When the NHL switched its official jersey supplier from Reebok to Adidas last year, it meant a couple of changes to league-wide fashion.
Every team saw at least a subtle change to their home and away jerseys, with the most obvious difference seen around the collar.
Alternate jerseys across the league were also abolished for one year. The move was obviously money-driven, to spread out the launch of new merchandise for fans to buy – just as they did 10 years earlier when Reebok took over from CCM.
Third jerseys will return to the league next season, with the NHL saying last June that 24 to 26 teams will participate.
NHL says we'll have 24-26 teams with @adidas third jerseys for 2018-19 season. Some old designs, some completely new.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 21, 2017
When and how those jerseys will be unveiled is still unclear, but every team must get them approved well in advance of the season.
The list of participating teams was leaked by someone on Reddit with an apparent connection to Adidas, and the Toronto Maple Leafs were one of them, though there’s no way for us to confirm the authenticity of the leak.
Unlike a number of other teams, the Maple Leafs have always avoided going with new/flashy third jerseys. Instead, Toronto has used their alternate jersey as an opportunity to showcase their past, with retro uniforms.
The team may do that again, although it would seem redundant now given the franchise has a retro-inspired look for their home and away jerseys since 2016.