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Entries in echl (6)


ECHL Halloween Costumes

A couple of ECHL teams are dressing up as Original Six teams for Halloween tonight when they face off in what's being called "Hockey Night in Canada in Reading." The Reading Royals — donning a Maple Leafs style jersey — will host the Cincinnati Cyclones wearing a Canadiens style jersey for one night only.

As you can see both teams are also recoloring their logos for the special sweaters.

I really hope pictures turn up tonight because that will be interesting. The Royals have a page on their web site detailing the event.


Minor League 3rd Jersey Update

Once again, I'm going to try my hand at posting some third jersey news from the minor leagues. Hope it's at least somewhat accurate.

We're starting with the AHL's Worcester Sharks, who have a new grey third jersey. Below you see Brendan Buckley sporting the rather ugly threads. You know its hard to find a jersey I really don't like, but the Sharks have done it.

Let's hope the San Jose club doesn't try anything like it.

The image to the right shows the Hartford Wolf Pack's alleged third jersey. This one I'm not really sure about it, but people kept sending in pictures, so they can't all be wrong, can they?

Still, it's another one I just don't like. But let's move away from bad jerseys and toward better ones.

Like this one. It's a little nicer. The Manchester Monarchs are introducing a new monochromatic third jersey. There's a joke to be made in there, right? The Monochromatic Monarchs... I can't think of it.

Here, have a look.

Some have wondered whether to expect a similar jersey design for the Monarchs' NHL affiliate Los Angeles Kings when they unveil their alternate next month. I'm going to say no way.

But there's something I like a little more than all of these. And shockingly, it's an ECHL third jersey. The Victoria Salmon Kings introduced this new sweater to celebrate their fifth anniversary. It's very sharp.

I like the multi-purpose V on the front.

I'm a big fan. Better than a choking fish wearing a crown, I guess. (He's choking because he's not in the water... in case you didn't follow my line of thinking.)

As always, I'm happy to post new information, but you guys have to let me know what's out there. I'm pretty retarded when it comes to the minor leagues. I'm trying to get better though. Let me know if I've missed anything.

In the meantime, what do you think of these? Comment away.


What Makes A Good Logo?

I was perusing some old issues of The Hockey News this morning. They're from almost a decade ago when I used to have a subscription. I was looking at the logo rankings for 1999 but something stuck out. I came across an article that has just as much relevance here at Icethetics today as it did then.

Todd McFarlane, creator of Spawn, is a great artist and a huge hockey fan — the essence of Icethetics. For those who don't know, he designed the Edmonton Oilers' third jersey logo you see on the left.

McFarlane was interviewed for this piece I was reading and was asked what he thought would make a good logo. So he came up with five guidelines. You can read the article below.

There's something about the Huntington Blizzard's logo that gives Todd McFarlane a chill.

Turnabout is fair play because McFarlane has been giving readers of Spawn comic chills for years. The Calgary-born artist has created a multi-million dollar entertainment and production industry sparked by his skill at drawing riveting images.

So, who better to evaluate logos than McFarlane? A self-professed hockey fanatic, he jumped at the chance to offer his two cents in THN's seventh annual minor pro hockey logo ranking.

In discussing the logos, McFarlane spawned five guidelines:

  • Cartoony characters with hockey paraphernalia are silly. "A Solar Bear with RayBans? A Stingray with a stick? Why not have a Pirate with a knife instead of a stick in his mouth? So many of these logos would've been better if you get rid of the stick."

  • The primary logo should be clean and uncluttered with words. "I'm pro image. Keep the city and nickname in the secondary logo or on a shoulder patch. The words are bigger than the icon in a lot of cases."

  • Ditch the cartoon characters. Consider the audience. "Two groups of fans attend games: children and adults. Kids are outnumbered five to one and it's the adults who buy the merchandise. They're more likely to buy if it's a cool logo. Plus, it's hard to determine what's cool for kids. What's cool for a seven-year-old is definitely not cool for a 12-year-old."

  • If you have to sell out and go with an animal caricature, "pick something menacing. Not a fish or a bird or a puppy. Be intimidating. Or at least be regal rather than dumpy."

  • The logo should be big and bold. "You should be able to distinguish it even from the nosebleeds or on TV from your couch. Too much detail just adds to the clutter."

—Brian Costello

By the way, I'd link to this article if I knew it existed somewhere else in cyberspace. I literally retyped it from the old worn newsprint where I read it.

So, all you graphic artists out there, keep these tips in mind, not only when designing logos for the IceHL, but in all your future designing ventures.

