The National Hockey League and Adidas unveiled the uniforms for both the Calgary Flames and the host Edmonton Oilers for the upcoming 2023 NHL Heritage Classic. The Flames and Oilers will meet outdoors at Commonwealth Stadium – home of the CFL’s Elks – on October 29, 2023.
As is tradition for the Heritage Classic, both clubs are wearing uniforms which pay tribute to past hockey clubs from their respective communities. The Edmonton Oilers are throwing back to an amateur team of the 1950s, which captured Winter Olympic gold; the Flames are doing so to a minor-pro club which spanned multiple decades across several leagues.
Before we get into the story behind the design, take a look at how the two uniforms will match up against one another:
Both clubs will be wearing their familiar colour schemes – the Oilers in royal blue and orange and the Flames in red and gold. Edmonton will pair their tops with leather-brown breezers and gloves, which was the style of the time. Calgary sticks with a more modern red for both.
The Edmonton Oilers will wear a royal blue sweater with orange shoulders trimmed in vintage white to evoke “aged embellishments and textiles of vintage uniforms.” On the chest is a white ribbon arched upwards featuring the name of the club in blue; this ribbon wraps around a single white, orange drop trimmed in orange containing the player’s number in blue (I, personally, love the idea of the number in the oil drop for the Oilers).
On each arm is a large orange stripe trimmed on either side with a white stripe; the player number is within each stripe in white with blue trim. A large orange stripe wraps around the waist of the jersey with a thinner white stripe above it. The pants are brown, as are the gloves, and the socks duplicate the sleeve design (minus the numbers). The back of the jersey shows the player’s number in white with orange trim below the player’s name in white.
The Edmonton Oilers uniform was designed to resemble that of the 1952 Edmonton Mercurys, an amateur club which represented Canada in the Winter Olympic games in Norway. The Mercurys took gold after going 7-0-1 in the round-robin tournament, outscoring their opponents 71 to 14, the last gold won by Canada until the 2002 Salt Lake City games 50 years later. Sadly, the Oilers didn’t use the same back of the jersey as the Mercurys; that club duplicated the ribbon style from the front for the player nameplate. Hey, they could get creative back in 1952 too.
The Calgary Flames will counter with a vintage white sweater with red shoulders. On the chest is a layered felt crest with “rich chain-stitch details,” showing your typical Flames logo in white with gold trim rendered in a “hand-drawn style.” The team name is arched around above and below in gold, and the entire design is placed within a red circle, trimmed in white and red.
On each sleeve, we see the shoulder yokes extended down quite a bit, far enough to have the player’s number placed within it. Player numbers are white with visible stitching giving the illusion of an additional trim colour. Each sleeve contains two red horizontal stripes. Down around the waist, we see more red stripes as a single large red stripe is flanked by two smaller red ones. The Flames will wear red helmets with this jersey, red breezes and gloves, and heritage white socks with the same double red stripe as the sleeves.
The Flames uniform is loosely based upon the style worn by the Calgary Stampeders (the hockey team, not the CFL club). The Stamps played in several different leagues between the 1930s and 1970s; their highest level of play would have been in the old professional Western Hockey League from 1951 to 1963. The Stampeders won the Allan Cup – Canada’s top prize for senior amateur hockey – in 1946 and the WHL’s Lester Patrick Cup in 1954.
Both clubs will have the phrase “Battle of Alberta” inside the back collar to pay tribute to this classic provincial rivalry.
A look at the back of both team sweaters shows a relatively plain design, single-colour everything for the Flames, and a standard white-on-orange number style for Edmonton with single-colour names.
The 2023 NHL Heritage Classic, the 37th regular-season outdoor game in NHL history, will be played at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 5 p.m. local time (7 p.m. ET). The 2023 Heritage Classic logo celebrates the 20th anniversary of the original Heritage Classic contest, which was the first regular-season outdoor game in NHL history. That game was played at this same stadium on November 22, 2003, when the visiting Montreal Canadiens topped the Oilers 4-3.
Jerseys, caps, toques, scarves, shirts, and more featuring the 2023 Heritage Classic designs for both the Oilers and Flames are available right now via our partnership with NHLShop — you can shop here if you’re in Canada or via this link if from the United States.