Most hockey fans in Alberta already know which team they’re cheering for anytime the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames face off against one another, but until now, puck enthusiasts did not know what their team’s jerseys would look like when the puck drops for a special outdoor game at Commonwealth Stadium next month.
On Tuesday morning, the National Hockey League unveiled the jerseys that will be worn for a “Battle of Alberta” game to be played on Oct. 29: the 2023 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.
“For the Oilers’ NHL Heritage Classic look, Adidas created new front crest artwork that combines the vintage-inspired uniform with the distinctive oil drop of the Oilers, featuring a player number in the oil drop crest,” the NHL said in a news release. “The new player names and numbers, designed by adidas, are rendered in layered felt.
“Adidas paid meticulous attention to details in completing this traditional look, including the use of sleeve numbers on only one arm and the captain’s marks overlapping the shoulder yoke.”
The NHL said the Flames’ NHL Heritage Classic jersey design “nods to the historic red and white colourway used by the Calgary Stampeders hockey team.”
In a tweet on Tuesday, the Flames noted the way the jersey pays tribute to the now inactive Calgary Stampeders hockey team will bring Calgary’s “rich history to life.”
“Adidas designed the new player names and numbers that are rendered in felt with top stitch details meant to evoke denim-reinforced sewing techniques seen on a cowboy’s blue jeans,” the NHL said of the special Flames uniforms.
“Adidas’ attention to detail included incorporating elements that were inspired by vintage designs like the extended yoke that drops so low on the sleeve that the sleeve numbers sit upon it.”
At a news conference earlier this month, Oilers captain Connor McDavid told reporters he was very excited to play in one of the select number of outdoor games that the NHL schedules each season.
“Playing hockey outdoors is as Canadian as it gets,” he said on Sept. 6 while speaking at Commonwealth Stadium, which is normally home to the CFL’s Edmonton Elks. “To do it here in Edmonton against the Flames is even better.”
The Oct. 29 game will be the second Heritage Classic for McDavid. He and the Oilers won 3-0 at Winnipeg’s Investor’s Group Field on Oct. 22, 2016.
In November 2003, Edmonton hosted the first-ever NHL regular season outdoor game which saw the Montreal Canadiens win 4-3 over the Oilers in front of 57,167 fans.
According to the NHL, including that game, there have been 35 regular season outdoor games played to date, attended by 1,755,438 fans.