The Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings will be the first teams to face off in an outdoor game rematch in NHL history, but fans of the solid red and blue color scheme from the 2014 Winter Classic tilt between the clubs won’t be getting a repeat.
On Monday, both the Maple Leafs and Red Wings unveiled their jerseys for the Centennial Classic outdoor game, which is slated for BMO Field in Toronto on Jan. 1, and, as far as style goes, the hometown Maple Leafs are the clearcut winners.
Again going with a blue jersey for the outdoor game, the Maple Leafs’ jersey, which can be seen above, is gorgeous and unlike anything the team has worn since its earliest days.
The design is simple and effective, with the solid blue broken up with a white bar through the middle of the jersey — not uncommon throughout the league — that has silver trim to pay homage to the centennial of both the team and league. The same silver can also be found in the veins of the logo, which is a fantastic touch.
"The NHL Centennial Classic will be a special moment in our year-long celebration of 100 years of Maple Leafs hockey and this new sweater offers a signature look for the occasion, combining important elements of our club's past, but also our present and future as it features the new Maple Leaf crest," Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said.
The jersey has several additional, intricate touches, too, that harken back to the team’s history. As noted, the white bar is a nod to the Toronto St. Pats, who wore a white bar across their green sweaters 1922 to 1925 and the ’T’ on the pants, which can be seen above on Tyler Bozak and Matt Hunwick, is a nod to the Toronto Arenas, which was the original moniker of the Maple Leafs from 1917 to 1919.
There’s also one final touch, though it’s not visible above. In the neckline of the jersey, the words “Honour, Pride and Courage” have been stitched, which are pulled from a famed Conn Smythe quote about the re-naming of the team to Maple Leafs.
As for the Red Wings, the team is eschewing a return to the red Winter Classic sweaters in favor of a rather plain white jersey with minimal striping.
At the base of the sweater are two red stripes, and four stripes adorn the sleeves, with the stripe closest to the shoulder being the lone silver band. The detail on the silver stripe is the most interesting feature of the jersey, though, as the years of each Stanley Cup victory are stitched into it.
The striping is a tribute to the Detroit Cougars, according to the Red Wings, and the pants will feature a stylized ‘D’ in order to further honor the Cougars. The Red Wings are also giving a nod to the league’s 100th anniversary in the same way as the Maple Leafs, with the details of the logo in silver instead of white.
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