Alternate Road Jerseys? Could, Should, Would?

With the unveiling of the outdoor games jerseys last week, a fan posed the question: Should teams have alternate road jerseys or wear normal alternates? That got me to wondering.
2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series - Raleigh - Washington Capitals v Carolina
2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series - Raleigh - Washington Capitals v Carolina / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Last year's Stadium Series game at Carter-Finley was a blow out experience. Tailgating, the entrances, the game, and of course the jerseys. Carolina went with a futuristic approach that cut the white and feature numbering on their helmets. Washington's jersey was not far behind with a nifty eagle on a predominately white set up.

This year's Stadium Series set-ups seem to have taking a simple approach with the Islander/Rangers going with just their nicknames on the front and a simple color scheme. The Flyer/ Devils have pared down with a simplistic logo and color scheme.

For games like these, or an All-Star Game, I say go all out. Throw caution to the wind and run wild. Home or away, this is a big deal. For plenty of players this might be their only chance to play in a game like this. Make their jersey's one of a kind and give them a show piece in their collection.

But do teams need an alternate for a Tuesday night in Buffalo or a Thursday in Vegas?

To quote Southern Culture On The Skids, that's "Too Much Pork For Just One Fork."

Road jerseys are usually a let down for a reason. While I love Carolina's road whites and dream about last years Reverse Retro (virtually the same as the road whites but inversed colors) having yet another design seems like a lot. One would be better than then other undoubtedly, so why not use the better of the two all the time?

Brent Burns
Winslow Townson/GettyImages

And definitely don't play into a themed night! If it is Star Wars night in Detroit, let the Wings wear the specialty jerseys. Scooby Doo night in Tampa, it's up to the Bolts to play in their silly uniforms. Both teams pandering to a theme, like the NFL did this year, for extra jersey sales is a minor league thing. Let them have it, and in many cases do really well, but do not bring that up to the NHL. I know it sounds snobbish to say, but I really am tired of jersey snobs complaining. More fodder is NOT what they need.


With exceptions. Say there is the opportunity to create a unique jersey for a special such as Hockey Fights Cancer Night, or Mental Health, then by all means make something that will honor the night. It might take some work not to upstage the home team's jersey, but that is an opportunity to honor a charity by selling those alternate roads jerseys.

Going hog wild for a big game like the Stadium Series games is a must. Making something that is super subtle, or totally off the wall is to be expected. Given the chance to play on the road for a Hockey Fights Cancer night is certainly grounds to design something that is stylish to be sold for charity. Otherwise teams should run clear of alternate road jerseys. Too many options are never good, and we don't need the added complaining from the peanut gallery.