Originally intended to be worn for just one night in 2022, the Prince Albert Raiders knew that their 50th-anniversary jersey was too special to gather dust in their locker room.
The Western Hockey League team has brought back a fan and player favorite from their 50th-anniversary season of 2021-22, incorporating it into their permanent rotation as an alternate jersey.
The jersey is primarily black with a gold logo on the front featuring a skull wearing a pirate hat. The collar is black with a green insert in the front and black laces. Green stripes extend from the collar and taper towards the shoulders. The hem features a wide green stripe, while the sleeves have green-gold stripes.
The Raiders‘ primary logo appears on each shoulder, with a green panel running under each arm. The numbers on the sleeves are gold, while on the back they are green with a golden border. The name on the back is solid gold.
The new jersey is nearly identical to the one the Raiders wore on March 19, 2022, during their 50th-anniversary season game against the Saskatoon Blades. It was initially promoted as a One-Night-Only appearance, but Raiders general manager Michael Scissons told the Prinz Albert Herald that they were too good to not bring back.
„I think these sweaters were overwhelmingly well-received and seen as unique and fitting to the Raiders,“ he said. „(There are) a couple of minor changes. This time we’ve added our regular logo to the shoulders because it’s another logo we are incredibly proud of, and we’ve tweaked the shading of the primary logo a bit.“
Both versions of the jerseys were designed by artist Alec Des Rivières from Montréal. „It’s really cool to finally see something you’ve done come to life. I don’t really see the results because I just send the design and they do what they want with it, or they print it out,“ he said to PANow.com in March 2022. „(The Raiders) sent me a jersey, it’s in my room. It’s really cool to see. I’ve seen pictures of the pucks they’ll use for the game. It’s really great.“
Scissons mentioned that while most of the 50th-anniversary celebrations in 2021-22 looked back at the Raiders‘ history, the black jersey was meant to be a step forward. „We worked with an artist from Montreal, to whom we gave a direction for what we thought was a futuristic pirate look, something that would carry us into the next 50 years. That’s what he came up with,“ he said. „We’ve made a few minor adjustments but today they are our permanent alternate jerseys.“
The Raiders debuted the new jerseys at home on Friday, December 8, against the Calgary Hitmen, a game they won 4-3. Forward Ryder Ritchie was a big fan. „I love them. I wish we could wear them more often,“ he said in a video posted on the Raiders‘ website after the game. „I think we look mean in black. I love the jerseys; they’ve done a great job with it.“