Now, I'm not done with McFarlane yet. THN got him to make a best/worst list of minor pro logos for the 1999-2000 season. That would include the AHL, IHL and ECHL. I've built graphics so you can see the logos and make your own judgments.

McFARLANE'S BEST: Huntington Blizzard (ECHL), Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL), Houston Aeros (IHL), Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL), Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL), Chicago Wolves (IHL), Louisville Panthers (AHL), Florida Everblades (ECHL), Pee Dee Pride (ECHL) and Michigan K-Wings (IHL).

McFARLANE'S WORST: Greenville Grrrowl (ECHL), Toledo Storm (ECHL), Dayton Bombers (ECHL), South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL), Saint John Flames (AHL), Hershey Bears (AHL), Mississippi Sea Wolves (ECHL), Trenton Titans (ECHL), Jackson Bandits (ECHL) and Mobile Mysticks (ECHL).

I wonder what he'd say about the Stingrays today and how his best/worst lists may have changed in the last 10 years.


Icethetics Season Preview, Part I


The Icethetics Season Preview begins today. All week, I'll do my best to get you caught up with what's new in the world of hockey as it pertains to the right side of your brain.

I consider specialty logos to be those that get sort of a one-time use — commemorative, tribute logos; anniversary logos and the like. And obviously there's no better place to start for the 2008-09 season than the Montreal Canadiens.

The Habs are launching a 100th birthday celebration that will span two seasons. For the event, they've created two logos.

The logo on the left can be seen on the right shoulder of Canadiens' home and road jerseys this season as well as doing double duty on the ice in the Bell Centre (more on that tomorrow). The one on the right will be featured on the the right shoulder of jerseys worn on Centennial Jersey Night — which brings us to our next logos.

On the eight Centennial Jersey Nights throughout the season, the team will don four different retro style sweaters, twice each. These jerseys will also feature the logo from that era.

The logo on the left is from the 1912-13 season. On the right is the 1915-16 logo. The Canadiens will also have throwbacks from 1945 and 1970, seen below.

The 1970 logo, right, is no different from the team's current logo — which is a cleaner version of the 1945 design, left.

The Habs aren't the only NHL club with a special anniversary this season. The Edmonton Oilers are celebrating 30 years — despite having been in existence for 37.

The Oilers were one of four teams that joined the NHL when the WHA folded in 1979.

Interestingly, all four were formed in 1972 but only the Oilers remain in their original city. The New England Whalers have become the Hurricanes (who celebrated 10 years last season), the Quebec Nordiques are now the Avalanche and the Winnipeg Jets are now the Coyotes. None of those three franchises are doing anything to mark their 30th year in the NHL.

Having said that, no other NHL teams are introducing anniversary logos this season. But for the record, this year is the 10th anniversary of the Atlanta Thrashers.

That brings us to the AHL. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have introduced a simple logo for their 10th anniversary. It features their skating penguin over a gold X with the years 1999 and 2009.

Oddly enough, this franchise has existed since 1981 when it joined the AHL as the Fredericton Express. In 1988, they became the Halifax Citadels and then the Cornwall Aces in 1993. But operations were shut down in 1996. The Pittsburgh Penguins resurrected the organization and moved it to Wilkes-Barre in 1999 — which is the year they count as their first.

The Norfolk Admirals are celebrating 20 years. This is interesting because for the first 11 years of its existence, the team played as the Hampton Roads Admirals of the ECHL. They were admitted into the AHL as an expansion franchise in 2000.

The anniversary mark incorporates a major element of the Hampton Roads logo — the large yellow ship anchor — yet stays true to the Norfolk logo and the addition of blue to their color scheme after becoming an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Speaking of the ECHL, a couple of teams are turning 15 — last year, technically. The Charlotte Checkers and South Carolina Stingrays joined the ECHL in 1993 and so started their 15th anniversary celebrations last year.

On the left is the Checkers' logo — introduced last year — and the Stingrays logo on the right, which is new for this year (I believe). Both logos come with a completely new branding for the teams. We'll get a look at their new logos on Wednesday.

Back on the NHL side, the Columbus Blue Jackets are honoring their late founder and owner John H. McConnell who died in April.

It's a sharp logo bearing his initials, a silver star and red stripes. The logo will be used as a patch on the team's jerseys this season.

There's more information on the Blue Jackets' official web site.

We can't forget about those all-star game logos. Along with their centennial celebrations, the Montreal Canadiens will host the 2009 NHL All-Star Game. English and French versions of the logo have been released.

