Reilly Smith and Aaron Ekblad (via NHL.com)
The Florida Panthers have a brand new look, and the franchise is hoping it helps signal the beginning of a “new tradition of winning.” The new look features a broad chest stripe, gold piping, a shield logo and unique features.
The Florida Panthers unveiled a brand new look — jerseys, colors and logo — Thursday evening for what the team hopes will be the beginning a brand new era of Panthers hockey, one the franchise hopes can build off of the success of the 2015-16 campaign. The jersey and logo reveal took place at a special event at Florida’s BB&T Center, with a number of current and former Panthers on hand, including Aaron Ekblad, Vincent Trocheck, Ed Jovanovski and Olli Jokinen. The new mark features a “stoic panther” inside a shield, with bot the home and away uniforms bearing distinct text. The home jersey boasts a red base with a white bar dividing the upper and lower halves and gold piping along the bar, and the logo reads “Panthers.” The away uniform is the inverse: white base, red bar and the same gold piping, with the in-logo text reading “Florida.” Both jerseys feature a blue collar, and the lettering and numbering of both uniforms has gold piping. The away jersey numbers and letters are blue, the home jersey’s red. The numbers will rest atop the shoulders of the jerseys rather than on the sleeves. “I think the logo harkens to the vanguard of courage; the idea that you put a shield on the hockey uniform,”
Panthers owner Vincent Viola said of the new logo. “It’s something to protect, but you also protect it. We wanted something that began a new tradition of winning and demonstrated courage and selfless dedication to a team pursuit of victory.”
The Panthers didn’t stop at simply changing the primary logo and jersey designs, however. In addition, the Panthers have revealed a brand new secondary mark. The logo displays the Florida state flag with a tab above it, which contains either “Panthers” or “Florida” depending on which jersey the team is wearing. In part, the logo was designed to draw on some militaristic background, namely the United States’ 101st Airborne Division, which Viola was once a part of. That will play a part in a unique feature coming to the jersey, which will see additions tabs added above the shoulder patch for captains, players making the team and potentially other achievements. Those were not on display Thursday. This is the first time in franchise history the Panthers have really changed up their look. Pieces of the prior leaping panther design have been altered, colors updated or jersey tweaks made, but never have the Cats undergone a full overhaul like this. “The big focus for us was trying to, first and foremost, tie together what does the old look say about the identity of the team and what are we trying to evolve,”
John Viola said. “I think, in 1993, to be a new franchise in an era of colorful and maybe overly detailed artwork, the idea that you had this leaping cat showing its teeth made sense because you have to leap onto the scene…We’re 22 years old now. I think we see ourselves as a franchise on the rise and a franchise that is stable and moving towards a really strong future, so we wanted a logo that reflected that maturity and that gravity.” Those wondering whether the leaping panther is gone forever have nothing to worry about, though. The original logo is still around and will be placed on the Panthers’ helmets as a third logo. It has been slightly updated and given a sleeker look in an effort to make it look more like the new logo, and there could be more applications of the updated leaping panther coming. Icethetics reported there’s a potential third “throwback” jersey in the works using the leaping panther. But overall, the team wanted to separate from the past and use 2015-16’s success, which saw the team win its division title, as a jumping off point for this new era. “We really wanted to establish our own identity,”
Panthers vice chairman Doug Cifu said. “We’re going to win multiple championships and this is the logo and the brand that’s going to do it.”
(Body images via Imgur/Imgur)