Top 5: Orange Hockey Jerseys
Three years ago, we thought it’d be fun to rank all the green jerseys that have existed in the league to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Two years ago, we did gold jerseys, because every leprechaun loves the pot of gold. Last year, we did black jerseys, because of Ireland’s national drink –
whiskey Guinness. This year, it’s orange. Why? Because orange is in Ireland’s flag.
Aaaaaaand I’m not sure what we’re gonna do next year at this point. Purple jerseys, because black eyes are purple, and “Fighting Irish”? Yeah, I’m kinda worried about it. But that’s a problem for future me. Present me is here to talk orange.
Sorry, orange hockey jerseys. Not presidential orange. That’s a whole different thing for a different website.
We’re going in the Way Back Machine for this first jersey, to a team that existed for just one season, but damn, did they ever exist in style. After the 1929–30 season, the Pittsburgh Pirates moved to Philly and then were immediately hated by Philadelphia because they came from Pittsburgh. Okay, last part = fake news, but the first part = true.
As you’ll see, the key to any orange jersey is simplicity, either in colours or design elements. The multitude of skinny stripes isn’t necessarily minimalist, but the the rest of the jerseys keeps it simple: only black is used, simple shoulder stripes, and the OG of scripted chest crests. It’s unique, impactful, and worthy of a mention on this list.
We’re going in the Way Defunct Machine for this next jersey, jumping leagues to the most defunct team in a now defunct league. The Spurs played only 32 games before moving to Ottawa to become the Civics and lasted another 9 games. But damn, did they ever play those 32 games in style.
Like the Quakers, it’s just orange and black with some white thrown in to add some needed contrast. The striping is consistent and classic, and manages to give an otherwise minimalist jersey just enough impact to look really good. It’s about as quintessentially a hockey jersey you can get, and it’s orange, so it makes this list.
Of note, to move to Ottawa was so hasty that their jerseys were just the same as the Spurs, but with the logo crests removed. That WHA was wacky.
It’s not all orange-and-black on the list, with the Oilers making an appearance. Staying with the WHA, these are updated versions from the Oilers original jerseys from that league, complete with numbers on the shoulders, and simple, consistent, classic striping on the sleeves and bottoms of the jerseys. But these are more refined with a better balance between the different elements.
As for the blue, it’s a complementary colour to orange, meaning that when combined in the right proportions (in additive colours), they produce white light. They also look great together in the right proportions, specifically where one can be the dominant colour and the other a secondary one. And the Oilers achieve that here with a great amount of rich royal blue added to an intense orange, which makes it look really fantastic and packs a visual punch.
Those new home jerseys, with the too-dark blue, different orange that looks like neon on TV, and off-balance use of white? Yeah, not so much.
These are not only great orange jerseys, but they’re probably the best All Star Game jerseys ever worn. The striped cuff-to-cuff shoulder yokes look a bit dated now, but the use of the Rangers-esque text across the chest, with simple orange/black/white colour scheme and the refined use of stars as design elements on the sleeves and jersey bottoms, it’s hard to beat. It’s a great mixture of simplicity, uniqueness, and visual impact.
And seeing how the image above features nine(!) Edmonton Oilers at the All Star Game, it’s basically the best orange jersey the Oilers have ever worn.
• More: Top 5: Best NHL All-Star Jerseys
For me, this was an easy decision. The specific tone of orange is perfect. The balance of orange with black and white is perfect. The logo – one of the best in the league – matches the jerseys balance of simplicity with strength and impact perfectly. The curved cuff-to-cuff should stripe is too thin to be called a yoke, and it adds a modern and unique touch that breaks up the sea of orange perfectly. It’s the
gold- orange-standard that all orange jerseys should strive to achieve.