LOS ANGELES KINGS UNIFORM HISTORY

1967-72 | 1972-80 | 1980-88 | 1988-98 | 1998-02 | 2002-07 | 2007- Present


1967-1972

LAKings Primary LogoThe Los Angeles Kings played their first regular season National Hockey League game on Oct. 14, 1967, against the fellow-expansion Philadelphia Flyers at the Long Beach Arena. The team wore a purple jersey for their home games and gold on the road, beginning what is now known as the "Purple and Gold" era of Kings history. Kings owner Jack Kent Cooke chose the team colors of purple and gold (‘Forum Blue’ and ‘Forum Gold' as he called them) to represent royalty and to coincide with the uniform colors of the Los Angeles Lakers, also owned by Cooke.

The Kings sweaters had alternate color stripes low on the sleeves, around the bottom and around the neck of the jersey. The crown logo on the front was a variation of the crown found on the primary logo (above), which did not appear on the jersey.

Some of the famously nicknamed players of the early years were the first Kings to wear this sweater, including Eddie “The Jet” Joyal, Eddie “The Entertainer” Shack, Bill “Cowboy” Flett, Juha “Whitey” Widing and Real “Frenchy” Lemieux.

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1972-80

LAKings Primary LogoThe NHL League jersey rules changed after the 1969-70 season to have teams wear their "light" jersey at home. The Kings began to wear the gold uniform at home and purple on the road. Shortly after the change, the jersey stripes were reconfigured, with the body stripe moving to the bottom of the jersey.

In the late sixties, the Kings wore yellow pants, socks and helmets with their gold jerseys, but in the early 70's, changed the color scheme to include purple pants with both uniforms. This was the new style worn by All-Star goaltender Rogie Vachon and a band of hard-working, hard-checking players, including Butch Goring, Mike Murphy and Bob Nevin.

The Kings main logo (above, right) was changed as well around this time, with horizontal lines added around the Kings name to convey speed and agility, while the whole design became more streamlined.



1980-1988

In 1980, the Kings changed their uniforms to include contrasting sleeves on both home and away and jerseys. Sleeve striping now included two white stripes that marked the line between jersey and sleeves, while the stripe around the bottom of the sweater was moved up and outlined in white. The logo on the front of the jersey stayed the same, for now.

The famed "Triple Crown Line" of Dave Taylor, Marcel Dionne and Charlie Simmer wore this design through out their run as the best line in the NHL as did the underdog Kings on April 10, 1982, when Los Angeles took on the Edmonton Oilers and won 6-5 on an overtime goal by Daryl Evans' for the "Miracle on Manchester," capping the greatest comeback in Stanley Cup playoff history.

In 2003-04, these jerseys would make a second appearance in the Kings sweater rotation, as part of the NHL's vintage jersey re-release plan.


1988-98

LAKings Primary LogoOn Aug. 9, 1988 the Kings acquired Wayne Gretzky, regarded by most as the greatest hockey player of all time. At the Kings press conference to introduce Gretzky, then-Kings owner Bruce McNall said, "at the moment, I would like to now go to the reason you all came here, to introduce our new team colors," he said to a crowded room of laughing reporters. "Let’s see, I think we have a model here for the new team colors, I am not sure." Out walked Wayne and Janet Gretzky and the "Silver & Black" era began.

Again the Kings shared colors with another Los Angeles sports team, this time the Los Angeles Raiders. The team's primary logo also changed to a black and silver version of the previous design.

The jersey was either white for home games or black for away matchups and featured two mid-arm stripes as well as one around the lower mid torso. The front of the jersey featured the new primary logo, while the chest and shoulders remained free of patches.

Many of the Kings most notable names played during the "Silver & Black" era, including
Hall of Famers and fan favorites as Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, Dave Taylor, Marty McSorley, Jari Kurri, Rob Blake, Tomas Sandstrom, Kelly Hrudey and Tony Granato, among others.

