SBD/Issue 19/NHL Season Preview

NHL Teams Drop Cartoonlike Logos In Favor Of Traditional Look

Several NHL Teams Are Going More
Traditional With Logos, Jerseys

The Sabres, Islanders and Canucks have introduced new jerseys for this season, "part of a wider trend over roughly the past three years, away from the memes of the 1990s and early 2000s -- cartoonlike logos or snarling animals that were often rendered in black or teal," according to Klein & Hackel of the N.Y. TIMES. The "widely reviled" Buffaslug crest, which had adorned the front of the Sabres' uniforms since '06, is out this season. The Sabres, "celebrating their 40th anniversary, will now wear a version of their original uniform, a crest with a bison and crossed swords." In addition, the Islanders' succession of "oddly designed, strangely colored jerseys has also ended, with a return to the simple design of their original uniform." The Canucks, also celebrating their 40th anniversary, "have brought back their original crest and colors in a uniform design that fuses the old." Other teams, like the Capitals, Coyotes and Wild, "have gone to a traditional look in recent seasons." The Penguins "added a 1960s-vintage uniform, made popular in the first Winter Classic game on New Year's Day 2008, as a permanent third jersey," and the Flyers "have dropped a black jersey and gone back to their early-'70s orange." NHL Exec VP/Marketing Brian Jennings said that team apparel sales "account for 50 percent of retail licensing revenue," and that a "change in a team's uniform usually bumps sales" about 20%. Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn said that the team's new third jersey -- a "traditional design in the Sabres' original royal blue, with 'Buffalo' spelled out across the chest in the script of the old Buffalo Bisons" -- is "selling at twice the rate of the team's regular jerseys," though he would not give exact figures (N.Y. TIMES, 10/6).

MORE JERSEY CHANGES: ESPN.com's Paul Lukas noted the Blue Jackets "will unveil a third jersey Nov. 26," which reportedly will feature a "cannon as the central part of the main logo." The Ducks "will be unveiling an alternate jersey Nov. 26," which reportedly will feature the team's "webbed D logo as a jersey crest, an idea that's long overdue." The Devils "will once again trot out their red and green throwbacks for one game," and the "date they've targeted is March 18." Meanwhile, the Kings have a "very nice-looking gold throwback," and the Penguins "will have a throwback" for the Jan. 1 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Capitals. There is "no confirmed design yet," but sources said that the design will include the team's "original skating penguin." The Stars "have flip-flopped the designations of their road and alternate jerseys," and the Thrashers "have announced their third jersey -- probably the worst look in the league -- will be worn for Friday home games" (ESPN.com, 10/6).

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