There was a time when the jerseys for the NHL All-Star game had their own distinct look. Sadly, those days are long gone. Now, we see the NHL roll out boring and lacklustre looks year after year. In addition to everything else that’s wrong in hockey, we blame Gary Bettman for this. The smug Bettman has always wanted the NHL All-Star Game to replicate the NBA All-Star game (he used to work for the association in the 1980s until moving over to the NHL in 1993).
Our favourite all-star style period was the mid 80s to early 90s when the teams took on dark orange jerseys with black and white accents. (It probably didn’t hurt that those games were also filled with Gretzky, Lemieux and Messier highlights.)
Then, starting in the mid 90s (damn you Bettman), it was all about various combinations of red, white and blue (yawn). Just another example of the NHL trying to be the NBA.
The all-time low was when they tried to change things up in 2004 with this awful Western conference jersey:
Here’s an idea NHL: have the All-Star Game jerseys be the colours of the host city’s team. The fans would love it and the league would sell a lot more jerseys as no one really buys them now. Why am I not making these calls in NHL HQs? Good question my friends, good question. Once again, this is how I feel.