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Best and worst sweaters of all-time: Pittsburgh Penguins

Aug 12, 2011, 2:25 PM EDT

Mario Lemieux Getty Images

Best: The Penguins have a long history of different looks to their sweaters, but they became legendary when Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, and Ron Francis led the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cups in the early 90s. The black and gold look that’s synonymous with Pittsburgh sports teams was it for the Penguins and that coupled with the skating penguin logo gave the Pens an unrivaled look. Having a team loaded with talent helped make it look even better, but their road sweaters were a great look made even better that they looked like the classic movie villains rolling into town in all black to beat your home-standing favorites.

Worst: It started out as a third jersey (shocking!) for two seasons and ended up being their road sweater for another five. With the newer Pens logo it had some sort of color band effect on it that perhaps was meant to make it look like the logo was in motion. Instead it looked like the logo was leaving behind skid marks. What helped make the sweater look even dumber was that the design on each sleeve. If you can’t even get the sleeves to match and it looks like someone dragged the sweater through a litter box, perhaps it’s not such a great design.

Old-timey favorite: While the Pens have one old fashioned design that they wore in the 2008 Winter Classic and it became their third sweater, I’m more of a fan of their original look. Those sweaters they broke out with during the inaugural 1967 season were sky blue, black, and white and had “PITTSBURGH” in script going down diagonally on the front of the sweater. The lettering and numbers were like that you see on Rangers sweaters and that style looked damn fine. The lace-up collars are a great touch as well. Sure there’s no penguin to be seen on the sweater at all, but for an old time hockey sweater it was a beauty.

Assessment: The Penguins’ current sweater arrangement is a new twist on an old favorite. The skating penguin on the front with a black and gold color scheme on a simple looking sweater is fantastic. Bringing the skating penguin back was such a smart move because it got new fans to identify better with the teams from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. After all, if you’re going to have a lot of new fans getting them to appreciate the team’s history can be difficult.

Adding in the old timey sky blue third and you’ve got a great collection of team sweaters for fans to choose from.  Having Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal to choose from, the Penguins have plenty of jersey sales to back up their look. Of the modern batch of sweaters, the Penguins are amongst the best in the league.

  1. derpdederpdederp - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    completely agree. I wish they would wear the old school black and gold all the time. doesnt Lemieux just look awesome in that pic?

    • capsrockva - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:41 PM

      I hate all thing PIT crybaby sucks

      • derpdederpdederp - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        Lemieux is my all time favourite player, one of the very best to ever lace em up even though his career was cut short. cant say Im a fan of some of his ill-advised comments as a GM though

      • abrienza428 - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:28 PM

        He’s not a GM

      • derpdederpdederp - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        owner, my mistake

  2. finodelfino - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    The maple leaf is the greatest jersey in the history of sports.

  3. jpelle82 - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    please tell me why you seem to hate all things Pit? cant be the redskins/steelers or the pirates/nationals. no one that i know that is a penguins fan gives 2 shits over the caps…its not a real rivalry and never has been. we have always been excited for philly and nj games. the media created an imaginary rivalry because of crosby and ovechkin and it seems like the only ones who bought into it were the miserable little caps fans who just realized there was a hockey team in DC 5 years ago.

    • derpdederpdederp - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:37 PM

      I wouldnt go so far as to say thats not a real rivalry. these 2 teams dont seem to like each other much and ever time they meet they step up the intensity. to me that counts. does it compare to the Leafs-Habs rivalry? of course not, but that doesnt mean it isnt on at all

      • capsrockva - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        It is a rivalry. if you saw 24/7 you’d know that

  4. sunking1 - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    The worst Penguins jersey was the first winter classic jersey. I blanche everytime i see those baby blue colors. I think it is far worse that what the blog writer claims as the worst jersey of all time.

  5. jpelle82 - Aug 12, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    bahahahaha…you keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better. i live in va and the only people who care are fairweather caps fans. they all started watching hockey when ovechkin came along. one of my favorite things to do is ask caps fans who their all time favorite cap is…i’ve heard petr bondra once and the rest say ovechkin. 90% of them dont even know who Langway or Gartner is. i guess all those years of getting knocked out of the playoffs by pittsburgh could contribute to the hatred but a rivalry isnt so one sided usually either.

    • derpdederpdederp - Aug 12, 2011 at 6:28 PM

      Red Sox vs Yankees and Habs vs Leafs are 2 of the greatest rivalries and sports but I would say theyre both a bit lopsided, especially in terms of championships. but theyre still rivalries

  6. jakpsu1 - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    It’s funny, the only reason people say Crosby sucks it because he isn’t on their team. So just keep on being jealous haters.

    • derpdederpdederp - Aug 14, 2011 at 1:51 AM

      man Crosby has been on my team his entire life (Team Canada) and I couldnt stand him until the last few years. I hate it when people say stuff like “the only reason people hate a player because he isn’t on their team” when theres so many other reasons why real hockey fans might not like a player. Crosby was a hotshot that whined and dove a lot when he broke into the league. hes starting to grow up now and I gotta hope his career doesnt go the way of Lindros’

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