Top 5: Worst Designs of 2017

In John van der Woude
Dec 21st, 2017

Christmas is over. 2018 is right around the corner, so it’s that time of the year where everyone and their top-5-favourite-dogs-of-the-year are counting down the best and worst lists for 2017. We’re not immune to such things. In fact, we do it on a semi-regular basis.

So today, we’re got the Top 5 Worst Designs of 2017 in the NHL. We’ll tackle the Best Designs as well, but Worst is first because you always pick the bad news before the good news when given the option. Always. Remember, these are the Top 5 Worst Designs that were announced in 2017. Not all of them have necessarily been used in a game yet or some were excluded from this list because they were announced in 2016.

• More: Top 5: Best Designs of 2017
• More: Top 5: Worst Designs of 2016


I can definitely sympathize with the Flyers. Of all the 1967 expansion teams, they’ve been the most consistent from a brand perspective. Exactly the same logo (aside from a slight colour change in the orange) with very few jersey changes. And why would they? The home/away set they have now is fantastic, one of the best in the league. How do you continually try to improve on what is already near-perfection? You really can’t. This jersey is proof of that. It’s boring. It’s practice-jersey-esque. It’s devoid of anything meaningful. And any element on there is oversized, because Stadium Series.

• More: HbD Breakdown: Penguins and Flyers Stadium Series Jerseys 


These aren’t bad jerseys at all. These jerseys aren’t distinctive, remarkable, interesting, or anything that would create strong, lasting emotions in anyone. They’re just…nice. And that’s not what you want for a 100th anniversary. It’s like having a cupcake and a single balloon hung to celebrate your hundredth birthday with your caretaker. If you live to 100, you celebrate that shit big. So, expectations should be higher than just your average Winter Classic, and these jerseys missed that mark. Basically, these jerseys were trying to look historic without being historical, and were trying to be a modern take without looking too-modern. They’re nice, simple and ultimately forgettable, which is really disappointing when you’re playing what is literally a once-in-a-century game.

• More: HbD Breakdown: NHL100 Classic Jerseys



The Sens make their second appearance on this list. With the unveiling of a new jersey for every team in the league, this one was the most frustrating. The Sens were the last holdouts of the strange (and boring) sleeve/side blotches of colour that were introduced by the Reebok Edge jerseys, and the new Adidas Adizero jerseys gave them a chance to upgrade. Instead, they doubled-down on their same design, but somehow made it even more boring by turning the organic shapes in blocks. They had other (and better) jerseys. Right there. In front of them. They’ve worn them before. They could’ve had class. They could’ve been someone. They’ve could’ve been a contender. Instead, we’re stuck with these for an indiscriminate amount of time. Or as long as Melnyk decides the people of Kanata Ottawa are worthy of his team. *eyeroll*

• More: HbD Breakdown: Adidas Adizero Jerseys


The inspiration here isn’t bad. Honor Smith’s family? Awesome. Celebrate an iconic event (the Calgary Stampede) in his new city? Great. But the composition and overall aesthetic value of this design are really challenged. The mask has a very cut-and-paste feel but without the stylistic cohesion of say, JF Berube’s mask. The way in which the different elements are painted, from the horses to the barrels to the children, it’s all over the place. While I appreciate the thought that went into the concept for this mask, this design just really needed to get the axe.

• More: HbD Masks: 2017–18 Western Conference Preview



This was an easy choice. Nashville was the biggest losers of the Adidas Adizero team jersey re-design. Gone is almost everything that gave this jersey its uniqueness, personality and dynamism. And they replaced it with…nothing. I know the Reebok-era piping was generally reviled (and with good reason), but I’m on record as saying that Nashville had one of the most under-valued and under-appreciated jersey sets in the league, and they were the only ones that made the piping work well. The thin white line was simple and consistent throughout the jersey and the addition of the blue wedges the collar balanced all that gold. These new ones? They’re practice jerseys with some colour patches at the bottom. Boring, devoid of personality, too much gold. Adidas stated the jerseys were “accentuating and celebrating what [the Preds] are all about”. We all saw in the Cup Finals what Nashville and what the Preds are all about: energy, excitement, charisma, dynamism, celebration. And none of that exists here. At all. Even the collar looks more like a choker necklace than a proper collar. The only positive is that they kept the keyboard on the inside of the collar, which is generally never going to be seen.

• More: HbD Breakdown: Adidas Adizero Jerseys


So that’s the worst of the worst in NHL design this year. Want to know the best designs of 2017? Stay tuned…it’s coming very soon!


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7 Responses to “Top 5: Worst Designs of 2017”

  1. […] today, we’re got the Top 5 Best Designs of 2017 in the NHL (we tackled the Worst earlier). Remember, these are the Top 5 Best Designs that were announced in 2017. Not all of them […]

  2. Ephraim Vorzman says:

    I don’t think that the Predators’ set needs to be placed first because I love the away jersey. The emphasis on the gold works well, and there is just enough blue to counteract it. Don’t get me wrong, their home unis are terrible, but I think it’s still an improvement over their previous set, which was all kinds of ugly. That away jersey is the first good uniform I’ve ever seen Nashville wear.

    • Ephraim Vorzman says:

      One more thing: how did the Olympic jerseys not even make the list? They’re horrid.

      • JVDW says:

        Good point. Forgot about the Olympic jerseys because I haven’t posted about them yet, so they slipped my mind. They’ll be on the list for next year.

  3. John says:

    The overall worst design of ’17 has to be the collar treatment on the Adizero jerseys, which makes no sense, either practically or esthetically. Other than that, however, the Adidas jerseys are an improvement over the former Reebok monstrosities…

  4. […] • More: Top 5: Best Designs of 2017• More: Top 5: Worst Designs of 2017 […]

  5. […] today, we’re got the Top 5 Best Designs of 2017 in the NHL (we tackled the Worst earlier). Remember, these are the Top 5 Best Designs that were announced in 2017. Not all of them […]

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