When the NHL announced it was retiring its “No. 3 jersey” from 2021 to 2022, it was a big deal.
It was the first time a team had officially retired a jersey that featured a logo that closely resembled a logo from the NHLPA.
For years, fans, players and league executives had been discussing what it meant for the NHL to have such a uniform, as well as the league’s future.
Now, as the jersey goes on sale for the first-time, there’s a lot to take in.
For starters, there are the numbers.
In the case of the 2019 jersey, the numbers on the back are a nod to the NHL and its history, with the number 6 representing the Stanley Cup and the number 13 representing the league-wide logo.
It’s the same number that’s on the sleeves of the 2018 jersey.
(For the most part, the team is keeping it that way.)
And the number on the front is a nod also to the team’s history.
In 2016, the New York Islanders announced that they were retiring the No. 3, which they’d used for the past 25 years.
It wasn’t a decision that came easy.
“I was in a meeting with the team and they said, ‘We really don’t think it’s appropriate to go ahead with it,’ ” said former NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
“That was the decision we made.
But I was also very concerned that if we kept the number, we’d be in the same position.”
When the Islanders announced they would be retiring the jersey in 2020, the issue was brought up again.
Bettman said he asked a few teams to consider it and they all said no.
In 2021, the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals decided to stick with the jersey, but the decision was not easy for them either.
“There were a few that said, well, we’re going to continue to wear the No 5 and we’re not going to change our number,” said former Flyers defenseman Paul Holmgren.
“We were very concerned.
We’re going back to the old No. 4. “
But we felt like it was the right thing to do.
We’re going back to the old No. 4.
We’ve always been the team that was wearing that number, and we thought it was appropriate.”
As the new jersey goes up for sale at the start of the NHL season, it will be the last one to feature the old number.
As fans, it’s going to be a little difficult to find new jerseys for this season, so if you can’t get one before the season ends, consider picking one up in store this summer.