Can you imagine the Florida Panthers with a teal logo? It could have happened

Rory Boylen
Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

There’s a really neat series going on at Icethetics that’s been looking at designer Ken Loh and his involvement with NHL logo designs in the 1990s. It started out with a teal Philadelphia Flyers alternate jersey that never saw the light of day, during a time when the NHL was seeking to break with tradition.

Here’s what Loh told the website about the Flyers redesign and what the league wanted its jersey redesigns to explore during this time:

“The idea was to break the mold and be less traditional with the designs. The league … wanted us to push the envelope, which is probably why there were some pretty garish patterns and gradients being used for other third jerseys around the league. Personally, I was never a fan of that approach so I tended to stick with solid colors in my designs.

While the brief was to redesign the jersey, we were encouraged to come up with new, alternate treatments for secondary logos and wordmarks. There wasn’t really any expectation that any of the artwork we designed would replace any of the existing team logos or identities at that time.” Read more

Jaden Schwartz changes to No. 17 next season in honor of his sister Mandi

Rory Boylen
Jaden Schwartz

In his young NHL career, Jaden Schwartz has found a lot of success wearing No. 9. This past season, he emerged as a big scorer on the contending St. Louis Blues, logging 25 goals and 56 points in 80 games. But he’s changing his number starting in 2014-15 for a very meaningful reason.

Schwartz will wear No. 17 next season in honor of his sister, Mandi, who was diagnosed with myeloid leukemia in 2008 and passed away in 2011 at the age of 23. Mandi wore the No. 17 with the Yale University women’s team.

Jaden announced the number change through Twitter on the weekend. Read more

See Ryan Kesler in the brand new Anaheim Ducks jersey for the first time

Rory Boylen
Ryan Kesler Ducks jersey

On June 27, draft day, the Anaheim Ducks unveiled their new jerseys for the 2014-15 season. The home jersey is almost a copy of their third jerseys, except for the outline color around the numbers being orange instead of gold. Both jerseys went away from the lettering that spelled out “Ducks” and embraced the webbed “D” logo.

duckstweet

Ryan Kesler, Anaheim’s big off-season acquisition, landed in the city for the first time and threw out the first pitch at the Angels-Blue Jays baseball game Wednesday. Before that, he stopped by the Ducks’ team store to try on the new jersey.

Yesterday, we caught a glimpse of Jarome Iginla in his new jersey, albeit in video game form. And now we can stop imagining Kesler in Ducks colors and see what it looks like. Avert your eyes, Canucks fans.
Read more

Sweden’s Kiruna IF to wear rainbow-colored jersey next season in support of LGBTQ community

Rory Boylen
lgbtjersey

The hockey world is often noted for its progressive approach to the LGBTQ community, most notably led by the You Can Play Project. NHLers have taken their support to social media and on the airwaves, but this support goes beyond just the North American hockey community.

Next season, Kiruna IF, a team in Sweden’s tier-3 professional league, will wear these rainbow-colored jerseys in support of Gay rights. Read more

Why it’s not cool to wear the jersey of a team that’s not playing

Ronnie Shuker
(Photo by Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star)

Well that was easy. Simply push the “cool” button, then sit back and watch the fireworks.

Apparently, far too many fans care what one egghead editor ironically considers cool. For the few that caught the irony in the No. 1 hockey fan faux pas, a tip of the hat to you. For those that took the silliness much too seriously (“it’s not about fashion, it’s about coolness.” Really? That wasn’t a drop-dead giveaway?), feel free to lay the lack of clarity on the editor. As the saying goes, “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is still king,” and he should have put it in braille.

So since the first hockey fan faux pas was so much fun, perhaps the second will be just as enjoyable. Read more

NFL’s “Redskins” days are numbered – are the NHL’s Blackhawks next?

Adam Proteau
Chicago Blackhawks Logo (Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sent shock waves through NFL circles Wednesday with its cancellation of six federal trademark patents for the name “Washington Redskins”. The league’s Washington franchise and its widely-loathed owner Dan Snyder had for years been in the crosshairs of critics who demanded the team change its name from Redskins; Snyder steadfastly threw out lame excuse after lame excuse for not adopting a different team name, but the ruling laid bare the core reason a change was long overdue.

