We’re joining with the other SB Nation hockey sites to discuss the worst jersey in each franchise’s history, a truly beautiful collection of ugly sweaters just in time for the holidays.
Unlike those sites, however, the Bruins have a long and storied history of wonderful jerseys with nary a blemish in sight. Their jerseys are like the Museum of Fine Arts: beauty around every corner, from all eras.
But there’s a jersey that comes up every time NHL fans discuss Bruins jerseys, or just bad hockey jerseys in general:
Yes, the Pooh Bear jersey.
The Bruins wore the Pooh Bear jersey as their alternate from 1995 through 2006. Sadly, the Pooh jerseys met their demise with the introduction of the RBK Edge jerseys after the lockout.
Just look at it. It’s truly beautiful!
This jersey is much maligned around the hockey world, mainly by people who can’t truly understand what beauty is. For these people, there’s little you can do but shake your head and hope they get better some day. Godspeed.
What is it that makes this worst jersey actually great? Really, everything about it.
A yellow alternate! It’s what the people want. It’s what the people need. This jersey wasn’t exactly a bright yellow, but it wasn’t really a tan-ish gold either. It’s part of what made it unique.
The bear on the front of the jersey doesn’t look threatening. He doesn’t look angry or intimidating. There’s no snarl, no claws, no lingering threat of violence. He looks approachable, and, dare I say it, snuggly.
The facial expression is the best part. Unlike the 80’s COCAINE BEAR shoulder patch, this bear looks smug. He’s almost bemused. He looks like you just asked him a really dumb question, and he’s about to embarrass you for it.
However, there’s an air of mystery in the bear. Does he know something you don’t know? What’s his secret? We may never know.
The jagged black edges with white piping just scream late-1990’s. EXTREME!!!!!!
The shoulder patches
Or really, the lack of shoulder patches. The shoulder patch is just the word BRUINS in all caps, and in block letters. No need for subtlety here!
All of these elements come together to make this jersey fantastic. It’s just a collision of 90’s influences with a bear face on the front. It’s a 1990’s fever dream.
That’s why there are two types of people on this Earth: #TeamPooh people with taste, and everyone else.
As a brief aside, if I had to suggest which Bruins jersey is actually the worst, I’d probably go with the all-black alternates they wore until a few years ago. It wasn’t a terrible jersey, as it was nice to see them go bold with a different logo.
However, the lack of any kind of striping at the bottom of the jersey, combined with the black pants, made it look like the players were wearing long-sleeved t-shirts or pajamas.
I own two of them, so it’s hard for me to be too critical, and I liked them more when they first came out. But compared to the classic looks of years past and (then) future, it was a little weird.