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NHL Reverse Retro jerseys: Ranking each team’s newest look for their 2022-23 season alternate sweaters

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The NHL has released its latest round of Reverse Retro jerseys, and that means it is time to overreact online. To be fair, more teams than usual hit it out of the park with these uniforms, but there are still some stinkers out there.

As we all know, nostalgia is a very powerful agent, and the common thread for the big winners on this round of Reverse Retro jerseys was that they all played the hits. Now is not the time for deep cuts or trying to reinvent the wheel.

The teams that failed in this latest exercise tried to do too much – or seemingly didn’t do much at all. Still, those were somewhat few and far between.

The Good

Florida Panthers

The Panthers are one of few teams that have crushed both versions of the Reverse Retro jerseys. Using baby blue as the primary color was an excellent idea, and the palm tree-hockey stick combo was an underrated secondary logo for years. Once the Panthers take the ice in these, it will be underrated no more.

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Vancouver Canucks

I’m a sucker for a hockey logo wherein the mascot is actually playing hockey. The Canucks delivered on that front and gave me a fantastic color scheme. The number on the front of the jersey may bother some, but not me. All I see is a cool lumberjack playing some puck.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers have a classic logo, but I have a soft spot for the frozen oil drop. I think it’s fun, and Edmonton was able to give it a bit of an update by throwing some orange in there. This was an easy win, and the Oilers didn’t mess this up.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avs are another team with two great Reverse Retro looks. They do have a lot of good material to work with between the Quebec Nordiques and the Colorado state flag. Having said that, the Avalanche have still executed well, and I think this jersey will look great when they’re dropping six goals on their opponent.

Pittsburgh Penguins

I prefer the Penguins’ current logo (see: Vancouver Canucks), but the realistic penguin isn’t bad by any means. Besides, any logo worn by Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux will bring back a flood of nostalgia. Beyond the logo, this is just a sharp jersey.

Los Angeles Kings

The Kings have some of the worst regular jerseys in the NHL, but their stable of alternates stacks up with any other team’s. They added to that with the newest Reverse Retro look. The crown is a good logo, but the purple and yellow color scheme takes it to another level. Just make these the permanent road uniforms.

New Jersey Devils

These don’t get me into the holiday spirit quite like the Devils’ first Reverse Retro jersey, but this one also stands out as one of the best. New Jersey has an iconic logo, so no need to change anything up there, and the Rockies colors work for me. If the Reverse Retro series has taught us anything, it’s when in doubt, turn to the team you stole from another city.

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets can go back to this well every time they make a new alternate jersey, and I’m going to love it every time. The throwback logo with the current colors gives Winnipeg an icy look, and it will be especially striking during whiteouts at the Canada Life Centre.

Buffalo Sabres

The buffalo head is not quite as intimidating without the red and black color scheme, but the Sabres actually embraced the spirit of the Reverse Retro concept. They brought back an old look with a bit of a modern twist. They get points for that, and the buffalo head remains one of my favorite ridiculous logos in all of sports.

Boston Bruins

The Pooh Bear logo is one of the most polarizing in the NHL, and frankly, it does look pretty bad on its own. However, the entire thing comes together in such absurd fashion that it just works. Besides, if a team simply recreates a jersey that was popular when I was young, they’ve got me on the hook. If you were sensing a theme throughout these rankings, that’s it.

St. Louis Blues

I can’t help but like everything the Blues do with their uniforms. Their color scheme is one of the NHL’s elite, and their throwback looks always seem to land. This jersey does the trick, and I like using yellow as the primary color to change things up a bit.

Montreal Canadiens

This is really just the Canadiens usual jersey in different colors, but two things make that acceptable in my eyes. For starters, these are Montreal Expos colors, which makes this very cool. Secondly, the powder blue looks fantastic. Montreal went simple, and it paid off.

Washington Capitals

In the sake of full disclosure, I am a hypocrite. Later in these rankings, I will criticize other teams for taking its last Reverse Retro jersey and just changing the colors. The Capitals did it here, but this jersey is gorgeous, and that outweighs their laziness.

New York Rangers

The Lady Liberty jerseys are some of my favorite alternates in NHL history. The Rangers went that route on their first Reverse Retro jersey, but they kind of messed it up by going with dark navy all over, except for three stripes on the arm. This time, they brightened up the blue and used more red in the sleeves, and they hit a home run.

