Friday, 21 September 2012

Uniform Updates

While our NHL heroes are off in negotiating rooms or playing hockey in some far-off land such as Switzerland or Russia, the AHL is quietly going about its business as they approach the 2012-13 season. I've spoken about the some of the NHL players who will join the various rosters of AHL teams this season, but you may not recognize them as some of these teams are changing their looks. While none of them look like Wonder Woman above, they will look a little different when the season opens.

We'll start on the shore of Lake Erie where the Lake Erie Monsters play. Actually, they play in Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, and fans everywhere will be able to make that distinction a lot easier this season after they added the word "Cleveland" to their logo for this season.
I'll go on record right now as saying that I don't like the idea of putting the city's name on a uniform just because a team can. If it's not a part of the logo, I find it an unnecessary "improvement". However, the Monsters actually credit the city of Cleveland for their success.
"The City of Cleveland and our community of fans and supporters here have given so much to the Lake Erie Monsters and are such a part of who we are as an organization, that we thought it made perfect sense to reflect that more in our identity,” said Mike Ostrowski, Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of the Monsters. “While we of course represent and appreciate all of Northeast Ohio and the Lake Erie region, we are proud to be in the heart of downtown Cleveland and strive to work and play with the same passion and grit that Clevelanders have come to be known for.”
The Cleveland Lake Erie Monsters also changed up their look slightly, opting for a new jersey design. The nice part about this is that it will clear up years of various looks for the Monsters where they seemed to be unable to find a look with which they were truly happy. Hopefully, that's been solved with the new jerseys.

Overall, I think Lake Erie's look is a wash as they look fairly similar. The logo with "Cleveland" still isn't sitting well with me. Let's hope it grows on me and I don't end hating it too much.

The Springfield Falcons jumped into the alternate jersey mix, adding a brand-new look for the franchise. The Falcons will wear red this season as their alternate look, and the uniform is actually pretty decent.
While I'm not a fan of the team name in the hem stripe, the jersey itself isn't that bad. I've never really been fond of Springfield's logo as I've thought the falcon could be much fiercer, but this alternate logo isn't that bad. It's not as good as it could be, but I'm not entirely turned off by it.

Again, not a huge improvement for the Falcons, but it'll do. I can live with this alternate look.

In one bonus update, the NCAA's University of Wisconsin Badgers will be wearing a special patch this season on their uniforms. The Badgers will celebrate their 50th anniversary in the modern hockey era with a patch that could have special meaning.
The patch itself seems a little busy, but there are a couple of interesting things that should be noted. I'm fairly certain the designers had some specific things in mind when coming up with this final design.

First, the University of Wisconsin has won six national hockey championships in the NCAA, and there are six stars on the patch - three on each side. Coincidence?

Second, the name "Wisconsin" stretches across the entire state - a possible nod to being the most successful hockey program in the state. Notice that they don't have a star to represent the actual location of the University? I'd say that was done on purpose to represent the state-wide support for the Badgers. Having been there, I can honestly say that the state lives and breathes with Badger hockey.

I'm all for a patch, and not a jersey, to represent major milestones in a hockey program's history, and I think this patch works very well for Wisconsin. Good job, Badgers, on this one!

There are some updates to help you identify teams and new accoutrements on jerseys. If there are any additional changes for other teams, I'll have updates on them as well as we get closer to the starts of seasons!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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