Why Don’t You See Purple Jerseys in NHL Anymore?

Why Are No NHL Jerseys Purple? There’s no typical reason you don’t see any purple jerseys in the NHL these days. The NHL association hasn’t banned the color or anything like that. However, purple is the primary color for Hockey Fights Cancer. It’s because it represents pancreatic cancer. Is that a reason why teams tend to avoid the color? We don’t know for sure yet.

In the colorful world of sports, where jerseys showcase every rainbow hue, the absence of purple on NHL ice raises curiosity. Exploring the intriguing history of NHL jersey colors, this article reveals the reasons behind the lack of purple and reminisces about a time when the Los Angeles Kings proudly sported purple jerseys.

NHL Jersey Colors: A Diverse Spectrum

The National Hockey League (NHL), home to some of the most passionate fan bases and iconic franchises in sports, boasts a dazzling array of fashionable jersey colors.

From the fiery red of the Detroit Red Wings to the icy blue of the Toronto Maple Leafs, each team’s colors tell a story that resonates with its history and culture.

But where does purple fit into this colorful tapestry? The answer lies in the evolution of the NHL and the significance of colors in the sport’s traditions.

The Historical Significance of NHL Team Colors

Colors are not just random choices in sports; they carry profound historical and cultural significance. In the case of the NHL, team colors are often deeply rooted in their origins and stories.

Purple, with its rich and regal connotations, has been relatively scarce in the NHL for several reasons:

Tradition and History

The NHL, founded in 1917, is rooted in tradition. In the league’s early days, teams adopted colors that represented their cities or regions. While purple is a striking color, it wasn’t commonly associated with any of the original six teams, which significantly shaped the league’s identity.

Regional Affiliation

Teams often choose colors that reflect their region’s identity. For instance, the Montreal Canadiens, established in 1909, proudly sport red, white, and blue, as these colors symbolize the province of Quebec. In contrast, purple doesn’t hold the same regional significance for any NHL team.

Rarity and Recognition

The NHL strives for uniformity and recognizes that distinct colors help fans easily identify teams on the ice. Given the scarcity of purple jerseys in the league’s history, introducing it as a primary color might create confusion among fans.

The Purple Reign of the Los Angeles Kings

 Los Angeles Kings Purple Jersey

While the NHL has largely steered clear of purple jerseys, there was a notable exception: the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings, who joined the NHL in 1967 as part of the league’s first expansion, initially chose purple and gold as their team colors.

The choice of purple and gold was no accident. It was a nod to the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown, where stars adorned themselves in opulent colors. The Kings’ early jerseys featured a bold, regal look with a crown as their logo, showcasing their ambition to rule the ice.

The most iconic of the Kings’ purple jerseys came in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These jerseys featured instantly recognizable silver and black diagonal stripes, creating a bold contrast with the deep purple base with some fantastic numbers behind the player’s shirts..

Wayne Gretzky, arguably the greatest hockey player of all time, donned these purple and gold colors during his stint with the Kings, adding to their mystique.

The Kings’ purple jerseys, although unconventional in the NHL landscape, left a lasting impression. They were vibrant, memorable, and showcased a unique blend of Hollywood flair and hockey tradition.

The Evolution of NHL Jerseys

Despite the Kings’ brief purple reign, NHL jerseys have evolved over the years. Today, teams predominantly feature colors that resonate with their history, culture, and fan base.

Original Six Influence

The original six NHL teams, including the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins, set the tone for the league’s color palette. These teams have maintained their iconic colors over the years, solidifying their place in NHL history.

Expansion and Branding

New teams brought fresh color schemes to the league as the NHL expanded. The Florida Panthers adopted a striking combination of red, gold, and navy blue, reflecting the vibrant culture of the Sunshine State. Meanwhile, the Nashville Predators embraced the bold look of navy blue and gold to pay homage to the music industry in Tennessee.

Modern Rebranding

Some teams have undergone modern rebranding efforts, updating their logos and colors to appeal to a new generation of fans. The Arizona Coyotes, for instance, shifted from their original shades of green to a sleeker palette of black and red.

The Future of Purple Jerseys in the NHL

While purple jerseys may be rare in the NHL, they haven’t disappeared entirely. Teams have occasionally introduced purple as part of their alternate or specialty jerseys. For example, the Colorado Avalanche unveiled a stunning lavender-themed jersey for their annual Hockey Fights Cancer night. It shows that purple can still find a place in the league’s attire for a meaningful cause.

Additionally, the NHL is a dynamic entity, and as new franchises emerge, who knows what colors they may introduce? It’s possible that purple could make a resurgence in the future, paying homage to the unique stories of these new teams.


What does the purple NHL jersey mean?

Purple is not a common color for NHL jerseys. Teams occasionally use special purple jerseys for charity or awareness campaigns, like the “Hockey Fights Cancer” initiative, to support cancer research and patients.

Do any NHL teams have purple jerseys?

No NHL team has purple as a primary color for their regular home or away jerseys. However, teams may incorporate purple into alternate or special jerseys for specific occasions.

Why did the NHL switch to dark jerseys at home?

The NHL switched to dark jerseys at home to enhance the visual experience for fans. This change allows fans to see various colors and designs when visiting teams wearing white jerseys. It also aligns with fan preferences and marketing strategies.


Hockey fans can appreciate the diverse colors that adorn their favorite teams’ jerseys, each representing a unique blend of history, culture, and regional pride. So, while you may not see a sea of purple on the NHL ice, remember that the league’s colors tell a story that spans decades. And who knows, maybe you’ll see some teams opting for the color again!

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