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The pregame tunnels of professional sports have become a runway of sorts in recent years, offering athletes the opportunity to show off their style acumen and personal expression. Most leagues — including the NBA and NFL — have done away with the stringent dress codes introduced in the 2000s, bringing forth an eclectic frenzy of streetwear, high-fashion, and sportswear. But despite the shift, the NHL has stood firm in its dress code: players are required to wear jackets, ties, and dress pants. In what’s become the Wild West of fashion, hockey players remain the only major sports league grounded in traditional menswear. But that doesn’t mean the league is void of self-expression. Players are in constant search of new ways to reinvent traditional menswear, whether through timepieces, grailed sneakers, or the suits themselves.
Inspired by the NHL’s style renaissance, each week, we’ll be highlighting our five favourite looks from the pregame tunnel. From Brunello Cucinelli shoes to bold burgundy suits, below are this week’s highlights from the hockey world.
David Pastrňák (#88) of the Boston Bruins
When you arrive at Madison Square Garden for the first time in the season, sometimes, you have to make a splash. That’s exactly what Boston Bruins’ star winger David Pastrňák did when he hopped off the team bus in New York in a black pinstripe suit that would have felt right at home in a Martin Scorsese film. Of course, the tan fedora and tie might be a jarring clash for some but Pastrňák is known for bold aesthetic choices both on and off the ice, so I can’t help but appreciate a bold choice. Known for a wide array of formal hats and colourful suits, it’s likely this won’t be Pastrňák’s final appearance on the list this season.
Juuse Saros (#74) of the Nashville Predators
Generally speaking, Juuse Saros tends to stay pretty well off the grid. The Finnish goaltender is soft-spoken, entirely void of social media, and statistically one of the most underrated players at his position. But for what little waves he makes in his press conferences, Saros makes up for in his pregame suits. This past weekend, Saros sported a green double-breasted suit with a classic white shirt and black tie en route to a 24-save performance. Sometimes, a green suit can be a bit on the nose as we inch towards the holiday season. But matched with a stunning pair of Brunello Cucinelli Patent Leather Shoes, this expertly-tailored suit comes together beautifully.
Roman Josi (#59) of the Nashville Predators
Roman Josi had a goal and two assists on Sunday night but, in our eyes, his highlights began the moment he selected this camel wool topcoat. Overcoats certainly haven’t been rarities in the NHL pregame tunnels (especially considering cold arena conditions) but finding such a perfect fit certainly is. As a 6’1” defenceman, Josi’s coat is tailored perfectly to his frame. Of course, it helps that he opted for a lightweight single-breasted topcoat as opposed to the heavier double-breasted option that most other NHL stars tend to favour. Paired with tan Chelsea boots, Josi’s look is a quintessential late-autumn uniform.
Mario Ferraro (#38) of the San Jose Sharks
As we close out the autumn season, I’m always eager to spotlight a deep burgundy two-piece suit to reintroduce some much-needed colour. This week, no one had a better display than San Jose defenceman, Mario Ferraro. There were several other NHL players who opted for a burgundy suit over the past few days but each of them paired the look with leather white-soled dress sneakers (a stylistic crime that should result in an automatic removal from any fashion round-up). Fortunately, Ferraro’s pregame look simply featured a pair of timeless Black Cap Toe Oxfords and an immaculately manicured beard.
Jack Eichel (#9) of the Vegas Golden Knights
Jack Eichel’s pregame routine is composed of a simple yet flawless recipe: a clean traditional suit and a large coffee in hand. Once again, Eichel didn’t stray from routine. For my personal taste, Eichel’s penchant for traditional suits with contemporary twists (double-breasted suits in deep brown corduroy, striking white overcoats, etc.) is precisely how I’d dress if I were a star athlete based in Las Vegas. Last weekend, Eichel brought out one of his tamer (but no less memorable) looks of the season: a grey wool blazer with peak lapels, a white pocket square, and coffee cup to match.
Featured photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images.