What the Players Wear
The NHL Uniform consists of 5 Parts including the Helmet, Jersey, Pants, Socks and Gloves. All of these parts will bear the team colors and possibly the logo. Equipment like Shoulder Pads, Elbow Pads, Jock Supporter, Stick and Skates are not considered to be part of the uniform so they don’t have to feature the team colors. Also the make of the Equipment does not have to be made by one league sanctioned manufacturer like the Jerseys. Team uniforms usually consist of three colors with one being white.
Gloves are part of the uniform but also part of the equipment. They have been around since the beginning of hockey and have evolved throughout the years. They were larger and covered everything from the tip of your fingers to elbow. Now they only go half way up to the elbow and leave part of the wrist exposed because players believe it gives them more flexibility. Hockey Gloves follow the Pants when it comes to their colors patterns.
Helmets have been around since the 1960’s or earlier but weren’t mandated until 1979. Teams will have a Home (dark) and Away (light) version of their helmets which includes their Team Logo and Player Number. Players are not obligated to wear a league mandated brand or model of helmet or Visor.
The most visible part of the uniform is the Jersey or Sweater as it was called years ago. NHL Jerseys have the Logo in front (chest) and player number on the sleeve. On the back is the player name and number. No number exceeds 99 as of yet but anything is possible. Some of the teams in the NHL have gone back to the old styling like having laces below the neckline which is straight out of the Original Six Era. Most jerseys will have a solid base color with horizontal lines at the bottom of the jersey and on the arms.
Today all light colored uniforms are worn on the road and all dark colors uniforms are worn at home. Another change the NHL made was the cut on the bottom on the Jersey. They decided to have a tapered look instead of the straight cut; I guess they choose what’s popular instead of history.
All Jerseys worn by players today are made by Reebok and are called Rbk Edge or Edge ll. NHL jerseys used to be made by CCM, Koho, Bauer, Nike and others until Reebok bought “The Hockey Company” which owned most of the old brands. The league went all Reebok a few years back.
If you’re looking to buy an Officially Licensed NHL Jersey there are a few things to remember. There are four basic types of jerseys you can buy: Reebok Edge (Authentic), Reebok Premier (Replica), Rebook Platinum Performance (Practice) and CCM Vintage/Heritage.
Alternate or third jerseys came along years ago and tended to look very different (terrible) from the team’s main jersey. But today Alternate jerseys are sometimes more attractive than their main jerseys, case in point is Columbus Blue Jackets who probably have the least attractive looking jersey but have a beautiful looking Alternate Jersey another is the Vancouver Canucks.
If you’re looking to buy an authentic jersey just like the players wear on the ice then you need to know the 2011-12 Rbk Edge states that the jersey is a reproduction of the jersey worn on-ice by all NHL players and previous years says The EDGE Authentic Jersey is the actual jersey worn on-ice by all NHL players. Both jerseys come with the authentic tie down fight strap attached inside the lower back of the jersey. Reebok makes little changes every year which can be confusing.
These pants also bear the team colors and usually have a solid base color (dark) with vertical color stripes (lighter) going down both sides. These hockey pants usually come in one version not unlike their Jerseys and Socks which have home and away versions. Pants give protection from above the knee to hip and usually have suspenders and jock.
These socks go over top of the shin pads and follow the same color pattern as the Jerseys. Which means if you’re wearing the light colored jerseys the socks will also be the light colored (away) and dark colored will be worn at home. There is usually a horizontal color running in the middle of the socks.