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The Biggest NHL Milestones: A Skate Down Memory Lane

Take a trip through hockey's past! Explore the greatest NHL milestones and create your own team milestones with unique jerseys and patches.

The Boston Bruins celebrate 100 years of hockey this season, making them just the third team in the NHL to crack the century mark, along with the Montreal Canadiens (2009) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (2017).

One hundred years is a major team milestone in professional hockey, so it’s an opportunity for the club and fans to celebrate the organization’s past, present, and future.

This week Keener Jerseys tips our hat to the big bad Bruins by looking at how they’ll be celebrating their 100th season of NHL hockey. We’ll also show you how other teams have celebrated major milestones, and we’ll give you some ideas on how your team can celebrate your own milestones with sweet new custom jerseys, logos, and patches, just like the pros.

nhl milestones

Hockey’s legacy is built and carried by teams and by the league itself. Here are the most important league milestones in professional hockey.

STANLEY CUP

While the NHL celebrated its 100th birthday in 2017, the Stanley Cup is even older, celebrating its 100th trip around the Sun way back in 1993. Most teams wore a Stanley Cup 100 commemorative patch on the upper right chest of their jerseys for the 1992-93 season, with the exception of the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins (road only), whose diagonal “Rangers” and “Pittsburgh” occupied the upper right chest area of their respective jerseys. Instead, the Rangers wore the Stanely Cup 100 patch on their right shoulder, while the Penguins did not wear one at all on their black jerseys. Collectors should also note that the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques wore French versions of the patch.

1993 stanley cup nhl milestone patrick roy cup win

Patrick Roy celebrating with the Stanley Cup and it’s 100th anniversary patch

100 season nhl milestone tamp bay lightning player

The NHL’s 100th anniversary patch in action at a Tampa Bay game

NHL

The National Hockey League observed its 100th year of operation in 2017. That year, all teams wore the specially designed NHL 100th anniversary patch on their right sleeves. The NHL 100 logo also appeared on all game pucks throughout the 2017 calendar year.

The league continued centennial festivities in the 2017-2018 season, which marked the 100th season of NHL competition play (the 2004-2005 lockout season setting this milestone back a year). Celebrations also included two outdoor games — the first pitting the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings at Toronto’s BMO Field, and the second featuring the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa.

Major Team milestones

As the NHL and its teams get older, their stories, symbols, and traditions become more meaningful, both to the cities the team is based in and to the sport of hockey itself. Here’s how hockey’s oldest teams have celebrated 100 years of grinding.

Boston Bruins

With six Stanley Cups and 12 retired jersey numbers, the Boston Bruins have a rich hockey history to put it mildly. To mark the 100th anniversary of Boston Bruins hockey, the Bs plan to wear three new jerseys. Their primary home and away jerseys feel like a twist on their 1981–1995 era uniforms, like what Ray Bourque wore in his heyday. The Bruins’ 2024 alternate jersey sports a rare yellow B on a white jersey with 1924 emblazoned across the centre spoke similar to their 25th anniversary jerseys which sported 24 on the left side of the B and 49 on the right side of the B. 

Here’s a look at the 2024 Boston Bruins centennial jerseys and 100th anniversary patch:

The bear in the centre of 100th patch is a nod to the logo that appeared on the front of the very first Boston Bruins jerseys. As a hockey jersey customizer, I really love the combination of new and old. The Boys from Beantown are going to look great as they tour the NHL’s 32 cities with these fresh new fits.

boston bruins nhl milestone

2024 Boston Bruins 100th anniversary patch

montreal canadiens nhl milestone carey price

Carey Price wearing a Montreal jersey with the 100th anniversary patch

Montreal Canadiens

At 114 years old, the Montreal Canadiens are the oldest team in professional hockey, eclipsing the 100 year mark way back in 2009. They celebrated the milestone over two full seasons (2008-2010), wearing five of their old team jerseys as thirds and two different “100” shoulder patches. The Habs kicked off their centennial celebrations by unveiling their Ring of Honor at the Bell Centre. The team also retired three jersey numbers over the course of the two seasons of festivities: #33 (Patrick Roy), #16 (Elmer Lach), and #3 (Emile Bouchard).

