Roberto Luongo (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
Days after learning they’ll be playing in the Sunshine State for years to come, reports surfaced that the Florida Panthers will have a new logo and jersey design in time for the 2016-17 season. The Panthers new uniform is said to be a more classic design, with inspiration drawn from the Blackhawks and Canadiens.
The Panthers are fresh off the news that they’ll be sticking around in Florida for the foreseeable future, and with a new $86 million financial package coming, the Panthers are looking to hit the ice with a brand new look next season.
The Miami Herald’s George Richards reported Wednesday that the Panthers will debut a new logo and new jerseys prior to the 2016-17 season, and the new design sounds intriguing, to say the least.
Per Richards, the color scheme will stay similar, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing only a slight adjustment to the threads. By the sound of things, the jersey could take on a more classic look and give the team that vintage feel — Richards pointed to the Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens as two teams the new Florida jersey could be modelled after.
The features the jersey could pull from Chicago and Montreal are the horizontal striping pattern — the Canadiens have a stripe going straight across the chest — as well as a circular logo, which might be close to what the Blackhawks have worn on their throwback alternate sweater.
The Panthers have a history with circular logos, too, as they used one on an alternate sweater the team wore from 2009-10 to 2011-12. That jersey, however, was two shades of blue, meaning the logo might need some change in color if it were used as part of the new look. The reason for the blue color on the old alternate is a funny story, writes Richards: the jerseys were “nicknamed the 'JetBlues' because they were rumored to have been designed to lure the airline to become a major sponsor.” JetBlue did, in fact, become a major sponsor.
As for the updated jersey, there’s no date set for an unveiling, but teams have taken to showing off new sweaters around the draft or on draft day. That could be one potential target date for unveiling. Regardless, the jerseys will be part of the NHL’s shift from Reebok jerseys to the Adidas in 2017-18.
While it may seem misguided to create a new jersey without knowing what changes Adidas plans on making to the design of uniforms, Icethetics’ Chris Smith said the Panthers have almost assuredly taken the shift to Adidas into account.
“This isn't unprecedented,” Smith wrote. “The Ducks and Sabres both introduced new uniforms in 2006-07 — a year before Reebok's takeover. The designs were created with the Reebok Edge system in mind.”
Smith wrote in November that the Panthers were one of two teams said were considering new home and away sweaters. The other is the Penguins, yet there’s no word yet on whether or not Pittsburgh is set to change its jerseys in 2016-17.