New York Islanders

I do not need to look beyond the logo to know that I love these Islanders jerseys. The people wanted fish sticks. They gave us fish sticks. After completely botching their first Reverse Retro uniform, the Isles have absolutely redeemed themselves.

Nashville Predators

Allow me to take off my objective journalist hat and set it to the side for this one. The mustard cat was widely panned when it made its debut in 2001, and I defended it until the day it was retired and beyond. This jersey has become a cult classic in Nashville, and now a new generation will fall in love with the high fashion that is the mustard cat.

Calgary Flames

This is catching some hate online, and I don’t exactly see why. Sure, I was hoping for a white Blasty jersey with the throwback colors, but I kind of like this look as well. Also, it gives me Zebra Stripe vibes, and that is a quality gum.

The Bad

Toronto Maple Leafs

This jersey looks fantastic. It’s gorgeous. It might be my favorite that Toronto has released in a while. Having said that, there is not much Reverse Retro about this. It feels like the Maple Leafs skirted the assignment here, so I have to take points off for not taking a bigger swing.

Anaheim Ducks

Speaking of teams with good jerseys that are being punished, the Ducks have given us a white Mighty Ducks jersey with their current disgusting color scheme. They already have one of these in orange, and while I do like this one more, Anaheim is in timeout until it fully embraces its Mighty roots.

San Jose Sharks

When I heard the Sharks were going to go with a California Golden Seals theme, I got very excited. Then they debuted these, and I was a little underwhelmed. I wanted to love these, but I just can’t for some reason. Maybe it’s the stripes into the armpits.

Vegas Golden Knights

These are far from the worst jerseys that were unveiled today, but I think diagonal letters jumped the shark with C-A-N-E-S (more on that later). From now on, the Rangers and Penguins are the only teams that can do diagonal letters. Vegas has a decent alternate logo. Just slap that in the middle of the jersey.

Arizona Coyotes

I like that the Coyotes have gone back to their kachina jerseys, and I really liked their last Reverse Retro look. However, they just took that one and made it worse. The lack of purple in favor of a more realistic desert look is what sinks this jersey in my eyes.

Dallas Stars

This is an upgrade over the Stars’ last Reverse Retro jerseys, but it still falls somewhere in the bottom half of the league. I like the old logo, but it was lacking something, and at first I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I realized Dallas committed a major blunder by not making the striping and border of the jersey into the shape of a star, as it did in the past.

Carolina Hurricanes

Essentially, the Canes already took their bad road jersey and made it a home jersey. Carolina followed the formula of harkening back to the team you stole last time, and it worked. The Hurricanes decided to blaze their own trail this time, and it led them off a cliff.

Minnesota Wild

Did you love the Wild’s original Reverse Retro jersey? Do you want the exact same thing in green? We have the jersey for you.

Ottawa Senators

The Senators have already made the switch back to this logo full-time, and they have a black home jersey. Ottawa simply added worse numbers and obnoxious striping.

Philadelphia Flyers

Every year, it seems like a team forgot they had to turn in a new jersey and just threw something together at the last minute. This time, it was the Flyers. This just seems like a basic road jersey, but I have to give them credit for adding Cooperalls to the ensemble for warmups.

The Ugly

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning went for it with the old storm uniform. I appreciate them going bold and swinging for the fences. That’s more than I can say for other teams on this list. However, this is a bad jersey. It has always reminded me of a roller hockey uniform, and nothing will ever change that.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Talk about a team in need of a rebrand. I feel for Adidas here because the Blue Jackets have a bottom-tier NHL logo. Columbus already has an incredibly mediocre home jersey, and this didn’t elevate it at all.

Seattle Kraken

The Kraken have all of 87 games of history, so they didn’t have much to work with on this one. The team did call back to the Seattle Ironmen with the two-tone look, but give me something more. Use the alternate logo. Give me a full kraken. On the bright side, the Kraken have some of the best uniforms in the league already. Keep wearing those.

Chicago Blackhawks

Where are the Blackhawks from? Oh, yeah…

Detroit Red Wings

Where are the Red Wings from? Oh, yeah…

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Croatia coach sends Canada a stern message ahead of World Cup showdown

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Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic sent Canada a message Saturday at the World Cup. And he didn’t need the F-word to deliver it.

Dalic offered up a stern statement when asked about John Herdman’s emotional words after Canada’s 1-0 loss to Belgium on Wednesday.

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Asked in a pitchside interview what he had said to his team in a post-game huddle, the Canada coach replied: “I told them they belong here and we’re going to go and eff— Croatia. That’s as simple as it gets.”

