Buffalo Sabres Jersey Power Rankings
What is the best look the Sabres have worn in franchise history?
The Buffalo Sabres have worn several different jersey styles over the years. Throughout their roughly 50-year-history, some have been more drastic changes than others (see: the seemingly random switch to red and black, the slug, etc.) Other times, the changes were much more minor, but still had an impact on the overall look.
Since it’s Jersey Week here at SB Nation, it’s time for a power ranking of the uniforms worn throughout Buffalo Sabres history. From worst to first — here we go.
18. The 2007-08 Slugs
Ugh, ugh, ugh. The Buffaslug was just downright bad. This was the second season the team wore this logo. It’s bad enough that they wore it for one season, let alone for a second - carrying over the design to the NHL’s new Reebok Edge jersey.
17. The 2006-07 Slugs
This was the introduction of the Buffaslug, and from the beginning it was a question of “What the heck is that supposed to be?” I give them the tiniest bit of credit for trying something new, but it just... did not work. One silver lining: the numbers on the chest of the jersey, something new in the league at the time.
16. The 2013-15 Third Jersey
This jersey was so different from what we were used to. The shade of gold seemed pretty harsh; a gold jersey can be nice if done correctly, but this wasn’t it. The random half-stripe of silver on the back looks out of place, and what is that font used on the back? Do we really need the word ‘Buffalo’ on the front? There’s just too many different elements here to make a cohesive look, and it shows.
15. An Update to the Classic (2008 - 2015)
This jersey was introduced as the team’s third jersey in 2008, then became their full-time look from 2010 until 2015. It’s meant to be an updated version of their original uniform, but some of the additions make it a less-clean look in my opinion. The thick stripe makes things look too cluttered in my opinion - I’m not a huge fan of stripes like that - and the silver piping seems unnecessary.
14. An Update to the Update (2017-20)
I prefer this to the aforementioned version of the Sabres jersey. It’s a little bit cleaner, with the piping on the front removed and the laces changed up. The addition of the 50th anniversary patch for this past season still keeps things basically streamlined, but I’m still not a big fan of the obnoxiously-thick stripe on the bottom of the jersey.
13. The 2006-07 Thirds
I can’t say enough how much I love the color of these. The number on the front seems a bit large in proportion to the logo, but other than that, it’s just a shame that it took so long for the team to introduce these - and that they stayed for such a short time.
12. The 2010-12 Thirds
The color! Beautiful. The script on the front? Amazing. Overall, this jersey was a nice nod to the rich hockey history of the city of Buffalo. It was also pretty different from what we’d seen from the Sabres previously, but in a good way (unlike the Buffaslug).
11. The Name on the Back (1977-78)
This wasn’t a huge change from the team’s first jerseys, but it was the first time we saw player names on the backs of jerseys! The front logo also got a little smaller from the previous iteration of the jersey, and boy, is that a lot of stripes (especially on the socks!)
10. Stripes! (1980-83)
Not a bad look by any stretch of the imagination - but the logo is certainly smaller than what we’re used to.
9. A New Alternate (2000-2006)
There’s not nearly enough red in hockey. This was a great look for the time. The crossed swords logo was a modern-esque take on a classic logo. Of course, just like with other third jerseys, there had to be the word “Buffalo” scrawled across the front in addition to the logo, but... RED!
8. Slight Changes (1978-80)
This iteration of the Sabres jersey saw the logo added to the shoulders. The introduction of the V-neck is a different look than what people were used to, but I think it’s a little cleaner than having the strings hanging around like in previous jerseys.
7. The 2008 Winter Classic
This was a great look, perfect for the wintry atmosphere of the 2008 Winter Classic. The dark blue is rich and contrasts great against the white, and the alternating stripe colors are. a-okay in my book. While some teams tend to overdo it for “specialty” games, this was very well-done.
6. The Classics (1983-87)
These definitely have more of that old-time hockey style to them. This was also the first time we saw the Sabres’ number font change from its previous iteration, providing a more modern and “boxy” look to that aspect of the jersey.
5. Another Winter Classic (2018)
The shade of blue is chef’s kiss. The yellow charging Buffalo is something different and special enough for the magnanimity of such an event as a Winter Classic. Lots of stripes, but overall, this is a pretty good look.
4. The Goathead (1996-2006)
A completely new look for a new era in Sabres history. This jersey is high up on my list, likely because it reminds me of when I first started watching this team. (I was 6 at the time). It reminds me of all the good times of that era - “The Hardest Working Team in Hockey,” making it to the ‘99 Final, going “Cup Crazy.” It’s also so different from anything the team had worn before - a new logo, new colors, and likely an attempt to modernize with the times - but it’s classic late ‘90s in my mind and will always be something I wish the Sabres would bring back for a game or two.
3. The Originals (1970-77)
You can’t argue with the classic look. It’s a bit weird now to think of hockey jerseys without a name on the back, I won’t lie. This was how the Sabres franchise started, how the rich history of Buffalo hockey entered onto the NHL scene. It was simple and pretty clean, although likely too simple for today’s standards.
2. The 50th Anniversary (2019-20)
Such a good look. The jersey was phenomenally designed, and the sparkle and shine of it really add that special layer for the importance of a 50th anniversary. The white gloves are a perfect addition to the look, really keeping it crisp and clean. The font is a little different than what we’re used to, but not in a bad way, and the yellow charging buffalo on the helmets is a nice touch. Perhaps the only aspect of this jersey that I’m not entirely crazy about is the sheer number of stripes on it, but it breaks up an otherwise mostly-white look nicely.
1. All I Want (1987-1996)
I just really love this look, you guys. It’s only slightly different from the previous look (thinner sock stripes) and it still has a lot of stripes in general, but it’s perhaps my favorite iteration of the “classic” jersey from back in the day. I’m only sad that I never got to see this jersey in action, as it faded out right as I got into watching the sport and the Sabres.