When the Penguins made their NHL debut at home on Oct. 11, 1967, the team wore the colors dark blue, light blue and white. Both the home (white) and away (light blue) uniforms simply had the word “Pittsburgh” written diagonally down the front of the sweater with three dark blue stripes around the sleeves and bottom. The logo, although not on the sweater, featured a hockey-playing penguin in a scarf over an inverted triangle, symbolizing the golden triangle of downtown Pittsburgh. The penguin and triangle were set inside a circle bearing the team name.
The following season (1968-69), the uniforms were changed so that the logo appeared on the game sweaters. The logo remained essentially the same, although the penguin was no longer wearing a scarf. The white home uniforms had a wide band of dark blue around each sleeve and the bottom, while the light blue away sweater had bands of white trimmed in dark blue.
The uniforms were changed again four years later (1972-73). The circle around the logo was removed, leaving only a penguin and triangle. Added to the uniforms were inserts of color on the shoulders.
On Jan. 30, 1980, the Penguins wore black and gold for the first time. With the Steelers winning the Super Bowl and the Pirates capturing the World Series title in the same year, the struggling Penguins hoped to gain fan support by aligning their colors with the other teams in the “City of Champions.”
Boston protested the color change to the NHL, arguing that black and gold had always been exclusively associated with the Bruins. However, the Penguins prevailed by virtue of a precedent set by the Pittsburgh Pirates hockey club of the late 1920’s, which sported the colors. The Pens’ new uniforms were the same design as the previous ones, with black replacing dark blue and gold replacing light blue. From 1981-82 through the 1984-85 season, the team alternated wearing gold sweaters with white at home.
The black and gold uniforms remained unchanged until 1992-93, when the triangle and penguin logo was modernized. The white home sweaters featured the new logo on the front and gold shoulder inserts. The black away sweaters had the city’s name diagonally down the front, much like the original team uniforms, with the new logo on each shoulder.
During the 1995-96 season, the Penguins were one of five NHL teams to introduce a third jersey. The Penguins’ new uniform, which made its debut on Jan. 27, 1996 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers, featured a black background with a new, modernized logo design including innovative striping and a blend of team colors. This sweater eventually replaced the black “Pittsburgh” away sweater in 1997-98, and served as the team’s uniform away from the Igloo.
During the 1999-00 season, the Penguins introduced a new third jersey with an eye for the past. The black sweater features the popular “skating penguin” logo, which the team wore during its 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup championship seasons, and the newest color addition, Las Vegas Gold. That sweater, and its white counterpart, were made the team’s official home and road uniforms, respectively, in 2002.