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Ugly Sweater Series: The Arizona/Phoenix Coyotes era

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The Coyotes have arguably the best jersey in the league, but an early variant is by far the worst in franchise history.

Travis #39

While the original iteration of the Winnipeg Jets, the franchise that would become the now-Arizona Coyotes, have arguably one of the most boring uniforms in history, the original Phoenix Coyotes of the 90’s went the opposite way with their worst-ever jersey.

The Coyotes of the 1990’s donned a set of jerseys that many now pine for as their home uniform, with the famous Kachina jersey being worn by some legitimate hockey stars such as Keith Tkachuk, Teppo Numminen, Shane Doan and even current head coach Rick Tocchet.

Having the most appreciated alternate jersey in the league in the modern era would lead many to assume that the majority of options donned in the franchise’s short history are all of a high quality.

But during the 1998-99 season, the Coyotes introduced what can only be described as a travesty of a jersey. A jersey that can simply be called the Green Cactus Kachina.

Phoenix Coyotes 1998/99
NHL Uniform Database

The primary logo on the jersey is understandable, being an enlarge version of the head of the Kachina-style coyote. But the majority of the rest of the jersey is a big question mark.

Using some green as a highlight in the original white and black jerseys, the Coyotes decided to have it be the primary color of this alternate. While the green could’ve been a nice color scheme, had it been combined with some other complimentary colors, the rest of the jersey is just awful.

A bright mixture of colors at the bottom of the jersey attempt to pay homage to the desert setting of the team, with the orange and purple scheme being quite an eyesore. The clash of colors and the unusual desert design just raises so many questions - especially with the fact that the team kept the jersey around until 2003.

A green jersey could have looked nice if it followed a similar pattern to the original kachina style, which has become one of the best-loved jersey designs in the entire NHL. Even the majority of TSN’s BarDown crew voted it as the best alternate jersey in the league, so much so that many opined how it should replace the team’s current home uniforms and see the team return to its origins fully.

But what do you think? Is the green jersey really that bad? Out of all the jerseys worn during the Phoenix and Arizona Coyotes era, which jersey would you argue is really the worst if not this one?