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1991-93

LAKings Primary LogoThe Kings had two different versions of their Silver & Black jerseys during the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons. The year 1992 marked the 75th anniversary of the NHL and the 25th anniversary since the formation of the Kings, so the team wore a special "75" patch on the upper right front of their sweaters, and a "Kings 25 years" patch on their left shoulder for the season. The next year, Los Angeles made a playoff run all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they wore a Stanley Cup patch on the upper right front of the jersey.


 


1995-96

LAKings Primary LogoAfter the 1994-95 season, Philip F. Anschutz and Edward P. Roski, Jr. purchased the Kings and began a rebuilding phase. One of their initiatives included the Kings first-ever third jersey, part of an NHL-wide initiative. Five teams introduced alternate jerseys on Jan. 27, 1996, the Kings wearing theirs in a 5-4 win against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at the Great Western Forum.

The sweater design included arcing gradient stripes transitioning from black on the upper right front to light gray on the bottom left. Shoulder patches of the Kings primary logo made their first appearance, while on the upper left front there was the only human image ever featured on a Kings jersey. The angular features of the new King logo and sharply defined colors contrasted the blended color scheme of the stripes.

Very few of these jerseys still exist as they were only worn one season, and they are considered a collectors item by fans of the Los Angeles Kings.

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1998-2002
LAKings Primary Logo 1998-2002

In 1998, the Kings left the Silver & Black era, moving towards the current purple, black and silver color scheme. A new shield logo was revealed, featuring three royal elements: a sun, a lion and a crown, held together by two crossed hockey sticks and the name of the team. An updated, modern version of the traditional Kings crown was featured on the shoulder.

The jersey featured similar striping to the silver and black jersey, but with contrasting shoulder colors. Additionally, the word "Los Angeles" was added to the bottom front of the sweater, wear it remains today.

During the 2000-01 season, the Kings introduced their second alternate jersey, featuring a new crown design (pictured below) that would later become the team's primary logo. With design elements from the original crown logo, the new image featured hockey sticks and a more basic structure, quickly becoming the most recognizable image of the Los Angeles Kings. The sweater also featured laces at the front neck, which would carry over to the Kings' next alternate jersey as well.

Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis Memorial Patch

The following September, the Los Angeles Kings family was deeply shaken and saddened over the loss of Garnet "Ace" Bailey and Mark Bavis, two scouts who were aboard United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston’s Logan Airport on Sept. 11, 2001. Both men are truly missed by the Kings organization as their fantastic personalities and love for the sport of hockey were evident in their work, and their passion for the Kings helped foster a fun and winning attitude. To honor Bailey and Bavis, the Kings wore a special "AM" patch for the 2001-02 season, a logo which still appears on Kings mascot Bailey's jersey to this day. For more information and to contribute to the Bailey and Bavis Memorial Fund, click here.

2002 All-Star Game Patch

The Kings also hosted the 2002 NHL All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center, their newly built facility in downtown L.A. An NHL All-Star Game patch was worn on the right front the team's home jerseys for the entire season to commemorate the game. Two Kings, Ziggy Palffy and Jaroslav Modry, represented the team during the game. Click here to read up on the 2002 All-Star game as well as the rest of Kings All-Star history.

 


2002-2007

Kings current logoFollowing the 2001 season, the Kings updated their jersey design once again. Keeping the color scheme of black or white with purple shoulders, the team rotated logos, using the new crown as their primary logo while the shield was placed on the team's third alternate jersey. The striping remained the same, as well as the "Los Angeles" on the front of the jersey.

In 2003, the NHL revised their jersey rules, returning each team's white jerseys to their original place as a road uniform, while the teams began wearing their dark uniforms at home once more. Part of the reasoning was logistics involving the alternate jersey schedules as most of the team's third jerseys were dark, meaning that opponents were forced to travel with both their white and dark jerseys. By switching the convention, the NHL made life a little easier for the equipment managers.

