Jets 2022 Reverse Retro a Good But Imperfect Homage to 90s Era

The Winnipeg Jets have finally thrown in back to 1990s era with their new Reverse Retro jersey. It’s good, but not perfect.

Breaking Down the Reverse Retro Redux

The jersey, unveiled Thursday after being teased Wednesday, features the logo the Jets 1.0 wore from 1990-91 through 1995-96.

The jersey is white and features the “Winnipeg Jets” wordmark in dark blue with the inner Jet and outer circle in Aviator blue. The jersey has a wide Aviator-blue horizontal stripe on each arm and a wide stripe below the logo. The arms and lower stripe are both framed by thinner horizontal dark blue stripes.

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The numbers of the shoulders and back and the name plates are dark blue with no outline. There is a shoulder patch with the True North Youth Foundation Logo, a neat reference to the “Goals for Kids” patch that was on the jersey from 1987 through 1996. The NHL crest in the middle of the collar is orange, which it was back then.

Winnipeg Jets 2022-23 Reverse Retro
Winnipeg Jets 2022-23 Reverse Retro (NHL/adidas)

The “foundational year of 1990” is represented by being sewn into the jersey’s inside neckline, a news release from the Jets also notes.

Paying homage to the era of Teemu Selanne, Keith Tkachuk, Teppo Numminen, Alexi Zhamnov, Nikolaj Khabibulin, and many more was long overdue.

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Three of four alternate jerseys unveiled in the 2.0 era feature the logo worn from 1973 through 1990: the Heritage White, Heritage Blue — both are gorgeous and the Heritage Blue acts as the current alternate — and the first Reverse Retro jersey. The Aviator alternate had no logo, just a wordmark.

Jersey An Improvement, But Still Lacking in Some Ways

The new Reverse Retro is an improvement over the inaugural 2020 incarnation. The “fighter grey” coloured jersey underwhelmed upon its release two years ago, with its tenuous connection to team history making it look more like a palette swap of existing Heritage concepts than a true redesign. The Jets ended up wearing it only twice in 2020-21, then dropped it (other teams continued to wear their 2020 Reverse Retros.)

Unfortunately, the new Reverse Retro — like the bare-bones Aviator alternate unveiled in 2018 but worn for just two seasons before being abandoned — doesn’t have any red.

Why True North is so loathe to add red to any jersey other than the Heritage concepts is beyond this author, as the red was a key reason the Jets’ 1990s jersey was so striking.

Teemu Selanne #13 of the Winnipeg Jets
Teemu Selanne skates against the Montreal Canadiens in the early 1990’s at the Montreal Forum. The 1990s jersey, unlike the new Reverse Retro, had a good dose of red. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images)

Red striping on the arms, below the logo, in the logo, or around the numbers or letters would have gone a long way to breaking up the chromatic colour scheme.

Fan Reaction Is Mixed

Some fans, reacting on Twitter and Reddit to the announcement, liked the new design.

“Imagine not having these immediately available to buy,” wrote one, in reference to the jersey not being available until Nov. 15.

“I LOVE IT! Big exaggerated chef kisses until my lips are raw,” another said.

“Overall, they’re great! Would’ve been brought to the next level if they used the 90s colour scheme instead of the silver/blue, giving Aviator vibes,” yet another said.

Other fans didn’t care for them at all, with many also noting the lack of red.

“True North: “Use Red as an Accent Colour Challenge (Impossible!),” one Reddit user commented. “They’re better than the last round but they’re just kind of plain.”

“Why does True North hate the colour red so much?” asked another.

“It just doesn’t pop, love that logo but that baby blue makes it look washed out,” commented yet another.

Winnipeg Jets 2022-23 Reverse Retro
Reaction to the jersey has been mixed, with some praising the modern look and others criticizing the lack of red. (NHL/adidas)

The jersey is just one part of a uniform, of course. We’ll have to see how it looks as a full package with pants, socks, and helmets, because it’s unfair to judge a set-up until you see it on the ice. They will wear the jersey first on Nov. 5, followed by Nov. 15, Nov. 21, and four more dates to be announced.

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From first glance, it’s a good yet imperfect homage to a good yet imperfect era. Those times brought a mix of joy and sadness, with great feats being accomplished such as Selanne’s 76-goal rookie campaign and Tkachuk’s 50-goal season, but the threat of relocation looming and eventually coming to fruition.

What do you think of the Jets’ 2022 Reverse Retro jersey? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Comment below.

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