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Sharks Are Latest NHL Team to Wear Colored Helmets With White Uni

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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:


Substack Reminder

In case you missed it yesterday, my Substack article this week is a deeeep dive on NFL captaincy patches, from some early team initiatives in the 1980s and ’90s to the current “C”/star patch program (which has had a lot more nuances and adjustments over the years that you might think!). I learned a fair amount while researching this piece, and I think you’ll learn some from reading it.

You can read the first part of the article here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paying subscriber to my Substack (which will also get you full access for my Substack archives). My thanks, as always, for your consideration!



Your Daily(ish) Dose of Kitten

Walked into the bedroom last night after brushing my teeth and found them like this. Are you fucking kidding me?


Can of the Day

Another jolly anti-freeze design. Bonus points for the Droste effect!

• • • • •

Happy Birthday to our own Anthony Emerson, who produces the Tickers that run on Fridays and Saturdays. Enjoy your special day, Anthony! — Paul

Comments (51)

    Such a small change, the colored lids, yet it has such an outsized impact. The whole white-sweater uniform becomes so much more vibrant. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a team for which I think this would not be a good move.

    I’m wondering how long until we get into third helmet territory and if the advertisement will determine what color is worn.

    I don’t know that the Captials would look great with navy white navy – maybe they wear a red bucket over white.

    By the way, the navy helmet over red sweater makes the Caps home uniform.

    Very much agree about the Capitals not going back to red helmets. One of the things I always liked about the Canadiens was the way they paired red sweaters with royal blue helmets. And as a Flyers fan, I always liked that they paired orange sweaters with black helmets. A little contrast goes a long way.

    Maybe the Preds? I can’t see either navy or yellow working too well with their white sweater, but maybe I could be swayed if I saw it on the ice.

    The Bruins have been doing this with their alternate off white uniforms this year, wearing them with a brown helmet at home.


    I’ve noticed that some players helmets are black and some brown. It’s been driving me crazy and each time I think I’m settled on if they’re different or the same I can’t settle in on which it is.

    They all wear brown helmets with their alternates, but I have noticed that some look a little darker than others. I’ve noticed that Marchand’s seems to be a lighter shade of brown than everyone else. Probably based on the manufacturer.

    As a Sharks fan, I love the look of the teal dome covers, but man, this team is hard to watch right now. Not ascetically, just for the quality of hockey.

    I’m certainly one for standardization of uniform design elements. So white helmet with white uniform always will ring true to me. But aesthetically a colored helmet does look good so long as it matches the pants color.
    I think I am still on the white helmet side though simply because it provides automatic contrast with the opposing team.

    I definitely prefer the white helmet with white jerseys most of the time, but I do like teams having the option to use a colored bucket on the road. Personally, I think it works better on teams that have breezers that aren’t black (Carolina, Toronto, SJS looks good, New Jersey not a fan of it).

    It’s become a trend because it’s a good look. Color-white-color works well in football and it clearly works well in hockey, too. The Sharks, in particular, look stellar…

    With regards to the Bruins, you have to wear a colour helmet when you are wearing the cream/off-white uniforms. I have seen cream uniforms with teams wearing a white helmet and it just doesn’t look good. The white helmet with cream uniform draws attention to how off-white the uniform is compared to the colour helmet.

    I’d suggest “gold” yellow as an alternative, since that’s the more prominent accent color on the jerseys, and I already dislike the “vintage white” on the jersey so I would not want to see it on the helmet.

    I may be mistaken but I think the sharks have had a black helmet in the past. I think I’d like the black helmet with the white top and teal pants. To me that makes it even more balanced.

    The Sharks had always used black helmets with their teal jerseys until last season, when they switched to their current uniforms.

    You know my feelings. Maybe I am getting old and old school but I’m not a fan of this. I was used to watching teams wear colour helmets with white uniforms and visors when they play major junior hockey as teenagers.

    This is the big time. White helmets with white jerseys are my NHL preference. The one team that I would want to see break out the colour helmets with the white jerseys is the Penguins. Their yellow alternate helmets with white jerseys are a 1980s throwback.

    Having multiple helmets is definitely a sign of having moved up to the next level. Colored helmet with a road jersey is a fun every once in awhile (maybe to help cut down on equipment needed on a road trip), but white with white is the way to go
    Also never do white helmet with colored jersey. I HATE that the US uses white helmets with their national team jerseys.

