The 2016 Uni Watch NHL preview

October 7, 2016, 10:21 AM

— -- The 2016-17 NHL season promises to be an exciting one, at least from a uniform standpoint. One of the Original Six franchises is celebrating its centennial, and four of the Second Six teams are celebrating their 50th seasons, all of which means there will be lots of anniversary patches, commemorative jerseys and throwback designs.

With the regular season set to begin on Oct. 12, here's our annual team-by-team rundown of all the uniform changes, logo updates and related developments, broken down by division:

Metropolitan Division

• The Blue Jackets will wear their third jersey for 12 games this season. You can see a schedule of those games here.

• The Capitals will wear their red throwback alternates for all Thursday and Friday home games this season (full listing of dates here):

• Nothing to report for the Devils, but they're scheduled to play at home on March 16 -- the day before St. Patrick's Day -- so it seems likely that they'll be wearing their green-trimmed throwbacks for that game, as is their annual custom on or near the holiday.

Also: Remember those great game day posters that the Blue Jackets were posting on social media last season? The guy who designed all of them, Anthony Zych, is now working for the Devils. So expect some cool-looking graphics to be coming out of New Jersey this season.

• The Flyers are marking their 50th season with a jersey patch, which will be worn on the right shoulder:

The anniversary logo is also being used at center ice, as you can see in this nifty time-lapse video that shows the Wells Fargo Center's ice design being prepared for the upcoming season:

In addition, the Flyers have a new gold-trimmed "golden anniversary" jersey, which will be worn for 12 home dates this season. Interestingly, the jersey is white, which means the visiting teams for those 12 games will have to bring their colored home uniforms (additional info here):

Also: The Flyers will have a memorial helmet decal this season for former owner Ed Snider. The design will feature Snider's signature and the words "A Flyer Forever."

Hurricanes: No announced changes or news.

Islanders: No announced changes or news.

• The Penguins have scrubbed Vegas gold from their color scheme (that's the washed-out, bronze-ish tone they've been wearing in recent years) and are going back to their classic black-and-gold look (further info here):

The Pens also have a new 50th-season logo, which they're wearing as a chest patch and also featuring at center ice.

As you can see, the anniversary logo shows the outlines of four Stanley Cups. The funny thing is that the logo was released prior to last season's Finals, so it originally had only three Cups. After the Penguins defeated the Sharks to claim last season's championship, the logo was modified:

Meanwhile, the Penguins will be playing a Stadium Series game against the Flyers on Feb. 25 at Heinz Field. Here's the logo for that game (further info here):

• The Rangers have a new 90th-anniversary logo, which they're using as a patch (as per their usual protocol, it's on the shoulder, not the chest), at center ice and on their pucks:

Also, a closer look at the Madison Square Garden red line reveals that it's now patterned after the Rangers' logo shield:

Atlantic Division

Bruins: No announced changes or news.

Canadiens: No announced changes or news.

• The Lightning will retire No. 26 for Martin St. Louis on Jan. 13 -- the first number retirement in team history.

Also: Many teams now post the schedules for their third jerseys, but the Lightning have gone a step further by posting their game-by-game jersey schedule for the entire season.

• This is a big season for the Maple Leafs, as they're celebrating their centennial. They have lots of celebratory promotions planned, but the most visible symbol of the anniversary is a new uniform set that they've unveiled. It's a beauty:

You can learn more about the new uniforms here, here and here, and there's more info about the team's centennial celebration here.

Also: The Leafs franchise was originally known as the Toronto St. Pats. They'll honor that chapter from their history by wearing St. Pats throwbacks for their March 18 home game against the Blackhawks:

Finally, the Leafs will be hosting the Centennial Classic, which is scheduled for Jan. 1 at BMO Field. Expect them to wear some sort of throwback for that game.

• Big overhaul for the Panthers, who've undergone a much-needed face lift. You can see Uni Watch's element-by-element breakdown of the new uniforms here.

• Two new patches this season for the Red Wings: a simple "9" on the upper-left chest to mark the passing of Gordie Howe (further info here) and a final-season patch for Joe Louis Arena on the left shoulder (further info here). Neither patch was worn during the preseason, but they'll be added when the regular season begins.

