the team that’s being featured. The full version of this post is on the Canucks’ blog Pass It To Bulis. You can check it out by clicking here. And much thanks to the Pass It To Bulis writers, Harrison Mooney and Daniel Wagner.
Do you want your team featured? I’ll be contacting blogs for each team throughout the year, so keep a look out for it. Or, let me know which blog I should be contacting for your favourite team. For now, here’s a preview of my post about the Canucks:
Ah, my beloved Canucks. Any reader of my blog knows that I’m a die-hard Canucks fan. After 41 years and counting of Stanley Cup futility, they haven’t always been the easiest team to cheer for, and the same goes from a jersey perspective. There’s some pretty horrid jerseys that they’ve played in, and have generally been reviled as having one of the worst jerseys to ever grace the ice, but I love them anyway.
Here’s how this works: I’ll count down, from worst to first, all the jerseys the Canucks have ever worn. Homes and aways will be lumped into the same category (so, more of a jersey “era”) and I won’t worry about small changes (like slightly changed positions of piping for example). Third jerseys will stand on their own. And I’m focusing on the jerseys only, not the entire uniform. The jersey images are compliments of the fine people over at nhluniforms.com. For the Canucks, there’s 8 different jerseys/eras. And we’ll start with the worst one:
8. 1995-97 Third Jerseys
I’m guessing some will disagree with me on this, as you were probably expecting the ’80s-era “Flying V” jersey was going to be at the bottom. And most people who do the “worst jerseys of all time” blog posts list that one near the top. But those people are lazy – falling back on the general opinions of others who have no design expertise, and don’t bother to actually research their own opinions. That jersey does not compare with the horridness of this one.
The Canucks were one of the first teams to be part of the first NHL third jersey program, and almost every single jersey that came from that first batch were pretty awful. It’s the worst jersey the Canucks have ever come up with, but it wasn’t even close to being the worst one of that initial third jersey program. Thankfully, third jerseys have gotten better. Kind of.
Back to the Canucks, what makes this jersey so bad? It’s a combo of the logo and the jersey. The skate blade logo at the time is one of the most complex and detailed logos in the history of the league. I counted 18 separate and distinct lines going in the exact same direction. Some window blinds have less uni-directional lines. It’s extremely excessive and obnoxious. So, the obvious thing to do is throw in a couple more lines on the jersey, amirite?
I’m assuming that the shape of the lines on the jersey is meant to both “accentuate” the lines on the logo and, given the shape of a V, give homage to the old Flying V jersey. But, that homage is not incredibly obvious. If you’re going to do a giant V on a jersey, don’t pull a Mason Raymond and go around and around the zone. Be Todd Bertuzzi* and charge for the net.
*Punching people in the back of the head and pushing them to the ice not recommended.
But part of the problem is also the placement. Putting those extra black and yellow lines right underneath the logo makes an already confusing logo even more visually complicated. The uniform also removes some of the things that make hockey jerseys distinctive and great, like the piping on the sleeves, shoulder and the bottom of the jersey.
And giving the lines a gradient fading out on both sides is, well, pretty ’90s and there’s a reason why it’s rarely seen in sports uniforms. It’s ugly. Fugly even. Which is real ugly. Very, very ugly. The gradient lines look weak, awful on the back, and just awkward on the sleeve. I could go on, but I’ll stop there, because this jersey is just awful.
Jersey Recommendation: #89 Mogilny – Like the jersey, he wasn’t with the team for very long, and always kind of felt out of place.
Read the rest of the post at Pass It To Bulis.