Mourning Purple

It's a sad day today. The beginning of a new era in the NHL. One in which no team employs that great color between blue and red. Sixteen teams wear blue. Thirteen wear red. None wear purple.

I am of course referring to the fact that the Los Angeles Kings officially retired purple from their color palette last night. They did so by wearing their third jerseys one final time as they defeated the Coyotes 3-2 at Staples Center.

But even as we mourn this death, I am hopeful. Hopeful because the last time the Kings extinguished purple (yes, it's happened before in 1988), it was resurrected briefly less than eight seasons later — albeit in the form of the ill-fated "Burger King" third jersey none of us can forget.

Then just two years after that, in 1998, the Kings launched a rebrand that incorporated purple back into their black and silver look. And the next season, their new third jersey put them back in full on purple once again — just as they were when founded in 1967.

Now that was a one-of-a-kind hockey uniform. And as much as it was a creation of the late '90s, it still looked great! But in 2002, the Kings decided the crown made a better primary logo than the royal coat of arms and pulled a little switcheroo.

So it was the same sweater with a different logo for the next five years. In 2007, Reebok was responsible for killing the purple when they introduced the generic Edge template — whose sole goal was the destruction of any and all creativity in hockey uniforms. Mission accomplished.

Since then, we've never again seen the Kings in purple sweaters. It got a whole lot worse in 2011 when the black and silver third jersey — reminiscent of the Gretzky days — got a big promotion. It set off a series of events that culminated last night with the end of the second purple era.

It was nice knowing you, purple. Rest in peace. (Because you'll be back soon enough.)