The NHL Dress Code Mandates Contrasting Jersey Colors
Have you ever wondered why your favorite NHL group’s house jersey is a dark color? It’s due to the fact that NHL rules state so, at least they have considering that 2003. That wasn’t constantly the case. From the 1970-71 season to the 2002-03 season, NHL groups wore white or light-colored jerseys at home and dark-colored jerseys on the road.
The history of NHL jerseys is really quite colorful. In the early years of the league, teams sometimes had jerseys of the same color. For example, when the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens fulfill for their first game in 1933, their jerseys were so similar that Detroit needed to wear white bibs. But the bibs concealed the players’ numbers, disturbing fans.
By the 1940s, some teams began using contrasting colors, however in 1950, the NHL made it mandatory for the house and away teams to wear contrasting jerseys. The arrival of television– black and white at the time– also necessitated contrasting jerseys so audiences could follow the action. At that time, home teams wore dark jerseys and the visitors wore white.
In 1970, the NHL altered course and began utilizing the system hockey fans grew utilized to: The home team used white and the visitors wore dark jerseys.
The change brought more variety to each rink. If you were a fan of the Bruins, for instance, every video game at the Boston Gardens back in the 1960s looked the same: Bruins in black, opponents in white. In Detroit, it was constantly the Red Wings in red and the visitors in white.
Thanks to the 1970 guideline, the fans would always see their group using white jerseys, but the visitors could be any color, depending on the group. Every night looked a little various.
In 2003, however, the NHL changed course again. It didn’t hurt to offer the fans a fresh look after 32 years, however the real reason for the turnaround was to increase the sales of group jerseys.
NHL groups had actually started designing and using “third jerseys” and vintage, or “throw-back,” jerseys” as groups resurrected deserted logo designs and colors from years past. Teams wanted to reveal off these brand-new (or old, as the case might be) sweaters in your home, where devoted fans would rush to the souvenir stand to purchase their own.
The majority of alternate jerseys are dominated by dark colors such as black and crimson and mustard. So roadway groups had to take a trip with two sets of uniforms, simply in case a challenger desired to have a third-jersey night, thus forcing the roadway team to wear its whites.
To simplify all matters, the NHL chose to reverse the light-dark jersey protocol. In rare cases when the vintage jerseys are white, the league allows the house group to wear white and the visitors to use dark jerseys.