The mid 1990’s.
An era when a trend began of introducing alternate jerseys for NHL clubs. In fact, some teams even got greedy and carried four sweaters.
And, a majority of teams who unveiled a third jersey typically donned a black uniform — even if black wasn’t a part of the organization’s color scheme. The black third jersey trend received, and still typically does receive, mixed reactions from fan bases across North America.
Still, if a club did have black in its’ color scheme — a black alternate jersey appeared to make sense and looked appealing. Take an organization such as the Chicago Blackhawks, whose colors entail red, white and black…who, in 1996, officially introduced a black alternate jersey, too.
Should the Chicago Blackhawks bring back the black alternate jersey?
Quick Jersey History
The Hawks’ third jersey that was introduced in 1996 was (then) the same layout and design as the club’s home/away uniforms, but the base color was black — with red and white stripes. The secondary Tomahawk logo located on the sweater’s shoulders was the same as the road jersey’s color scheme. The Hawks wore the alternate on home ice and on the road.
The jersey lasted until 2006, as the Reebook Edge Series was introduced (2006-2007) and teams carried only home/away jerseys. Though, the original alternate was brought back for one season in 2008-2009. The Blackhawks eventually introduced the team’s 2009 Winter Classic uniform as the alternate jersey from 2009-2011. Since then, the Hawks have not donned an official alternate jersey.
The Blackhawks Should Bring Back The Original Black Alternate
This hockey jersey enthusiast believes that it’s time for the Chicago Blackhawks to officially re-introduce the original black alternate jersey design.
More often than not, fans do witness teams that go over the top when designing and adding a third jersey into the uniform rotation. Hockey’s faithful have seen third jerseys hit the ice for just one season at a time before it’s run out of town; or designs that just look, well, plain bad.
Bringing back the Hawks’ original black third jersey design makes sense. Think about it — the NHL is an era now where more and more clubs are either reverting back to vintage colors and uniforms full-time, or have a select number of scheduled retro nights.
If Chicago were to bring back the dark jersey it could add the two parallel jersey ties, which the Blackhawks used on their Stadium Series jersey in 2014 vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. Franchises have also gotten creative by adding some sort of meaningful designs inside of jerseys too — reasonable option, no?
And, yes, I know what most Blackhawks fans are probably thinking…
The jerseys represent a dark era for the Blackhawks, as they didn’t normally didn’t make the Stanley Cup Playoffs when the dark jerseys hit the ice.
But, in a new and successful era wouldn’t it be an interesting site having a Blackout Theme while forwards Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin light the lamp at United Center; or with Corey Crawford’s all-black goaltending equipment with leading the team onto the ice in a matching sweater?
Adding the black sweater back into the jersey rotation would come natural, and a new generation of fans who didn’t get to witness the jerseys skate around United Center in the past — could see captain Jonathan Toews pull the classic third jersey over his head.
So, yes, the Chicago Blackhawks should bring back the black third jerseys.