Self-isolation is proving to be quite a boring experience for me. I am stuck in my tiny apartment with only my cat and video games to keep me entertained. The lack of hockey news has driven me crazy and there are only so many times I can play franchise mode in NHL 20 before things become a bit stale.
So you’ll understand my immense excitement when I read that the Edmonton Oilers were expected to add yet another jersey to their catalogue in the 2020/2021 season! A report from Icethetic’s JerseyWatch indicated that the Oilers were exploring the addition of a jersey that played around the idea of inverted colours. The mockup design is nothing too special and is, in fact, a pretty grotesque jersey. There are a variety of things that I absolutely hate about it, but it got me thinking about jerseys.
I have always been fascinated with hockey jerseys and I have long been a collector of Oilers jerseys. The process of how they get designed to how they look on the ice has always appealed to me as a hockey fan. Seeing such a gross design for Edmonton’s next jersey got me thinking about how it might stack up with other jerseys over the organizations 41 years in the NHL. So, without further ado, I present a complete ranking of each Edmonton Oilers jersey worn since 1979.
#10 - Reebok Edge Away Jersey (2007-2011)
When the NHL decided to switch to the Reebok Edge style jerseys in the 2007/08 season it was met with an audible groan from Oiler fans. The team’s design was stripped and the result was an uninspired and bland uniform. The piping running from the collar of the jersey makes this look more like a pair of pyjamas than a hockey jersey. The striping on the arms only wrap around the inner half of the arm and looks pretty bland in comparison to previous jerseys. It is far and away the most boring uniform that the team has worn and it was eventually scrapped in 2011/12.
To add insult to injury, this jersey was worn during some of the team’s worst seasons. Let's just move on and forget this one every happened.
#9 — Reebok Edge Home Jersey (2007-2012)
Oh boy....here we go again. Obviously I can’t leave out the Reebok Edge home jersey from the same era. I do like this one a bit more than the white version but it is still extremely boring in context to the other uniforms the Oilers have worn since. The navy blue works a lot better with the copper piping than the white does but I still have a hard time putting it any higher than #9 on the list.
This jersey stuck around for a tiny bit longer than the away jersey, having been moved into the alternate jersey slot for one more season, but it still remains the team’s weakest home jersey to date. Never again should the NHL allow a company to blanket the league in these designs.
#8 — CCM Away Jersey (1997-2007)
This is where things start to get tricky for me. While I absolutely hate the Reebok Edge Jerseys ranked before this one...I actually do like this jersey quite a bit. I think the redesign in the late 90s worked really well and the copper and blue colour scheme works for the team. It is almost emblematic of the city of Edmonton’s reputation of being a blue-collar city.
The jersey exudes the grittiness of the city and it works really well as a hockey sweater. I just don’t like white jerseys all that much. I know I’ll probably catch a lot of flack for this but I think white jerseys often look lazy and uninspired most of the time. While I do enjoy this more than most, I don’t think it is anything special in the grand scheme of things. Also, this is the sweater they wore when they lost in game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals...so there aren’t too many great memories associated with this for me.
#7 — Adidas Home Jersey (2017-Present)
I know this jersey might wind up as #10 on a lot of Oiler fans lists, but I don’t think it deserves that much flack. I hated this jersey when they first unveiled it back in the summer of 2017. The orange was far too bright for my liking and the three stripes looked extremely awkward. I thought it was a missed opportunity considering how well received their orange jersey from the previous season was.
That being said, it has grown on me significantly since then. While I still don’t think it is in the upper echelon of Oilers jerseys it is a fine evolution for a new generation of Edmonton Oilers. It stands alone as a truly unique jersey and it doesn’t look nearly as bad on the ice as I initially thought it would. We have seen Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl spend the bulk of their careers in this jersey and it will probably be around for a bit longer.
#6 — Adidas Alternate Jersey (2019-Present)
If there is one thing I am a sucker for it’s experimentation, and that is exactly what this jersey is. When it was first revealed a lot of fans thought it lacked in creative elements and was overall pretty boring, but I couldn’t disagree more. I loved the idea of having a jersey without any white (you know my feelings on that colour) and the orange logo pops on that navy blue background.
