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Monday, April 6, 2020

CCM NHL Heritage Collection of jerseys – Part 2 of 2

Now comes the part where I could really use some help from readers - I am going to try to document the first 30 or 40 jerseys in the CCM Heritage Collection of jerseys. If you have info to augment something I have written below, please share! Or if you have info that calls into question something I have written, let me know (but be gentle folks!).

Keep in mind:

- We know the CCM Heritage Collection began in the fall of 1992.

- We know that in 2002 the NHL dropped the Heritage Collection as an expression designating products that were part of the Heritage Collection line in favour of a new expression - the Vintage Collection.

- We know, or at least we think we know, that 14 jerseys were released in the fall of 1992 - see Part 1 of this blog. I'm going to call this "Generation 1". The 14 jerseys were:

Generation 1

1. Boston Bruins Circa 1928
2. Boston Bruins Circa 1930
3. Chicago Blackhawks Circa 1940
4. Detroit Cougars 1930
5. Montreal Canadiens Circa 1960
6. Montreal Maroons Circa 1930
7. New York Americans Circa 1926
8. New York Americans Circa 1938
9. New York Rangers Circa
10. NHL All Star Circa 1949
11. Philadelphia Quakers Circa 1931
12. St. Louis Eagles Circa 1935
13. Toronto Maple Leafs Circa 1950
14. Toronto St. Pats Circa 1923

- We also know that a 15th jersey, the Montreal Canadiens Circa 1934, was contemplated but never released. In fact, I think it morphed into #16 below - the Montreal Canadiens Circa 1944.

Generation 1.5

- I believe that in the fall of 1993, CCM issued four additional Heritage Collection jerseys. These jerseys had the same three characteristics as Generation 1:
A. These jerseys have the Heritage Collection tag/label prominently displayed in the lower left front portion of the jersey.
B. These jerseys also have a similar Heritage tag/label sewn into the inside of the back of the collar.
C.  These jerseys have Circa 19xx embroidered in the lower left front portion of the jersey - immediately below the Heritage tag/label.

15. Hamilton Tigers Circa 1922

16. Montreal Canadiens Circa 1944
(In some ways this is a re-birth of the non-used 1934 Montreal Canadiens jersey noted above)

17. Oakland Seals Circa 1968

18. Portland Rosebuds Circa 1926

It's interesting to speculate why CCM and NHL Licensing chose these 18 jerseys as their first 18. It's easy to second guess but we won't go down that path. Let's just leave it as interesting to note the 18 that were chosen.

Generation 2

- I believe that in the fall of 1994, CCM (it is no longer CCM Sport Maska, just CCM) issued eleven additional Heritage Collection jerseys. These jerseys only have one of the same three characteristics as Generation 1:

A. These jerseys have the Heritage Collection tag/label prominently displayed in the lower left front portion of the jersey.

B. These jerseys have a different tag/label sewn into the inside of the back of the collar than the Gen 1's - this label has CCM prominently displayed on the viewer's left with the circular NHL Officially Licensed logo on a blue background on the viewer's right - there is no mention of the Heritage Collection on this collar label.

C.  These jerseys do NOT have Circa 19xx embroidered anywhere on the jersey. I have no facts to back this up, but my spider sense tells me that someone at CCM felt that the embroidery was an unnecessary expense that only slowed production, so it was dropped.

Note: Four of these ten jerseys are what I call "re-issues", meaning they are basically the same jersey that was previously introduced except this latest version does not have the Circa 19xx embroidered on it nor does it have a Heritage Collection collar label.

19. Boston Bruins (Re-issue) Circa 1928
- Adjustments were made to the 1928 Bruins logo from Gen 1 to Gen 2.

20. Boston Bruins Circa 1935 (is the year correct?)

21. Chicago Blackhawks (Re-issue) Circa 1940 (is the year correct?)

22. Montreal Canadiens Circa 1929

23. New York Americans (Re-issue) Circa 1926

24. New York Rangers Circa 1927

25. St. Louis Eagles (Re-issue) Circa 1935
- This jersey is an outlier in that it does actually have a Heritage tag/label in the collar, not the blue CCM tag/label that all the others do. But because it does not have a Circa 1935, I have included it in this 2nd Generation. I own this particular jersey so I am confidant as to what elements it does and doesn't have. 

26. Toronto Maple Leafs Circa 1931

27. Toronto Maple Leafs Circa 1955 (is the year correct?)

28. Toronto St. Pats Circa 1926

29. Vancouver Canucks Circa 1970 (is the year correct?)

Now it starts to get shaky, so if you know anything that can help, please share.

Generation 2 or 3?

The following six jerseys may or may not be made by CCM - the best way to tell is to see the collar label, and these photos don't show us the collar labels. If it has this label, then we know it's a CCM Generation 2 (or Generation 3):

You cannot tell who the manufacturer is by the Heritage Collection tag/label on the lower left front of the jersey - that label is not exclusive to CCM, it could also be used by other NHL Heritage Collection licensees such as Ebbets Field Flannels and perhaps Mitchell and Ness. So if you own any of the six jerseys shown below, please have a look at the collar label and send me a photo if you can - . I'll give you credit!

30. Boston Bruins Circa 1959

31. Detroit Red Wings Circa 1951

32. Ottawa Senators Circa 1926

33. Seattle Metropolitans Circa 1917

34. Toronto Maple Leafs Circa 1931

35. Vancouver Millionaires Circa 1915


By the mid 1990's, the NHL had begun adding other Heritage Collection jersey licensees, ie the NHL allowed multiple companies the right to make Heritage Collection jerseys - it was no longer the exclusive purview of CCM. 

The most prolific of these other licensees was Ebbets Field Flannels (EFF) of Seattle. I have reached out to the owner of Ebbets Field, Jerry Cohen, to see if he can tell us how many NHL Heritage jerseys EFF made, what years they made them and exactly what jerseys they made. If I had to guess, I'd say EFF made 50-75 different NHL jerseys from the mid-late 1990's to the early-mid 2000's, but let's see what Jerry has to say.

And in 1998 the great Peter Capolino and his Mitchell & Ness company from Philadelphia entered the NHL throwback jersey market. I think their NHL license expired in 2005-ish.

Another major NHL throwback jersey licensee of note was Toronto's Roger Edwards Sport, a small Canadian company that was purchased by The Hockey Company in 2003, then by Reebok in 2004. In 2008 Roger Edwards Sport by Reebok took over making Vintage Collection jerseys from CCM.


By the time 2002 came around and the NHL made the decision to drop the Heritage Collection brand in favour of the Vintage Collection brand, all hell had broken loose in terms of keeping track of how many throwback jerseys had been made, let alone being able to chronicle exactly which ones have been made and by whom. And you have to throw in the counterfeit jerseys being made overseas as an additional wild card in terms of not being able to keep track of who was doing what. Perhaps someone with a lot more staying power than I have can take up the cause of chronicling throwback NHL jerseys from the late 90's to the present.

My purpose in this two-part blog posting was twofold: I wanted to tip my hat to the folks in NHL licensing and to the folks at CCM Sport Maska who way back in 1990 had the foresight to launch the NHL's great throwback jersey undertaking that has literally exploded over the last 30 years. Below please find the names of the people from 1990 who I believe deserve much of the credit:

And my other purpose was that I wanted to identify as accurately as possible the first 30-40 throwback NHL jerseys that came from that collaboration. Here's a visual summary of my first stab at such a list:

Over to you, Mr./Ms. Reader - if you have any info to share, please bring it on!

Thanks -

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