BREAKING NEWS: We’re wearing Teal buckets on the road 🤩 pic.twitter.com/GuIyk73avT
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) November 30, 2023
NHL teams have traditionally worn white helmets with their white road uniforms (or, prior to 2003, with their white home uniforms), but that protocol is changing. The latest evidence came last night, when the Sharks wore teal helmets — normally worn with their teal home uniforms — for a road game in Boston.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the road uni with the teal helmet and the white helmet:
You can see lots of photos from the game here.
San Jose is the third NHL team in the past year to dabble with colored road helmets. The first came last December, when the Hurricanes went with red headgear for a bunch of road games (a practice they’ve continued this season). Again, here’s a comparison:
More recently, the Maple Leafs wore their blue helmets with their white uniform while playing as the designated road team for a game against the Wild in Sweden two weeks ago. Here’s the comparison:
The Canes and Leafs both got permission from the league to go with the colored road buckets. But the Leafs’ request prompted league officials to allow colored road helmets as a blanket policy, as long as they aren’t the same color as the home team’s helmets. So the Leafs, for example, wouldn’t be able to wear their blue helmets on the road against the Rangers, because the Rangers wear blue helmets at home.
Personally, I like how all three of these teams look when they pair the colored lid with the white uni. There’s something nice about the helmet color matching the pants color. But would it work just as well with the league’s other 29 teams? I was already planning to explore that question next week on Substack, and now it’ll be even more timely. Thanks, Sharks!
Update: Reader/commenter Bill E. points out that the Devils have also worn a colored helmet on the road for one game this season. Comparison:
In addition, reader/commenter Sean notes that the Bruins have been wearing a colored helmet with their new off-white centennial alternate uniform. There’s no white-helmet version of that uniform to compare it to, so I’m using a photo of their standard road uniform, which has a similar design, for the comparison: