Even if you’re the furthest thing from a hockey traditionalist, you have to admit alternate jerseys don’t always work.
A short list of all-time atrocities starts with those worn on special occasions by the Phoenix Coyotes from 1998-2003 (mountain ranges on the bottom, two-toned prairie wolf as the crest). The Los Angeles Kings, for some reason, thought it would be great to put nothing but a cartoon Midas-lookalike on their uniforms in the ‘95/’96 season. And let’s not forget the flaming orange numbers worn by the Anaheim Ducks from 2015 to 2017.
But man, when a team gets things right with an alternate jersey, you tend to forget that the brilliantly named Seattle Kraken is the only thing keeping it out of the cellar this year in the Pacific Division.
On that note, can someone let us know what we have to do to get our hands on the Jag Nagra-designed warm-up jerseys the Vancouver Canucks will wear tonight for Diwali Night?
The Pitt Meadows-based visual artist was asked to design the alternate uniform earlier this year, with the Canucks asking her to use the classic stick logo as a leaping off point. Other than that, she had free reign. And she went to town with Diwali Festival imagery.
Celebrated across the world by Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists, Diwali inspires with a message of lightness over darkness and good over evil.
What fans will see tonight during warm-up against the Nashville Predators is a vibrant yellow jersey where the classic Canucks stick and rink crest is tweaked with Diwali lanterns and pinwheels, fireworks, lotus flowers, and mustard plants.
On the shoulder you’ll find a flowers- and mustard-plant-adorned customized V topped by a flame that references the lanterns lit by festival celebrants. Player names on each jersey will be featured in Punjabi and Hindi.
Nagra grew up as a Canucks fan, with her favourite player being Pavel Bure. Now she’s finding herself in the spotlight with an instant fan base—Vancouver’s Seth Rogen is among those on a mission to land one of tonight’s jerseys.
As for the likes of you, get ready to either hit up the gift shop at Rogers Arena, or start scanning resale sites.
This isn’t the first time that Nagra has found herself working with Vancouver’s NHL team.
In a blink-and-you-missed moment, team Free Willy first announced a commission from the Maple Ridge-raised artist this past April. To celebrate Vaisakhi Night, and spread a message about hockey’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity, the Canucks rolled out a commemorative work designed by Nagra.
The spring release read: “The special Vaisakhi emblem incorporates the Canucks VC letter mark. The motifs and ornamentation inside the “C” are inspired by the rich history of textile and pattern design in India. “
Explaining the inspiration and process behind that work, Nagra said: “The truck graphics that you see across India are painted in such vibrant colours and they’re usually adorned with a lot of stylized typography,” explained Nagra, adding that the golden yellow colours in her logo pay tribute to wheat fields in India: imagery that is often associated with Vaisakhi, the harvest festival.”
As for tonight, you might want to hit up the Canucks gift shop upon arrival, rather than halfway through the third period, and supplies will be limited.
And should you strike out, you can always enquire about the Canucks' red-and-deep-blue alternate jerseys from 2001-2006. Because those atrocities were loved by no one, there’s guaranteed to be a stack of them in a box somewhere.