In today’s post, I am going to talk about hockey jerseys. Hockey jerseys are the primary part to any hockey uniform. The secondary part are hockey socks or inline hockey pants. Hockey pants, gloves, and helmets act as the third part of the uniform. Typically the third part of the uniform is left out when it comes to adult hockey leagues. Sometimes even the second part is left out. Usually, this is done as a cost-saving measure.
For this concept I won’t be doing full uniforms, I will be focusing on just the jerseys. When it comes to jerseys the design is heavily affected by the manufacturer. The first piece that is more affected by the manufacturer is how the jersey is made (aka the cut of the jersey). Some jerseys have tighter or looser cut than the NHL jerseys. Different companies use different materials. Different manufactures have different options. For example the collar. Not every manufacturer uses the same ones that the NHL does. Other options for the cut of the jersey include a fight strap, more material on the elbows, and different shoulder cuts.
The top manufacturers for hockey uniforms are Adidas who currently supplies the uniforms for the NHL. Second is Nike who currently supplies uniforms for the IIHF and Olympics. CCM and Lutch are tied for third. CCM currently supplies the AHL who is the NHL’s top minor league. CCM also supplies the CHL which is the top junior league in the world. CCM is owned by Adidas. Lutch currently supplies the KHL which is the top Russian league. Athletic Knit comes in last here when it comes to top manufactures. They supply the jerseys for the ECHL. They also supply most minor league team specialty jerseys. Adidas, Nike, CCM, Lutch, and Athletic Knit are just the top manufacturers. There are a lot of companies that make custom hockey jerseys. I’ve found over a hundred on the internet. Almost any company that is making sublimated jerseys is making custom hockey jerseys. Most hockey shops have custom hockey jerseys. It is a big market and it is easier now than ever for people to enter this market. The main manufacturers I see for adult league jerseys are Men’s League Sweaters, Athletic Knit, CCM, and Bauer.
When it comes to making hockey jerseys manufactures have to follow rules. These rules are usually determined by whichever league the team is playing in. Most leagues follow the NHL, USA Hockey, or Hockey Canada rules on uniforms. To get around making different jersey cuts for each league or team, most manufacturers will have one cut with additional options to fit a team’s needs. Larger manufacturers will have multiple options for cuts. Most of these jerseys are made to fit within the NHL, USA hockey, or Hockey Canada guidelines.
Five different types of jerseys fit within those guidelines. These different types of jerseys determine different types of cuts, styles, and designs. Having a different cut usually means having a different design as the design needs to fit in that jerseys template. The design would also be affected by the manufacturer’s design guidelines. The first type of these jerseys I call the classic jersey. This type of cut was used by the NHL from around 1982 until the 2007-2008 season. These jerseys tend to be heavier with a looser fit. The reason they are heavier is because of the extra material used in the looser fit. These are the easiest jerseys to make, making them the cheapest option as well.
The second style of jersey is the Nike swift jersey. The swift jersey was introduced for the 2006 winter Olympics. This was the first hockey jersey to have a tighter fit. They used different materials on the side of the jerseys and under the arm. they also changed the collar and shoulders.
The third style of jersey is what is known as the edge jersey. Reebok started suppling the NHL uniforms for the 2007-2008 season. The jersey they used was called the Reebok Edge jersey. That’s why this style is referred to as the Edge jersey. The idea behind this jersey was to make a lighter and more breathable jersey. The way Reebok accomplished this was by cutting the jerseys to use less material and using lighter material. The shoulders pretty much stayed the same. The collars had a slight change where an extra piece of material was added that helped hide the player’s equipment under the jersey.
The fourth jersey is Nike recycled jersey. Nike introduced these jerseys in 2014. They were an upgraded version of the swift jerseys. The biggest difference was the collar and the shoulders. The shape of the collar was changed with additional design elements added. The shoulders were changed so that they went all the way around the jersey. On the swift jersey, the collar was not on the back of the jersey. The back of the jersey was one piece that connected from the bottom to the collar on the swift jersey. Another detail is that these jerseys were flat on the bottom, unlike the Reebok jerseys at the time that is round at the bottom.
The final type of jersey is the Adidas Adizero jersey. This jersey was introduced by Adidas in 2016 at the World Cup of Hockey. The zero jerseys replaced the Edge jersey in the NHL starting with the 2017-2018 season. The zero jerseys is an upgraded version of the Edge jersey. They are similar in shape. Notable differences being, the construction of the jersey, the materials, the bottom of the jersey, the shoulders, and the collar. Adidas came up with a standard collar that every team uses.