Also, you may have noticed the Wings using a different nameplate font during the preseason. That's an annual rite of autumn -- they'll go back to their usual vertically arched font when the regular season starts.

Finally, it's worth noting that the Wings will be participating in the first-ever Centennial Classic game, slated to take place on Jan. 1 at BMO Field in Toronto. Expect them to be wearing something throwback-y for that one.

Sabres: No announced changes or news.

• The Senators are celebrating their 25th-anniversary season. The original anniversary logo, released last season, featured a lot of unnecessary chrome accents and beveling. They've wisely revised it in time for this coming season:

Central Division

Avalanche: No announced changes or news.

• Nothing to report yet for the Blackhawks, but they'll be playing the Blues in the Winter Classic on Jan. 2, so there's a good chance they'll have new uniforms for that. Stay tuned.

• The Blues are marking their 50th season with an anniversary logo, which they're wearing as a right-shoulder patch. It will also appear at center ice and on the team's pucks (further info on the anniversary celebration here):

Also, the Blues will be hosting this season's Winter Classic, which will take place at Busch Stadium on Jan. 2. It's safe bet that they'll have new uniforms for that game, although nothing's been announced yet.

• The Jets will honor their hometown predecessors -- the earlier Winnipeg Jets, who debuted in the old WHA, then joined the NHL and eventually moved to Phoenix to become the Coyotes -- by wearing WHA throwbacks on Oct. 23, when they'll be facing the Oilers in the Heritage Classic:

• Last season the Predators began wearing gold helmets for Saturday home games. This season they're going with the gold lids as their standard home headgear and scrapping the navy helmets (further info here):

Neither Spink is likely to make the team's final roster cut, but here's hoping they both make it to Nashville soon.

• The Stars have a new logo design at center ice:

Wild: No announced changes or news.

Pacific Division

Canucks: No announced changes or news.

• The Coyotes are marking their 20th anniversary in the desert with a chest patch:

Ducks: No announced changes or news.

• The Flames have scrapped their alternate jersey and replaced it with their popular throwback, which will be worn for 12 dates this season. Further details and a throwback schedule are available here.

In addition, the Flames have updated their helmet decal, changing from a wordmark to their primary logo:

New helmet decal for the Calgary Flames. Old version on left, new on right.

- Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) October 1, 2016

Also: While not strictly uni-related, here's a really interesting article on how forward Johnny Gaudreau uses an unusually flexible stick.

• Lots of uni-related activity for the Kings this season. First, they're celebrating their 50th season, and they're also hosting the 2017 NHL All-Star Game, which will take place Jan. 29. They're wearing those two logos as shoulder patches -- anniversary on the right, All-Star on the left:

The Kings also have a new 50th-season alternate uniform, which will be worn 14 times this season (additional info here, and there are further details in this infographic):

• The Oilers are moving into a new arena this season and are marking the occasion with a jersey patch:

• For years the Sharks had those awkward-looking uniform numbers on the upper-right chest area of their jerseys. Last season the numbers were supplanted by the team's 25th-anniversary patch (which in turn was supplanted by the Stanley Cup Finals patch when the Sharks faced the Penguins in the championship round of the postseason). Now that the patch has been removed this season, are the numbers returning to the jersey? Nope. That area is being left blank -- a big upgrade.

In addition, the Sharks will wear their black alternate jersey for these 12 dates, and will also wear their white road jersey at home on Oct. 25 against the Ducks.

And on the giveaway front, fans attending the Sharks' Feb. 4 game against the Coyotes will receive an interesting mash-up jersey that draws on the Golden State Warriors' uniforms:

Additional Notes

• The seemingly endless push-pull regarding the size of goalies' apparel and equipment has a new wrinkle this season: A new regulation will force netminders to wear narrower pants. Additional info here.

• The NHL has unveiled a new logo to mark the league's 100th anniversary, which will be celebrated in 2017 with lots of special promotions and programs (further info here):

• Finally, this is the last season we'll be seeing the Reebok logo on NHL uniforms. The league has signed a new deal with Adidas, which will kick in at the conclusion of this season. It remains to be seen how big an impact, if any, this will have on individual team uniform designs.

That's it. Did we miss anything? If so, you know what to do.

Paul Lukas, like so many other NHL fans, wishes the league would go back to having teams wear white at home. If you like how it turned out, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.

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