Because of the change, when Kings legend and current President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille had his jersey retired on Jan. 20, 2007, it was his home jersey of purple and black. See photos of his jersey retirement ceremony here.



2007- Present

For the first time in the history of any major North American professional sports league, a league-wide uniform innovation was established before the 2007-08 season. The NHL and Reebok partnered to create a technologically-advanced uniform system designed to meet the demands of today’s NHL players, called the Rbk EDGE Uniform System™.

After two years of research and testing, the Rbk EDGE Uniform System debuted, putting performance and safety at the forefront of the design process. NHL players, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and team executives worked in conjunction with RBK Hockey research and development to play an integral role in the design process.

The new Rbk EDGE Uniform System designs were first introduced as Eastern and Western Conference All-Star uniforms during the 2007 NHL All-Star Celebration in Dallas, Texas. All 30 NHL teams switched to the RBK EDGE uniform in their respective colors and designs, including the Los Angeles Kings who unveiled the new sweaters on Sept. 15, 2007 against the Anaheim Ducks.

While keeping many of design elements the same as the previous incarnation, the Kings removed the bottom stripe from their sweater. As before, the "Los Angeles" remained, this time as a free floating design.

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2008-09

On Nov. 22, 2008 the Los Angeles Kings went "Back in Black" at STAPLES Center, in front of a sellout crowd of 18,118 fans. The Kings wore their regular Crown/home jerseys for pre-game warm-ups, and as the players came off the ice, 20 Kings season ticket members stood in the hallway outside the Kings dressing room to hand a Kings player their new alternate jersey, the fourth in franchise history. The players, with new jersey in hand, continued into their dressing room and changed into the new sweater just before the game.

Back in Black The Story Behind the Unveiling | Back in Black Jersey Giveaway

The Kings alternate uniform design was conceived as homage to the franchise's past as well as the city the Kings represent and the future that lies ahead. The "blackout" color scheme represents the "Silver & Black Era," while the logo features "LA" prominently as this is how the Kings home city is most often referred to.

Additionally, Los Angeles is the only city in the world that is known as much for its initials as it is its actual name. The holding element is a modern interpretation of the traditional shield which has a royal/medieval reference. The logo also features the armband stripe scheme from the Silver & Black jerseys as a dividing element between the "L.A." on top and the Kings' primary crown logo. 

 Back in Black The Story Behind the Design

The Kings alternate uniform is designed to give us a fond look to glorious times for our franchise with an eye to the future to inspire players and fans alike for what lies ahead - a future that is grounded with the values, the determination, the pride and the passion that serves as the foundation for the Los Angeles Kings franchise. Read the complete jersey story here.

Beginning for the 2011-12 season, the LA Kings will take the "Back In Black" theme one step further:

  • The Kings’ official team colors change to black, silver and white.
  • The Kings’ primary home uniform switches to the black-silver-and-white uniform the club has worn as an alternate jersey the last two seasons.
  • The Kings will wear a newly-created white version of this jersey for all road games this season.

Said Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille: “There was an overwhelming sentiment from our fans and from our players that has led us to this change. Our fans really like the late 80s and early 90s era Kings uniforms which are very similar to this uniform. As a player, the colors give you an attitude and an edge. Dean Lombardi and I talked a lot about it with the players and they love it. We feel our fans believe in it as well.”

The Kings’ primary home jersey -- which prominently features “LA” on the jersey crest, has not been altered and will now be worn for most Kings home games – also reflects the club’s primary logo going forward. The black-silver-and-white uniform is also the sweater Kings players wore during home games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs the last two seasons, and a silver stripe has been added to the player’s pants. As part of the switch, the Kings’ former primary mark, a Crown featuring the color purple, now becomes the club’s alternate logo with one change – the Crown is now black and silver and features no purple. The Kings will wear these jerseys (unaltered from a year ago) for select home games.

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Jersey drawings/paintings by:
Nola McCannon | www.mapleleafproductions.com
Melody Huskey | LAKings.com