The NHL season kicks off in less than two weeks! It's a very exciting time. But before the season begins, Icethetics is here to catch you up on all the new logos and jerseys that have been unveiled over the summer.
Part 1: New Event & Anniversary Logos
We're starting small this week with new anniversary and event logos from around pro hockey.
Winter Classic 2010 (NHL)
Arguably, the biggest event of the NHL season has become the Winter Classic. The outdoor game played annually on New Year's Day has become a staple of the league drawing huge crowds to freezing open-air venues.
This year, the Boston Bruins will host the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park. The logo offers the look and feel of famous ball park and the winter — complete with the Green Monster.
The timeless design fits in line with those of the previous Winter Classic events, held in Buffalo and Chicago. Bridgestone, this year's primary event sponsor, has had its logo worked into the design.
NHL Premiere Europe 2009
Just like last year, the NHL will send four clubs to play four games in Europe to kick off the season. The Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers will face off at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland on October 2 and 3.
During that same weekend, the Detroit Red Wings will face the St. Louis Blues at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. This is the second consecutive season the NHL Premiere series will take place in Stockholm. The Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins played there to open last year's campaign.
Both the Winter Classic and Premiere series are entering their third year as major events on the NHL calendar.
Calgary Flames 30th Anniversary (NHL)
A handful of NHL teams are celebrating major anniversaries during the 2009-10 season. The Calgary Flames released this logo in honor of 30 years in Alberta, although the franchise originally existed in Atlanta for eight seasons.
The design is unlike most we've come to expect for NHL team anniversary marks. It will be painted at center ice in the Saddledome in Calgary and worn as a patch on the Flames' jerseys throughout the season.
The Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres are each entering their 40th year but have not yet released any plans or logos to celebrate the event. In addition, the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets are now 10 years old but like the Canucks and Sabres, no details or logos have been announced.
Other minor league teams have round-number anniversaries coming up this season but none have unveiled logos. The AHL's Norfolk Admirals are celebrating 10 years. In the ECHL, the Elmira Jackals are entering their 10th anniversary season.
Stockton Thunder 5th Anniversary (ECHL)
Additionally, the ECHL's Stockton Thunder are celebrating five years in California, though the franchise was actually founded almost 20 years ago, in 1990. The Thunder began life as the original Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL.
After two seasons, the club moved to Alabama where they became the Birmingham Bulls. In 2001, the team again relocated, becoming the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies. A Kelly Cup championship wasn't enough to keep them there as California investors bought the team in 2005.
The 5th Anniversary logo simply features the Thunder's primary mark within a circle surrounded by the words "Fifth Anniversary 2005-2010."
The biggest annual events in most leagues aside from the playoffs, tend to be the all-star games, where the best players gather to show off their talent. The NHL no longer holds all-star games during the same year as the Winter Olympics, but the minors leagues still do.
AHL All-Star Classic 2010 (Portland, ME)
This season, the AHL All-Star Classic will be hosted by the Portland Pirates and sponsored by Time Warner Cable on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The logo features the Pirates' primary logo set on top of a large yellow star with a banner that reads "All-Star Classic." To be honest, it's one of the less creative all-star logos in the last decade — in any league.
Portland previously hosted the All-Star Classic in 2003.
ECHL All-Star Game 2010 (Ontario, CA)
The Ontario Reign will play host to the 2010 ECHL All-Star Weekend. The big game will be sponsored by Reebok and played on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena.
The logo makes use of the shield element in the Reign's primary mark. Elements include mountains, stars and a stylized drawing of the arena where the event will take place. The text simply reads "All-Star" so as to be usable for the entire event and not just the game itself.
This is the second year the Ontario Reign have been a member of the ECHL. The club existed previous as the Texas Wildcatters.
That wraps up Part 1 of the 2009 Icethetics Season Preview. If I've missed any important anniversary or event logos, drop me a line and I'll be sure to add them. Part 2 goes live tomorrow.