Avalanche’s reverse retro jersey pays homage to Nordiques

The Quebec Nordiques logo with a burgundy twist? The fleur-de-lis along the bottom of the white sweater? In 2020? It’s happening.

It’s been 25 years since the relocation of the Nordiques to Denver put an end to one of the more storied logos in NHL history. And for a quarter century, fans have yearned for the Avalanche to bring it back — at least for one more game.

Those fans and the rest of the hockey world will finally get their wish. Well, kind of.

The NHL’s new reverse retro jersey collection gives teams an opportunity to introduce details from the past, remixed for the future. And that’s what the Avalanche have done. The Nordiques logo will make its return in Denver, it was announced on Monday as the NHL released 31 reverse retro jerseys. The white jersey sports stripes and the fleur-de-lis in Avs burgundy.

“The reverse retro jersey is unique in that it represents our club’s rich history and bright future, utilizing the Nordiques’ iconic marks and remixed in the Avalanche’s beloved burgundy and blue,” Declan Bolger said, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for the Avs. “The sweater pays tribute to the franchise’s time in Quebec City, the first 25 seasons in Colorado, and will be popular for not only Avalanche and Nordiques fans, but for all fans of the game.”

The Avalanche haven’t ignored their storied past from Quebec. Seven years after relocation, the Avs and Montreal Canadiens, former cross-town rivals of the Nordiques, played a pre-season game in front of a sold-out crowd at Pepsi Colisee in Quebec City. Colorado wore its own jerseys for the game. But prior to puck drop, then Avs and former Nordique greats Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote stood at center ice sporting the classic Nordiques blue jersey.

photo credit: Getty Images

It was a chilling sight for a city and fanbase that missed a seven-year stretch of Avalanche dominance with the very same core group that was once their own.

Twelve years later, with former Canadiens and Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy as Colorado’s head coach, the Avs and Habs once again paired up for a pre-season game in Quebec City. The Avs did not wear or acknowledge the Nordiques logo that night.

It’s unclear when or how often the new jerseys will be worn. For most teams, the reverse retro collection is primarily dark. But the Avs are one of a handful of teams to release a white jersey. When Colorado chooses to sport the new look at Ball Arena, it will do so as the home team wearing white, just as was the norm when the Nordiques were a part of the NHL from 1979-1995.