Hockey History, Kings History, NHL Jerseys

The Los Angeles Kings have had some of the most classic jerseys in NHL history. Many legends have worn the Kings jersey and all the history that goes with it. Since the team was founded in 1966, they have only had three main color schemes, that have changed little over the years. Even within these designs, some commonalities keep the Kings’ identity consistent.

Related: Los Angele Kings – The Foundation of Royalty

Most Kings jerseys have been hits, but like any team, they have had their share of misses. However, overall, they’ve done a solid job with their logo, branding, and jersey design over the years.

1967-1988: Kings Are Introduced to the NHL With Original Purple and Yellow Jerseys

The Kings came into the league in 1967 with fairly simple jerseys that are still remembered today. Purple and yellow were their first colors, featuring one thick stripe on the sleeve in the contrasting color. On the purple jersey, a yellow stripe sits at the bottom, while on the yellow jersey, there is a purple stripe at the bottom. The original crown logo was used on this jersey and continued to be used until 1988.

Kings Jerseys
The Kings might have abandoned their old color scheme and designs, but their jerseys are amongst the best old-school uniforms. (Photo Credit: NHLUniforms.com)

The main alteration to the original jersey came in 1980 (see above) when extra stripes and contrasting sleeves were added. The Kings added two thin white stripes surrounding the bottom contrasting stripe. They also added shoulders and sleeves in the color that contrasted the main shade of the jersey. The original jerseys were influenced by the Los Angeles Lakers and matched the NBA team’s color scheme.

1988-1998: Gretzky Arrives in Los Angeles, Along With New Jerseys

With the arrival of Wayne Gretzky came new jerseys and a new color scheme. The Kings altered their main colors to black, white, and silver, to match the NFL’s Raiders who were based in L.A. at the time. The new logo had a small “Los Angeles” atop a larger “Kings” with a smaller crown logo underneath the wordmark. There were still stripes of the contrasting color on the sleeves and bottom of the jersey, surrounded by thin silver stripes. They also had contrasting and silver collars.

1995: The Burger King Jersey

In 1995, the Kings introduced an alternate jersey that was one of the worst in NHL history. The Burger King/White Castle looking logo isn’t even the main issue with the jersey. Due to the gradient streak across the jersey, that resembled a royal sash, the logo was placed at the top right near the shoulder, not in the middle. All of these issues combined with the circus-like purple numbers, made it a jersey to forget.

Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Kings Jersey, 1995-96 (Courtesy Andrew M. Greenstein http://www.nhluniforms.com/index.html)

The only good part about this alternate jersey is that it only lasted one season. Yes, the organization wanted to breathe some life into a brand that was considered bland for the previous seven years, but this was not the way to do it.

1998-2013: Purple Makes a Comeback in Kings Uniforms

In 1998, the Kings redesigned their jerseys to bring back the original purple while still incorporating black into the uniform. The primary colors of these uniforms were white and black, but they had a thick purple stripe on the sleeves, bottom, and shoulders. These lines were surrounded by thin black and silver stripes. The collar featured no purple, only black and silver.

Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Kings Jersey, 1998-99 (Courtesy Andrew M. Greenstein http://www.nhluniforms.com/index.html)

In terms of the logo, two swords crossed over a shield. There is a small “LA” wordmark on the top of the shield and a small “Kings” wordmark along the bottom of the logo. There is a large “Los Angeles” in the purple stripe on the bottom of the jersey.

1999: Kings Introduce New Alternate Jersey

After the redesign of the uniform in 1998, the Kings added an alternate jersey one season later. This jersey has the same design as the primary black jersey, but the purple and black are swapped. There is also a different logo, bringing back the crown instead of the shield.

Los Angeles Kings Third Jersey
The Los Angeles Kings decided to bring back a different shade of purple in 1999. (Photo Credit: Classic Auctions)

Although the Kings used a purple alternate jersey until 2007, the logos were changed in 2002. The shield became the alternate logo, and the crown became the primary logo. This was the first time the Kings had used the crown as their primary logo since 1988.

2008: Kings Introduce Purple-Less Alternate Jersey

With a new alternate jersey, the Kings threw it back to the Gretzky era, and removed the purple. This jersey is very similar to what the Kings use now as their home uniform. It is primarily black, with a white stripe on the sleeve. This stripe is surrounded by silver, similar to the silver stripe along the bottom of the jersey.

2011-Present: Kings Eliminate Color From Primary Jerseys

The Kings kept the purple accent in the alternate jersey until 2013, but eliminated all other colors from their home and away uniforms. These new jerseys matched the previous black alternate introduced in 2008.

Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Anze Kopitar (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In 2017, Adidas became the manufacturer of all NHL jerseys though few changed, and the Kings saw no significant differences in their uniforms.

2016: Grey Alternate Jersey is Added to Kings Uniform

In 2016, the Kings added a grey alternate jersey, that resembled their primary uniform. The inside of the collar on this jersey is purple and has a gold trim around the numbers.

Los Angeles Kings Adrian Kempe
Los Angeles Kings center Adrian Kempe (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo, File)

The alternate jersey introduced in 2016 only lasted one season but was reintroduced in 2018 without the gold trim. The Kings still use this jersey as their alternate.

What Is the Future for Kings Uniforms?

There is no denying that the Kings have one of the blandest uniforms in the NHL. The team’s history shows it hasn’t always been this way and Kings fans are looking to the organization to bring some color back. Adidas has printed many throwback jerseys as alternates, and the Kings should be next. Whether they bring back a purple jersey or a yellow one, as long as they don’t revive the Burger King jersey, it should be a success.



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