The series around SBNation’s NHL network on the ugliest jerseys in each team’s history has yielded some fun, and hilarious, designs. For the Montreal Canadiens, they haven’t had many awful designs in their long, storied history.
Except for one. And absolutely everyone knows exactly what jersey it is: the dreadful Barber Pole throwback sweater from the Centennial Celebration that spanned two seasons.
The jerseys do have history behind them. They were an homage to the 1912-13 Montreal Canadiens of the NHA. Maybe choosing to pay tribute to a team that went 9-11 and finished fourth in a six-team league wasn’t the best idea given that the response to these jerseys since their debut has not just as bad.
These jerseys, along with two others, were meant to be worn twice each in the 2008-09 season, but the stripes were never worn again after a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
The top two jerseys are just fine, nothing to wild and crazy. In fact, the top sweater seemed to serve as a template for a future Winter Classic jersey. However, the Barber Pole stands out, and not in a good way. The striping on them makes them incredibly harsh on the eyes, and made trying to track the puck incredibly difficult for goaltenders.
It is very hard to mess up a Canadiens sweater, which is why this one was so easy to pick as the worst in team history. Normally there could be a vote, but I’m confident that this would still win in a landslide.
The only really nice things I have to say about them are that they were graced by the presence of Andrei Markov, Carey Price, Alex Kovalev, and Saku Koivu in the same game. It doesn’t help that the year they wore them, they were also swept in four games by the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs.
I’m all for paying tribute to history, but next time make a choice that doesn’t melt eyes when someone looks directly at the design.
The Christmas Centennial sweater
The only real second option here was another throwback homage, this time during the second season of the team’s 100th anniversary.
For a team known as the bleu-blanc-rouge, having a red and green sweater is just flat-out weird. Then throw in the not quite brown, not quite yellow gloves that I guess were supposed to look like old leather, and it’s a mess of colours on ice.
(I actually own one of those sweaters too. Bought it on my first trip to Montreal when I visited Brossard. I regret nothing about it, but it falls just short of hitting what should be instant beauty like many other Habs sweaters.)
The Canadiens might be struggling on the ice as of late, but at least they’ve been doing it in one of the best looking uniforms across the NHL....
Do you think the Barber Pole the most offensive thing to grace the ice in Montreal (in terms of jerseys, now), or does something else earn your crown?