While Herdman delivered the last line with a smile, Dalic clearly did not see the humour.

When a Canadian reporter at Saturday’s pre-game news conference asked Dalic for his team’s response to Herdman’s heat, the Croatia coach lectured his opposition ahead of Sunday’s showdown at Khlalifa International Stadium.

Dalic used the word “respect” 12 times in his answer.

“The Croatian team deserves respect from everyone … We respect everyone, equally so,” he said through an interpreter. “We expect our opposing teams to respect us. We are worthy of their respect. The Canadians must also have respect for us. This way of putting words together is not a sign of respect. We are the (2018 World Cup runners-up), not Brazil, Spain or other countries.”

“I shall not focus or comment on any other people’s comments,” he added. “We will be prepared (Sunday), we will be fit and we will demonstrate respect for Canada … and for everyone else. We expect respect just as we exercise this view”

Croatian forward Ivan Perisic then backed up his coach, saying simply: “I second the head coach and I cannot wait for the match to begin.”

Sunday may prove otherwise but it seems, motivationally speaking, Canada has taken a knife to a gunfight.

Both the 41st-ranked Canadians and No. 12 Croatia need to get points out of the match. Belgium tops Group F with three points while Croatia and Morocco both have one point after their scoreless draw.

Canada needs to secure at least a point if it hopes to have any chance of reaching the knockout round. A loss Sunday and the Canadians can finish with no more than three points while Croatia ups its total to four. And no matter what happens in Sunday’s match between No. 2 Belgium and No. 22 Morocco, one of those teams will have at least four points.

With only two teams advancing out of the group, that would render Canada’s final group game next Thursday with Morocco meaningless in terms of tournament progression.

“At the end of the day, both teams really have to win this game,” said Herdman.

Croatian reporters didn’t bother engaging Zlatko on Herdman’s inflammatory words. They had already done so, with tabloids back home having a field day.

In contrast, three of the first four questions in Herdman’s availability were about his post-game hot take. Another came later.

The Canada coach, who had already addressed the issue on Thursday, tried to laugh off the reaction he had sparked in the Croatia camp.

He insisted he was on task “and loving the experience.” And he rejected the assertion that his words were just another motivational tool.

“We’ve been waiting 36 years to get here. I’ve used all my motivation tactics in the 20-odd games it took to get here,” he said in self-deprecating fashion.

But he maintained his words to his players in the post-game huddle after Belgium were simply “to remind them that there’s another task ahead.”

And he was quick to compliment Croatia, calling it a “top top top top football team.”

“(A) hell of a test. Hell of a test for this team,” he added. “But we’re excited.”

Herdman called Sunday’s match a “defining moment for Canada in this World Cup. It’s one of those do-or-die games now that we have to perform in to stay at a World Cup.”

Dalic, meanwhile, called Canada “a tough team full of self-confidence.”

The two sides have never met before.

The Croatian roster features the likes of Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Perisic (Tottenham), Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan), Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) and Mario Pasalic (Atalanta). Only six of its 26-man roster play at home in Croatia, with four of those at Dinamo Zagreb.

Despite that talent, Croatia had its hands full with No. 22 Morocco in its tournament opener, playing to a scoreless draw in a game that saw each team put just two shots on target.

Croatia goes into Sunday’s match riding a seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2) dating back to a 3-0 loss to Austria in June in UEFA Nations League play. Croatia avenged that defeat with a 3-1 decision over the Austrians in September.

Croatia has outscored the opposition 9-3 over that run, which includes a win and tie against No. 4 France.

“With all due respect to Croatia, they have a very very good team. It’s going to be tough for us,” said Canadian midfielder Stephen Eustaquio. “But it’s going to be tough for them as well.”

The Canadians, who blamed traffic for showing up 41 minutes late for their news conference before the Belgium game, arrived two minutes early Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2022.

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Croatian coach feels disrespected by Canadian coach’s comment at FIFA World Cup

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DOHA, Qatar — Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic said he felt disrespected by Canada head coach John Herdman for his comment in a group huddle following a loss to Belgium on Wednesday.

After the emotional 1-0 loss at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Herdman gathered his troops on the field and gave an impassioned speech.

When asked following the game what he told his team, Herdman admitted he told his group to ‘F’ Croatia, in reference to Canada’s second game at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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On the eve of the game Sunday (11 a.m. ET) at the Khalifa International Stadium, Croatian coach Zlatko Zlatko Dalic was again asked about the comment at the pre-match press conference here on Saturday.

