The Panthers had used their leaping cat logo since coming into the league in 1993. They've made minor tweaks to that logo over the years before today's entire rebranding which moves the Panthers into a new era entirely. Owners Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu had input into the rebranding, and they can honestly say that this is now their team with this new look.
"We wanted to really put a bold emphasis on the idea that this was a new era for the franchise," Vinnie Viola told NHL.com's Jameson Olive. "It's not necessarily a new direction, but a new evolution, a new maturity for the franchise."
I have said numerous times that the lace-up collars need to end. Some have alluded to the fact that the criss-crossed laces pay homage to the Florida state flag, but I don't buy it. A simple collar would have worked well here, and I stand by my opinion: lace-up collars are a trend that needs to end.
"The Panther tabs above the flag are basically earned by the players," Vinnie Viola said. "The idea is that they'll come to training camp and they'll only have the flag on their shoulder. Once they make the team, they earn that tab. And, of course, the captain's tab sits above the panther. It speaks to the idea of earning a place. It heralds you making the team."
Overall, I was initially shocked at the changes as the team resembled a soccer club more than a hockey club. However, I have looked at the photos over the last couple of days and found myself warming to the new look of the Florida Panthers. While it's not going to be a timeless design two days into the new look, there are definitely traditional aspects that make this design a good one.
Thumbs-up from me, Florida!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!