(This article was originally published on Aug. 16, 2020.)
One of my colleagues, Clifford Hofferd, is writing a series of articles about the Prince George Spruce Kings alternate jerseys the team has used over the years.
Here we’ll take a look at the alternate or sponsor jerseys the Chilliwack Chiefs have had over the years. Some of these jerseys feature logos that are absolutely not acceptable today, but the jersey designs themselves are some of the coolest the Chiefs have come up with.
The jerseys range from the early 1990s to last season. Most of them were sponsored jerseys given away after the season, with a handful being an alternate jersey available to the public. The opinion on these jerseys is strictly my own.
The first alternate jersey the Chiefs made public was during the 1994-95 season. The Chiefs jersey was their home Rangers-style red, white and blue design with a realistic indigenous chief as the logo. The secondary logo on the sleeve was the same as the Chicago Blackhawks tomahawk “C” logo.
Revamped and reintroduced
The Chiefs went almost ten years before unveiling a new alternate jersey. In 2003-04, the same year they closed Chilliwack Coliseum, the Chiefs unveiled their new alternate jersey on November 8, 2003, against the Surrey Eagles. The jersey design is the best alternate the team has ever produced. It was black with red and white striping similar to Team Canada and the Chicago Blackhawks alternate jerseys, and a tie-up collar.
The logo was an indigenous chief inspired by the team’s then-mascot Chief Wannawin. The shoulders had the current team logo with the word “Chilliwack” under it and a patch of the Coliseum with the word “Memories” written in the script under it.
The next season, the Chiefs moved into the arena known as Prospera Centre. They unveiled a new alternate jersey that year along with a new home and away set as well. The alternate was to honor the 2004 University of Denver national championship, which had former Chiefs Greg Keith and Gabe Gauthier on the team.
The jersey was white with red and gold trim with the “Chiefs” wordmark on the front with the player’s jersey number underneath. The shoulders were similar to the 2003-04 jersey with the alternate jersey logo and Prospera Centre patches. The team revived this jersey when they returned in 2011 but without the shoulder patches.
The final alternate jersey for the Chiefs before moving to Langley was a gold jersey with black shoulders and black, white, red stripes on the arms and bottom. The logo was a variation of the indigenous chief head with a big red “C” from the original Chiefs logo. The shoulder patches were the Chiefs logo and a patch with the three championship years on it. It seems like it wasn’t thought through before production.
Langley and the Chief
During their time in Langley, the Chiefs had three alternate jerseys. The first was in their first season in Langley and it was a black jersey with blue and gold trim. The logo was mostly the same as their original alternate jersey with “Langley” across the top of it. The shoulder patches featured the present day logo with the word “Chiefs” underneath.
The Chiefs waited until 2009-10 before coming out with another alternate jersey. This time they went with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves design with the same jersey, colors, and striping.
The front featured the word “Chiefs” running from the right shoulder down to the left hip. The shoulder patches were the new Langley Chiefs logo on the left and the Township of Langley shield on the right. They were simple designs, and I would love to see more teams use it.
The final alternate jerseys for the Langley Chiefs were a throwback to the 1970s. The franchise honoured the Langley Lords that played from 1973-78. They duplicated the jersey worn by the team in 1973-74.
The Langley rink has a nice display of old junior A jerseys, including the Langley Lords (Ryan Walter) and Eagles (Mark Recchi) pic.twitter.com/U4OcGyuOSQ
— Paul Buxton 🦑🦈🏒 (@paulbux) November 4, 2018
Return to Chilliwack
When the Chiefs returned to Chilliwack in 2011, the team adopted the alternate jersey from 2004-05 as its primary jersey.
Chilliwack didn’t have an official alternate jersey until 2014-15 when the Chiefs introduced a gold jersey with crimson and white stripes. They incorporated crimson maple leaves as shoulder patches as they would with their primary jersey worn from 2014-16. The Chiefs have had an alternate or sponsor jersey every season since then. Because there are so many, I’ve chosen the best two jerseys (in my opinion) to talk about.
The first jersey is a sponsor jersey from 2016-17 and it was inspired by the City of Chilliwack’s military history. The jersey was military brown with camo going down the sleeves. The logo was done to represent all of the military regiments that have called Chilliwack home throughout the years.
The second jersey was introduced in 2017-18 and honours Chilliwack’s minor hockey association. The jersey is black with red on the bicep and white trim around the top and bottom, it’s very similar striping to the Penticton Vees.
The logo was the new Chilliwack Minor Hockey logo. The shoulder patches were the Chiefs logo with the “C” being white instead of gold. It’s a very sleek simple design.
The Chiefs have a long history of alternate jerseys. Some have been home runs, others not so much. It’s good that they moved away from featuring an indigenous chief as the primary logo on their alternate jerseys.
My hope is they can come up with a jersey in the next couple of seasons that further honours the City of Chilliwack and its nickname as the “Green Heart of British Columbia”.