The NHL’s centennial year is now upon us, and to celebrate this milestone the league has affixed patches to all team jerseys. We covered this briefly last week but now we’re actually seeing the patches worn following a couple of non-outdoor games played last night.
The patches are being placed on the sleeve. I don’t know why. There’s no official reason for this, my educated guess is that the league wanted consistent placement for every team and with some clubs wearing a commemorative patch on the front of the jersey in the upper left (Detroit), others on the upper right (Ottawa, Pittsburgh), and many teams with their standard shoulder patches, they must have felt the sleeve under the number was the best spot across the board.
— Piero P. (@THAT_G0MEZ) January 2, 2017
Personally, I’d have been fine with the patch going in the traditional spot, upper-right of the front with it being shifted where necessary. It worked with league-wide patches in 1992, 1993, and again in 2000, there’s no reason it couldn’t have worked here. The point of the patch is that it gets noticed, there’s no better spot than right on the front.
The plan is to wear the patch throughout the entire 2017 calendar year, which would include the first three months of the 2017-18 season (so Vegas will get to wear it too). The Montreal Canadiens did something similar to celebrate their centennial in 2009.
A look back at how the NHL commemorated their last big anniversary, their 75th with a patch during the 1991-92 season:
I always loved that the Penguins duplicated the style for their own 25th anniversary patch on the shoulder.