Rating The Sharks Jerseys Throughout History

Sports aesthetics are a personal passion.  I’m a regular reader of Paul Lukas’ Uniwatch blog and consider Uniform Monitor Dave Dameshek’s body of work on the topic of uniforms unparalleled.  I, myself am somewhat of an amateur-expert on the topic of NHL jerseys, league-wide.  For the purposes of our site here at Blades of Teal I will focus on the Sharks’ considerable uniform history.  Special thanks to our friends over at The Hockey Uniform Database who help us see all NHL jerseys throughout history.  Click on the season that the jersey was worn for a link to the kit the team wore during that campaign.  As a reminder, here’s how the Sharks are currently dressed:

Mar 24, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) skates with the puck against the Phoenix Coyotes during the overtime period at HP Pavilion. San Jose defeated Phoenix 4-3 in shootouts. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

 

Away we go:

Inagural season – 1997

Welcome to the NHL, San Jose.  Wow.  The simple layout, the gray in the striping and the classic shoulder logo.  The chest logo is great.  The most important thing in a sports logo?  Being sure a 7-year-old can draw it.  This logo is an instant classic.  People forget now, but when these jerseys came out they were the belle of the ball.  Everyone around the league was secretly envious of the Sharks’ bold teal choice.  Teal was hot in 1991, there were only a few teams looking to use it and results varied.  The Charlotte Hornets?  Great.  The Vancouver Grizzlies?  Gadzooks.  The Sharks, however, nailed it.  I was not alone in wanting a jersey BADLY when they came out and it wasn’t for almost 10 years until I got one, as noted in my initial post.  Please, sir, may I have another?  Grade: A

1997 – 1998

This season they added an alternate which would foreshadow what they were going to do with jerseys for years to come.  Egad.  The awkward swooping sidepanels are eerily reminiscent of what the Broncos have on their jerseys and are terrible.  Black numbers on the sides and white on the back?  Ugh.  Grade: F-

1999-2001

Somehow the terrible alternate became the permanent road jersey, the only upside being that we didn’t have to see it for 41 games at the Tank.  The white home jerseys though?  Not bad at all.  They got rid of the swooping side things (it was mesh).  The only pull back here?  That albatross of an away jersey.  So I’ll just grade the new addition here.  Grade: C

2001-2007

Now we’re talking.  Maybe my favorite Sharks jersey of all-time, the black alternate kicked this kit into high gear.  Start with a black jersey, add some white numbers outlined in teal and throw in a small bit of complimentary striping.  Take the patch from the pants and slap it on the shoulder and you’ve got yourself a handsome garment.  Black is the most intimidating color in sports, period.  Grade: A+

2007-2008

As the league continued to emerge from the lockout, Reebok introduced their new, sleek RBK Edge jersey and the Sharks came out with these.  The first time I saw them they made me feel sick.  Orange?!?!  What?  A new, “more fierce” shark?  Phooey.  The striping was a failed attempt at making these jerseys closer to the inaugural jerseys, and the way it looked with the new cut of the jersey was just terrible.  But a funny thing happened on the way to the jersey burning party.  They started to grow on me.  I can’t completely shake the initial sting from when I first saw them, but these jerseys are like Pulp Fiction…every time they left my gaze I wanted to see them again as soon as possible.  I say they end up being a nice mix between old NHL (striping and shoulder coloring), new NHL (edgier Shark) and their classic Sharks style.  Grade: B-

2008-present

Ahh, the BlackArmour.  A favorite of fans, the players have opted to wear these exclusively during their playoff runs the last 2 years.  The fact that they’re named after a piece of Seagate technology is slightly off-putting, but the return to black was nice.  Problem is they kinda botched it…the SJ on the shoulders is weird, and I’m not a fan of the fin cutting through water logo built into it either.  The chest alternate logo could have been better too, people forget the Sharks have an awesome crest alternate logo on their pants that was an option.  Still, the lack of bottom striping is an improvement, and the arm stripes are nice.  But the hidden gem of these jerseys?  The teal outline on the name/number stitching.  Just top notch.  Overall, though, when I see this jersey I wonder what could have been.  Grade: B+

~BB

Best looking non-Sharks jerseys, current style (NHL), with pictures

1) Philadelphia Flyers Home

May 8, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing David Clarkson (23) dives to get rebound against Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Carle (25) and goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (30) during the first period of game five of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

2) Toronto Maple Leafs Away

Mar 03, 2012; Montreal, QC, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer (34) and Montreal Canadiens goalie Peter Budaj (30) before the first period at the Bell Center. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-US PRESSWIRE

3) Chicago Blackhawks Home

Apr 19, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) during the first period of game four of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals against the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

4) Edmonton Oilers Away

November 10, 2011; Boston, MA, USA; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) reacts after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-US PRESSWIRE

5) Buffalo Sabres Away

Mar 31, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Buffalo Sabres left wing Tyler Ennis (63) celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Sabres 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Want to debate a list? Tweet me @bluelineboomer

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