This year, SB Nation put a challenge out to each one of it’s NHL blogs: What is your team’s ugliest jersey? I am sure for some of our fellow blogs, this was an easy task, maybe one or two duds to choose from out of a legacy of classic looks. But in keeping with the common theme of this team on it’s anniversary season (“Nothing this franchise ever does, shall be done easily”) when asked to choose one from the 50 years the Canucks have been around, I found myself struggling. So. Many. Choices.
Let’s start with at the beginning. It’s 1970, the Canucks just got hosed in the expansion draft, and they are beginning the city’s NHL journey with the ‘stick in rink’ jersey.
Royal blue for the ocean, green for the coastal forests, and white for the snow caps on the mountains surrounding the city. Nice. Nothing wrong with these at all.
Some would say that the V jerseys should be on this mantle of shame. And I get why. For its time, it was to say the least, a bold statement. Almost futuristic in design, they were not just a drastic design change, but a colour scheme as well. The Canucks consulted a sports psychologist who suggested the colours might have an effect on the mental toughness of the team, which up until this point had been bloody awful for a number of reasons. A couple years after this jersey’s debut, they went to the Stanley Cup Finals. The yellow was not particularly great, but in time, these jerseys have grown on me.
1985 brought a new logo, the infamous ‘flying skate’ or for you weirdos out there, the ‘plate of spaghetti’. The iconic jersey is forever associated with that 1994 playoff run, but we often forget that the original version had home yellow, and not white with the V’s moved to the shoulders. They would ditch the V’s and make the homes white in 1989 and they are, in this writer’s opinion, perfect.
In 1995, the NHL introduced their alternate jersey program and the results were... not good. It was difficult to find any in the archive, save for this Dave Babych closeup. The gradient effect and stylized V were just awkward looking.
Hall of fame-worthy mustache, though.
In 1997, wholesale changes once again come to the Canucks. The Griffiths Family sells the team to Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, and with the change in ownership comes a new colour scheme and logo. I have to be honest, while I appreciate the design was the winner of a fan submission contest, and a nod to the heritage of native communities in Coastal BC, I’ve never been a huge fan of this logo, and think that with Orca Bay now just another dark chapter in franchise history, it’s time for it to go. It was doomed from the beginning, really.
In 2001, they’d introduce a new alternate, with a gradient colour scheme.
In 2006, this alternate was dumped, and they went back to the beginning, bringing back the stick in rink jersey.
The response to the old look, the colours in particular, from the fans was enormous. That led to another redesign: the orca stayed, but the original colours returned, along with the arcing ‘Vancouver’ wording over the whale, a nod to the original WHL Canucks of the 50’s and 60’s.
The stick in rink returned in 2008, though with a modernized look. The jerseys also had a new Johnny Canuck shoulder logo, a nod to the inspiration for the team’s name.
And that brings us to this season, where the ‘Vancouver’ lettering is gone, the stick in rink is back with a new stripe pattern, and after a successful debut last season, the return of the black skate jersey. Seriously, I would be extremely happy if these were to return as the regular jersey.
This brings us to the worst, and for me it was a no brainer: the home skate jersey from 1985-89. The shoulder V’s, that god-awful yellow. It worked for the main V jersey, but was a nightmare for this design. I scoured the archives for a couple hours and found just one pic with that jersey, Trevor Linden, wearing #49. You’re welcome, and I’m sorry. Also, since this post hasn’t really had a hot take, let me finish with one: They should have done a Johnny Canuck jersey. Be nice or I will lock the comments.
Which Canucks jersey was the worst?
This poll is closed
Stick In Rink
Red And Blue Orca
Other (write in comments)