Buffalo Sabres fans have been asking the team to revive their infamous “goat head” jersey for years, and it appears the 2021-22 season could finally mark its return. The team inched closer toward the move by adding newly colored goat head logos on both shoulders of their new “butter knives” reverse retro uniform debuting in 2020-21. So, officially, the goat head is back — just not in the way many Sabres fans would like it to be.
Let’s take a look at how the Sabres’ use of goat head logos on their new reverse retro jersey could open the door for a goat head alternate jersey in 2021-22.
The Goat Head Logo Has Officially Returned
The Sabres have a pair of royal blue, gold, white and silver goat head logos (originally coloured black, red, white and silver) on the shoulders of their new reverse retro uniform, and they’ve been promoting it very heavily on social media. With interesting moves, such as changing their profile picture to a goat head logo and sharing various wallpaper designs on Twitter, the team seems to be building more hype around their newest alternate jersey’s secondary logo rather than the butter knives logo featured on the crest.
It seems like the Sabres may have something up their sleeve. Not often does a team put the majority of their marketing focus into a secondary logo when releasing a new uniform, but alas, Buffalo has done just that. The reverse retro design is likely to only be used for one season, so this may be a precursor to the goat head’s full-time return as an alternate jersey in 2021-22.
Time will tell, but it is certainly fair to have suspicions after the team put more emphasis on promoting their shoulder patches over any other aspect of their reverse retro jersey, including the main logo.
One of the Most Iconic Jerseys in Sabres History
It would be a no-brainer for the Sabres to return to the goat head jersey. Previously worn for a decade between 1996-2006, the team used the iconic uniform in black, red, white and silver in both home and away styles. The goat head era is the only instance in Sabres history that the team has worn colours other than blue and gold. Although many fans would love to see a return to red, the team’s decision to use their refreshed colour scheme on a formerly red-based butter knives jersey doesn’t show promise for that.
The goat head uniform remains one of the most unique in NHL history and is admired by hockey fans everywhere. If revived, they would almost certainly become an instant classic alternate jersey. The attention to detail in the uniform is a rarity compared to most present-day sports uniforms.
A surprise to many, the jersey reveals the hidden design of a horned buffalo head in its accents when the arms are outstretched. The uniform also features the classic sworded Buffalo “B” secondary logo on each of its shoulders and the helmet, as well as a vintage Sabres wordmark logo on the pants.
If the team does make a return to the goat head jersey, it is possible they could opt for royal blue or white as the jersey’s primary colour. Gold is another interesting option, but probably not as likely to happen.
The goat head uniform would certainly pair well in honouring the Sabres’ deep history alongside the team’s new royal blue and gold jerseys set to debut in 2020-21. Buffalo has put an emphasis on honouring their past by returning to a modernized version of their original jerseys and adding a butter knives reverse retro uniform, so a goat head jersey return is definitely not off the table. The team’s uniform lineup for next season has already been solidified, but anything is possible for 2021-22.
Tom Pepper is a Seattle Kraken/NHL columnist at The Hockey Writers. He joined THW in June 2020 and has been writing about the Kraken since June 2021. He studies at the Ryerson School of Journalism and covers the Ryerson Rams men’s and women’s hockey teams for the Eyeopener student newspaper. Twitter: @TomPepper