It's a cool design that tries to play off one of the 100th anniversary logo (see above). It also features the Habs' famous CH logo in full — a rarity among all-star logos since 1993, which typically feature only small elements of the host team's crest.

We can't leave out the minor leagues. The AHL's All-Star Classic will be hosted this year by the Worcester Sharks and the Reading Royals will host the ECHL's All-Star Game for the second time in four years.

And that about does it except for one thing — a special logo for a special event.

The Winter Classic will be held at Wrigley Field this season and feature the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. The logo, left, works in the famous sign at the old ballpark.

For the game, the teams will don classic vintage sweaters — the Hawks in black and the Wings in white. I'll share pictures as soon as they surface.

Almost forgot a couple. Just like last year, the NHL is premiering its season in Europe.

On the left is NHL Premiere Prague featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers. On the right is the Bridgestone-sponsored NHL Premiere Stockholm featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators.

Now, I'm only human, so if you think I missed anything, shoot me an email and I'll be sure to add it. Otherwise, that wraps things up for the first day of the Icethetics Season Preview. See you back here for more tomorrow.


THN Down To 8 Logos

I was all set to write an "Around The ECHL" post today to round out the week. But I honestly couldn't find anything. Either I'm really out of touch with the ECHL or there just isn't anything relevant out there to report on. Except for one thing.

Remember when The Hockey News kicked off their knockoff of NHLToL? Apparently they're down to their final 8 logos this week — the Elite 8, if you must.

Yeah, they even have a clever little graphic to go with it. We can let this serve as our ECHL news for the day. The Florida Everblades (my local team) and the Ontario Reign — ironically, they're from California — are in this special group. The Everblades beat out the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Reign topped the Minnesota Wild, shockingly. It's worth checking out the rest of the bracket.

It sort of makes me want to do something similar to see if we'd end up with the same results here. Based on past experience, I highly doubt it. That means it's time for a poll. Off to the right there you cast your vote. Should we try a multi-league logo tournament similar to but not exactly like what THN did or would that just be a waste of time?

Poll's open until Saturday at noon. I'm curious to see what everyone says.

UPDATE (2:17 PM): NHL Jeff brought up a good point with his comments. A few ECHL teams have unveiled new logos, albeit not recently, but still worth mentioning.

The South Carolina Stingrays have a new logo incredibly better than its predecessor. Easily one of my favorite new logos. It was unveiled by the team back in June.

It also has a couple of nice secondary logos to go with it, plus a new 15th anniversary logo. I'll go into all of these in more depth in the Season Preview in a couple weeks.

The Charlotte Checkers introduced a new primary logo — again, a huge improvement over what came before it. This logo is an anomaly because from what I've been reading it was introduced midway through last season — meaning the Checkers actually changed horses midstream.

They, like the Stingrays, also had a 15th anniversary logo. And again, I'll talk more about all of this in the Season Preview.

And then of course there's the Ontario Reign — the reincarnation of the Texas Wildcatters who were unable to stay in Beaumont. This logo is one of the final 8 in the THN tournament discussed above. It's a good logo, but better than the Wild? Really?

And while I'm on the ECHL, I might as well mention a couple of things I found interesting. The Columbia Inferno have suspended operations this year because of arena issues but will supposedly return next year. And the Toledo Walleye will also begin play then — they're the former Toledo Storm which ceased operations when the city decided to build a new arena.

It's all very confusing and strange. Stop playing for a year, then come back. Constant relocating. I think this is why I've never been able to get into minor league hockey.


Iowa Chops? No, I'm Not Kidding

So the American Hockey League will have a new team this fall based out of Iowa which will serve as the Anaheim Ducks' minor league affiliate. And they're called the Chops.

Yes, the Iowa Chops. I'm not even making a joke here. And if I was, it would be a bad one. What is a Chop? See below for the logo.

All right, now that you've peeled yourself off the floor, wiped away the tears of laughter and stumbled helplessly back to the computer, take another look at it.

Still bad, isn't it? I'm surprised because nowadays I think we've come to expect more from new expansion clubs. Better names, better logos. I mean, consider the Ontario Reign of the ECHL. Great name, great logo — though I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't initially realize Ontario was a city in California. Despite living in an ECHL town, I pay almost no attention to that league.

Anyway, I'm eager to hear what you guys think of the Iowa Chops and their new logo. I'll be putting together new logo tournaments for the AHL and ECHL some time this year, by the way.