There’s something about old hockey photos that excites us. Maybe it’s the fact that some of the skaters didn’t wear helmets. Maybe it’s the scary Jason-style goalie masks or the lack of advertising on the boards. Maybe it’s the interesting jerseys of teams that don’t exist anymore.
Okay, it’s almost certainly the jerseys.
You just don’t see all green uniforms with a cartoon whale on the shoulders these days. While that’s probably a good thing, it doesn’t mean we can’t look back on these old uniforms fondly. So, in addition to the great Hartford Whalers jerseys pictured above, here is a look at some other defunct hockey team jerseys to keep you busy on an August afternoon.
The California Golden Seals were never a very successful hockey team. During their nine seasons as the California Seals, the Oakland Seals and the California Golden Seals, they put together a 182-401-115 record.
As for their jerseys, they were relatively hideous as well. They wore a shade of teal, a tradition that continues in California today with the San Jose Sharks. They also opted to write “SEALS” on their chests for part of their existence after using a logo on the front for the first few seasons.
The team eventually moved to Cleveland and became the Barons.
The team wasn’t much more successful in Cleveland, but their uniforms certainly improved. These jerseys are quite nice and the shoulder numbers are outlined with the shape of Ohio, which is a nice touch. These could fit into today’s NHL quite nicely.
Unfortunately, the team struggled in Ohio and it merged with the Minnesota North Stars after playing only two seasons in Cleveland.
The North Stars had one of those looks that people of a certain age will always love. The logo was quite creative and, while they’d seem garish by today’s standards, the colours looked great for the time.
Interestingly enough, the Gund brothers, who owned the Seals/Barons when they merged with the North Stars, sold their stake in the Minnesota team in 1990 and they in turn received an expansion team that would play in California. That team became the San Jose Sharks, which sends the whole Seals thing full circle. The Sharks actually have a tie to the Seals “legacy.”
Another beloved former team is the Quebec Nordiques. Whenever talk of expansion and relocation come up, the Whalers and Nordiques are mentioned right away (along with the Jets, who have since “returned.”)
The fleur-de-lis on the jerseys certainly make this look stand out and the igloo/hockey stick/letter “n” logo was a great idea. The Nordiques would move to Colorado in 1995 to become the Avalanche.
Speaking of Colorado hockey teams, the Colorado Rockies certainly had an interesting look. The bright colours were unique in the league and the logo certainly represented the team well. Today, via Puck Daddy, we found out that this look is a guilty pleasure of Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey.
It’s certainly a nice design that died when the team moved to New Jersey and became the Devils.
Before they were the Colorado Rockies, the team played in Kansas City and was named the Scouts. We can’t find a colour photo of this jersey in action, so this page on NHLUniforms.com will have to do. They had the same colour scheme as the team in Colorado but a relatively complex logo that didn’t really work on the front of a jersey.
Yes, the Winnipeg Jets are a former team, no matter how badly some people want to associate their history with the current Winnipeg Jets. We’ve seen Jets jerseys all over the place recently, but we felt like we needed to include this one here because the “Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes” franchise is different from the “Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets” team and a lot of people still, understandably, seem a little confused by the whole thing.
We thought about posting an Atlanta Thrashers jersey here, but we didn’t want to be that cruel.