The Toronto Maple Leafs are ready to look ahead to the next century… but first, a look back.
This afternoon the Maple Leafs will host the “Next Century Game” an unusual weekday afternoon game today – Tuesday, December 19th against the historic Carolina Hurricanes.
For the game the Leafs will be wearing throwback uniforms based heavily on the design worn by the 1918-19 Toronto Arenas, a blue jersey with a white “T” on the chest and “ARENAS” across it, six thin white stripes on either sleeve and a single white stripe at the waist.
It’s a fairly faithful reproduction of the design (applied to the modern ADIZERO Adidas jersey cut), numbers have been added to the arms and names to the back to meet today’s NHL requirements. The logo and numbers use vintage style fabrics, the same style we saw last season with the St Pats uniforms, and also incorporates an interesting wavy stitching pattern:
The game will be played one-hundred years to the day that Toronto’s original entry in the National Hockey League played their first game during the NHL’s inaugural night of action. Toronto lost that game to the Montreal Wanderers 10-9 on December 19, 1917.
“The Next Century Game marks the culmination of a year of Maple Leafs Centennial Anniversary celebrations that paid tribute to the teams, the accomplishments and the memories of the first 100 years of Maple Leafs hockey,” said Brendan Shanahan, President and Alternate Governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the official press release. “We’re now able to look ahead as we start to write the next great chapters in team history along with creating new generations of Leafs fans, which is an important part of this celebration.”
This is the first time the Maple Leafs have worn an Arenas throwback jersey; they have twice previously worn jerseys honouring the Toronto St. Pats – the successor to the Arenas, and have also worn numerous throwbacks to several eras of the Maple Leafs sweaters via numerous alternate uniforms.
The Arenas only played two seasons in the NHL (and only one officially using the “Arenas” name), following the 1918-19 season they were re-named the St. Pats and adopted a green and white colour scheme. They became the Maple Leafs about half-way through the 1926-27 season.