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.
For Canucks fans, this meant the end of seeing the popular stick-in-rink alternate jerseys that were in circulation since they were unveiled on November 13, 2008.
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 Canucks were one of them, though there’s no way for us to confirm the authenticity of the leak.
It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if the Canucks jumped on board the third-jersey bandwagon though. The Canucks have been involved in alternate jerseys from the beginning, when they unveiled these salmon-coloured jerseys in the mid-1990s:
They moved on to a burgundy-heavy look with their alternates in the early 2000s after they introduced the orca as their new logo:
The Canucks, perhaps more than any other team in professional sports, have a lot of existing logos, colours, and jersey designs to choose from. They also like making money, so it seems like a no-brainer to add an extra uniform.
The question is whether the team will choose to go back to the modernized stick-in-rink jersey they had been using, or go in a completely new direction.
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The black/red/yellow skate logo is a hugely popular retro look, but the colour scheme isn’t consistent with the rest of the team’s brand. Same goes for the burgundy Vancouver Millionaires uniforms, which are also popular.
Also at their disposal is Johnny Canuck, a logo first associated with Vancouver’s Western Hockey League team before the Canucks entered the league in 1970. The full logo has been used on team merchandise in recent years, while Johnny’s head was used as a shoulder patch on their most recent alternates.
The Canucks could also go with green as a primary colour, something the Utica Comets have done.
Or they could go in a completely new direction, as there’s no shortage of good ideas available on the internet from concept designers. The website icethetics.co has a number of them listed: