The Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League will turn 20 years old next season. In honor of that anniversary, the major junior hockey club has announced they will wear the original uniforms from 1995 for their home opener in 2014-15 among other games. If you know anything about the history of this relatively young franchise, you'll know why these throwbacks will be unlike the many we've seen over the years.
The club revealed the throwbacks in April when the NHL playoff race was hot and heavy, so it kind of slipped through the cracks. But a recent post from popular hockey jersey design site Icethetics shined renewed light on these particularly 90s-tastic threads.
If you didn't know, the team name is a nod to co-founder, Calgary native and pro wrestling legend Bret “The Hitman” Hart. The original jerseys, closely matched the color scheme of the wrestling singlet Hart wore into the ring, which prominently included the color pink.
The throwback uniforms will be back in all their black and pink glory when the Hitmen hit the ice next season. And considering pink is not the traditional intimidating shade, it looks pretty darn good on these uniforms.
Another nice touch is the patches on the jerseys. On one shoulder, the most 90s secondary mark you'll ever see, with a pink starburst and Hitmen in front of crossed-sticks. On the other side, an anniversary patch that also includes the last portion of Hart's signature phrase: “The best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be.”
And what would a 90s throwback jersey be without flames? Don't worry, this jersey's got ‘em, just like it did in 1995.
The Hitmen are now owned by the Calgary Flames and play out of the Scotiabank Saddledome, same as the NHL club. They retained the Hitmen name all through their history and the club won the WHL championship twice, in 1999 (shortly after they got rid of the pink in their uniforms) and 2010. They're best known around the hockey world for their incredibly successful Teddy Bear Toss around the holidays, which often brings in tens of thousands of stuffed toys raining down to the Saddledome ice.
It's probably a good thing they don't design jerseys like they used to, but a little 90s nostalgia never hurt anyone. What a cool way to honor the club's history and its famous founder.
More photos of the jersey can be seen here.
(Photos via Calgary Hitmen)