The black skate jersey is coming back but it may not look exactly the same.
The Vancouver Canucks have been dropping hints for weeks that they would be bringing back the beloved black skate jersey sometime this season. The clearest sign that the jersey was coming back was when the Canucks practiced with black gear before going on their road trip, including goaltender Spencer Martin in a custom mask and pads.
The Canucks even flew a “#freetheskate” banner over Vancouver as a guerrilla marketing stunt and there have been other sightings of the "#freetheskate" hashtag.
Now the jersey itself appears to have leaked thanks to a Fanatics jersey uploaded to the NHL Shop’s international site.
The leaked jerseys appear to be a redesign of the classic jersey from the 90’s rather than reusing the version that the Canucks wore for their 50th anniversary season.
Comparing the jersey to the one worn by the Canucks during the 90’s, the differences quickly become apparent.
The original 90’s jerseys had a thinner red stripe directly on top of a thicker yellow stripe on both the sleeves and the bottom of the jersey, while the redesign follows in the footsteps of the team’s heritage jersey with two wide stripes. The yellow stripes on the sleeves also add some diagonal detailing that gives it a “V” shape on the side.
Unlike the 90’s jerseys, there are no stripes around the collar of the jersey, which is instead plain black. There is an interesting mountain pattern on the inside collar, but since that isn’t visible during a game, it doesn’t make a big difference.
The larger — and more controversial — change is to the logo. The Canucks removed all of the white from the logo, including both speed lines and the white background behind the “Canucks” wordmark within the logo.
The logo is likely to pop less without those white details but it’s not necessarily a bad change. It arguably reads better as a skate without the white.
As always, it’s a good idea to reserve judgement until seeing the new jerseys in action on the ice. Seeing them as part of a full uniform complete with namebars and numbers always makes a big difference.
There are rumours that the black skate jersey won't just be worn for a limited time as it was in the past but instead will become the team's official third jersey. While the Canucks have worn their reverse retro jerseys several times this season, they have not worn an official third jersey, which had previously been the stick-in-rink heritage jersey.