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Sweater Weather: Special Warmup Jerseys Around the NHL

Updated: Feb 28

Courtesy of Hurricanes

There is no experience for hockey fans that is quite like getting to a game early to watch their favorite team warm up. Fans can get pucks from their favorite players and watch them show off their amazing athleticism. One of the most fun parts of warmups came when various NHL teams had certain heritage or specialty nights. The teams would come on the ice for warmups wearing a jersey that was designed specifically for that game and its theme. Many of them were designed by local artists, which gets the community involved with the hockey team.

However, as of this season, it was announced that the teams are no longer allowed to warm up in the specialty jerseys due to some controversy. Many of these jerseys are still for sale so that fans can wear the themed jerseys to the game as they cheer on their team. Here are some of the most creative specialty jerseys from recent years.

Courtesy of

Starting off strong is the 2024 Lunar New Year jersey from the Vancouver Canucks. This pacific northwestern city has a thriving Chinese community with Chinese heritage running through parts of the city. This year’s Lunar New Year jersey was designed by artist Trevor Lai, who had the goal for the logo to be “a game changing symbol that will empower the Asian community, the Vancouver Canucks fanbase, and the entire hockey world.” The jersey can be found in red or gold, with the front displaying the Canucks’ flying skate logo in gold. Because this year is the year of the dragon, a dragon is wrapped around the skate to symbolize good luck.

Courtesy of the Seattle Kraken/The Seattle Times

Next is the Seattle Kraken’s Indigenous People’s Night jerseys from December 2023. The state of Washington’s culture was essentially built on the foundation laid down by the many indigenous tribes. The indigenous people’s jerseys were designed by artist Bethany Fackrell, who is a member of the local Snoqualmie Tribe. Fackrell designed the jerseys to raise awareness of the children who were taken away from the tribe to be educated, but never made it back. Regarding their stories, Fackrell says “it is important for us to tell [them] and express [them] with our thoughts.” The jersey is light orange, with a burgundy and black salmon logo in the shape of the Seattle “S.” The fish symbolizes abundance, prosperity, and renewal. 

Courtesy of the NHL on X

Though the next jerseys are from a year and a half ago, when players were still allowed to warm up in special jerseys, they are still really neat. The Anaheim Ducks’ 2022 Dia de los Muertos jerseys are something truly unique. Because of southern California’s large Mexican population, this was a perfect way for the Ducks to celebrate with the community. The jerseys were designed by Anaheim-based artist Gustavo Jaimes, who used the Ducks old logo and combined it with traditional Dia de los Muertos designs and vibrant colors. On the jersey, the Ducks’ goalie mask logo has floral designs like those on a sugar skull while the logo is surrounded by marigolds. 

Courtesy of

The last jersey is the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2024 Black Excellence jersey. This is the first year that the Hurricanes are introducing a Black Excellence sweater. The jerseys were designed by North-Carolina born artist, Mike Jones. The jersey design is inspired by the poem “The Rose That Grew from Concrete,” by Tupac Shakur. The design features a black and white rose on the front with the players’ numbers having thorns sticking out from around them. Jones believes that the rose highlights the poem’s connection to an athlete’s journey to the top. Jones says, “A rose from concrete can be symbolism for not letting someone deter you from blossoming or being successful, even in an environment where it doesn’t seem possible.”

These warmup jerseys are a special way for the NHL teams to become connected with their communities through local heritage and art. Even though it is sad that the players will not get to wear these jerseys, fans can still enjoy them and the stories behind them. The jerseys bring the teams and the fans together to show that hockey is more than just a sport; it is something to be enjoyed by everyone. 

Edited by Giana Robertaccio

Social Media Content Created by Caroline McGuinness

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