As the NHL remains on a pause Pro Hockey Talk is going to dive back into hockey history and remember some really wild jersey designs.
The Montreal Canadiens celebrated their centennial season in 2008-09 and 2009-10. During that year, they brought back some important alumni, retired numbers to the rafters and brought back some of the vintage jerseys they used during their 100-year history.
One of the jerseys they rolled out was the “barber pole” uniforms they originally wore during the 1912-13 regular season.
The Canadiens’ classic jersey in either red or white is one of the most beautiful and iconic in all of professional sports. Even the biggest Habs hater would admit that it’s one of the great jerseys in history.
But although I don’t disagree with the decision to use this one, this 1912-13 look should stay there from now on. The Habs were never going to roll this out as their primary jersey and it’s cool that they brought back a whole bunch of different looks, but this one was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
For those wondering, the “CAC” in the leaf on the crest of the jersey stands for “Club Athlétique Canadien”.
As hideous as they were, It was important for them to use these uniforms and to bring them back for one night because that was a significant part of their history. The organization does a great job of celebrating its history, but these jerseys shouldn’t be brought back until the team celebrates their 200-year anniversary (I’m pretty sure I’ll be gone by then).
The players used blue gloves and pants while wearing these, but the goalies went a little more old school. Both Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak (pictured below) wore those old-school brown pads, blockers and gloves, which spiced up the look a little bit.
Check out these jerseys in action. This is from a Feb. 1, 2008 game at the Bell Center against the Boston Bruins. You’ll notice that unless the camera has a tight shot of the player, it’s impossible to read the name on the back of the jersey.
Yes, you’ll often find this on a list of “the worst jerseys in hockey history”. The people who hate the sweater aren’t wrong, but going back in their history and using this for one night was memorable, nobody can deny that. Anyone who has seen this jersey will never forget it. Sure, that might be because the look wasn’t great, but the idea itself wasn’t terrible.
How do you feel about these? Do you see what the Canadiens were trying to do, or was this a complete swing-and-a-miss?