While the league was founded back in 1917. there were just four clubs and closest any of them came to a black jersey was the Ottawa Senators, who wore red, black and white striped barberpole jerseys. The brand new Hamilton Tigers came close, with gold and black vertically striped jerseys in 1920-21.
The Boston Bruins arrived on the scene in 1924-25, but their original colors were brown and yellow, chosen in recognition of the colors of owner Charles Adams grocery store chain, First National Stores.
With the folding of the Western Hockey League, the growing league expanded to 11 teams in 1926-27, with the Bruins still wearing white sweaters trimmed in brown and gold, the first year Detroit Falcons wore white trimmed in red, Montreal had two clubs, the red clad Canadiens and the Maroons, New York now boasted to entries, the patriotic Americans and the expansion Rangers and their "blueshirts". Ottawa still had their traditional barberpoles, while the short-lived Pittsburgh Pirates wore gold. In Toronto, the club was not yet wearing blue, but green. The franchise began the season known as the St. Patricks, but a mid season change in ownership saw the name change to the Maple Leafs. They changed from the green of the St. Pats to white sweaters with a green logo, making the swap to blue the following season. During this era of the NHL, all teams wore only one sweater for all games, home or road.