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In 1996 the Oilers ditched their royal blue and orange colours, for a darker colour scheme of midnight blue and copper with red accents. However, the specific jersey I'm reviewing didn't come around until a year later (the 1996-97 white jersey had a blue shoulder yoke).
From 1997 to 2003 this jersey was the Oilers home jersey, but in 2003 the NHL switched to dark jerseys at home so this became the Oilers road jersey. It lasted until 2007, when the NHL introduced the Reebok Edge system and the Oilers jerseys were redesigned.
The design of this jersey is really just an evolution of the Oilers classic "Gretzky era" white jersey. Ignoring the colour differences, they kept the same primary logo and barely changed the pattern of the sleeve and hem stripes. There were two big changes though, the aforementioned colour scheme and the removal of the blue shoulder yoke, as well as some smaller differences (the introduction of a secondary logo, outlines on the player's names, etc).
|(Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)|
In my opinion, the Oilers 1997-2007 white jersey was a perfectly fine jersey for its era, an era which saw many NHL teams switch to a darker colour scheme. I don't really have any complaints, I think the removal of the contrasting shoulder yoke was a smart decision here, and I also like the introduction of the secondary logo. However, I prefer the Oilers brighter royal blue and orange colour scheme.
Successful or Not
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The Oilers were moderately successful during their nine seasons wearing this jersey. They made the playoffs six times, and advanced all the way to game seven of the Stanley Cup Final in 2006. That's obviously not as successful as they were back when they were winning Stanley Cups, but it's much more success than they've had since 2007 (unless you count winning draft lotteries as success).
Most Memorable Players
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Some of the more memorable players to wear this jersey include Bill Guerin, Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, Curtis Joseph, Georges Laraque, Chris Pronger, Dwayne Roloson, Jason Smith, Ryan Smyth, and Doug Weight.
Should it Return?
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I don't think this jersey should return. As a full time jersey, this colour scheme is too dark and dull by today's standards. I also think it's too soon to bring this back as a throwback jersey. Not to mention, it would make more sense to bring back the midnight blue version of this jersey.
That wraps up my review of the Edmonton Oilers 1997-2007 light jersey. Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments, and let me know if you think this format makes sense for future posts.