The history and evolution of the Rangers jersey

NY Rangers Jerseys (Heritage Sports Art)

NY Rangers Jerseys (Heritage Sports Art)

The majority of this story first appeared in 2014 and was authored by Steven Lofreddo

The New York Rangers are an original six team and have therefore seen some changes to their jersey since 1926. Below I will describe the transition of the jersey throughout history, and how it kept pace with a rapidly evolving NHL. Much of the information that I was able to gather came from nhluniforms.com

1926-1927

http://rangers.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=56153 Photo provided by newyorkrangers.com

1926 Rangers (NYR)

 

The Rangers first season they sported a navy blue jersey with the team name “Rangers” displayed diagonally from the shoulder to the hip. On the arm, were three bands, which were white on either side of red.

 

This pattern was repeated at the bottom of the jersey.

1927-1928

The Rangers changed the letters on the uniform from white to red.

1928-1929

The following season the Rangers add a white outline around the red letters. This made the team name and jersey number jump out.

1929-1934

The Rangers change the color of the pants to red with a white stripe.

1934-1935

The white stripe seen on the side of the pant leg is removed.

1935-1937

The Pants begin to feature a blue stripe down the sides of the legs as well as a blue stripe around the edge of the pant legs.

1937-1941

The pants undergo yet another change as now the blue stripe added just the season before is outlined in white.

1941-1942

The font of the word Rangers is changed slightly. Instead of long letters the word Rangers is printed out in smaller more defined letters. These letters begin to resemble the Rangers more modern jerseys.

1942-1945

In 42 the Rangers put a white drop in behind the letters and numbers. This added some depth and dimension to the jersey and helped it jump out on TV (still black and white) and to fans in the stands.

1945-1946

The Rangers remove the white drop shadow behind the letters and numbers.

 

1946 Ranger Jersey. (Image provided by photobucket.com )

1946-1947

The Rangers begin to televise home games and change their jerseys to feature the word “Rangers” arched across the chest with the player number under it. This style died after one season.

 

 

 

 

 

1947-1948

The Ranger jersey changes back to it’s iconic style including the white shadow behind the letters and numbers.

1949-1951

The Rangers make another change to the letters on the front of the jersey letting the letters stand upright rather than tilted.

 

1951 Steve Kraftcheck in a New York Rangers away jersey. (Image found on Game Worn Auctions)

1951

The Rangers add an away jersey that is similar to the home version aside from white being the base color of the jersey. This meant that the letters of the jersey were blue with a red shadow behind them. One of the new features on the jersey was a neck yoke striping pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 


1957

Rangers Gloves (Image provided by Ty-Co Memorabilia)

 

The Rangers become the first team in NHL history to wear colored gloves. The red, white, and blue mitts matched the team attire and gave birth to a new style in the NHL. Shortly after the Rangers transition the Maple Leafs were right behind them in 1958-1959.

 

 

 

1963

The team adds numbers to the sleeves of the jerseys. This is part of making the players easier to spot on the ice.

1970

The Rangers add the players last names to the jerseys. This was used to make the players more recognizable to the fans. This was key as hockey is a fast paced game and it could be hard to see a players face. The Rangers were among the first teams to incorporate this style.

 

1976 Rangers jersey. (Image provided by 100percentauthentic.com)

1976-1978

The Rangers change their jersey to include a New York Rangers shield rather than the word “Rangers” spelled out across the front of the jersey. The jerseys were a darker shade of blue and the pants even changed from red to the same dark blue. This jersey was not accepted by the Rangers community and was changed shortly after.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanbiesbrouck (Getty Images)

1978-1987

The Rangers put “New York” where it once said Rangers, the red pants return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1979-Current (Helmet Rule)

The NHL makes helmets mandatory in the NHL recognizing that the game is becoming more dangerous. Players were shooting higher and harder and getting faster on their feet as well.

Craig MacTavish was the last player to NOT wear helmet in the NHL

Craig MacTavish was the last player to NOT wear helmet in the NHL

1990-1996

The names on the back of the jersey are arched.

 

Brian Leetch sporting the Rangers third jersey. (Image provided by nhlalumniproam.com)

1996-1997

The Rangers add a third jersey to their inventory. This jersey is a darker shade of blue and portrays the Statue of Liberty in the Rangers crest with the letters NYR just under her head.

 

 

 

 

 

1997-1998

The Rangers blue jerseys begin to feature a tie able collar. This is a shout out to old time hockey jerseys when the sweater used to have to be tied.

 

Wayne Gretzky celebrate a goal in his white liberty jersey. (Image provided by sportslogos.net)

 1998-1999

The Rangers change the third liberty jersey to white and use it for the season. The arms have a dark blue diagonal stripe and a white based around the same logo.

1999-2007

The white liberty jersey is changed back to its original dark blue. The white jerseys now have a tie able collar as well.

 

 

 

 

 

2007-2010

The Reebok Edge Jerseys become the new template in the NHL. The jerseys were a different fabric and fit more snugly. The changes make the jerseys lighter, and don’t have the fight strap to keep jerseys from coming up while fighting. It was thought that this may reduce fighting as it became harder to grapple.

