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Vancouver band The Zolas wittily ranks every Canucks jersey

Like all true Canucks fans, The Zolas frontman Zachary Gray has some serious opinions on the best and worst Canucks jerseys.
The Zolas
You can tell The Zolas are from Vancouver because they have passionate opinions on which Canucks jersey is best. photo: City of Thunder Bay

One of the most distinctive elements of the Vancouver Canucks is the sheer number of jerseys they've had in their history. Not just limited to different logos, the Canucks have had jerseys with colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel that completely clash with each other. They've had jerseys that challenge the very concept of jersey design. They've even had jerseys that aren't even Canucks jerseys, but from a completely different team.

Part of being a Canucks fan is having a firm opinion on which of those multifarious jerseys is the best one or, at the very least, which one is the absolute worst.

Vancouver band The Zolas proved their Canucks fan bona fides on Monday with their own ranking of Canucks jerseys — or at least the rankings of frontman Zachary Gray. Gray has described himself as a "lapsed hockey fan," disenchanted after the 2011 Stanley Cup Final ended with such disappointment, but that too is a very familiar feeling for most Canucks fans, many of whom fall in and out of love with the team throughout their lives.

The Zolas have been in the ears of Canucks fans already this year, as their tune "Come Back to Life" was used by Sportsnet throughout the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs as a soundtrack for Canucks highlights. The sentiment of coming back to life fit the Canucks playoff dreams after four years of missing the postseason, while the lyric, "I can feel the bubble over my head," took on new meaning in the NHL's playoff bubble.

Like The Zolas lyrics, Gray's ranking of the Canucks' many jerseys featured some quick-witted wordplay. Let's get into it.

Gray declared the Canucks' new Reverse Retro jersey as the worst in Canucks history, which seems harsh, but understandable as you get into the rest of his rankings. For my part, I felt the Canucks' jersey was among the better Reverse Retro jerseys, though that perhaps speaks to the overall quality of most of the Reverse Retro jerseys overall.

"Coast Salish like Papyrus.ttf is Egyptian" is a deadly line and the most devastating burn on the orca logo I've ever heard. And he's right: these jerseys are bad, even if I'm not as disdainful of the orca logo as he is. 

Of course, any time the Papyrus font is mentioned, all I can think of is Ryan Gosling's Oscar-worthy performance in the Saturday Night Live sketch about Papyrus and the movie Avatar. 

To be fair, this was also the jersey of the West Coast Express era, which was a little less goony and a little more potent. It was an odd colour change away from the team's original royal blue and kelly green of the 70's or the Halloween yellow, orange, and black of the 80's and 90's.

Personally, I believe the Canucks' current jerseys are the best they've ever had, but Vancouver's second-best indie rock band disagrees with me. Sorry, I'm partial to Said the Whale.

The image is a jersey the Canucks have never worn, though they did wear Vancouver Millionaires jerseys for three games, losing all three. It's a sore spot.

Comparing the stick-in-rink to strong brands like the Canadiens, Yankees, and Cowboys is high praise indeed. If the new face of the Canucks is the stylish Elias Pettersson, however, I'm going to have to disagree with that "bad style" comment at the end there.

In case listing all of the orca jerseys as the worst didn't tip you off to where this list was going, Gray points to the 90's flying skate logo and black, orange, and yellow colour scheme as the team's second-best jersey of all time. 

Like Gray, I didn't realize the logo was a skate when I was a kid either. That seems like a significant failing of this jersey, one that might knock it down the list a bit more, but perhaps that's just me.

Gray's top pick could be a controversial one. I'm a big fan of the flying-V jersey as well, even if I personally wouldn't have it in the top spot. It's utterly unique in the world of sports and would truly set the team apart.

In the replies, Gray mounted a vociferous defence of the flying-V.

"I don't get how people can be blasé about the Flying V," he said. "Don't they see that a design this bananas will never happen again? This Kubrickian dreamcoat chose us — one of the most forgettable teams in pro sports — to give us a unifying regalia known worldwide."

You can't argue with that. How about it Canucks? If the orca is proving too controversial, why not go back to this beautiful nightmare of a jersey?