The ECHL welcomed the Trenton Titans back into the league today, filling the gap left in New Jersey's capital city with the demise of the Trenton Devils.
The team has already launched its new website — which at this point, merely links you to its Facebook and Twitter pages. Today's announcement also confirmed the Titans will be affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers. And the club's new logo will be the same as the one introduced when they first hit the ice 12 years ago.
The franchise played under the Titans name from 1999 until 2007 — a tenure which included a 2005 Kelly Cup championship — at which point the New Jersey Devils bought the franchise and rebranded it, just as they'd done the year before with the AHL team in Lowell, Mass.
All the Devils' affiliates were called the Devils and basically had the same logo and uniforms for the next few years. Last summer, when the Albany River Rats became the Charlotte Checkers, the Lowell Devils headed to Albany. They then became the Albany Devils.
On July 6, the New Jersey Devils gave up on their ECHL player development plan and shut down the Trenton franchise. It was then bought up by new owners who rebranded it with that familiar Titans moniker. So Trenton hockey fans aren't missing a beat here.
So like the resurrection of the Winnipeg Jets, what's old is new again in hockey this year. And full credit to Chris Creamer over at SportsLogos.net for predicting the return of the Titans more than a month ago! Included in a blog post was the revelation that the ECHL has re-registered the Titans trademark on June 21. He assumed either the ECHL was getting into the retro gear business, or the Titans were staging a comeback.
But wait, there's more...
St. John's AHL Team Unveiling Name & Logo
When True North moved the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg, it caused a ripple effect that impacted several other leagues, including the AHL. The arrival of the Jets displaced True North's Manitoba Moose, who have since found a new home in St. John's, Newfoundland. Now they're getting a name and logos.
The AHL tweeted this morning that the new St. John's franchise will officially unveil its branding identity (meaning name and logo) on Friday morning at 11 AM local time. That's 9:30 AM Eastern and 6:30 AM on the west coast — which is far too early for me. It's widely believed the team will be named the St. John's Ice Caps.
The Ice Caps would obviously be affiliated with the Jets. And because the Moose were previously affiliated with the Canucks. But there's an easy fix. The Thrashers' departure left the Chicago Wolves without an affiliate, so naturally Vancouver is filling that void.
Unrelated to the Jets' move, there was another three-way affiliate swap this summer. The Buffalo Sabres are once again joining forces with the Rochester Americans. Their former affiliate, the Florida Panthers, have hooked up yet again with the San Antonio Rampage. (Didn't I just say what's old is new again?) That left the Portland Pirates and Phoenix Coyotes without partners so they just sort of looked at each other and said, hey why not?
This will all be explained again in graphic form in the Icethetics Season Preview in September.
What about the Jets' jerseys?
With the question of the logos fully answered, what now remains is this: What will the new Winnipeg Jets jerseys look like?
Details have been eking out at a slow pace, but a pace set by the franchise itself, for a change. Icethetics reader Jacob McInnis tweeted what he heard True North chairman Mark Chipman talking about on FAN 590 on Tuesday.
For one thing, Chipman said the only red on the uniforms will be in the maple leaf on the logos. Now that extra shade of blue in the alternate wordmark makes sense. He also said the secondary mark, the wings, will be the shoulder patches.
One thing worth noting however, are the new Jets T-shirts which you can find in both light blue and dark blue — keeping us guessing about which color the home jersey will be. This photo (right) was tweeted by the team earlier today.
Frankly, the logo looks better on dark blue, but I would love the irony of the Jets using the same color jerseys as the Thrashers did. Though I'm sure Atlanta fans wouldn't find it nearly as funny.
Jacob also said Chipman talked about a desire to honor old Jets jersey numbers, similar to what the Toronto Maple Leafs do. This makes more sense that all out retiring numbers for players who never actually suited up for this particular franchise.
Got any other Jets nuggets I've missed? I'd love some links if these details are in print somewhere.
And there's a reason that this final link is at the end of this post. Lots of folks went nuts-o when they thought this alleged "NHL 12 leak" was the Jets new uniform. I'm not saying it again. But obviously, it isn't. It's a Capitals jersey. That is all.
By the way, I do hope my contempt for these EA video game "leaks" is coming through. I wouldn't want to downplay it at all. Just saying.