Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday NHL 3rd Jersey!

That's right, today is the birthday of the NHL 3rd jersey program. The 15th birthday, to be exact. On January 27, 1996, the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Mighty Ducks played each other, each team wearing brand new 3rd jerseys. It had never been done before. Marketing in the NHL reached a whole new level. The Kings came out in the infamous "Burger King jerseys", while Anaheim wore their "Wild Wing jerseys". Both designs were radical and different.

Both jerseys did not last long, only being used that one season. The NHL 3rd program, however, did survive. It did more than just survive; today it is the cornerstone of marketing in hockey. Many teams have capitalized on a 3rd jersey, quite a few of which have gone on to become the primary home jersey for various teams.

Others, not so much. Several 3rde jerseys did not achieve the success the team had hoped for. A handful of 3rd jerseys have been considered failures, especially those that were rarely worn and quickly retired.

Today, most teams have a 3rd jersey. It is such a great marketing tool that teams cannot pass them up. Personally, I think the 3rd jersey program is one of the best things to ever happen to hockey jerseys. I own several 3rd jerseys myself. Be sure to check them out at Bmac's Jerseys.

When I was in Toronto I went to the Hockey Hall of Fame. I could not pass up an opportunity to get a pic with Wild Wing.


  1. The Burger King Jerseys were the ugliest things ever. Thank god they went away fast. Don't even get me started on Wild Wing.

  2. Pretty funny stuff. The Wild Wing jerseys looked like it was designed by grade school kids or comic book writers.

    It was really weird how these early failures 15 years ago have led to the 3rd jersey revolution in all levels of hockey that continues to this day.

  3. The worst were the dumb coyotoes one in 2002 and the gordan fisherman (islanders from the 90's)