By Tom Hunter (@)
Over the weekend I found myself discussing OHL jerseys with a couple friends. I was pouring over the Black Friday sales on team websites and began to lament the fact that my collection of league merchandise was severely lacking.
Yes, the man who owns two different Cal Clutterbuck OHL jerseys – one from his time with both the Majors and the Generals – just claimed to not own enough OHL gear.
The discussion quickly turned to who has the nicest jerseys around the league and Taylor Sedona Clark told me I should rank all the jerseys – so blame her, this is all her fault.
There are some beautiful jerseys in the OHL, but there are also some horrid ones – that said the worst of the Ontario are still probably top-5 in the WHL.
So let’s have some fun. Here is my ranking of the jerseys for the 20 teams in the OHL.
20. North Bay Battalion
They’re just really ugly. I get the concept behind them and the color scheme makes sense for the team name but man they’re bad – both home and away. They’re even worse in person. Maybe it’s a bias because of my strong distaste for the team and their coach, but I just flat out don’t like them
19. Flint Firebirds
Come on man! You went from the beautiful Plymouth Whalers jerseys to these? It’s hard to find any redeeming qualities here.
18. Barrie Colts
The stripes on the sleeves and down the side of the breast makes them bad – the fact that they’re red and yellow makes them worse.
17. Windsor Spitfires
The thin piping down the body of the jersey has become a trend in junior hockey – it looks like something from the ‘team creator’ feature in NHL ’11. The sooner teams move away from this design the better.
16. Erie Otters
One of the most talented players in OHL history was forced to wear this monstrosity. I mean, a logo with an otter wearing a hockey helmet has so much potential and then they ruin it with this design.
15. Sudbury Wolves
Again with this stupid design? They used to have nice ones (see below). Now they don’t. New is not always better.
Is the blood really necessary?
14. Sarnia Sting
Sarnia pulls ahead of the others with this similar design because they have a much different and nicer dark jersey. Also I kind of love their bumble bee alternates.
13. Peterborough Petes
It’s a nice design, but black and maroon together? What is that? Get rid of the black and go back to the ones from the Chris Pronger/Steve Yzerman era and they’d skyrocket up the list.
12. Owen Sound Attack
These are nice, and a huge step up from where they used to be – but there’s just not a whole lot going on here. Plain, forgettable, kind of like the team and city. On the plus side, at least they’re a heck of a step up from back when they were the Platers.
11. Niagara Ice Dogs
Another that is a lot better than it used to be, but they’re boring and have a silly looking cartoon dog as the logo. Bring back the terminator robot dog logo!
10. Guelph Storm
I like this design a lot, but the logo just doesn’t seem to suit it. They also lose points for moving away from the outstanding design that Jeff O’Neill wore when he was a part of the team.
9. Hamilton Bulldogs
The re-brand was great, but the whites are just Kingston’s jerseys and the darks were stolen from the Penguins – they just slapped a bulldog on the chest. Changing to Ti-Cats colour scheme was a good move, it just feels like there is a lack of imagination here.
8. Kitchener Rangers
These are nice, very nice – we know this. Kitchener loses lot of points thanks to absolutely zero creativity. While many other teams rip off the design of NHL jerseys, the Rangers went all in. Name, jersey logo.
7. Mississauga Steelheads
Speaking of lack of creativity. Mississauga was smart by copying the jersey of the greatest franchise in hockey – unfortunately, the slapped a fish on the front and an ugly M on the shoulder. Part of me is just mad that we don’t get to see the Double-Blue anymore.
6. Saginaw Spirit
They have some pretty incredible alternates as well.
5. Ottawa 67s
I get how these can be polarizing – I don’t care, they’re awesome. A classic colour scheme, a vintage design, a simple logo – what’s not to love? The darks are so good that they make up for a very poor white version.
4. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Subtle, understated and a perfect logo. There isn’t a whole lot to them but when you see the Greyhounds in person, you can’t help but accept just how good they look.
3. Oshawa Generals
A great jersey for a great franchise. The alternate blues are even better and should be worn more often.
This year the team is wearing amazing vintage alternates to celebrate their 80th anniversary. The team just knows what they’re doing.
2. London Knights
I hate that I like the Knights jerseys so much. They’re such a dislikable franchise but man do they know how to look good – the Yankees or Canadiens of the OHL.
1. Kingston Frontenacs
I can’t explain why and I know I’ll get flack for it, but I can’t help but love the Kingston jerseys. The simple K on the classic design makes a nearly perfect jersey.