The End of Reebok and the Adidas Takeover


Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa – USA Today Sports

The NHL is now in their 100th year, and to mark the occasion, they’re going out with the old and in with the new. Since the 2007-08 season, Reebok has been the uniform provider of the NHL, but that will all change a decade later, as Adidas will be taking over for the 2017-18 campaign. 

The last time this league-wide change took place, a lot of teams took the opportunity to rebrand themselves and try some new things.

Some worked nicely. Others worked not so nicely. (Please, no more apron lines)

Regardless, the Canucks set was probably one of the most talked-about.


Not only did the Canucks ditch the Navy-Black-Red-Silver combo that they had worn for a few years, but they also returned to their roots and brought back the ocean blue and forest green that fans had long wanted. The Canucks made money off it a few years prior, introducing their vintage uniform as an alternate.


However, it wasn’t all well received as they also introduced the Vancouver arch above the orca on the uniform. It was a bold decision, which paid homage to the pre-NHL Canucks who wore the Canucks arch above the number on the front of the jersey. 


Some wondered if the Canucks should wear the “Canucks” arch at home and “Vancouver” arch on the road, but they stuck with Vancouver throughout, and after initial cold feet, the fans really warmed up to them.

It’s amazing what success in a uniform can do for their optics.

During this era, the Canucks have worn four other uniforms as well. The Millionaires uniforms (worn for special events, among them the Heritage Classic) are very popular among fans. 


They also sported an ode to their inaugural season in the 2010-11 campaign, wearing the original white uniforms. So true to form, they didn’t even include nameplates which needed permission from the league.


Last season, after tireless pleas from the fans, the Canucks brought back the 94-era uniforms during the 20th Anniversary of Rogers Arena/GM Place. 


Starting in the 2008-09 season, the Canucks introduced their authentic third jersey, the modernized stick-in-the-rink, and it has been popular among fans, but it’s too similar to their regular uniforms… this leads us into the central portion of this post.

The Adidas Age

As mentioned before, next season the NHL will be entering the Adidas era. The league isn’t expected to overhaul their sets this time around completely, but tweaks and changes are sure to be expected. The Oilers are planning on turning their orange’s into their home uniforms, and the Devils will be going full rebrand. 

Also, the NHL is ditching alternate uniforms, at least for next year, which is no surprise as they did the same in 2007-08 so that they could focus on the primary uniforms.

Now that the table has been set, here’s what I think the Canucks uniforms will look like next season.


I know what you’re thinking. No, nothing has changed much with the Adidas takeover. Just a simple collar update, and that’s about it. Personally, I don’t see them changing it this time around.

There are some changes that I would make though:


The changes are simple but effective. You make the Johnny Canuck logo — beloved and longed for by many fans — the shoulder patch, and then you promote the alternate logo to the primary, and finally retire the Orca Bay logo to its rightful place in the rafters, as it hasn’t been relevant to the team for years.

  • Jabs

    I second your proposed changes. Let the orca go the way of Orca Bay and go back to the modernized stick in the rink. It is a classic looking hockey logo which is a good thing for a Canadian team to have.

    • Anthony

      Too BORING! Go with Johnny Canuck finally end of story. Go with the teams true identity and/or even include Johnny Canuck as an alternate jersey. It would sell like hot cakes!

  • Mattchu

    I would love if the Canucks just made the flying skate their permanent 3rd jersey.

    There is not enough of a difference between their main jersey and their third IMO.
    To me there is no thrill to see them in the stick in rink design.

  • apr

    For one game, they need to bring back the yellow flying V’s. Maybe in an homage to an anniversary for the 82 run. I see a fan wearing it from time to time and its amazing. But I agree with your proposal regarding retiring the Orca. I’d love to have the black flying skate as the permanent 3rd jersey.

  • cthulhu

    Yes, please retire the orca. No, do not include Johnny Canuck. The lumberjack is an awful, awful logo. Cartoonish and silly. Bring back the skate along with the black, red, and yellow. So they lost to the Leafs last year in those uniforms! I don’t care! Trevor Linden scored two goals in game 7 with broken ribs in those uniforms.
    I suppose for me the skate is the most iconic, but perhaps most fans these days consider the orca to be the most iconic Canucks uniform. The orca, however, has been awful since day one. I associate it with Messier. And the colour scheme that went along with the original orca was just godawful too.

    • Anthony

      Your a clown shoes. How does the Johnny Canuck lumberjack look too cartoonish? Does the Pittsburgh penguins penguin look cartoonish as well?!?! The team is named after the lumberjack Johnny Canuck. It is time they go with it as the full time primary logo. The stick in the rink is far too boring and the orca is certainly more cartoonish than the Johnny Canuck. Anyways we can all agree to disagree.

  • Bud Poile

    The Canucks name and franchise is based upon Johnny Canuck,not a stick-in-a-box,not a flying V that looks like a horror movie and not an Orca whale that represents a corporation.

    Get back to our historical roots and the curse will be lifted.

  • Dirk22

    Definitely like the colour scheme how it is and I don’t have as much an issue with the Orca as so many do. I know it’s tacky with the Orca Bay connections, but it’s fairly unique to where we live and is a kick A$$ animal – what more could we ask for!

  • The best uniform change (and this is not a new demand) is to go back to white @ home, dark @ away. The current set up where every game is exact same (white away, blue home) was a stupid idea. I understand it was to sell more home jerseys but the absence of a colourful parade of away jerseys just sucks the life out of the game. Well done, Bettman, whoring out our pastime for a cold US dollar.

  • Hack-smack-whack

    The stick in the rink looks good, I like the way it resembles a stylized “V” so is appropriate. Very simple and has a classic look. Too many of the modern logos are too busy and just look like a mess when viewed from a distance.

    The black and yellow skate is a nice alternate, although should only make a very rare appearance. That 94 cup run was too great to forget.

    As for the orca, like others have stated, really isn’t that great a logo. However it probably carries the greatest brand recognition, and that is important. I think my favourite logos in the league are the ones that have been around forever, and when you look at them you have memories of times and games past.
    (The question is, with the disregard the some of the refs and DOPS seem to have for the team in recent years, on whether a new look and fresh start might actually help)?

  • Andy

    A hockey podcast I was listening to had a funny test for iconic hockey logos:

    Can a kid draw said logo on his lunchbox?

    Habs/Bruins/Leafs/Lightning – definitely.
    Flyers/Red Wings/Rangers/Jets – probably.

    So at the bottom, we’ve teams like the Senators, Wild, Hurricanes, and Canucks.

    The teams that can get away with a ‘complex’ logo have history and success attached to them (Blackhawks, Penguins, Oilers/Islanders if you go way back)

    If not, time for a simplified look – and as far as I’m concerned, stick in rink is the way to go.

    I vote 94-era spaghetti skate as an alternate third – a nice throwback colour/look.

  • DonnieLever

    Daaaaamn! You’re like the Mighty Kreskin! Did you ever nail this one. Also agree with your take on what the jerseys should be.

    Since its inception that orca has bothered me. If your team name is ‘Canucks’ then the logo should reflect ‘Canucks.’ If other teams did what the Canucks did (e.g. San Jose Sharks having a seagull for their logo, Toronto Maple Leafs having an aspen leaf for their logo, etc…) they would be laughed at wouldn’t they?