Friday, 24 May 2013

Many Jersey Changes

With the end of a season comes many changes. Players move to new teams, staff are fired and hired, and teams rebuild and retool for the next season. With hockey, though, it seems we get a vast number of changes in uniforms as teams look to capitalize on merchandise sales through the summer with new buzz about the team. Today, we'll look at a few changes that were brought about because of teams moving to new leagues, new cities, and new identities. In short, this will be the first of many in what will be a busy summer for new looks in many leagues.

We'll start in the WHL where the Prince Albert Raiders have gone away from their "Raiderman" logo. If you recall, the Raiders wore this uniform set last season.

The Raiders had worn this design, or a variation of, since 1996. Some of the Raiders who wore this look included Scott Hartnell, Chris Phillips, and Nick Schultz. With the Raiders announcing a few days ago that they are implementing a "Green Movement", they also announced rebranding of the logo and uniforms that the Raiders will use. Ladies and gentlemen, here are your 2013-2014 Prince Albert Raiders in full technicolor!
Overall, I can live with these. First off, I really endorse the idea of using green as a primary color. If there's one color that has been overlooked egregiously in hockey, it's the color green. Secondly, the new logo is alright - nothing bad, but certainly not as cartoonish as the Raiderman head. Third, it's modern and updated, giving the Raiders a new look to build their brand on. I think this has a good chance at being a popular look. Thumbs-up from me.

We move to a former AHL franchise that literally was left out to dry. With the Vancouver Canucks purchasing the AHL franchise that was based in Peoria with the intention of moving it, the Rivermen no longer had an affiliation in the AHL. With the team left in limbo, they went out and found a new league to play in. The Peoria Rivermen are now a full-fledged member of the SPHL! With that comes a whole new look, including both logo and jerseys!
As per the Rivermen website, the "new logo and color scheme is a throwback from the original concept for the 1984-85 season. The team's official colors are navy, red and gold with red being reintroduced into the the logo for the first time since the 2004-05 season", their last in the ECHL. I'm alright with a throwback look for the Rivermen. Honestly, the SPHL doesn't get a lot of mention, so it's good to see the Rivermen embracing their past as they move forward with their franchise. Thumbs-up from me.

One team that is staying in the AHL is the Texas Stars. The Stars will enter 2013-14 in their fifth campaign, so it was thought there might be one of those ridiculous anniversary jerseys. Thankfully, the Stars had better sense when they introduced their new looks.
The Stars actually have excellent descriptions of the two uniforms on their website.
Texas is replacing the all-black away uniform with a primarily dark green jersey, the same dark green that is featured in the team's logo, and the crest patch will feature the team’s secondary logo. The shoulder cap is white with a primary logo patch on each side. The collar is gold and includes a white lace tie-up. The sweater will also have thick white bands on each sleeve and along the bottom hem, trimmed with black and gold. The matching socks will be principally dark green with three bands of black, gold and white just below the knee.

Texas' new home jersey is a jersey that was unveiled initially as the team's alternate jersey prior to the 2011-12 season. The jersey is a predominately white jersey trimmed in dark green and gold, emblazoned with the Texas Stars primary logo on the front crest. The shoulders are dark green and have small patches featuring the Stars’ secondary logo. During the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons the team wore the alternate jersey with the original home socks, which were half white, half dark green, bisected by a thick gold band. The 2013-14 home uniforms will feature a newly designed sock of all white with bands of dark green and gold.
I'm not against either of these uniforms per se, but does the home uniform really need "Texas" over the Stars logo? Secondly, why does the road uniform have different colored name and number, but the home uniform does not? That seems unnecessary and - gasp! - un-uniform, but I'm no designer so what do I know?
In any case, the new uniforms look pretty good after putting those minor quibbles aside. Overall, the Stars make the grade enough for a thumbs-up from me.

The Carolina Hurricanes set Twitter abuzz today with a message and the following image. Needless to say, the Hurricanes will have a different look in 2013-14.
As per the linked webpage above, "The team's primary logo and colors will remain intact", so doesn't expect some radical re-design. In fact, as long as they don't come back with the all-black look, I'm willing to give this move a thumbs-up tentatively. June 4, 2013 is the big reveal, so stay tuned as HBIC will certainly be reviewing this change.

And just to keep things on an even keel, the Dallas Stars have also announced their big reveal for June 4 as well for their new re-design. According to the Stars, they are working towards a "rebrand that is classic, simple and true-to-hockey". Strangely, though, Mike Modano chimed in on Twitter with this cryptic tweet.
What does it mean? Only Modano knows, it seems. HBIC will be busy on June 4 as I'll be posting pictures and my thoughts on all of the events surrounding the Dallas Stars!

There are your announcements regarding new looks for now. Again, HBIC will try to stay on top of the breaking news as it hits. Of course, I have yet to post my thoughts on the Houston Aeros moving to Iowa to become the Iowa Wild, but I want to post that info separately. In any case, that article will be posted soon because I have strong thoughts on the AHL leaving Houston. For today? Five teams with announcements. That'll do, Teebz.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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