The Best and Worst Uniforms in Islanders History

Andy Graziano
May 22, 2020 - 11:01 am
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The New York Islanders have gone through their troubles, both on and off the ice, since winning four consecutive Stanley Cups in the early 1980s. Uniforms not excluded from that, there have been many teams that have sought to rework their image through the jersey on players' backs. Some have succeeded, others not so much.

Since their inception in 1972-73, New York has cycled through 18 (plus one ‘special’ design) different sweaters, most with the same general appearance plus a few tweaks, others way out in left field. They have realized four championships, five final appearances and eight retired numbers.

Today, we take a look at the organization's three most iconic jerseys, plus three that fall flat on their face. Keep in mind, this is subjective, so be sure to leave me your comments via Twitter or Facebook on what you think. Images courtesy of nhluniforms.com.

Top three Islanders jerseys:

1. The cup years (1978-1984)

A subtle change, with the home jersey remaining the same, but the stripes changing on the blue away sweater. The Islanders went from spaced at the bottom with a single orange stripe on the sleeves to bring the white and orange together at the hem and flipping the colors. The sleeve added the same matching effect. These, of course, were the jerseys that would mark those four glorious cups and became the staple worn all over Long Island.

Wade Flaherty
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2. Back to tradition, sort of (1998-2002)

After a disaster of epic proportions for the better part of three seasons (covered in our worst section below), the Islanders returned to their roots, bringing back the traditional logo and adding a shoulder patch signifying the championship run of the early 1980s. The blue is much deeper, framing the two-tone numbers with hollow outline and single white color name stand out in perfect unison. 

Mike Barzal
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3. Barzal, Baby, Barzal (2018 - present)

I am not a traditionalist, by true definition. I don’t mind teams going out on a limb and trying something new. The Islanders introduced a new alternate version and it is glorious, in my opinion. The logo is new and fresh, the stripes on the stick blade, again, calling back a time of glory. With its rounded bottom, the white jerseys are truly so clean looking and call no undeserved negative attention.

Bottom Three Islanders jerseys:

Ziggy Palffy
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1. The Dark Time (1995-1997)

Is there even a competition for the most epic jersey fail, ever, in the history of the league? I would argue no. The Islanders take the top spot with this ridiculous concoction that completely erased all their history and slapped the Gorton’s fish sticks logo on the crest. The insults and jokes would follow from all fanbases, and to be frank, were deserved here. Slanted names and misaligned numbers only added to the horror that this jersey was. The only thing it had gone for it, and I say this as a teeny tiny consolation, was the shoulder patch.

Andy Sutton
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2. Reebok Edge. Thankfully, only for one season (2007-08)

With the manufacturing change came another switch for the Islanders, apparently learning nothing from our ‘winner’ in this category. They keep the deep blue, which I like, but there is just way too much orange going on here. There is absolutely no reason for so much going on up and down the sleeves. Again, solid shoulder patch, but that’s just throwing this jersey a bone, honestly.

Islanders
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3. Alternate reality (2011-2014)

With the team not changing too dramatically over the course of their history, we swing to the alternate jersey as our number three selection. I cannot begin to express how much I loathe when teams put their name on the front of the jersey. Can we show some creativity? Just a little bit? We all know what the team is called, don’t we? An absolute waste of space. And the scanty number on the front, as well as the back? Please. The only thing this getup had gone for it was the pants. I do like them, however.