Welcome to 2022, Flames fans!
With 18 teams in action on New Years Day, the Calgary Flames will sit on the sidelines and wait to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. In the meantime, we are here at FlamesNation decided the time had come for a lighter item.
Last week, we learned that the Flames get a new third kit for the 2022-23 season. The new uniform will likely reinstate black, a shade the Flames have ditched this season in favor of their classic tricolor look.
The previous team flag alternate jersey used a fiery black “C” as the crest, something that no longer appears on any of the Flames’ active uniforms. Calgary only has two active jerseys for 2021-22 – one red, one white, both known as “retro”.
Now the Flames look set to kiss black again on another jersey. With the spirit of this news in mind, let’s take a look at the three best and worst uniforms the Flames have worn since moving to Calgary in 1980.
The last three
3. Heritage Classic 2011
At least they tried to do something different, but we still can’t forget how this uniform looks like layers of cascading ketchup and mustard. Cream is a difficult color to get to work on a hockey uniform, but it works better here than on most retro models, although the pants are a bit over the top. The felt logo was a nice touch.
These uniforms worked great for a special event, but they would quickly become a horror with repeated use. The jerseys also opened the door to a tidal wave of shoddy fakes that still appear in the Saddledome to this day.
2. The alternative script
This uniform screams “designed by the committee”. Why was the “5” used by the Flames on the jersey only a “2” backwards? Why was the flaming “C” still there? Do Marc GiordanoDoes the jersey really need to have three “C’s” on the front?
These earn extra points because Johnny Gaudreau Wore them a lot as a rookie (and this season was a lot of fun). That said, for reasons unknown, these uniforms replaced the classic retro red jerseys as the Flames’ alternate look. Even the team seemed to realize this was a mistake, reverting the old design with the white âCâ as an alternative for the 2016-17 campaign.
1. Piping and flags
Immediately after the Flames presented their new Reebok Edge jerseys in 2007, many fans recoiled that a blue shoulder patch would appear on the team’s red jerseys. The Flames continued to wear those same aesthetically disturbing flags on their shoulders for the next 14 years.
These uniforms featured pronounced vertical stripes under both arms and piping that extended to the side numbers. The resulting appearance vaguely resembled that of an apron grilling in a Incredibles color scheme.
When Adidas took over the NHL jersey manufacturing contract in 2017, the redesigned Flames uniforms ditched the piping but retained the flags and vertical stripes. Even when the Flames went “completely retro” for 2020-2021, the flag jersey remained as an alternative. It wasn’t until 2021-2022 that the Flames finally removed those ultra-busy Reebok Edge remnants for good.
The first three
3. The pedestals
Yeah, they’re kinda dumb. Maybe they look a bit like something the Germany team could wear to the Olympics. But the Flames’ Pedestal uniforms from the 1990s hold up surprisingly well into 2022 and remain one of the most unique looks in NHL history.
These jerseys were unveiled at a time when NHL teams and jersey makers had just discovered the technique of “sublimation” dyeing of fabrics, which paved the way for more creative uniform designs. These diagonal lines weren’t individually sewn onto each jersey, no – that stripe was injected directly into the fabric using various dyes. The same process also allowed the teams to add very floral gradients and patterns to their jerseys.
The Pedestal jerseys introduced black to the Flames color scheme. It is used sparingly on actual jerseys and helps complement the stripes at the waist and collar. The white shoulders – red, over the white uniform – look surprisingly clean and contribute to the overall contrast of the uniform. The Flames brought these pants back in 2020-21 to go with their âReverse Retroâ uniform, and for good reason – they look awesome.
2. The retro
The best word to describe the Flames’ retro jerseys is’ clean ‘. The team’s three colors – red, white and yellow – fit well into this design, with no unnecessary details or frills. It’s actually amazing how much the stripes at the waistline of the retro red jersey look like on a typical New York City fire truck.
These should always be the main Flames uniforms. There is plenty of room to experiment with third shirts. Mirrors are an iconic main look that the Flames should never stray from again.
Calgary won the Stanley Cup in the retro. Enough said.
1. The years 04
Funny how a few small changes can completely save a uniform.
In theory, this look isn’t that different from the one listed above as the worst in Flames history. Exceptâ¦ there are no mismatched shoulder patches. All vertical lines have disappeared in favor of dynamic chevron stripes. Even the pants are cleaner.
It’s a shame the Flames only wore their 2004-era red uniforms for three seasons. (The white version debuted three years earlier). These jerseys retain all of the positives of their Reebok Edge cousins ââ- the enhanced contrast of the black “C”, the unique typeface, black forearms – but with so many subtle improvements.
Retro are perfect primary uniforms. These are classics for a reason. But … they are also very brilliant. The 2004 era Flames design features the exact same shade of red offset by exactly the right amount of black. The Blasty logo on the shoulder completes the look and helps ensure that the color yellow is portrayed correctly on the uniform.
In my eyes, the perfect Flames jersey set would keep the retro as the main uniform with the 2004 red jersey as an alternative. I think the 2004 design surpasses the retro look, but only barely. They are both fantastic.
Which do you prefer: the 2004 Calgary jerseys, or their retro uniforms? What do you think is the worst uniform design in Flames history? Let us know in the “Comments” section!