By Nathan Tucker
As hinted by their Twitter account last week, on Monday the St. Louis Blues unveiled a new alternate jersey for the upcoming NHL season. The new alternate is part of Adidas Hockey’s league-wide “Reverse Retro” series, with all NHL teams revealing new jerseys with a throwback feel.
The Blues went quite bold with their new uni, “reversing” the color of the infamous blue/yellow/red mid-90s Blues jerseys made famous by Brett Hull, Al MacInnis and other legends from the time. The outcome? A mostly red jersey for a team named the Blues.
Yes, for the first time in their more than 50 years on the ice, the Blues will be red, well, for a handful of games over the upcoming season. Those who may recoil at the idea of their Blues wearing red like the Blackhawks or Red Wings can take solace in the fact that these jerseys will only see limited game action.
The new jersey features a deep, bold red as its predominant color. The stripes, which were red on the original jersey that was first revealed in 1995, are now yellow, and the club’s traditional blue now appears on the sleeves and along the jersey’s base. The ’90s iteration of the Blue Note logo remains unchanged, with the “ST. LOUIS” wordmark near the top.
“Hockey fans love retro jerseys and Reverse Retro is a great opportunity for Adidas to work closely with the NHL and all 31 teams to bring back a design from a meaningful point in team history with a unique twist,” said Dan Near, the Senior Director at Adidas Hockey. “Our goal from day one has been to work with the NHL and all of the teams to bring creativity, innovation and energy to the sport with all that we do. What better way to do that than to bring together the nostalgia of historical moments in each teams’ history with something new via designs that have never been seen before in the sport.”
While Adidas and the NHL may believe that “reversing” or altering classic designs might “bring creativity, innovation and energy” to the jerseys they create, reviews have been mixed to say the least, especially with the Blues wearing red.
Some have embraced the new look, but a quick glance at the Blues’ mentions on Twitter will show you that a fairly large chunk of the team’s fan base really does not like the idea of their team wearing red.
While I personally think a St. Louis team wearing mostly red/blue/yellow is a nice homage to the city’s flag, the case against this version of an already controversial jersey design is pretty simple: it is fake.
When the Blues announced in 2019 that they would be wearing the 90s “clown” jerseys again last season (which they did for one home game per month during the season), the unveiling was met with similar mixed reviews. Some see that era as a golden period of Blues hockey, with so many of the team’s best ever players playing on those ’90s teams. Others saw that era as the time where the Blues completely blew their best chance at their first Stanley Cup.
What these new “Reverse Retro” jerseys lack is that history. The past Blues alternates were about honoring the team’s past and history, Glenn Hall between the pipes, Bernie Federko gliding past meathead defensemen and Brett Hull firing a slapper.
While, to me, a fine enough looking hockey jersey, there is nothing important enough about the Reverse Retro jerseys to make them feel important. These are just merely the creations of Adidas and NHL to sell some new stuff this winter, and do not actually hold any significance to anyone beyond looking kinda wacky.