March Madness is upon us, and to get in the spirit we (okay, mostly Burkus) are doing an NHL Jersey Tournament! Every jersey worn in an NHL game ever is eligible, but only 68 made the cut.
Like the NCAA, 68 teams were selected and seeded into four regions of 16. Unlike the NCAA, we’re making these regions make actual geographic sense.
The current NHL was divided into four divisions of eight, each corresponding to the regions the NCAA uses (South, Midwest, East, and West). Every team in those regions, plus one defunct team that would’ve been in the area, received “auto-bids,” with the remaining 7-9 slots were filled in with “at-large” jerseys. Here’s the matchups for round one:
Alright, let’s do this thing! Here’s the hastily made matchup graphics for the first round of the All Time NHL Uniform March Madness Bracket!— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 15, 2023
The First Four poll will be posted later today, and then we’ll get into the first round tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/X2CxKJS6QP
I’ll update this article as we move through the tournament with the results of each round. Polls are in the threads of the embedded tweets.
First Four (3/15-16)
1/5 - To open up the ATMMJT, the First Four! pic.twitter.com/umBCif5EwR— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 15, 2023
In the play-ins, we had two matchups featuring similar jerseys from the same team, and two featuring fringe picks battling for the last spot.
Toronto’s “yoked with a fauxback leaf and lots of stripes” retros battle it out for the 11 seed in the Midwest. Ottawa’s two barberpole jerseys from the Reebok era do the same in the East. Philly and Boston renew their rivalry with a pair of underrated gems, with the Flyers’ 2020 Reverse Retro and the Bruins’ 1996-2007 home jersey, with the winner earning the East’s 16 Seed. And then it’s Golden Seals vs Golden Knights, throwback vs fauxback, for the last spot in the West.
In the end, Toronto and Ottawa’s outdoor jerseys, as well as the Flyers and Golden Seals, made it into the field of 64.
First Round (3/16-20)
The South Division kicked off with a bang, with a 16-1 upset and two ties!
March Madness officially tips off in a few hours, so it’s time to drop the puck on the #CannonATMMJT! Here’s the first four matchups in the South region for your consideration. The other four will be posted this afternoon (1/5) pic.twitter.com/zGP2EHQdT5— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 16, 2023
#13 Furman upset #4 Virginia earlier today, and there’s a 16>1 upset brewing in the first half of the South region of the #CannonATMMJT. Sounds like high time for the second half, no? (1/5) pic.twitter.com/dhWgqCcEWu— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 16, 2023
The Blues’ 2017 Winter Classic/current alternate, Blues’ home jersey, and Panthers’ 2022 Reverse Retro also advanced from the front half of voting. The Stars’ 2020 Winter Classic and Avalanche home did enough in the back half, though the two and three seeds ended up in ties. I somehow hadn’t thought of what to do if there was a tie, but it probably shouldn’t be this.
We had two ties in the East, so it’s time for a tiebreaker revote! This time we’ll use team hashtags and whatnot, see if that makes a difference. #CannonATMMJT https://t.co/0tcuwROvBD pic.twitter.com/tOLzXwQFT8— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 17, 2023
Tampa Bay and Arizona upset the 2- and 3-seeds, respectively, moving on to face Dallas’s Winter Classic and Colorado’s Home.
12 hours into the Midwest voting, we have a second potential 16-1 upset brewing, a surprising amount of support for the Penguins’ 2008 Winter Classic, and several other close matchups!
The #CannonATMMJT rolls on! The Midwest region, featuring your Columbus Blue Jackets, is the next to kick off! (1/5) pic.twitter.com/mkde4AHMAg— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 17, 2023
Time for the back half of the Midwest’s first round in the #CannonATMMJT! (1/5) pic.twitter.com/tYZgZtB5VT— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 17, 2023
In the end, in addition to your Columbus Blue Jackets finally beating the Penguins, Minnesota’s 2008 Alternate, Buffalo’s Home, Pittsburgh’s 2008 Winter Classic, Buffalo’s 2018 Winter Classic, Detroit’s Away, and Toronto’s 2014 Winter Classic cleanly advanced into the next round. Chicago’s Home and Detroit’s Centennial Classic would need a tiebreaker.
