NHL logo rankings No. 25: New York Islanders

Ryan Kennedy
Islanders Logo (via sportslogos.net)
Islanders Logo (via sportslogos.net)

Debuting in the 1972-73 season, the New York Islanders were created in part to stymie the fledgling WHA from getting a foothold in the area. The team was quickly built the right way and within six years, the Long Island franchise undertook a run of four straight Stanley Cup titles thanks to legends such as Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin and Bryan Trottier, among others.

For most of the franchise’s history, the team has gone with a blue and orange logo featuring a stylized “NY” and the world “Islanders” with a map of Long Island in the middle. Except for one radically different crest, of course, that has drawn derision as one of the worst logos in the history of the game. But the Isles went back to their roots soon after and even with the team moving to Brooklyn soon, they can still use the same look – they just might need to shift the map a little to the east.

But despite the strong color scheme and the simplicity of the Isles’ logo, our THN panel was unimpressed, ranking it among the poorest. Think you can top the real thing? Send your best Islanders logo creation to editorial@thehockeynews.com. Toss out the official colors if you’d like and start from scratch; we want the coolest and most creative you can come up with. Or, take a shot at some of the other NHL franchises we’ve already ranked.

History of Islanders Logo

As detailed in the book Fish Sticks: The fall and rise of the New York Islanders, the original crest was designed by John Alogna, who owned a local ad agency at the time. The colors reflected that of Nassau County itself and Alogna was given three days to come up with something after previous efforts had fallen through.

(All logos below are from Chris Creamer’s website.)

That logo stood until June of 1995, when an urge to do something fresh led New York to a revamp that, well, didn’t go over so nice. From Fish Sticks, quoting Robert Rosenthal, part of the franchise’s management team at the time:

“As the team continued to lose, fans needed something to cling to and homed in on the logo,” Rosenthal said. “We began to realize it was not dying down. In the final analysis, we didn’t want our fans or players to be subjected to ridicule for something other than our play.”

The crest bore an uncanny resemblance to the Gorton’s fisherman logo, prompting rival Rangers fans to chant “we want fish sticks!” when they played the Isles. Things got so bad that the daughter of another team exec was booed while singing the national anthem. This was the visual reason for their distress:

Two seasons later, the Islanders went back to their original crest, albeit in a darker shade of blue for the next decade. New York reverted back to the original color in 2010/11

Currently, the team is back to the original logo colors, with one subtle difference: Four pieces of hockey tape on the stick jutting out of the “Y” instead of three. Four Stanley Cups each deserve their own piece of tape, after all.

Dissenting opinion: “I like the Islanders logo. The colors are cool, the ‘NY’ is something that can be pulled out for alternate looks like the Stadium Series jersey, and the crest is not too hard for a kid to draw in a notebook (which I feel is important in a logo).” - Ryan Kennedy


Think you can do a better job creating a logo for the Islanders? Use whatever color scheme you want, whether it’s been used by New York or not, and send your new look to editorial@thehockeynews.com. After we finish rolling out all 30 NHL logo rankings, we’ll share the best reader redesigns on THN.com.


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