Toronto Maple Leafs

The second team to reach 100 years was the Toronto Maple Leafs, reaching triple digits in 2017. The Leafs changed up their logo for the 2016-17 season, a tweaked version of the logo they donned in 1967, the last time the team won the Stanley Cup. The throwback leaf crest featured 31 points (a nod to the opening of Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931) and 17 veins (in recognition of the franchise’s founding in 1917).

The team also wore commemorative helmet stickers, and the Leafs logo was amended for the 2017 alumni game to feature a “100” in the centre of the leaf.

The following year, the Buds marked the 100 year anniversary of their first NHL game by wearing a throwback Toronto Arenas jersey in their season opener against the Montreal Canadiens. The Toronto franchise has gone through a couple name changes since its inception, having been called the Arenas from 1917 to 1919, and the Toronto St. Pats from 1919 to 1927, before finally settling on the Maple Leafs moniker in the 1927-28 season.

toronto maple leafs nhl milestone

Toronto Maples Leafs alumni at the Centennial Classic

More NHL milestones

There are other teams celebrating some smaller milestones over the next few years. The 2023-2024 season marks 30 years for the Anaheim Ducks, and the Devils and Capitals both observe 50 years since their creation.

And there’s more on the way.

The remaining Original Six teams — Detroit, Chicago, and the New York Rangers — all celebrate their centennial in 2026. Each of these franchises marked their 75th birthday with a special jersey patch, and we expect no less from them for their respective hundredths.

2027 marks 60 years since the original NHL expansion in 1967 that doubled the number of NHL teams from six to 12. Five of those franchises – Pittsburgh, L.A., St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Dallas still exist today, and will reach the 60 year plateau in the 2026-2027 season.

We don’t expect Dallas to observe the occasion, however, because the franchise started out in Minneapolis before relocating to Dallas in 1993. They didn’t sport a 50th anniversary patch back in 2017, while the Penguins, Blues, Kings, and Flyers all did, so chances are they won’t do anything for their 60th.

Every team is building a rich, living history. Here’s a list showing when each NHL team will turn 100:

  1. Anaheim, 2093
  2. Arizona, 2072 (technically)
  3. Buffalo, 2070
  4. Calgary, 2072 (technically)
  5. Carolina, 2072 (technically)
  6. Colorado, 2072 (technically)
  7. Columbus, 2100
  8. Dallas, 2067 (technically)
  9. Edmonton, 2072
  10. Florida, 2093
  11. L.A. Kings, 2067
  12. Minnesota 2100
  13. Nashville, 2098
  14. New Jersey, 2074
  15. NY Islanders, 2072
  16. Ottawa, 2092
  17. Philadelphia, 2067
  18. Pittsburgh, 2067
  19. San Jose, 2091
  20. Seattle, 2120
  21. St. Louis, 2067
  22. Tampa, 2092
  23. Vancouver, 2070
  24. Vegas, 2117
  25. Washington, 2074
  26. Winnipeg, 2099 (technically)

A few teams on this list were relocated from other cities, so they trace their beginnings back further than their stint in their current town. The Winnipeg Jets relocated to Phoenix in 1997 to become the Coyotes, so Arizona fans will probably celebrate 100 years in 2097 instead of 2072, when the franchise was born. Other teams in a similar situation include the Calgary Flames, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Colorado Avalanche, the Dallas Stars, and the current incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets.

balmoral hall hockey team milestone

How to celebrate your rec team’s milestone

Commemorative patches and custom team jerseys are a great way to build and honor team history. If your team is approaching a milestone, you can celebrate with a patch, a redesigned logo, or custom hockey jerseys to mark the moment just like the pros. Just look at these sweet 20th anniversary patches we did for the Chicken Hawks, a rec league team from Winnipeg.

Keener Jerseys can match the on-ice specs of any team, so if you have hockey sweaters similar to an existing pro organization, we can easily replicate number and logo patterns. Have a unique kit? No problem! We’ll work with you to make sure your hockey jersey customization meets your team’s expectations. Check out our jersey builder to see just how creative you can be.

Keener Jerseys is the number one hockey jersey designer in the business. We’ve done jerseys for teams at every level from the Nashville Predators to the Winnipeg Chicken Hawks. My team of jersey experts can bring any design to life, and I dare you to give us a challenge. Our attention to detail is unmatched, and we complete every order on-time and accurately. Everytime.

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Chris “Keener” Dougherty started customizing jerseys when he was 11. Over the next 20 years, Keener honed his craft to become a world-class customizer and leading expert on premium jersey customization.

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