An interesting way to trace the history of the NHL is to explore the many different NHL jerseys that have evolved over the years. Today, official NHL merchandise holds its own in the sports apparel market, offering numerous colorful selections to choose from. A growing trend in the official NHL merchandise market includes the purchase of vintage NHL jerseys.
This allows you to further admire the changes that this intense sport has undergone. Amateur hockey teams flourished before 1904 until the first professional NHL league was born. Although quite popular throughout the rest of the world, especially Canada, it was the United States that first brought the sport to the professional level. Tucked away in the mining region of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, the start of the International Pro Hockey League blossomed.
Three years later, it was no more. In its place, the National Hockey Association (NHA) was established. In 1910, there were four professional hockey teams on the rise: the Montreal Canadians, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Wanderers and Toronto Arenas, which is now known as the Maple Leafs. The main characteristics of their NHL jerseys were long sleeves and stripes.
The Toronto Arenas were the only team to sport a solid blue jersey with white trim. The league slowly made its way to the United States in 1924. The first team in the states was the Boston Bruins. The NHL jerseys associated with this team was a solid brown color with gold trim.
At this time, the Hamilton Tigers showcased an NHL jersey with numerous thin lines of black and gold on their sleeves. As the 1930s rolled around, ultra-skinny lines of alternating color were seen in teams, such as the Chicago Black Hawks and the Detroit Falcons. Stars highlighted the NHL jerseys of the New York Americans red, white and blue color scheme. During the 1940s, the New York/ Brooklyn Americans folded and the NHL was reduced to only six teams.
It is now that we see the emergence of more and more colored pants, as well as a variety of home and away NHL jerseys. In 1950, we see the Black Hawks move from a barber pole appearance in their black NHL jerseys to a red jersey with an Indian head on front. This is the start of the official NHL merchandise we see associated with the Black Hawks of today. It was in 1955 that the Bruins became the first team to introduce the color gold in their NHL jerseys. The tweaking of home and away NHL jerseys is also continued.
During the 1967-68 season, the league expanded from six teams to twelve. Newer teams embraced a wide assortment of colors, including orange, sky blue, green and purple in their NHL jerseys. This was a radical change for official NHL merchandise during the 60s. The 70s brought along the Buffalo Sabres with their blue, white and gold colors, as well as the Vancouver Canucks, which used a color scheme for their NHL jerseys similar to Seattle Seahawk jerseys.
As the 80s came into history, official NHL merchandise began to showcase manufacturer logos on their apparel. Companies, such as Nike and SandKnit cashed in. This gave the basis for providing official NHL merchandise per company associations.
This is also a common practice today, which often causes higher prices of NHL jerseys based upon their affiliations. During the 90s, the interest in hockey spread further and newer teams began to pop up in other parts of the country. Teams in Dallas, Phoenix and even Miami made their mark. A business deal to broadcast hockey on television is solidified. Now, NHL jerseys were able to grace your television screen. A third NHL jersey was created, which was set aside for Saturday games or special occasions.
Different shapes and NHL jersey designs emerged. Specialty patches are created. Nameplates are used. In the 2000s, we see more and more expressive and colorful logos plastered on official NHL merchandise. The players of today should respect the evolution of NHL jerseys that never had the radical designs of the Dallas Stars, the logo of the Florida Panthers or the assortment of colors presented in the Los Angeles Kings or the Might Ducks of Anaheim NHL jerseys.
James Johnson, loves the NHL and everything about it. NHL Jerseys are the best merchandise to buy for following your NHL team.