Strauss NHL Rebrand III

The new concept series in which designer Elliott Strauss takes on the immense task of creating the ideal look of the NHL now continues. All 30 teams will receive his rebranding treatment — some with big changes, others small changes — all, hopefully, for the better.

In Part I, Elliott took on the Capitals, Coyotes and Panthers. Part II, saw updates for the Oilers, Red Wings and Thrashers. This time it's the Penguins, Maple Leafs and Stars.

The bold text below are Elliott's own descriptions.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The logos are all new. I tried to create a dramatic-looking penguin on Pittsburgh's signature triangle. Vegas gold is gone and yellow is back.

An igloo is featured as a patch logo and the jerseys pay tribute to the sweaters from the early '90s. The alternate brings in elements from the mid-00s triangles and also the new triangle featured in my logos.

Certainly a menacing penguin and the classic design is hard to beat. However, it does leave a little to wonder about in terms of logistics.

I like the idea of a yellow third, but is it dark enough that the opposing team could wear white? And while the two-tone jersey numbers may look cool, they don't quite meet their practical responsibility which is legibility — not to mention the nightmare for the person in charge of customizing each sweater.

Despite that critique, though, I am a fan of this look for the most part. By switching to Vegas gold, the Penguins weren't giving themselves the shinier look you'd imagine but rather desaturating their color scheme. It looks horrible and needs a change.

One thing I do like about the Penguins' current design is how they've stepped out of the box with the third jersey in using an entirely new color scheme. Even the Panthers only changed one color. The Pens went all the way.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The jerseys aren't much to speak of in terms of changes but I did come up with a new logo package. The leaf is spiky and help forms a T. The shoulder patch is a portion of the iconic CN tower behind a blue version of the Canadian flag.

This will probably end up being one of Elliott's most controversial designs if for no other reason than the sweeping logo changes.

However, the simplicity is hard to argue with and while it breaks from tradition in a big way, I don't think it's for the worse.

The one change I'd make is to dull the corners of the leaf — make them not so sharp. Then when you squint at it, it kind of looks like the Toronto Arenas shield.

Maybe it's just me.

Finishing up in the south with some not-so-sweeping changes in Dallas.

Dallas Stars

Since they seem to be more inclined toward black these days, I left black as the primary jersey color and switched up the logo a little bit. The chest mark is simply a star on top of Texas.

For the striping, I tried to make it in such a way that the gold looks best with the two colors — I'm not sure about a specific thought process.

The alternate eliminates the black and has stripes similar to their current uniforms.

I think Elliott was definitely going for a look that evokes the Stars' early days in Dallas. Apart from the sleeve stripes, it's almost a dead ringer.

I like the green third. It's something Dallas has struggled with in the Age of Reebok. I still think their best jersey was the green one with a giant star that was once an alternate.

Unfortunately, the Edge stifles that sort of creativity. Am I bitter? Never.

I'm aiming to get Part 4 posted within the next week. It will feature my Tampa Bay Lightning among others.

« Fixing the Cats' Thirds | Main | Strauss NHL Rebrand II »

Reader Comments (31)

Good color choice for the pens. I like them better in gold and black.
I like the green stars alt too.

Dec 17 · 11:00 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterEric R

For Pittsburgh I like the jersey designs, but HATE the new logo. I know the current logo is not the most menacing, masculine or intimidating (especially for Pens haters) but the skating penguin is THE logo associated with the team. At least it is not the pigeon from the 90's. While I think the igloo is interesting for a shoulder patch I don't know that it would work for the main crest. Also, since this is their last season in the Igloo it seems to come a little late. I do long for a return to yellow gold instead of the Vegas gold, and a revival of the yellow sweater would be nice as an alternate.

How about a black home, yellow away, and blue third for the team?

Dec 17 · 11:46 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Wow. The Leaf fans are not going to like this one bit!!
He completely overhauls a classic franchise like Toronto... then leaves Dallas almost untouched... strange.
As for the Penguins... that logo set is awful (not that I can do better). NOt sure why... but I just don't like it. THe Word mark and the secondary leave a lot to be desired.
ps- I sure hope you didn't make sweeping changes to Montreal or Chicago.

Dec 17 · 12:16 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterMatt

These are really nice. I am not sure about the practicality of the penguins, but the other two I really like. I think Dallas' current jerseys are such a cop out design wise and would love to see them go back to something other than that basketball style text. Cannot wait to see more.

Dec 17 · 12:20 PM PST | Unregistered Commenteremesen

I am from Pittsburgh, and all Pens fans would be ashamed of those designs. The Penguin looks like it wants to beat someone up and the igloo logo is just plain horrible. Not to mention that cartoon script, but the jerseys are even worse! Those logos just don't belong in the NHL and neither do those two-tone jersey numbers.

