The National Hockey League, like many other professional sports, is based on tradition. With a strong history, hockey has connected one generation to the next with its up-tempo style of game that many find very exciting.
Playing pond hockey is one of those traditions that have survived time. The NHL recognized that and created the Winter Classic in 2008.
But there is one aspect of the NHL where they do not stay in tact with their roots: white jerseys at home.
Dating back many years, the NHL had the home teams around the league wear white jerseys for home games. But after the 2002-2003 season, they had teams go from wearing their white jerseys at home to wearing the whites on the road. Why the change? There is no definite answer, but perhaps it was to make each rink different and unique in a sense. Meaning that when you watched a Buffalo Sabres game, blue and white would be synonymous with the team.
If the NHL listened to a majority of fans and league-wide season ticket holders, they would consider reverting back to white jerseys at home.
“As a season ticket holder, it almost makes each game stand out from the next,” said Sabres season ticket holder Joe Bauer. “Instead of watching the Sabres wear the same dark blue uniforms every home game, it’s refreshing to see the red jerseys from Detroit for example. It’s better than seeing the same home jerseys and the same white away jerseys that every team wears on the road now. It’s boring.”
Why would they do this?
Take the die-hard season ticket holder for any NHL team for example. In the 2015-2016 season, they see the same jerseys almost every home game. Even though 29 different teams with different jerseys and different colors come into that arena, nothing changes. The away team wears white and their favorite team wears the colored jerseys. After an entire season, it tends to get pretty boring.
The NHL and the National Football League wear their white jerseys on the road with the occasional switch on a certain game night. The National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball both wear their white jerseys at home. Compared to the NFL, the NHL, NBA, and MLB all have lengthier schedules, but with so many home games, it would make sense to have the home teams wear white.
Instead of seeing the same colored home jerseys and white road jerseys for every game, wearing white at home will allow for fans to see the other team’s colors, which may restore some of the quality roots of hockey before 2003. The NHL could make the home teams wear white most of the time at home as the league did many years ago.
Plus the NHL has some historic colored jerseys that every season ticket holder should be able to experience in person. Some of the best colored jerseys include the Detroit Red Wings’ red jerseys, Toronto Maple Leafs’ blue jerseys, Chicago Blackhawks’ red jerseys, and the Montreal Canadiens’ red jerseys. The original six teams jerseys are the most historic jerseys, and when they play on the road fans should get a chance to see them.
Some of the newer teams also have great jersey colors such as the San Jose Sharks’ teal jerseys, Nashville Predators’ yellow jerseys, and the Dallas Stars’ green jerseys.
To have teams wear white at home would be a great idea for the NHL to revert to next season. It not only encourages a connection to the quality of roots of hockey before 2003, but encourages season ticket holders to keep buying tickets.
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