The Manchester Monarchs, American Hockey League affiliate to the Los Angeles Kings are holding their annual “LA Kings Night” tonight and they’ll do so while wearing one of the most infamous uniforms in NHL history… the “Burger King” jersey.
It’s almost 18 years to the day when the Kings took to the ice wearing the infamous jersey for the first time — it was January 27, 1996 and five different teams (Boston, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Anaheim, and Los Angeles) helped usher in the “alternate uniform” era of the NHL by wearing their brand new, very untraditional looks. (You can see all the NHL uniform matchups from that dark day here)
Back in August, the marketing folks associated with the Monarchs opened a fan vote to choose which LA Kings jersey of the past the club would wear tonight… choosing this jersey as the winner was a no-brainer, well done voters.
The jersey the Monarchs will wear look to be pretty spot on with the Kings’ originals, with only a Monarchs logo patch added to the one shoulder. The original LA Kings logo of the era will be worn on the other shoulder as was done with the actual jersey.
Manchester hasn’t shown a shot of the front of the uniform yet, but we do know it will have that “Burger King” logo on it, presumably a sponsor patch (this is the AHL, afterall) will be on the top-right of the jersey front.
The Los Angeles Kings only wore these uniforms eight times before they were retired, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim also shelved their alternates after that first season. Vancouver brought their red mess back out for one more season before finally killing that look. The other two teams, Boston and Pittsburgh both used theirs for several more seasons; Boston for another decade and Pittsburgh quickly promoted theirs to “road jersey” status for a few seasons.
UPDATE (Jan 26/14 8:24am ET)
The Monarchs wore the uniforms last night en route to a 3-2 victory over the Portland Pirates. A couple of pics from the game as well as video highlights… the uniforms looked fantastic.
If you want to own one of these super-rare jerseys, those worn in last night’s game are up for auction right now on eBay. Proceeds go to charity.