This style jersey was first used for the closing ceremonies of Maple Leaf Gardens as a one time only throwback, but proved so popular and well received that the Maple Leafs brought it back the following season of 2000-01 as an alternate jersey, one of the most attractive and effective third jerseys in the league at the time - and one of the few white third jerseys. It remained in use through the 2006-07 season when the change to Reebok Edge jerseys led to the dropping of all third jerseys for a year. It was then brought back in the Edge template as quickly as possible in 2008-09 and was used this time through the 2010-11 season.
Most teams opted for a dark colored third jersey and promoted a secondary trim color to be the primary for their alternates. Wanting to wear them at home, the visiting team was now required to pack their road dark and home whites to wear when their hosts were wearing their colored alternates so often, it eventually led to the current practice of the home teams wearing dark so the traveling teams in the NHL now only had to travel with their home whites.
For die hards, here is the first of eight parts of the closing ceremonies of Maple Leafs Gardens,