Unfortunately, the following season was lost to the 2004-05 lockout, and the Vintage Jersey Program wasn't brought back afterwards.
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I'd love to see the NHL re-introduce the Vintage Jersey Program, but this time it should be bigger and better than ever. Here's what I'm thinking...
- It would be introduced for the 2019-20 season, as third jerseys are being re-introduced this upcoming season.
- Participation wouldn't be mandatory. I'm picturing about 20 teams taking part.
- Each vintage set would consist of a matching (from the same year) light and dark jersey.
- The vintage jerseys would be worn about six times total (three each for the light and dark jersey).
- When vintage jerseys are worn, both the home and road team would be in their vintage jerseys (as much as possible).
- A jersey could be both a vintage jersey and a third jersey. For example, the Capitals could use their throwback red jersey as a regular third, while also using it as their dark vintage jersey (along with the matching white jersey).
- Teams wouldn't be able to switch to a different vintage set for a certain amount of years (about three to four years). This would prevent teams from rotating vintage sets each year solely for jersey sale reasons.
- During that time limit, teams could still scrap their vintage jerseys, or promote them (to become their primary jerseys, or a third).
And now here are my thoughts for each individual team...
Anaheim Ducks (1993-2006)
Arizona Coyotes (1996-2003)
Boston Bruins (1967-74)
Buffalo Sabres (1970-96)
Calgary Flames (1980-94)
Carolina Hurricanes (1979-92 Hartford Whalers)
Chicago Blackhawks (Not Participating)
The Blackhawks are one of the teams I could see not participating in a Vintage Jersey Program. With all the Winter Classics they play in, they might be getting tired of wearing throwback jerseys.
Colorado Avalanche (Not Participating)
Colorado's current jerseys are too similar to their classic cup-winning set, and I doubt they'd bring back Nordiques jerseys, so I don't think they'd take part either.
Columbus Blue Jackets (Not Participating)
The Blue Jackets could bring back their original jerseys as vintage jerseys, however that doesn't seem very likely to me.
Dallas Stars (1993-97)
Detroit Red Wings (Not Participating)
The Red Wings haven't changed their look much over the years, and they are a traditional franchise. I think vintage jerseys would be too gimmicky for them.
Edmonton Oilers (1979-96)
Florida Panthers (1993-2007)
Los Angeles Kings (1967-80)
Minnesota Wild (Not Participating)
I don't think it's time for the Wild to bring back their original jerseys yet.
Montreal Canadiens (Not Participating)
The Canadiens could bring back their 1944-47 set as they did for the original Vintage Jersey Program, but I see them choosing not to participate this time.
Nashville Predators (Not Participating)
I would love to see the Predators original jerseys make the occasional appearance, but I think Nashville has moved on with their current yellow-infused set.
New Jersey Devils (1982-92)
New York Islanders (Not Participating)
The Islanders are already wearing a throwback set as their primary jerseys, so it doesn't make sense for them to take part in a Vintage Jersey Program.
New York Rangers (Not Participating)
They participated in the original Vintage Jersey Program, but I don't think the Rangers would bring back their 1976-78 set again, and their other options are all quite similar to their current jerseys.
Ottawa Senators (1993-95)
Philadelphia Flyers (Not Participating)
Since the Flyers are already using vintage primary jerseys, I can't see them being a part of this program.
Pittsburgh Penguins (1967-68)
St. Louis Blues (1979-84)
San Jose Sharks (1991-97)
Tampa Bay Lightning (1992-2001)
1995-2001 option (Hawaiian blue and paint brush numbers).
Toronto Maple Leafs (1970-92)
Vancouver Canucks (1989-97)
Vegas Golden Knights (Not Participating)
The Vegas Golden Knights have no vintage jerseys, so they obviously wouldn't be participating.
Washington Capitals (1974-95)
Winnipeg Jets (Not Participating)
Winnipeg is a bit tricky since the original Jets now reside in Arizona. The easiest solution would be for the Jets not to participate (but that wouldn't be a popular decision).
What do you think, should the NHL bring back the Vintage Jersey Program? And if so, what jerseys would you like to see brought back?