“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the Patent and Trademark Office wrote in its decision.

It’s expected Snyder will appeal Wednesday’s ruling, but he and those who defend the Redskins’ current moniker are standing on a rhetorical ice floe surrounded by heat lamps. It is but a matter of time until he’s forced to admit the battle is lost. That said, the focus on the Redskins name has led to others wondering why the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks aren’t facing similar questions, critiques and demands for change.

The answer is they shouldn’t. The Blackhawks name isn’t drenched in hate and the unspeakably horrific treatment of Native Americans as the Redskins name is. Chicago’s NHL team got its name in 1926, when owner Frederic McLaughlin decided to honor the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Division of the U.S. Army; McLaughlin had served in the unit, whose members called themselves the Black Hawks as a tribute to the Sauk Indian chief who fought alongside the British in the War of 1812.

The Redskins’ name, on the other hand, has undeniably racist, murderous roots. Comedian John Oliver provided a tremendous evisceration of Snyder and the Redskins on his HBO series “Last Week Tonight”: Read more

Why it’s not cool to wear the jersey of a player who’s younger

Ronnie Shuker
(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHL)

It’s this editor’s proudest moment in three years at The Hockey News.

The email was in response to his “Fan Faux Pas” article in the May 26, 2014 edition of the magazine:

Ronnie Shuker writes that “wearing the jersey of a player who is younger than you” is the No. 1 hockey fan fashion faux pas (Inside Hockey, May 26). So fans over the age of 45 should not wear a jersey with a current player’s name on the back? How moronically ageist is that? A senior Blackhawks fan who grew up watching Stan Mikita and Pierre Pilote shouldn’t rock Jonathan Toews’ No. 19? I wonder if that young punk whippersnapper Shuker will feel the same way when he gets up there in age?
Hart Stoffman, Lake Echo, N.S.

“Whippersnapper”? That’s all kinds of awesome.

Stoffman wasn’t the only fan that took issue with the list, particularly No. 1. Many voiced their views via Twitter, so much so that the debate calls for context and rationale.

First, a disclaimer (from the original article): “fans can do, wear, say, shout, scream or yell whatever the heck they want, short of verbal or physical violence. They’ve paid their money, and the M.O. of any sports zealot should be to cut loose and have fun.”

Now the claim: it’s not that fans can’t wear a jersey of a player that’s younger – it’s just not cool to do so.

Yeah, not at all cool, in any way whatsoever, for a middle-aged fan to wear, say, a Jonathan Toews jersey. (Players’ parents are exempt.) When it comes to being a fan, there’s a fine line between support and idolatry. Wearing the jersey of a team is support, wearing the jersey of a player 20 years younger is idolatry.

It’s not that idols are a bad thing. It’s that they’re child’s play.

Really, idols are for children.

As a kid, said editor’s were Steve Yzerman and Wendel Clark. As he grew older, however, he grew out of them. Case in point: he rode an elevator up to the press box at the Air Canada Centre with Yzerman once last season. Twenty-five years ago he would have been wide-eyed and tongue-tied at the sight of ‘Stevie Y.’ Now Yzerman is just the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

So what are fans in their mid-40s and older supposed to do? It’s a fair question, but there’s an easy answer: wear their team’s jersey without a player’s name on the back. That’s where allegiances should lie anyway. Players move on, through trades, free agency and retirement, but real fans stick with their team. Recall that well-worn hockey cliché: “play for the crest on the front, not the name on the back.” Substitute “cheer” for “play” and the same goes for fans.

That said, if a fan really must have a name on the back, at least wear the jersey of a player who’s older. If that means wearing one of a retired player, so be it. To Hoffman’s point above, legends like Stan Mikita and Pierre Pilote would be fine names for Chicago fans to have on a Blackhawks jersey.

After all, it’s not about fashion, it’s about coolness.

As offered to fans in the original article, “Feel free to tweet your agreement, disagreement or hair-raising hostility to this list at @THNRonnieShuker.”

Ronnie Shuker is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. Follow him on Twitter at @THNRonnieShuker.

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