Hot Take: 5 NHL Teams That Need Rebranding

There’s been a lot of improvements in recent years when it comes to NHL jersey changes and logo alterations. Many of which is because most teams wanted to ditch the disastrous Reebok “straight-piping” incorporated in their sweaters. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers made significant but welcome changes into their look in 2016. They have somewhat influenced a trend for teams heading towards a more characterized, traditional and stylized look with an authentic feel to it. While the improvements from some teams are nice, some have a stale image that needs a makeover. Teams like Detroit, Chicago, Boston and Montreal are an exception to this list because their respective brands are historic. Deviating from their original look would be a cardinal sin to the hockey gods.

If I wrote about this topic, 5 years ago, I would of suggested 10 teams that needed a change but realistically, only 5 need tweaks now.

Anaheim Ducks

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I get what the Ducks were going for when they unveiled this logo in 2007 but its definitely underwhelming. Originally part of the wordmark for the “Anaheim Ducks” in-scripted on their jersey, this “D” that looks like a webbed Ducks foot does not match the iconic “Mighty Ducks” logo in terms of depth and richness. The logo is bland and doesn’t offer much of a rustic, hockey feeling. This look has been used for 13 years without much accolade or popularity among casual, fairweather fans so it’s time for a switch in 2020.

Los Angeles Kings

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The Kings main logo looks more like a great shoulder patch rather than a primary crest. There should be more emphasis on the crown and less on the banner shaped body. It also needs more purple! Most teams don’t use purple in their colour scheme so establishing that colour presence would distinguish the Kings with a unique look no other team would have.

Ottawa Senators

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The Sens have not only failed on the ice as of late, but they also have a brand that’s gone sour, mostly due to their owner. Used since 2007, the jersey pattern doesn’t sync with the logo and vice versa. The centurion logo isn’t bad in itself but it doesn’t pop because of the plain jersey pattern. It doesn’t hurt to add a waistline stripe to make it look more like a real hockey jersey. The good news for Sens fans is that a rebranding is on the way but it doesn’t look like it’s going to come soon.

The team is rebuilding with some talented young prospects but until the Sens feel confident they have a squad that can lead them into the playoffs, they won’t reveal anything. When you look at the Leafs in 2016 and the Canucks this year (2019), they didn’t bother to alter their look until they’ve established a young core of talented players the team can improve with for the future. The Leafs have made the playoffs every season since they changed their look and the Canucks feel they can make it to the dance at the end of this season. We’ll see how it goes for them.

Calgary Flames

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The Flames have had the same look since 2003; The black “C” logo for the home jersey and the red “C” logo for the road jerseys. At the time the Flames altered their look, it was a welcome change. It was certainly better than the predecessing jersey pattern where they had the stripe from the waist protruding towards the stomach looking like a middle finger.

Flash forward 16 years and it’s deja vu all over again. The Flames now have a look that’s gone stale. 16 years of having the same look that’s increasingly lost interest over time doesn’t bode well for sales or interest in general. The 2019 Heritage Classic offered a huge hint as it sparked conversation on the Flames going back to the 1980’s retro sweaters full-time. They’re colourful, they’re bright, they pop and they have the makings of a solid hockey jersey; bold waistline, full shoulder yoke (For the road jersey anyways) and the primary crest is large. Don’t be surprised if the Flames go back to this look in 2020.

Winnipeg Jets

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The current logo is cool but it doesn’t compare to the character and detail of the original Jets logo. It also doesn’t help that the current jersey pattern looks messy. It’s odd having light blue stripes coinciding with the dark blue body of the sweater. Much like the Flames, the Jets now have 2 Heritage Classic jerseys offsetting each other which means they can easily use them as primary jerseys if they wish to do so. I have a strong feeling the Jets and the Flames could share the same destiny in reintroducing their classic jerseys as full-time primaries in 2020.

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