The fashion world may trot out the line, 'It's not what you wear, it's how you wear it,' but tell that to the 1995-96 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Some context: The New York Rangers are celebrating their 85th anniversary by unveiling alternate uniforms, or third jerseys, this week. The last time the Blueshirts wore the third jersey, it was one of a handful of alternates that were not met with laughter, anger, sounds of retching, or all three at once.
Purists may not have liked switching up the look of an Original Six team, but the Rangers' Lady Liberty look that had its debut in 1997-98 was much better than what happened elsewhere in the league … and for years to come.
Which brings us back to Anaheim.
Some jerseys strike fear in an opponent. Others, at the very least, garner a healthy amount of respect. Both of these ideals were derailed (or shot out of a cannon, into the sun) by having a goalie-gear-clad cartoon duck busting through the front of a jersey.
This pyjamas-masquerading-as-a-hockey-sweater look came about in 1995 when the NHL instituted a rule change allowing teams to don a third jersey.
Over the years we've seen the highs (Lady Liberty lighting the way for the Rangers), but an overwhelming share of lows (highlighted by the aforementioned anthropomorphic duck breaking out of the front of Anaheim players' chests).
The following is a brief gallery celebrating (or mourning) the rather ugly end of the spectrum — but feel free to add your two cents in the comment section and tell us which uniforms should be shrink-wrapped, placed in a lockbox, in a crypt, on the moon.
A dishonourable mention goes out to the St. Louis Blues' 1995-96 third jersey, so bad it was vetoed before any of the team actually had to wear it (hence no photos of players wearing it). Trumpets and music notes abounded and it looked like something Mr. Dressup might've had second thoughts about wearing when he taught kids about music. Or trumpets.[GALLERY id=4092 cat=sports]