Nostalgia is perhaps the most reliable export of the National Hockey League. In a recent NHL survey, in which fans were asked to name the top 25 team T-shirts, about 90 percent of them were disposable T-shirts.

While the Adidas Hockey Club was considering its next NHL T-shirt collection, it felt it needed more than nostalgia as a selling point. Because so much retro clothing has already been taken out of the mothballs by teams for retail and special events, Adidas wanted to go in a different direction. This is how the inverted retro-line came into being.

Old meets new. This authenticity meets the street. We do not design new models. It’s actually a remix of the brands that represented that team or that town, told Dan Near, senior director of the Adidas Hockey Club, to ESPN last week. It was an interesting trip. Put these ideas on the table, set up the team and finally put them on ice… It feels like hockey is doing something big here, and it’s cool to be a part of it.

The manufacturing process of the T-shirts was slightly different than usual. When teams want to add a T-shirt to their equipment, they make an offer and send it to the Official Equipment Partner of the NHL, and the development process begins. This initiative came from Adidas, whose team presented its concepts at the full meeting of the Board of Governors of the NHL and then to the various teams.

It wasn’t exactly one of the three we’re showing you today, but it was closer to our typical NHL process, Close said. I’d be twisting the truth if I told you everyone agreed from day one. Actually, it’s not like that.

While the t-shirts cite certain years as a source of inspiration for their appearance, in reality Adidas only used them as a reference point for certain teams by mixing different eras. Thus, the knitting of the Kings of Los Angeles was done in 1989, but it shows a knitting comb from the time of Wayne the Greek, mixed with the purple and gold colours of knitwear from the Triple Crown era.

There is a big difference between reverse retro clothing and a third program: These knitted garments will only be worn a limited number of times during the 2020-21 season and deliveries will continue to the retail level. Adidas retro clothing will be available from 1 January. December for $180-225 in the U.S. and $200-250 in Canada on the Adidas and NHL websites and as of the 6th month of the season. December will be available at other points of sale.

Some of these sweaters are instant classics. The others will be remembered. Here is the ranking of the 31 NHL retro clothing from Adidas:

Ranking all 31 NHL ‘reverse retro’ jerseys for the 2020-21 season

It’s the best of the retro retro collection, and it’s not particularly sleek. Since his arrival in Denver in 1995 Avalanche has tried to keep in touch with his Quebec roots, but this is the most open use of northern iconography in the history of the franchise. Quebec Needle logo and fleur-de-lis finish remixed with Brown and Colorado blue.

The team was very receptive to the concept. That wasn’t the only idea. But maybe that’s all we showed them, Next laughed, because we wanted it so badly.

Adidas talked to the Canadians about how this shirt could be obtained in Quebec. We have some information about the market, the demand and the enthusiasm. There are certainly people who believe that the Colorado T-shirt will be very popular north of the border. I don’t know if I can take that to Quebec County. Intuitively I would, but I don’t have the data to prove it, I almost said.

Some will consider it blasphemy. We see it as a pure, striking tribute to a former franchise – and as the best combination of old and new among these 31 knitted items.

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