On February 8th, 1966, the NHL awarded the city of Pittsburgh an expansion team. Prior to the expansion era, the NHL consisted of six franchises, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Boston. With the city of Pittsburgh being awarded an NHL franchise, the next step was to come up with a “nickname”. So the introduction of a contest was announced. The winner of the contest ultimately ended up being Penguins, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The reason behind the name was simply due to the Civic Arena’s nickname, “Igloo”.
The inaugural season the Penguins weren’t wearing the accustomed colours that we all now know. They wore powder blue, white & navy blue with the word “Pittsburgh” across the front diagonally, very similar to the New York Rangers. Stripes were used on the arms & bottom of the jersey. On the powder blue uniforms, the multiple stripes were thick navy blue with thin white stripes. On the white uniform, the multiple stripes were thick powder blue with thin navy blue stripes. On both uniforms the wrists had a thick navy blue stripe. The last names of players were not on the back.
The following season, the uniforms were changed. The entire front of the jersey would see a change. They introduced a crest that featured a skating penguin over a gold triangle all in a circle. Inside of the circle had the words “Pittsburgh” on the top & “Penguins” on the bottom. The gold triangle was to symbolize the downtown area of Pittsburgh. The multiple stripes would change into one thick stripe on the arms & bottom of jersey. On the home jersey (white), the thick stripe colour was powder blue with the thin stripe being navy blue. On the away jersey (powder blue), the thick stripe colour was white with the think stripe being navy blue. The uniform was re-introduced in the 2008 Winter Classic game. The last names of players were not on the back.
At the beginning of this season the only change that happened on these uniforms, were the introduction of the players last names on the back of the white (home) uniform
The circle was eliminated and the skating penguin became the main crest.
The powder blue colour becomes a darker shade of blue.
The skating penguin crest becomes larger & the stripes on the uniforms changed. The stripes on the arms changed to the diagonal stripe.
The stripes would change again.
The primary colours would change back to navy blue. In the middle of the 1979-80 season, ownership decided to change the colours to black, gold and white to follow suit of the other professional teams in the city. The change happened not only to follow suit but owners wanted to test their luck and hoped to follow suit and win a championship that season. In 1979, the Steelers & Pirates both won world championships. The Boston Bruins would protest the colours & style of uniforms as they were similar to the Bruins. Ultimately the protest fell flat. In 2014-15 season, the black uniform would be introduced as the team’s third jersey.
The Penguins would introduce a third gold jersey that they would wear occasionally for their home games.
The gold uniform would be the primary uniform that would be worn in this season. The white jersey wouldn’t be used at all this season.
The gold uniforms would be used only in preseason but ultimately retired prior to the season, bringing back the white jersey as their primary home uniform. They claimed two Stanley Cup championships under these uniforms.
After winning their second consecutive championship, the team would retire the skating penguin logo & the entire look of both jerseys. The Penguins changed the logo to what would be known now as the “Robo-Penguin”. This would be the crest on the home jerseys. On the road black jerseys, the Penguins re-introduced the word “Pittsburgh” diagonally across the front.
The Penguins introduced a brand-new alternate jersey, which has been one of the most unique uniforms in teams history. The jersey would feature different stripping patterns on the arms and middle of the jersey.
The alternative jersey would become the primary road uniform as their prior road uniform would be retired.
The Penguins welcomed back the skating penguin logo & was featured in their new alternative jersey. The new alternative jersey would feature Vegas Gold instead of the gold colour.
The new skating penguin jerseys would become the primary jerseys as they introduced the brand new white uniform.
The Reebok era would begin for the entire National Hockey League. The jersey would remain the same with only difference being the stripes.
The Penguins introduced a vintage style uniform to wear in the Winter Classic. This uniform primary colour is navy blue with the penguin in the logo wearing a scarf. The jersey would feature similar stripes from what they wore in their inaugural season.
The club brought back the championship jerseys that became one of the most popular selling uniforms as it brings back tradition and the glory era of Pittsburgh hockey.