Will the Vancouver Canucks black skate jersey return this season?
There are plenty of Vancouver Canucks fans out there hoping the team’s jersey will return to the skates.
It is partly driven by nostalgia. Fans in their 30s and 40s have fond memories of the Canucks in the 1990s, which were managed by Trevor Linden, Pavel Bure, and Jerky Lumm and backed by Kirk McClain. This team came incredibly close to winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history – literally one job away from taking Game 7 into overtime.
While nostalgia may be the main driver of re-skating calls, it may not be the only factor.
Fans would like to see more home wins. Since coming out of retirement in the 2019-20 season, the Canucks have also gone undefeated in regulation while wearing black skate jerseys. In eight games, the Canucks went 7-0-1 while wearing black skates.
Perhaps something that designer Bill Boyd emphasized was that the Canucks’ late-’70s jersey redesign of black, orange, red, and yellow would be more aggressive and intimidating than a blue, green, and white color scheme.
“With the Canucks uniforms, we go from the cooler colors, blues and greens, to the warmer ones: red-orange,” Boyd said. “What we are trying to create is an atmosphere that will help create a happy, upbeat, aggressive player – and hopefully a happy, optimistic fan. The Canucks want to provide the fan with an atmosphere that is easy to enjoy.”
The Canucks could use some happiness and fun these days. Perhaps that explains why the Canucks weren’t wearing their usual blue shorts, socks, gloves and helmets to practice Monday morning after losing two games on the road through the end of 2022.
Instead, the Canucks wore black gear to match the multi-colored training jerseys.
Most notably, goaltender Spencer Martin wore a skate-style mask and skate-colored goalie pads.
The Canucks last wore the black skate jersey at the end of the 2021-22 season for their final two home games, with Martin starting both games with Thatcher Demko injured. But Martin had no dedicated gear at the time and was wearing his usual pads and goggles – obviously new ski pads and goggles.
Does this mean the black ski jersey will return this season? Well, maybe not.
According to Sportsnet 650’s Brendan Batchelor, the Canucks wore black gear on the ice to practice so it could be auctioned off at the team’s annual ice and dice party.
Here’s the thing: The dice and ice cream party usually doesn’t happen until February or March. While it’s unclear when this year’s event will take place, will the Canucks wear black ski gear more than a month before the event, just so it can be auctioned off as “training” gear?
Or is this just a cover story, meant to sidestep questions about — or when — the team will bring back the skate jersey this season?
In terms of what should not be relevant, Wednesday’s Canucks game against the New York Islanders is the night of the ’90s.