Winnipeg is excited about it's first outdoor NHL game! Fans turned out Friday morning for some big announcements surrounding the 2016 NHL Heritage Classic between the Jets and the Edmonton Oilers.
Along with the alumni game roster announcement, the uniforms to be worn by each team were finally unveiled! The Jets will sport a new throwback sweater while the Oilers will bring back the retro orange number that Connor McDavid ushered in last year.
Both sweaters find their roots in the old World Hockey Association, where the franchises were founded in 1972. They joined the NHL in 1979 when the WHA folded. And according to WHAUniforms.com — created by the same guy behind NHLUniforms.com — there was only one season where these jerseys might have seen action together; it was 1973-74.
This uniform selection was an easy win for both teams. I don't think there's a hockey fan on Earth who would complain about either of these. They've absolutely nailed it.
Also on stage today were the jerseys to be used at the alumni game. They're throwbacks from their early NHL years. That said, it's worth noting that the original Jets moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes in 1996. The current iteration of the Jets were founded in 1999 as the Atlanta Thrashers. Not that it matters; Heritage Classic jerseys have always celebrated a city's hockey history more so than the franchise itself.
The 2016 NHL Heritage Classic takes place on Oct. 23. Should be a great-looking game!
By the way, the Jets will wear their new Heritage Classic sweaters for two additional regular season games not played outdoors. The first is Jan. 9 against the Flames; the other is March 19 against the Wild.