On Saturday, Chicago White Sox all-star pitcher Chris Sale was scratched from his start and sent home because he refused to wear the team’s throwback uniform. It went beyond that, of course.
Sale reportedly went into the clubhouse and cut up his own jersey, along with those of his teammates. Sale’s gripe? The collar on the jersey was uncomfortable and he was adamant that he would not wear it. Sale was eventually suspended for five games by the team. It was a bizarre story, but one that could plausibly play out in any team sport. In the NBA, for instance,
many players complained when the new sleeved jerseys were introduced. In hockey, the basic design of the jersey has been largely the same for the past 100 years. There isn’t much that can be done that could throw a player into a fit of uncomfortable rage. The aesthetics of hockey jerseys on the other hand, they have at times been a cause for concern. Here are five NHL jerseys players should have refused to wear.
NO. 5 — 2008-2011 OTTAWA SENATORS ‘SENS’ JERSEY
When the Senators returned to the NHL in 1992 they had
one of the best logos in all of sports. Since then they have ruined it by turning the face and making it 3D. Worse, they wore the above monstrosities for three seasons. The overall design is meh, but the ‘Sens’ nickname was a very bad idea. You don’t see the Canadiens wearing jerseys with ‘Habs’ on it.
Player to lead revolt: Daniel Alfredsson: “Guys, I don’t think a ‘Sen’ is a thing.”
NO. 4 — 2003-2006 DALLAS STARS ‘MOOTERUS’ JERSEY
When the Stars introduced these jerseys in 2003, everyone except the team thought the logo looked like a diagram of the female reproductive system. That led to the nickname ‘Mooterus’ but the Stars still didn’t get it and wore the jerseys for three seasons.
Player to lead revolt: Mike Modano: “I’d rather not be the first Hall of Famer to wear a uterus on my jersey.”
NO. 3 — 1995-1997 NEW YORK ISLANDERS ‘FISH STICKS’ JERSEY
The gag that the Islanders didn’t seem to get was that the logo on this jersey, the grimacing fisherman, very closely resembled the man on the
Gorton’s fish sticks box. Fans even began chanting “No more fish sticks” before the jersey was retired.
Player to lead revolt: Todd Bertuzzi. “These terrible jerseys are making me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
NO. 2 — 1995-1996 MIGHTY DUCKS OF ANAHEIM ‘WILD WING’ JERSEY
The Disney-owned Mighty Ducks were as much a commercial and branding endeavor as hockey team. So when the NHL and Disney suits suggested they wear a jersey featuring a cartoon duck breaking through the ice, nobody thought twice about it.
Player to lead revolt: Teemu Selanne: “I like fun and whimsy as much as anyone to ever play in the NHL, but these are just awful.”
NO. 1 — 1995-1996 LOS ANGELES KINGS ‘BURGER KING’ JERSEY
The Kings, along with the Ducks, were among the first five teams to get third jerseys in the 1995-96 season. The design was left up to the league — and this is what it came up with. On January 27th, 1996 the Kings wore this jersey against the Ducks, wearing the above third jersey, in the first ever game featuring third jerseys. Not a good day for the NHL.
Player to lead revolt: Wayne Gretzky. “I’m the greatest hockey player to ever live — I will not wear the worst jersey in hockey history.”
BONUS: 1996 ST. LOUIS BLUES ‘TRUMPET’ JERSEY
This is the worst NHL jersey to never actually see the light of day. Legend has it, Blues coach Mike Keenan took one look at these and pulled a Chris Sale and didn’t allow his team to take the ice wearing them.
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