The National Hockey League unveiled the jerseys for the upcoming 2022 NHL All-Star Game in Las Vegas last week via a release on their official website.
They’re being called “a nod to the past,” but this is far from a return to the orange and black of your father’s All-Star Games. So what is returning, exactly? Well, a few things…
NHL Shield on the chest? They’re Back ✓
Colourful uniforms? Checky Check ✓
Team logos on the shoulders? Ding! ✓
Stars down the sleeves? You betcha. ✓
Here, take a look:
They’re honestly not that bad, a simple, clean, colourful design… a welcome departure from the last few All-Star Games, which gave us relatively simple black-and-white designs featuring team logos on the chest, stripped of most of their colours.
We’ve got one white, one navy blue jersey, and both feature a chevron at the waist in a contrasting colour with two stripes separating this feature from the base. This pattern is repeated on each sleeve. White jerseys give us a dark red (or maroon?) chevron with red and black trim, and the navy blue jerseys are royal blue at the bottom with light blue and white striping. The NHL shields are also trimmed in these colours, while the shield itself remains in the usual black with silver elements. Each sleeve has two stars giving us four in total per uniform (that’s one for each division!); these stars are dark red with red trim on the white, royal blue with light blue trim on the navy blues.
Despite only being two jerseys, the 2022 NHL All-Star Game format follows the four-team mini-tournament format we’ve seen over the last five editions. The first round will see the two Eastern Conference divisions (Atlantic and Metropolitan) and the two Western Conference divisions (Central and Pacific) facing off; the winners will then meet in the final. Each of these three 3-vs-3 mini-games lasts 20 minutes in total, which, in the end, gives us an entire tournament held throughout the usual 60-minutes we’d see in a single game.
Each team will have two sets of jerseys made up; this way, there’s no problem if the two teams meeting in the final end up being the two who were wearing the same colour in round one.
A LOOK BACK AT NHL ALL-STAR GAME HISTORY…
As I mentioned earlier, the 2022 NHL All-Star Game uniforms are a lot more colourful than we’ve seen in recent years; going back to the past two games (2020 and 2019), jerseys were black and white with the team logo on the chest:
In 2017 and 2018, the NHL went with a different jersey design for each of the four divisions, which gave us some exciting colour combos (and yes, a brief return to a little bit of orange!)
In 2016, the first of the mini-tournament format, it was more like we see this season (just with a lot more black and grey), two jerseys with the NHL shield on the chest, three stars on the collar in reference to Tennessee, the host state of the game.
Meanwhile, the 2015 NHL All-Star Game jerseys are better left forgotten…
So… this year’s red and blue pairing was referenced by the league as being a nod to the past, and just as I said earlier, it’s not quite the past that we all think of when it comes to the NHL All-Star Game. The league went with a red vs blue format for just about all of its All-Star Games held between 1998 and 2012, and, well, I did the math, and yes, that still counts as being in the past.
Before this, the NHL was fully embracing the then-current decade known as the ’90s with teal, purple, and a giant star pattern:
This design proved so popular that the Dallas Stars adopted this style as their alternate uniform in 1999 before making it their regular home and road set in 2000.
We didn’t know it at the time, but the 1993 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal was the last of the orange-and-black era of NHL All-Star uniforms:
The league’s 75th anniversary celebrations in 1992 gave us a one-year break from the black and orange, as players wore uniforms designed to look like what was worn during the early NHL All-Star Games in the 1940s and ’50s.
Back to the black and orange!
Before this, NHL All-Star uniforms were largely forgettable. Nobody in the world’s recorded history has asked for a return to the red, white, and blue set with big numbers on the chest, worn from 1964 to 1972.
Samesies for this bizarre shoulder striping design worn from 1960 to 1963… give your head a shake 1960s NHL designers:
That oddball design above replaced this classic below, worn from 1947 to 1959 and famously brought back for the 1991-92 game. I love the addition of the year to the bottom of the shield, almost giving us a unique All-Star patch from year to year, which is certainly something we didn’t see much of back in that era:
The 1947 NHL All-Star Game was the first of the annual series of All-Star Games in the league; before that, there were a couple of informal games that are now recognized as All-Star Games in the official league record books.
In 1934 and 1937, the players held benefit games to raise money for the families of two players, the first in 1934 for Toronto Maple Leafs’ player Ace Bailey who suffered a career-ending injury in a game, the other in memory of Howie Morenz. He died following complications to a leg injury sustained in a game in 1937.
I love those 1934 jerseys; check out the giant “ACE” and the tiny Leafs logos in the corner! I’m proposing this takes over as the new “we’re retiring this guy’s jersey today” warmup jersey template going forward.
The 2022 NHL All-Star Game will be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, home of the Vegas Golden Knights, on Saturday, February 5, 2022.