Dec 17 · 12:57 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterTroy

The Stars unis look good, really good. Especially the thirds. I'd say those are even better than their actual uniforms. But the Pens design is just painful to look at.

Dec 17 · 1:31 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterBC

After liking all of your previous designs, I have to say that I'm not thrilled with most of these.

The Pens are a huge miss. I can't really say there is any element about those jerseys that I like. The dual coloured numbers and the bright yellow are hard on the eyes.

I don't mind the Leafs jerseys but I'm not a fan of any of the logos. The main logo akes me want to call them the T-Leafs.

I love the home and away jerseys you've come up with for Dallas and the logo is sharp looking (although I've always thought that a slanted 'D' with a starred center would be nice.). I usually don't like inner-arm striping, but in this case it really works. Good job. The 3rd jersey, however, looks like the Wild's old green jersy with the red removed.

Dec 17 · 1:38 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterMayhem

I like the Dallas ones.The Pittsburgh jerseys are fine but not the logo, lo0oks to sissy. The igloo would be an ok shoulder patch without the lettering. The Toronto jerseys are ok but not the logo, never mess with an original 6 logo. Also there is too much noise with the numbers-keep them simple.

Dec 17 · 2:57 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterRobert48124

I love all of these. I've seen the penguins logos before (, but I still love them. Nice job Elliott.

Dec 17 · 3:18 PM PST | Unregistered Commentercscreative

like the penguins home and away although i dont know whats going on with the half coloured numbers. the leafs. you cannot mess with a classic look and this concept looks alot like what the university of toronto has. the dallas jerseys are interesting , my favourite being the third

Dec 17 · 3:39 PM PST | Unregistered Commentergary

the toronto jersey design is nice but the logos are seriously lacking. i do appreciate the simplicity attempted but the main one still looks cluttered. the secondary is not good at all no toronto sports team needs the stupid tower on the jersey, the mapleleafs are more important more historic and probably more associated with the city then the tower. what does the tower have to do with hockey or maple leaves? that being said though i think i might be sold on a blue canadian flag alone on the shoulder to represent leafs nation. nice work on the stars jersey's though i agree with chris though in maybe trying to work the star striping back in.

Dec 17 · 6:28 PM PST | Unregistered Commenterkrooks

i dont like the penguins design at all, but thats probably because i like them now. The leafs real logo is terrible, so this is better than that, but just ok. I LOVE the Dallas designs for some reason. Good work on the Stars and I hope to see more good designs to come.

Dec 17 · 7:05 PM PST | Unregistered Commenterphaneuf36

PENGUINS- Great color choice for the penguins and the color of all the jerseys. I love that you left the blue completley out. Other than that i don't really like it. The logo looks like a bowling pin with arms and the igloo makes no sence to me (were not called the eskimos!). 2 tone letters are wierd, but jersey striping is ok. I like the use of the gold alternate jersey, like our old "sunday jerseys", but you have to have lots more black on it. Either have all black stripes or use black sleeves with the old 90-91 striping. The white on yellow makes the jersey seem to bright, adding black would help eliminate the problem chris pointed out.

MAPLE LEAFS- Not really a fan of any of it.

STARS- Jersey striping any colors look real nice. The black texas doesnt look good on the black jersey, you have to make it stand out more. Get rid of the outline completley, or make it white instead of black. Same problem with the alternate, you have a green jersey which is sort of bright then a gold star outline which is very hard to notice with the white inside. From far away you wouldn't be able to tell what it was. The white starts jersey looks really good, logo stands out perfectly and the stripes are cool.

I don't mean to sound like the concepts are bad or to put you down or anything. Just my opinion, which doesn't reall matter anyways.

Dec 17 · 7:30 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterGary Punzak

Penguins: Decent uniforms, but downright awful logos

Leafs: Solid uniforms but completely TERRIBLE Logos

Stars: Fantastic designs. Both the logos and uniforms are sharp and spot-on!

Dec 17 · 9:23 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterTh!beau

Green Stars jersey looks good.

That's about it.

Dec 17 · 10:42 PM PST | Unregistered Commenter12345

I think a lot of you shouldn't be totally ripping on designs when you probably couldn't do better. From a design standpoint, all those logos are amazing well designed. So what he changed the leafs, it's a concept, it's not going to really happen. It's nice to see someone do something differently. Sorry for ranting, I just don't like it.

Dec 18 · 7:23 AM PST | Unregistered Commentercscreative

That Dallas Stars concept is soo close to perfection. Firsty, I would switch around the Green and Gold Stripes on the away jersey because they're sequenced now sets up an unfortunate "rainbow effect" Also state background on the primary logo really doesnt work. I would remove it go with just the Star. Then you have the perfect uniform set.

