Canucks, Senators sweaters for the Heritage Classic revealed

Image via @VanCanucks Twitter feed

We’ve already seen the Vancouver Millionaires throwbacks last season, but the Vancouver Canucks today announced at a joint press conference in Ottawa this morning that they’d resurrect the sweaters for the Heritage Classic, while the Senators will wear a white version of their black “heritage” third jerseys.

For you hockey history buffs, the significance of the Vancouver-Ottawa matchup is the first East-West Stanley Cup matchup in Canadian history, playing in the spring of 1915 at Vancouver’s old Denman Arena. They’ll attempt to re-create that March 2nd for the final NHL Stadium Series game of the 2013-2014 season, played March 2nd at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.

It’s probably not surprising at all that the Canucks decided to go back to the white-and-maroon sweaters. They already wore those for a game last season against Detroit, although they’ve stripped the Millionaires “V”-patch off of their third jerseys this season I’d doubt they’d miss with a winning formula. Here’s a picture of the old Millionaires team:

it’s a pretty good rendition, and I’d be surprised if the team doesn’t adapt some part of it for their next third sweaters somewhere down the line. While I like their current third jersey, it doesn’t add anything to the overall package, and the jerseys look nearly identical to the home sweaters, with just a change in logos and a moderately different striping pattern.

As for the Senators, well…

The Senators will wear jerseys celebrating the early-NHL era Senators, four-time Stanley Cup® champions in an eight-year span from 1920-27. The sweaters feature historical elements interpreted in a modern look, balancing past with present. The large “O” logo on the front that stands for Ottawa is reminiscent of the design prior to 1934. The red and black stripes on a cream background, borrowed from the ‘Barber Poles’ of past jerseys, is used across the chest, arms and socks.

Most pictures I’ve seen from the Senators early days are a straight barber pole pattern, and if we’ve learned anything by the reaction to the sweaters worn on one occasion by the Montreal Canadiens during their centennial, that sweater design looks disastrous on television. The Sens’ black alternate jersey is very neat and incorporates both those old “barber pole” elements, but is also traditional enough to appease television audiences, and numbers look much cleaner on the back. 

Here’s a video from the Senators that pretends to link the histories of the modern Sens with the perennially successful ones of yesteryear:

The Senators added an “O” logo to their jerseys, barely distinguishable from afar, for sure, in 1929, according to the excellent historical website I’m glad the team went away from that route, and instead cleaned up the design. I’m a bit of a jersey aficionado and these things do matter, aesthetically.

My only real issue is the cream colouring. I get that an off-white shade looks more “old-timey” but it’s not historically accurate, and looks a little silly on a broadcast. White is a fine colour for a hockey sweater and I don’t get why vintage jersey makers feel the need to mess with it. Still, they couldn’t wear the black, and I much prefer the Sens’ two heritage jerseys to the current, ugly, stripeless, modern jerseys the team wears. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them switch in a year or two.