Follow along for our All Time NHL Uniform March Madness Bracket!

Get in the March Madness mood with some bracketeering!

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.

The Bracket

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:

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)

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)

South Region

The South Division kicked off with a bang, with a 16-1 upset and two ties!

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.

Tampa Bay and Arizona upset the 2- and 3-seeds, respectively, moving on to face Dallas’s Winter Classic and Colorado’s Home.

Midwest Region

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!

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.

East Region

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.

West Region

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 34 of the back. Only the 11-seed Seattle Kraken are in position to upset the 6-seeded Sharks

Second Round

South Region

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.

Midwest Region

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.

East Region

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.

West Region

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.

Sweet 16

South Region

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.

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