Dec 18 · 5:30 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterMorgo


Dec 18 · 5:53 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJoelski

I really don't like anything about those Pens designs; not a thing. The logos look more cartoonish then what they have now and they're moving out of Mellon Arena so the secondary doesn't even make sense. The reason they don't get a ton of crap about their logo even though it's kind of cartoonish is because of it's simplicity; you made a cartoonish logo and made it overly complicated. Also, the 2-tone numbers scream of roller hockey.

The Leafs design is nothing special, not horrible, but not any better than what they have now.

The Stars set is pretty good. The one change I'd suggest (like someone above me did) would to tweak the state outline and coloring of the primary.

Dec 18 · 9:34 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterOgre39666

The Stars are his best yet. If only Dallas would change to these.

Dec 19 · 7:00 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJoe

One thing I'd like to see change in the NHL is to end the overuse of white. Too many teams rely on white lettering and numbering, especially when they have great, legible colors they could use instead. I get that some teams have a tradition of white numbers, like the Islanders, but franchises like Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, even Anaheim, have no excuse to waste their color palette on white. Look at the Star's jerseys (real or concepts); green gold and black... and white numbering? It doesn't fit. How about a gold font? Some teams need to just completely eliminate white, at least on their home uniforms. It's almost like they sometimes purposefully try to cram white in wherever they can on the jersey; I'm looking at you, Calgary. If Buffalo changes their jerseys next year, It would look nice if they had only blue and yellow (excluding the logo, which would of course have the traditional white and silver). Simplicity is beauty.

Dec 19 · 9:56 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterPortugal

Hey Strauss, if you read this: Could you do San Jose's and lose the orange? I can't stand that ugly ass color tainting what used to be the best jerseys in the league.

Dec 19 · 10:51 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJoelski

I appreciate the attempt at redoing the Pens logo and jersey and can tell that you have a TON of talent for this type of thing. However..... Personally, there is NOTHING about those jersey's that I, as a Penguins fan, like. Am I the only person that PREFERS the vegas gold to the yellow????? While I like the sweaters from the early "Lemieux years" the two worst things the Penguins did was make Lemieux (and his teamates) wear those godawful yellow jersey's in 84-85 and make them wear that TERRIBLE pigeon in the 90's.
Here is what I would like to see; the penguins use the round logo from the current third, recolor the logo to black, white, and vegas gold and use that as the main crest. As a third, I wouldn't mind seeing the dark blue road jersey for the seventies. However, my friend in the apparel industry is still claiming that they are going to the blues full-time in 2010. I hope this DOESN'T happen!

Dec 19 · 11:59 PM PST | Unregistered Commenterfloorlizard

As a Leafs fan, this design feels as if the designer is a Habs fans that's trying to make fun of the Leafs even more.

The jerseys are almost perfect, all you need is the arm stripe pattern used for horizontal stripes and there's the perfect Leafs jersey.

Then there's those logos. I am no professional designer, but I know when something works and when something doesn't. Use the current 3rd jersey logo and you have yourself the PERFECT Leafs design. Most Leafs fans would agree on this.

Dec 20 · 9:54 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterLeafersLP

haha i like the penguin! he's cool

Dec 21 · 8:25 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterSledgehammerr

Decent (not great) unis for Leafs and Pens but logos are just brutal; honestly, not a very good effort there. Dallas is ok, nice to see the green with a stronger presence.

Dec 21 · 9:23 AM PST | Unregistered Commenterhabby

Penguins... I don't like it. Particularly the graident numbers and the third jersey that invokes the ghost of Nashville's mustard thirds.

Leafs... I don't mind these jerseys. They feel like Maple Leaf jerseys but I think they'd be better suit to the Marlies.

Stars... the whole design feels unfinished. The lines stopping at the base of top point of the star drives me insane. My brain wants to finish the line.

Dec 21 · 9:32 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterHollow

That Dallas concept art is gorgeous! Great job!

Dec 26 · 8:08 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterFranco

Just thought, could Dallas re brand and become the Dallas/Texas Lone Stars? I mean get rid of any connotation to the Minnesota North Stars and leave it in Minnesota, it's theirs. I mean like incorporate the Texas State Flag and everything. BTW I like the concepts but still am not digging the FLA patch on the Panthers 3rd.

Dec 30 · 2:46 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterDookie Mercury

I like the Dallas concept as far at the striping goes, but the green alternate and logo set aren't so great. The STARS over the state outline is an old logo that I never liked to begin with.

Feb 4 · 12:17 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterJay

New Pens logos- I don't like them... How about a triangle with just the head, like the jersey patch? (But no "speed lines", if you know what I mean.)

Nice colors though. Changing from Yellow to gold was the worst decision ever.

Mar 3 · 10:22 AM PST | Unregistered Commenterlightning25

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