The NHL’s “Reverse Retro” jersey series that is rumored to be coming to the league next season may have gained additional momentum on Monday when the NHL uniform website Icethetics published photos of new jersey designs for the Penguins and Flyers.
According to Icethetics, seen in the photos are Fanatics-branded Breakaway jerseys. They are the lower-priced replicas, but the designs are accurate to the Adizero game sweaters made by Adidas. For the unfamiliar, Adidas produces the NHL’s authentic jerseys while Fanatics manufactures the cheaper replica options.
According to Icethetics, these are legitimate NHL-licensed products. There are no obvious signs of being counterfeit.
The “reverse retro” program has been described to Icethetics as “throwbacks with a twist”—as Icethetics reported in JerseyWatch 2020. Icethetics reports they will be part of a line called the Reverse Retro series. And these new designs fit that bill.
Based on Icethetics’ reporting, the “Reverse Retros” are alternates that will be carried as fourth jerseys by each NHL team for this season, and they are expected to be worn only once or twice against certain rivals, which might explain why these leaked Flyers and Penguins jerseys run in sharp contrast of each other.
Icethetics did a further breakdown of the new designs that surfaced on Monday:
PENGUINS BRING BACK THE ’90S
Between 1992 and 1997, the Pittsburgh Penguins wore a black road jersey (right) with the city’s name displayed diagonally across the front. It was a tribute to the team’s inaugural season sweater from 1967—back when they wore blue and white.
The new “Retro Reverse” (left) is essentially an inverse of 90’s road jerseys.
FLYERS RESURRECT THE 1980S
Philadelphia added some black striping to their mostly-unchanged sweaters in the 1980s. (right) The reverse retro design (left), like their Pittsburgh rival, simply swaps the black and white of the original orange jersey.
”Fourth Jersey” Program via Icethetics
Currently, 20 of 31 NHL teams employ a third jersey. The big headline for the 2020-21 season promises to be the introduction of a new series of alternate uniforms—what Icethetics is calling the fourth jersey. Recent reports have suggested that teams will have special throwback jerseys next season.
Multiple Icethetics sources have now provided jersey descriptions that suggest the “twist” could be as simple as a color inversion (i.e.: a blue Canadiens sweater with a red chest stripe).
So, what could a Capitals “reverse retro” jersey look like? As noted above with regards to the new Flyers and Penguins jerseys, the idea of the new series will be to transpose primary colors of an earlier design.
This could result in many design possibilities, but an example would see a variation of the screaming eagle color scheme, or even a white version of the Capitals black jerseys from 2002-03.
A rumor is just that. And it’s unlikely the league or teams will be looking to add additional costs to the bottom line this season when teams are already laying off workers and worrying about folding. However it does sound like a fourth jersey design is definitely in the works. What and when is still very much unconfirmed fodder. Stay tuned.
As far as other concepts go, there is never a shortage of general design ideas always being floated by designers on the web. Here are just a few:
That is a lot of awesome design work.
By Jon Sorensen