It’s jersey week at SB Nation. The Canes have worn a variety of uniforms over the years, and Alec is going to take a look at all of them today.
A great, recognizable set of jerseys can go a long way in helping a sports team, especially a relatively young one, in developing a fan base and identity. The Carolina Hurricanes, to their credit, nailed down their new look back in 1997 and have for the most part stuck with it for the past 23 years.
While some have been less exciting than others, the Hurricanes don’t really have too much in the way of bad jerseys, and the team has also done a really good job of sticking to the things that make their jerseys fun and good.
Little things have been tweaked over the years and alternate jerseys have been added, but the Canes’ signature look hasn’t really changed.
Before we get into the history of the Hurricanes’ jerseys, first let’s give a huge shout out to the NHL Uniform Database, which made this project much easier to write and is an all-around really cool site for any hockey fan.
1997-2007 — The Early Years
After moving from Hartford, where the Whalers had some great jerseys and an all-time great logo, the Hurricanes’ colors were set on red, black and silver, similar to NC State which the Canes would share an arena with.
The first set of jerseys established the Canes’ look with the signature storm warning pattern around the waist to go along with the team’s new logo on the chest. An alternate logo on the sleeve featured a storm warning flag on a hockey stick, though with just one flag on the stick that logo represented a tropical storm warning rather than a hurricane warning (the Canes would fix this many, many years later. We’ll get to that later).
Little changed on the Hurricanes’ jerseys over the first 10 years in Raleigh. The jersey manufacturers changed as the NHL’s deals changed, with Starter, CCM and Koho all making different Canes jerseys from 1997-2007.
The only other real change for the Canes during this time came with the way players’ names were outlined on the back of the jersey. After three seasons with no outline on the names, the Hurricanes added a black outline around names to match the way the numbers were styled.
This first set of jerseys brought the Canes their most success. Carolina wore these designs in two Stanley Cup Finals, including in 2006 when the Hurricanes won the title.
2007-2017 — The Reebok Era
Beginning in the 2007-08 season, the NHL began using Reebok as their lone jersey manufacturer. With the switch to a new brand, the Hurricanes made their first significant design change, though it was still a relatively minor one.
Keeping the design mostly the same as before, the Hurricanes added a small piping around the shoulders that was new for the fall of 2007. The piping was white on the red jersey and red on the white jersey, a small change but really the first one the team had made since adding the black outline around the names in 2000.
Then in 2008-09, the Hurricanes added an alternate jersey for the first time in franchise history, including the days in Hartford. To go along with the red and white jerseys, the Canes introduced a sleek black jersey that brought the secondary shoulder logo to the chest. The new alternate kept the storm warning pattern around the waist, though it changed it to a subtle gray instead of the classic red and black.
The black jersey with the new logo was a fun change for the Canes, a third jersey that would become a staple for the Hurricanes and Friday nights in PNC Arena. The Canes have done a lot of winning wearing black over the years, which started with this first black jersey.
After 16 years with relatively the same design on the red and white jerseys, the Hurricanes made their first big redesign for the 2013-14 season. The red jersey dropped the silver, white and black stripes on the sleeves, opting instead for a more subtle look with two thin white lines on the almost entirely red jersey. The secondary logo on the shoulder was also removed.
The same was done around the waist, as the Hurricanes dropped the signature storm warning pattern and went with a more classic looking two thin white lines. Keeping up the classic hockey jersey theme, these jerseys added laces at the neck for the first time in franchise history.
The white jerseys also underwent drastic changes for 2013-14, as a thick red stripe with two thinner black stripes on both sides replaced the previous designs around the arms and the waist. The shoulders were turned red, and the secondary logo was removed. During this big change in 2013-14, the alternate jerseys were unchanged.
This trio of jerseys would last for five brutal seasons before the Hurricanes reverted back to their older look with a new jersey manufacturer to begin the 2017-18 season.