    About time. I understand the tradition of white helmets on white sweaters but this contrast looks much nicer. Also: like in the NBA white at home is a thing of the past for hockey and football to me. With baseball it is different, no logical explanation just a gut feeling: wear white at home.

    It is different with baseball because baseball was pretty much always white vs gray. Whereas the other sports have been white vs color. Certainly makes logical sense to wear your team color at home. I know baseball now is overloaded with various color alternates, but at its core the uniform protocol was based on white or gray as the two options. I think the design of the uniforms also plays into this, historically baseball had the nickname for your home fans on the home (white) uniform and city on the road (gray) for opposing fans to know where you were from. Whereas hockey and football you have mostly the same design on either the dark or white uniform. That makes them more interchangeable.

    I think all white sweaters look superior than their color counterparts…and wearing a contrasting helmet makes them look even better!

    “all white sweaters look superior than their color counterparts”

    YES! At last Chris and I agree on something! Still undecided about the color helmets over white sweaters, but I can get on board with this new protocol.

    I would disagree with the blanket statement. I feel there is one current white sweater in particular that is inferior to its home counterpart – the Montreal Canadiens. For me, the red shoulders and otherwise rather plain design do not compare to the bold blue and white stripes across the center of the red jersey. So, I tend to prefer the 1940s white throwback from the 2000s to the standard white jersey as well.

    Did you ever see a Quebec Nordiques game? I did, and even though I had a white Nordiques sweater, I would LOVED to have had the superior blue one.

    Now, I’ll agree the Penguins white sweater is better… but only if they bring back the yellow/gold helmets.

    I was ready to give this movement a thumbs down but the more I look at the pics the more I like it. Of course I view most hockey aesthetics thru the prism of my Rangers and I’m not sure I could get on board with them wearing a blue helmet with their white road sweaters.

    I think the coloured helmet/white jersey combo looks better on teams with all-white jerseys (San Jose, Toronto and Carolina) than on the ones with coloured shoulder yokes that match the helmet (New Jersey). There’s not enough contrast in the latter. The Boston alternate looks good because the helmet and shoulder yoke are different colours, but I don’t think a black helmet with their white jerseys would look as good.

    Interesting, I feel the exact opposite. Seeing the Devils’ look for the first time, I thought the black helmet with black yoke was a nice transition. The white helmet with black yoke is a bit jarring for me.

    I also love the old car stuck in the snow in front of the tree where the jolly snowman is marching towards. Plus the mentioning again of the Droste effect!

    Colored helmets look great with white uniforms. Take a look at most college teams or even high school teams. I’d say they tend to look as good to better than NHL uniforms. I mean just look at Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, Denver, or Boston College’s uniforms. All would be one of, if not the best in the NHL imo.

    Additionally, look at high school teams like Maple Grove or Warroad. Their white uniforms look much better with colored helmets than they would with white ones.

    San Jose jerseys + the dark helmet look really good. It gives a nostalgic 90s expansion feel! I think toronto looks a bit off with this combo. Original 6 teams should not tamper with this, in my opinion.

    Still can’t get used to those teal pants. I liked the new sweaters, so I’m hoping its part of a plan to wear this combo while they are bad, and then relauch in a couple of years with a competitive team and a “back in black” vibe and a “you can take us seriously again now”.

    The teal helmet doubles down on this, so I’m not a fan.

    Maybe if they go back to black on the road, the teal helmets could be the element of teal that was missing from the road unis historically, but I think I’d just rather stick with the white – a classic big league look that didn’t need changing.

    I thought at first it sounded like a good idea. When I see all the teams going to it, the white just looks more pleasing. The colored helmets just look odd to me

    If I was an advertiser paying for my logo on the NHL helmets, I’d prefer them using the white helmets, you can see the logo better. Either way t looks terrible.

    I’ve always been much more of a college hockey enjoyer than an NHL enjoyer, so I never really even noticed that NHL teams have worn white helmets with the white jerseys until the Carolina thing popped up last year.

    I think the white helmets look pretty good when the jersey has a contrasting shoulder (e.g. the Bruins) and very bland when the jersey doesn’t (e.g. Toronto). Having some contrast above the chest helps balance a uniform (somewhat related: this is a big part of why non-contrasting socks in the NFL looks so bad).

    The teal helmets are out again tonight at MSG. (Also happens to be my niece’s first time attending a hockey game at the World’s Most Famous Arena.) I think it’s a good look.

Comments are closed.