Friday, 31 August 2012

Grin And Bear It

If there is one thing that professional teams in North America do - especially minor professional teams - I find that they like to commemorate anniversaries with uniform changes. I'm not sure why teams insist on doing this, but hockey teams seem to want to celebrate every five seasons with a special uniform. The one team that I've respected for their honoring of traditions and history was the Hershey Bears. But they are celebrating their 75th anniversary this season, and they have followed the same path as a number of minor-league hockey teams before them.

We'll start with a short video that Hershey showed before unveiling their changes. Note how they play up the tradition and history angles in this video.
So you got a glimpse of the logos at the end of the video. Let's take a closer look at each of these logos and their new uniforms. I'll give you my take on Hershey's new look, and you may actually be surprised!

The Bears have simplified their previous logo that featured a much more ferocious bear swiping his right paw down and to the left. I like the fact that the bear logo is simplified, but the circular logo has a definite Boston Bruins feel to it. The logo has a very traditional feel, though, and I believe that this logo could be in play for a long time. It just works nicely, and feels far more professional than the cartoonish logo the Bears were using.

A fantastic blog called Sweetest Hockey On Earth has a number of photos of the new uniforms, but let's take a look hem individually.

The white uniform looks pretty good. I'm not exactly thrilled with the piping that runs from the shoulder to just over the hip, but nothing is ever perfect, right? The lace-up collar is almost a given for any new uniform that harkens to an earlier period, so I'm not going to beat that dead horse. I do like the striping on the hem and arms, and the logo pops against the white background. If the piping was gone, this jersey would feel traditional but have a modern twist, and would be one of hockey's best. However, even with the piping, I'm still inclined to say that this one is a keeper.

The dark uniform suffers from the same piping problem, but the striping on the hems and arms on this uniform is excellent. The logo kind of disappears in the chocolate background, so a couple of changes here could go a long way. I would have loved to have seen a lace that matched the colors of the uniform used for the lace-up collar. That would have really set this uniform off. But overall, it's not a bad looking uniform, and will work for the Bears.

The alternate uniform is actually the one I like the most. Gone is the unnecessary piping, and the alternate logo actually works very well on the white background. I'm not a big fan of the font they chose to use, but it is an alternate uniform so a different font is almost a given. The alternate uniform works well, and the Bears have a solid third jersey.

Overall, I think Hershey did a decent job in re-designing the team's image. The Bears wore these uniforms for one of their heritage nights, and I think the team could have returned to these uniforms if they were looking for something different to honor their tradition and heritage. However, the new look for Hershey is growing on me, and I think it will work in the long run.

What say you, readers: good, bad, or indifferent towards Hershey's new look?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

TedNes said...

I like the brown uni's, and the logo on it with the Bear and the hockey stick.....I'm not a fan of the white uni, nor the bear head on it-----reminds me of the hated Sabres logo----kinda swoopy and the like.

Thanks for the article though! Nicest thing for me was to see my old buddy Mitch Lamoureux involved, an AHL legend! He and Tony Tanti had a big impact on my hockey career---I learned so much from them both!