2011 — The All-Star Game
This one isn’t a Carolina jersey, but it belongs on this list as part of the hockey history in Raleigh. The Hurricanes hosted the 2011 All-Star Game, which featured a new format where the captains picked the team.
The home team, Team Staal, captained by the Canes’ Eric Staal, wore a somewhat Hurricanes-inspired white and red jersey.
The visiting Team Lidstrom wore dark blue in the game. Team Lidstrom won 11-10 and Chicago’s Patrick Sharp was named the MVP.
2017-Present — Adidas, away jersey tinkering and the return of the whale
Adidas took over the jersey manufacturing duties in the NHL starting with the 2017-18 season, and the Hurricanes used the transition to revert back to their classic look, at least for their home red jersey.
The design of the white jersey remained exactly the same, just with a new manufacturer, but the reds were completely redesigned. The Canes added some color to the sleeves and waist, going with bold black stripes on the edges and a white, red, white design as well.
The Canes also brought back the storm warning pattern around the waist, though it was a little bit different looking. Instead of the bold black boxes inside red, the new storm warning was mostly red with some darker tinting on the black.
The biggest difference between this new Canes jersey and the classic one from the early 2000s was the lack of secondary logos on the shoulder, the new-look storm warning pattern and the laces at the neck. This new jersey, redesigned in 2017, is the home jersey the Canes still wear today.
With the transition from Reebok to Adidas, the Hurricanes did away with the alternate black jersey for the 2017-18 season. However, it made its return in 2018-19 with some redesigns, and it might just be the best-looking jersey the Hurricanes have ever had.
First and foremost, the Canes changed the alternate logo to be a bit more accurate. Carolina added a second black and red flag on the hockey stick, officially making it a hurricane warning rather than just a tropical storm. A wonderful added detail of the new logo is that the area between the two flags makes the outline of the state of North Carolina.
The new alternate jersey featured bold red striping around the waist and arms, and for the first time a significant amount of gray on the shoulders. In the gray of the shoulders is the Hurricanes’ primary logo and the flag of North Carolina, another small touch that makes this jersey really special. This alternate is still worn today.
Now for the away jerseys, which have undergone some serious tinkering over the past few years. The first year of Adidas, 2017-18, the Hurricanes white was the same as it had been before, though with a new manufacturer. The Canes stuck with this look for 2018-19 as well.
This jersey wasn’t too exciting, and it was strongly disliked by new Hurricanes’ owner Tom Dundon. Dundon hated the jersey so much that he had the team request to play in red when on the road. This game with the Canadiens in white and the Hurricanes in red was played in Montreal, an unusual site.
With Dundon’s dislike for the white jerseys, as well as his desire for a third logo, the Hurricanes introduced a new road look for the 2019-20 season that was drastically different than anything the Canes had ever had before.
The secondary logo was added back to the shoulders, and bold red stripes with black outlines were added to the sleeves and waist. The storm warning pattern made its return to the waist, but in a bigger and bolder fashion than ever before.
The biggest change of this jersey was of course the logo on the chest. Canes was written out diagonally down the front, with the storm warning flags in the “C”. Some love it, some hate it, but it’s definitely a different look for the Canes.
Dundon’s purchase of the team also brought back a classic NHL look, as for the first time since moving to Raleigh the Hurricanes wore Whalers jerseys. On Dec. 23, 2018 against the Boston Bruins, the Canes donned the classic green and white look that the franchise had worn while in Hartford.
Wearing the Whalers’ jerseys brought the Canes some ire from northern media members, but the fans in Raleigh loved it. With Dundon owning the team, the Hurricanes’ “Whalers Nights”, complete with the retro threads and “Brass Bonanza” goal song, should be a normal thing in years to come.
While those are all the jerseys that the Hurricanes have worn on the ice for games over the years, the Canes have sported some special themed jerseys in pregame skates. From military appreciation to Hockey Fights Cancer nights, here are a few of those jerseys.