“Canadians must have respect for us and this way of putting words together is not a sign of respect,” Dalic said through an interpreter. “We are the runners up (2018 World Cup), it wasn’t Brazil or Spain or any other country. We are the runners up, we were second in the world, we are worth of respect the way we played, the way we behave, the way we respect all others, is the reason we are worthy or respect.

“I shall not focus or comment on other people’s comment. We will be prepared, be fit and we will demonstrate respect from Canada and from everyone else. We expect respect just as we exercise this view.”

Croatia was a surprising World Cup finalist four years ago in Russia, beating England in the semifinal before losing to France. Along the way, Croatia also beat Argentina in the group stage.

Croatia was held to a scoreless draw in its opening match by Morocco on Wednesday. Croatia concluded the group stage against Belgium on Thursday.

“The Croatia team deserves respect from everyone; we have proven that by the way we’ve played with our conduct at the World Cup; since the very beginning we’ve deserved respect and dignity,” Dalic said. “We have two (World Cup) medals in the last 30 years and we’re up there with Germany and France and countries like that have such an achievement. We respect everyone equally so we expect our opposing teams to respect us. We are worth of their respect.”

Croatia striker Ivan Perisic was also asked for his thoughts on Herdman’s comments.

“I second the head coach,” he said. “And I cannot wait for the match to begin.”

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Canada coach Herdman jokes about Croatian tabloid

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DOHA, Qatar –

Canada had just lost its first World Cup match in 36 years, outplaying Belgium for much of a 1-0 defeat, and an emotional John Herdman revealed in the on-field interview what he had just told his players during a postgame huddle.

“I told them they belong here. And we’re going to go and F Croatia,” the coach said with a smile, using a single letter to avoid a televised profanity. “That’s as simple as it gets.”

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His words reverberated all the way to Zagreb as Sunday’s Croatia-Canada game approached.

Croatia’s 24 Sata (24 Hours) tabloid ran a fullpage photo of a naked Herdman with Maple Leaf flags over his mouth and private parts and a headline that translated to: “You have the mouth, but do you have the (guts) as well?”

Commenting Saturday on Herdman’s words, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic used the word “respect” 13 times in a 90-second span.

“This way of putting words together is not a sign of respect,” he said through a translator. “The way we play, the way we behave and the way we respect all others are the reasons we are worthy of respect.”

Sitting next to Dalic, winger Ivan Perisic said simply: “I second the head coach and I cannot wait for the match to begin.”

Speaking before Dalic, Herdman used humour in an attempt to defuse tensions.

“When you get a text from your wife telling me you need to start working out before you get home, yeah, you think you know something’s going on,” Herdman said, noting the newspaper image was of a trimmer midsection than his own.

“My wife’s coming after you guys,” he told a reporter from that Croatian paper, laughing. “She wishes she got that guy. I’ve got a bit more of a belly than that. I’ve been eating too much.”

On Thursday, Herdman had explained what his intent was.

“You say those things in an impassioned moment trying to inspire your team in a huddle, and when you’re asked the question what you said in that huddle, yeah, it was what I said,” he said.

“It’s not massively respectful to Croatian people and the Croatian national team. I understand very well where they’re at on the world stage. But in that moment, you’ve taken your men to that next place,” he added.

Playing Croatia for the first time, Canada could be eliminated with another defeat.

Croatia, which lost the 2018 final to France, is the world’s 12th-ranked team and opened with a 0-0 draw against Morocco. Star Luka Modric, playing what is likely his last World Cup at age 37, put a first-half shot over the crossbar.

Canada has played just four World Cup games in its history and still is searching for its first goal. The Canadians outshot the Belgians 21-9 but gave up a 44th-minute goal to Michy Batshuayi from a long pass. Alphonso Davies had a chance to put Canada ahead in the 11th minute but his penalty kick was saved by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

“We know exactly what our slingshot is and we’ve got to be ready to attack that across different games now because, as I say, the cover’s off from Canada,” Herdman said. “I think people come into this game, the next games respecting us a little bit more.”

Captain Atiba Hutchinson, at 39 the only member of the current roster alive when Canada went 0-3 at the 1986 World Cup, can make his 100th international appearance Sunday — Julian de Guzman is second with 89.

Midfielder Jonathan Osorio is looking forward to facing the last World Cup’s runner-up.

“We like to play the best,” he said after the Belgium match. “We’re excited for the challenge.”

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