 

 

 

2010-Current

The Rangers wearing the Heritage Jerseys. (NYR)

The Rangers present a new heritage jersey. The jersey features a darker blue, a toned down red and reads “New York” across the front where it would typically read Rangers.

These jerseys say “established 1926” inside the collar and have the numbers of all players retired by the Rangers on the bottom of the inside of the jersey.

 

2012 Winter Classic

Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, Henrik Lundqvist and Brandon Dubinsky sporting their Winter Classic Jerseys. (NHL)

The Winter Classic jersey was a cream colored jersey that followed the theme of the heritage jerseys. they kept the dark blue and faded red look. The Rangers only wore the jerseys once. The jerseys were in this “old time hockey” style to maintain the theme of the game returning outdoors.

 

 

 

 

Stadium Series

Dan Girardi in the Stadium Series jersey. (Image found on sbnation.com)

The Stadium Series Jerseys had a more modern look. All the teams involved incorporated a chrome look for the event. They had a Hartford Wolf Pack style but used “New York” instead of a shield or the word “Rangers”.

 

 

 

Editor’s Update:
2017-18

Adidas NYR

Adidas takes over as the NHL official jersey and adds a the NHL logo over a red patch at the top collar. Inside the jersey at the back top collar has the Rangers established date of 1926.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Winter Classic

The Rangers were back in the Winter Classic and sported a simple look with bold white stitching on a deep navy blue jersey. The silhouette of the Rangers logo was added to the upper left and had NY in it for all players except the Captain and the assistants.

2018 Winter Classic jersey

 

The Rangers jersey is a timeless classic that gets a tweak here and there. Every once in awhile the Blueshirts try to make a bold statement as they did with the Liberty jerseys. Will the Rangers make another bold move again in the near future? Regardless, the history of the organization and the uniform is rich and should be known by any true Rangers fan.

 

6 comments

  • Loved the more modernistic Ranger jersey that they totally redesigned in the 1976-77 season as it looked very futuristic. But those were dark years for the Rangers when John Ferguson took over —- and then ultimately “FORCED” Rod Gilbert to retire!!!! I’ll ALWAYS RESENT HIM FOR THAT STUPID MOVE!!! HE HUMILIATED A GREAT RANGER WHO WASN’T ABLE TO RETIRE ON HIS OWN, IN A MORE DIGNIFIED WAY. And he had over 70 points the season before, so he missed training camp that season because of a salary dispute I believe, and started off slowly. Then Ferguson essentially FORCED him to retire!!! HORRIBLE MAN AND HORRIBLE MOVE BY HIM AND THE RANGERS!!!

    • I loved the 76-77 uniforms. Just think If Fred Sherohad not gotten the Rangers job ,Ferguson would have still been the GM and the uniforms would have stayed.

      • I agree the 76-77 uniform were good looking jerseys. I wish the Rangers would use their crest more. It is one of the better looking logos in sports.

      • Didn’t really care for the 2 WINTER CLASSIC Jerseys they created — especially the 2012 WINTER CLASSIC with that HORRIBLE RANGERS SHIELD/CREST and the CREAM COLORED JERSEYS!!!!! YUCK!!!! DISGUSTING!!! And last year’s WC Jersey was OK — at lleast it wasn’t HORRIBLE LIKE THAT CREAM-COLORED DISGUSTING PIECE OF GARBAGE!!!

        But I did REALLY LOVE THE STADIUM SERIES JERSEYS a few years ago (that Dan Girardi is shown modeling in above) with the Silverish Lettering type of look and the Navy Blue and White and Red Jersey — more suited to the TYPICAL RANGER COLORS. I think they should bring those jerseys back occasionally and use them again as they were VERY SHARP LOOKING jerseys and more in tune with the typical Rangers normal color scheme. They actually look very similar to the Hartford Wolfpack Jerseys they wear fairly regularly and they are also very good looking as well.

        But I also LOVED THE STATUE OF LIBERTY NYR LOGO JERSEYS they created for their 80th Anniversary I believe was the reason for that new jersey. WOULD REALLY LOVE TO SEE THEM AGAIN IN THE FUTURE ONCE MORE AS THEY WERE VERY SHARP AND ICONIC FOR REPRESENTING NEW YORK. Both the Navy Blue and White colors were very nice looking jerseys and I know they used them for several years afterward as a PRACTICE JERSEY but never in games after about 2 years time though. So let’s see what newer jersey they come up in another 8 years when they celebrate their 100th ANNIVERSARY IN 2026. Should be interesting but we have to wait quite awhile for those unfortunately. Maybe they can be another 1976-77 FUTURISTIC TYPE JERSEY WITH MAYBE A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT COLOR SCHEME. Would be interesting to see what they come up with then.

        • Actually just looked at the dates again when the Statue of Liberty NYR jerseys were originally introduced, and it was the 1996-97 season!! Didn’t think it was that long ago. Time does surely FLY!! So that must’ve been created for their 70th Anniversary season in the NHL which was the 1996-97 Season. Would really love to see them again sometime in the near future as I really liked them very much.

  • 2018 winter classics are the best, wish they stuck with that throughout season.

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