When Steve Berard found out that Fanatics would be the new designer for NHL jerseys, he was surprised but excited. Berard is the owner of SP Apparel, a Canadian company that has been making the NHL’s on-ice uniforms in Quebec for nearly 50 years. Despite the change in designer, SP Apparel will continue to manufacture the jerseys, ensuring consistency and quality for the players.

The unveiling of the new jerseys happened just before the NHL draft, where prospects will get to wear them for the first time. The goal was to maintain the same look and feel of the jerseys from previous seasons, providing comfort and familiarity to the players. Berard emphasized that the fabrics, concepts, and overall design will remain the same, ensuring that the NHL’s reputation for quality jerseys is upheld.

SP Apparel has a rich history, starting when two former Bauer employees decided to buy Bauer’s jersey business and establish the company. Over the years, the company has grown and evolved, with a new state-of-the-art facility opening in Saint-Hyacinthe last year. The modern factory reflects Berard’s commitment to providing a better working environment for his employees while continuing to produce high-quality jerseys for various leagues and tournaments.

The process of creating an NHL jersey remains a combination of handcrafted techniques and modern technology. The factory is currently working on jerseys for the NHL, IIHF tournament, AHL, CHL, and the 2026 Olympic national teams. Each jersey goes through a meticulous design and manufacturing process, ensuring that it meets the high standards set by the NHL and the players.

Fanatics’ involvement in designing the NHL jerseys brought some initial concerns, especially after the company faced criticism from MLB players over their uniforms. However, the NHL and Fanatics have worked closely to address any issues and ensure a seamless transition for the players. The new jerseys will feature some updates, including new shoulder fabrics, a redesigned NHL Shield, and improved durability around the arms.

Looking ahead, the NHL and Fanatics have plans for more innovations in the design process, with new designs expected to debut in the 2025-26 season. Teams like the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings will introduce new logos and jerseys next season, while the Saint-Hyacinthe factory will continue to produce authentic on-ice jerseys for fans to purchase.

Overall, the partnership between the NHL and Fanatics represents a new chapter in the league’s jersey design history. The dedication to quality, innovation, and player feedback ensures that the jerseys will continue to be a symbol of the NHL’s excellence on and off the ice. With a team of experienced designers and manufacturers behind the scenes, fans can look forward to seeing the passion and craftsmanship that goes into creating their favorite team’s jersey.