Another tie in the #CannonATMMJT! Time for another overtime with a poorly-decided format! Poll below https://t.co/glsBxH3wBK pic.twitter.com/4k7g54ENsY— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 18, 2023
The East seems much less upset-heavy than the other regions, with only the Nordiques’ Home leading the Whalers’ Away in the 8-versus-9 matchup.
Despite some wild upsets and a couple close matchups, the tournament rolls on! Oh, and we’re still doing the #CannonATMMJT. Here’s the first half of the East’s opening round. (1/5) pic.twitter.com/xmQme1cWfE— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 18, 2023
My phones about to die so I’m doing these polls quick ahhhhh pic.twitter.com/CrV1jDdnxx— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 18, 2023
The West also seems to not be as upset-prone as the South and Midwest, as the top seeds advanced in all four of the first half’s games, and they’re leading in 3⁄4 of the back. Only the 11-seed Seattle Kraken are in position to upset the 6-seeded Sharks
Hope ya like voting for some jerseys, because there’s four Calgary jerseys here for your consideration in the #CannonATMMJT! (1/5) pic.twitter.com/e9LRayYUu9— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 19, 2023
Well, that period was bad. But these jerseys are pretty great! And you decide which are better in the #CannonATMMJT… (1/5) pic.twitter.com/3iCyzTL59b— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 19, 2023
An upset-heavy South region is back at it, with the 14-, 15-, and 16-seeds all still dancing. The Kachina would upset the Blues’ alternate, the Lightning’s advances over on the Stars’ 2020 Winter Classic, while the Coyotes’ 2010s fell to on the Avalanche home.
We’re into the second round of the #CannonATMMJT now, and return to the South Division. The Top 3 seeds all fell in the first round, so it’s wide open now! (1/5) pic.twitter.com/N8X0UcqwS0— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 20, 2023
The high seeds would go 2-2 in the Midwest, with the Wild 2008 Alternate and Red Wings’ Away starving off their opponents, while the CBJ’s cannon Alternates and Buffalo’s 2018 Winter Classics would knock off the Sabres’ Home and Pittsburgh’s 2008 Classic, respectively.
Burkus is very sad, here’s polls. #CannonATMMJT pic.twitter.com/y46VRtEDdV— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 21, 2023
Back to, in my opinion, the strongest region in the tournament. Are you picking up on my passive-aggressiveness towards the Kachina and Nordiques yet? Do you think it mattered? No. The Nords knock off Montreal, but the 2-, 3- and 4-seeds all advance.
Back to the East Region of the #CannonATMMJT, where seven of the best uniforms in NHL history are joined by the Quebec Nordiques in the second round. Some tough matchups here! (1/5) pic.twitter.com/UU201XU5xs— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 22, 2023
On the other hand, the West followed a standard first round with an upset-laden second round; the Mighty Ducks’ classic design was the only higher-seeded jersey to advance. The Oilers’ home will face the Flames for the third straight time in the Sweet 16.
Another incredible group of eight jerseys, only four of which can advance to the #CannonATMMJT Sweet 16. That’s kinda how tournaments work (1/5) pic.twitter.com/VB5KtiZymy— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 23, 2023
It’s battles of large animals and weather in the South. As we near the end of the voting period for the first Sweet 16 matchups, the Panthers’ 2022 Reverse Retro and Coyotes’ Home are neck and neck, while the Avalanche have a commanding lead over the Lightning.
The #CannonATMMJT starts the Sweet 16 in the South, where the 15 and 16 seeds are still alive, and seeds 1-4 are all already eliminated. Somehow. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/LJ2lN0rWZQ— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 24, 2023