I still have a hard time putting this higher than #6 due to the how great the top 5 is, but I think this was a fantastic addition to the current Oilers. It’s sleek and modern look fits perfectly for a team led by Connor McDavid.
#5 — Todd McFarlane Alternate (2001-2007)
From one experimental alternate jersey to another. The Todd McFarlane Oil-Gear jersey is among my very favourite Oilers jerseys of all-time. This is due tot he creativity that went into to completely re-designing a franchise that has stayed to the same formula for most of it’s history up to this date.
The logo itself is awesome. The streaming oil-drop encased in a mechanical gear looks great and the five rivots representing Edmonton’s five Stanley Cup wins is a nice touch. I also love the colour scheme on this one. The silver stripes works surprisingly well with the navy blue and white. It’s a very sharp jersey that I hope makes a comeback someday.
Yes, I know the immense hatred of this jersey among the hockey community but I have to disagree with them on this one. This was a solid first attempt at getting into the world of third jerseys.
#4 — CCM Home Jersey (1996-2007)
This jersey came very close to being in my top 3. The CCM era was a great time for Oilers jerseys but none were better than the primary home jersey that saw action from 1996 to 2006. It marked the first time the Oilers had moved away from their iconic orange and blue colour scheme and the transition was pretty smooth.
The navy blue and copper colour scheme works perfect and, as I mentioned with the white counterpart at #8, it represents the blue collar reputation that Edmonton had garnered at the time of this jersey. It looks fantastic on the ice and looks intimidating to opposing teams. If Edmonton had never gone away from this design I would have no complaints. It is a nearly perfect Oilers jersey, but not quite as perfect as the next 3 are.
#3 — Orange & Blue Home Jersey (1979-1996)/Away Jersey (2011-Present)
If I was ranking jerseys based on historical significance this one would be at the top of the list. It was the jersey worn during the team’s first 4 Stanley Cup victories and remains one of the most beloved uniforms in hockey. The appeal of this jersey is its simplicity and its use of colours.
It does what most white jerseys fail to do, which is utilize colour. The blue and orange striping pop out of the white background and makes it really easy on the eye. The white is then broken up by the blue shoulders outlined by an orange line. It is a fantastic design that will never go out of style.
They wore this for their entire dynasty years and resurrected it in 2011 where it has remained, although through a few slight changes in design, a staple in the team’s identity. If I had it my way they would never get rid of this jersey.
#2 — Reebok Orange Alternate Jersey (2015-2017)
This jersey was an absolute thing of beauty. After years of Oiler fans begging the team to add an orange sweater to their catalogue they finally unveiled this beautiful specimen at the 2015 NHL Draft in Florida. It was a magnificent throwback to the team’s WHA roots and did it ever look great on the ice.
The orange was the perfect shade and it played off the royal blue perfectl. It goes down as the sharpest looking sweater in Oilers history and should’ve been promoted as the home jersey in 2017. I can’t find much else to say about this jersey other than the fact that is is absolutely gorgeous. Combine that with a collar that mimics the WHA jersey as well and you got yourself one of the all-time best NHL jerseys, not just Oilers.
The only change I would make would be to move the numbers from the shoulder down to the sleeve. Otherwise, absolute perfection.
#1 — Orange & Blue Away Jersey (1979-1996)/Home Jersey (2011-2017)
You knew this one was going to be at the top spot. Perhaps the most iconic Oilers jersey of all-time is the classic blue and orange jersey worn during the team’s dynasty years and for the majority of the 2010s. It is a masterclass in jersey design and should be regarded as one of the best uniforms in professional sports history.
The colour scheme is absolutely perfect. The royal blue and orange work amazing together(as they should, being complimentary colours) and the three stripe design is fantastic. It is a jersey that won’t be topped anytime soon and the Oilers would be smart to adopt it as an alternate uniform at the very least.
The fanbase hasn’t grown bored of this jersey and I have seen many who support the team rally around this jersey’s return. The undisputed G.O.A.T among Edmonton Oilers jerseys!