Senators could use alternate as primary jersey next season — and these teams should follow suit

The Senators are reportedly contemplating a jersey change that would see their alternate uniform become the home sweater in 2017-18. There are several other teams around the league who should do the same.

Technically speaking, every team in the NHL is going to have a new look next season. The 2017-18 campaign will be the first in which the NHL’s 31 teams wear jerseys provided and designed by Adidas after spending the better part of the past decade wearing Reebok attire. With changes coming to uniforms, though, some teams are going to go with more bold changes than others, and it appears the Ottawa Senators could be in line for a significant change than others across the league.

In speaking with the Ottawa Citizen, Tom Anselmi said that one of the changes he’s considering as he steps into his new role as Senators CEO is an alteration to the jersey. 

Presently, the Senators primary logo is the face of a Roman soldier wearing a helmet, known as a galea. It’s the logo, or a variation of one, which the team has worn since its inception in 1992. Originally, the team’s crest was represented only from a profile view, but the front-facing soldier was introduced in 1997 and altered to its current look in 2007. However, Anselmi noted that the Senators’ current alternate jersey, designed to look like those the franchise which ceased operations in 1934 wore, has “inspired a lot of people,” but he stopped short of saying the team would be changing jerseys to wear the classically inspired uniforms come next season.

Changing to the ‘O’ jerseys would be a great move, though. The combination of black, red and the cream white look outstanding together, and there are easy variations of the sweater to be made. A red version could take over as either the home or alternate sweater, and using the cream color for the base on an away jersey would be a somewhat unique look. No other team currently wears the off-white as part of their standard home or road jersey.

Other franchises are sure to consider changes as the new look jerseys come into existence next season, and there are several who, like the Senators, should consider adopting their alternate sweater as their primary threads for next season. Here are five more teams whose thirds should become every-game wear when Adidas takes over:

5. Anaheim Ducks

You’re going to be hard-pressed to find any hockey fan of a certain age who doesn’t feel some nostalgia when looking at the Ducks’ Wild Wing alternates. Some see the jerseys as a bit much, what with the bright orange. Anaheim doesn’t have to go full old school with the design and bring back the eggplant and jade, but if the jerseys were modified for the current home and road color schemes, they’d probably fly off the shelves. There’d be a certain increase in No. 96 Conway jerseys in the seats at Honda Center, but that’s to be expected.

This isn’t to say there’s anything altogether wrong with the current Ducks logo, but it’s simply not as iconic as the old mark. The split from the old design is understandable, but that Wild Wing has worked its way back onto the front of the team’s jerseys is indicative of how much fans love the mark.

4. Winnipeg Jets

When colleagues Matt Larkin, Ryan Kennedy and Edward Fraser ranked the alternate jerseys in a recent issue, the Jets finished atop the heap with their uniform from this season’s Heritage Classic. That’s exactly where the jersey should have finished, too. It’s simple, clean and it looks outstanding. The present-day Jets were given the go-ahead to use these logos when they came back into the league, and it was great to see the team finally make use of the marks.

But here’s why they’re fourth on this list: the chances these become full-time uniforms is slim. Winnipeg is trying to carve out a new identity for the team, and rightfully so. Bringing back the old school logo was a fan service and the perfect gimmick for a one-off event. The Jets will likely continue to use the jersey as an alternate down the road — teams won’t have alternates in 2017-18 — but the current Jets insignia is a nice modern progression. That’s probably where things stay.

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Now, dropping the two-tone blue in favor of red, white and blue uniforms with the current logo? That might be more reasonable.

3. Calgary Flames

Not everything has to be old school, but when a combination works, it works. And the Flames’ alternates are excellent. The firehouse combination of red, yellow and white is something that’s not seen elsewhere in the league, and there’s something about the specific tone of red the Flames use on the third jersey that really makes it stand out. 

It’d be great to see what the white sweater looks like if the Flames went this way, too. The old school look saw the team boast a red shoulder yoke on a white jersey with similar striping alongside the bottom and the sleeves. It’s hard to imagine that wouldn’t look crisp and clean as the team’s road jersey. Sometimes you don’t get better than the classics, and the Flames are a great example of getting it right the first time.

2. Minnesota Wild

Minnesota’s green alternate is, hands down, one of the best looking jerseys in the league. Introduced back in 2009, the sweater has remained in the team’s rotation for nearly a decade now, and with good reason. The green and cream color scheme works incredibly well, and the word mark across the front doesn’t look even the slightest bit forced. And even though its worn often, it’s not technically the team’s home uniform. That still belongs to the red, green and cream sweater the team began to wear as an alternate in 2003. The red home uniform became the permanent home jersey by 2007 when Reebok stepped in, however, and the time is right for a similar change with Adidas taking over.

There’s a fair chance this comes to pass, too. Back when it was reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo that there’d be no alternates come 2017-18, he indicated there was a “probable” chance the Wild go green in the first season under Adidas. He added there could be a slight redesign to the jersey. It doesn’t really need much in the way of a touch up, but it’ll be interesting to see how the uniform changes if Minnesota does decide the green and cream look is the way to go.

1. St. Louis Blues

The Blues should never play in another outdoor game ever again. Not because they don’t deserve to, but when you get the chance to design a jersey for an outdoor game and you smash it out of the park like St. Louis did, you shouldn’t be forced to design another uniform for an outdoor game ever again. When the Blues do play outdoors again, they’ll almost certainly be wearing different jerseys, and that’s a shame. 

That shouldn’t mean their current alternate, which was gifted to us by way of the 2017 Winter Classic, falls by the wayside, though. Instead, it should be modified ever-so slightly for every game use and turned into the team’s primary sweater at home with a white version created for use on the road. A white jersey with a light blue shoulder yoke and the same blue replacing the white bars along the bottom could easily do the trick.

The Blues have gone through some variations throughout their history, including adding red to the color scheme from 1995 to 1998, but the current alternate is, aesthetically speaking, the best the team has looked in years, and that’s saying something because the current jerseys aren’t all that bad.

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