When alternate sweaters started to become a thing in the NHL, the tradition of the home team sweater white fell by the wayside.
The Avalanche used a burgundy alternate with Colorado slanted diagonally across the chest from 2001-2007 as their first crack at an alternate. The look was popular with the fans, and gave the Avs a bit more “classic” look to compliment the mountain trimmed jerseys they wore at the time.
After the Reebok Edge template became a thing, that burgundy jersey disappeared. In 2009, the Avs introduced the “blueberry.” The jersey had the same diagonal Colorado lettering across the front, but the main color of the sweater was a vibrant blue, a bit of a tribute to the Quebec Nordique days of the franchise.
The jersey got lukewarm reception initially, but has grown on many fans over the years. It has also given the Avalanche luck, as they have a great winning percentage in the blueberries.
According to Icethetics, the Avalanche are retiring the blueberry sweater after this season. This means the Avalanche have options!
We all know that the Avs are taking on the Detroit Red Wings next year in a Coors Stadium Series contest at Coors Field. This outdoor game will surely see the Avs get a special new sweater, but it remains to be seen if that will take over as the new alternate sweater for Colorado.
My proposition is that the Avalanche go bold, regardless of what they skate out in at Coors Field. I think that they should be the first NHL team to introduce a white alternate sweater!
To me, the home team should wear white in the NHL. I get the logistical reasons for why the league decided to switch it up an have the road team wear white. It allows fans a chance to see their alternate sweater at home, and also means less packing for equipment crews on road trips.
It was a bit of a mess back in the day when teams had to bring their dark road jerseys, white jerseys in case the home team wore their alternates, and their own alternates if they wanted to wear those on the road. Now, teams just have to bring their white jerseys.
It’s a drag in my opinion. Home whites just feel right. It also allows fans who go to a lot of home games to see interesting colors in the arena depending on which road team is in town. In the current meta, you get the same look every time you go to a game at Pepsi Center.
A white alternate is a bit of a compromise, and it allows the Avalanche to do something unique. After all, you should think white when you think of an Avalanche.
By my count, the Avalanche had 9 single-game road trips this season. This means that they can expect opposing teams to visit Pepsi Center on a one-game trip roughly ten times a year.
This is the cool trick, and how the NHL may buy in to letting the Avs have a white alternate. The Avs wear their white alternate at home, but ONLY whenever the away team is on a single-game road trip. This makes it so that the road team still only has to pack one sweater, but this time it will be their dark ones.
The Avs can even wear it on the road from time-to-time to get some more use out of it, since everyone else will still be rocking dark uniforms at home.
I have no idea at the moment what the design would look like, but there are probably a lot of creative people out there who could come up with something cool.
I want the Avalanche to wear white at home. As long as alternate sweaters are being utilized in the NHL, that probably won’t ever happen on a full-time basis. That’s why I think the Avs should make their next alternate a white sweater! Cheese the system, baby! What do you think?
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