The Calgary Flames cult-classic Blasty jersey will ride again.
The team revealed the return of the fire-breathing horse head logo as part of the NHL’s Reverse Retro jersey series on Monday.
The Flames wore the original jersey from 1998 to 2006, and it served as the team’s home jersey for three years.
When it was first introduced, the logo drew a lot of criticism.
“It was such a big jersey and it had so much controversy,” Flames assistant general manager Craig Conroy recalled.
“For me to see it on the ice and out there again is going to be pretty special. But you know, I always enjoyed the jerseys.”
In the years since the logo was taken off the jerseys, Blasty has developed a strong following with young fans who associated the symbol with their first NHL games and the 2004 Stanley Cup run.
When the Flames brought in hats and hoodies with the logo in 2019, they flew off the shelves and became the team’s top-selling merchandise.
“It’s like you either absolutely love it or absolutely despise it,” Flames superfan and podcast host Noah Adler said.
“I understand why some don’t like it because it brings back a pretty bad dark ages in franchise history, but my love of Blasty goes all the way back to when my love for this team first started.”
The jersey’s new legacy even surprised Flames brass.
“I walked through the stands, or I’m going up to the box, and people are always like, ‘When are you bringing back the jersey?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know, I thought you guys hated it!'” Conroy laughed.
“People told me they can’t find the jersey, so whenever you make something unique, and hard to find, people want it even more.”
More than 170 people pre-ordered the jersey in the first three hours after the design dropped Monday morning.
“The striping is a little bit different,” Calgary Sports and Entertainment director of retail, Brent Gibbs said. “The Cs on the shoulders are white instead of red, just a few kind of minor differences.
Gibbs said the rest of the uniform will feature black gloves and classic striping on the pants — 1990s style.
Mark Giordano is the only current member of the Flames to wear a previous version of the Blasty jersey with the team.
NHL teams will wear the reverse retro uniforms for a number of designated rivalry games during the upcoming season.
While the original horse head jersey marked a dark era for the team, fans hope new talent and a modern update can change Blasty’s legacy.