Aug 9, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT
You can’t really mess with the best, and the Chicago Blackhawks have arguably the best looking sweaters in the NHL. While the early part of their history saw them figuring things out, once they adopted the color red and committed to the Indian, they’ve been rocking an iconic look they haven’t given up on in over 50 years. Everyone from Bobby Hull to Stan Mikita to Denis Savard to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have all rocked essentially the same look and they’ve made it look legendary all along.
Best: The Blackhawks have been around for a long time and it wasn’t until the mid-1950s when they got their look to be fully memorable. The red road sweater (their current home look) is the thing of legends. With the Native American head on the front, the bold red color with black and white stripes and the letter “C” with the tomahawks crisscrossing over it it’s a look that’s impossible to beat. No wonder they haven’t really changed their look since 1955. Once you achieve greatness, you don’t mess with it.
Worst: In recent years, some felt they could do something to give the fans a little bit extra and give the classic Blackhawks look in a new color. Rather than red, they took their look and put it on a black jersey. This wasn’t the greatest idea. Going with the black jersey muted out any of the other colors offered up from the logo and eliminated red from the picture. While that could’ve come in handy in games against Detroit, it just looked bad. Don’t mess with greatness.
Old-Timey Goodness: Before the Blackhawks broke out their styling duds that they wear now, they went through phases where they went from a straight black and white look with stripes all over to one that added the color red. The main feature of all these was a circular logo that incorporated the Indian’s head. The best of the bunch is the one from 1935-1937 that provided the inspiration for the Blackhawks’ Winter Classic sweater in 2009 that cut down on the number of stripes, made the circular logo bigger and set it on an off-white center stripe/background. It’s an old school classic.
Assessment: What the Blackhawks do sweater-wise these days is generally perfect. They’ve had the same style since the mid-50s and the only addition they’ve made recently is adopting the Winter Classic sweater as their alternate sweater. Adding another classic look to a stable of beautiful looking sweaters is just making a great thing even better. It’s hard to argue with calling Chicago’s sweaters the best in the league, although there’s a couple other original six teams with equally solid arguments.
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