ECHL Opens All-Star Jersey Voting

Three finalists selected; voting ends Monday

Polls have officially opened on the 2015 ECHL All-Star Classic jersey design contest hosted by the Orlando Solar Bears. Last week, the Solar Bears began accepting submissions from fans. Today, the three finalists were revealed as voting began. Take a look at the options presented to voters.

Image from Orlando Solar Bears

According to the press release, the Solar Bears received more than a hundred entries and the finalists were selected by "a group made up of individuals from the ECHL, CCM, the Joe Bosack Design Co. and the Orlando Solar Bears."

Polls close Mon., Dec. 23 at noon ET so VOTE NOW!

Icethetics contributor's design among finalists

Unfortunately, the Solar Bears elected not to include the designers' names with their entries in the poll of finalists. However, we do know "C" was designed by frequent Icethetics concept contributor Matt McElroy, who tweeted about it earlier today. It also showcases his IceBorn concept template, which is featured here on Icethetics. Good luck to Matt!

For a look at some other all-star jersey submissions which were not among the finalists, check out yesterday's post on the Concepts page.

What do you think of the finalists? And which one will you be voting for?

ECHL Hosts All-Star Design Contest

League accepting fan jersey submissions for 2015 event

Feel like designing a couple of hockey jerseys this weekend?

Players participating in the 2015 ECHL All-Star Classic could be wearing uniforms designed by you! This week, the ECHL and the Orlando Solar Bears (the 2015 All-Star host) announced a jersey design contest for the big event.

They are accepting submissions from fans until next Friday, Dec. 13. Three finalists will be selected and posted to the Solar Bears' Facebook page the following week, when the designs will be put to a public vote. Voting runs Wed., Dec. 18 through Mon., Dec. 23.

All finalists will receive autographed replica jerseys. The grand prize winner gets a game-worn jersey and, of course, the opportunity to see his design in action. The winning jersey will be worn by the ECHL All-Stars team, which will face the Solar Bears.

If you're interested in participating, you can find more information and rules for entering on the ECHL's official website. That link also includes a handful of official all-star logos you can download to include in your design. I know we have a lot of younger readers here, but you must be 18 or older to enter.

Also, feel free to send your submissions to me as well and I'll put together a post on the Concepts page.

Finally, in case you're wondering, there will not be an ECHL All-Star game this season. According to the league, there were no bids to host. The first time league skipped the event was 1993. Prior to that, it had been held annually since 1993.

Last year, the Colorado Eagles hosted. In 2011, it was the Bakersfield Condors.

If you need a jersey template, try our new Templates page. Good luck!

Minor Jersey Mayhem

This is a big weekend for specialty jerseys around the minor leagues. Let's start in the AHL!

Game photo from Rockford IceHogs (via Flickr)

Rockford celebrates Los IceHogs Dos!

How can we not start here? The Rockford IceHogs donned these numbers for Los IceHogs Dos this weekend. If you missed "Uno," check out this post from last year. They are really something.

I talked with IceHogs' communications director Mike Peck who said the team partnered with the Latino Leadership Coalition in Rockford for the event. In fact, they inspired the jersey design.

"They really wanted to highlight the strong musical aspect of the Hispanic/Latino culture," said Peck.

The IceHogs wore this uniform on Friday night and auctioned them off afterward with "proceeds being donated to La Voz Latina, an organization dedicated to serving the Rockford region’s Hispanic community through education, workshops and youth programming," according to the press release.

The great thing about these specialty jersey nights around the minors is that these teams are always raising money for charity. So no matter how silly the team may look on the ice, at least it's for a good cause.

Photo from Worcester Sharks (via Facebook)

Worcester raises autism awareness

The Worcester Sharks wore these jerseys on Friday and Saturday to benefit The Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts. The puzzle piece pattern is the standard symbol of autism awareness.

Photos from Texas Stars

Texas dons player-designed stars and stripes

This Veterans Day weekend was marked by a number of patriotic or military-themed jerseys. The Texas Stars called it Stars & Stripes Military Appreciation Weekend and wore these jerseys on Friday and Saturday. The subsequent jersey auction is benefiting the Texas Stars Foundation.

The cool part of this uniform is who designed it. Remember Taylor Vause? He played for the Swift Current Broncos a couple seasons and ago and was responsible for designing some fo the team's specialty jerseys. He's continued that hobby since graduating to the pros.

Vause spent most of last season with the Stars but is currently with the club's ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads. So unfortunately, while he designed this jersey, he didn't get to wear it this weekend.

Images from Springfield Falcons and Hershey Bears

Falcons and Bears go patriotic for Veterans Day

The Springfield Falcons and Hershey Bears honored military veterans in different ways this weekend. The Falcons wore the Hometown Heroes Night jerseys above while being shut out 3-0 on Friday. (This is the only photo I've been able to find of the jersey so far.)

The Bears, on the other hand, are going the camouflage route with tonight's set. I have yet to see any photos of the actual jersey, but the rendering above was posted to their Facebook page on Thursday.

Bakersfield can't stop making odd jerseys

And finally, we wrap up in the ECHL where this is happening tonight.

Image from Bakersfield Condors (via Facebook)

Had to make it huge so you could truly appreciate it. The Bakersfield Condors are always trying to go outside by the box with specialty jerseys. And I really don't know what to say about this one. Perhaps I could address the irony of the sponsor being Dignity Health. Because that's just what the players won't have after they wear these for three hours.

If you can't get enough, the Condors have a photo gallery on Pinterest.

I know there are some I've missed so I'll have a follow-up to this post likely later this evening. In the meantime, what do you think of these? Any favorites in the bunch?

ECHL Unveils 2015 All-Star Logo

Orlando will host the game on Jan. 21

The event is still 16 months away, but the logo for the 2015 ECHL All-Star Classic is already here! Can't accuse anybody of dragging their feet on this one.

The ECHL named the Orlando Solar Bears host of the 2015 event back on June 26. Then just yesterday, the logo was officially unveiled. This may be the earliest we've ever gotten an official look at a major event logo in any league.

The logo is basically an extension of the Solar Bears brand. No surprise given how Orlando is going to want to really own this event. Of course the Joe Bosack Graphic Design Co. was behind the design of this mark as well as the rest of the Solar Bears' identity.

There's one more detail that caught my eye in all of Monday's press releases. Check this out:

In addition, CCM will provide the All-Star game jerseys which will be designed by one lucky winner of the ECHL All-Star Jersey Design Contest.

So there's going to be an ECHL All-Star Jersey Design Contest. I assume we'll get more details down the road. I don't imagine it will actually take place for another year. But definitely something to pay attention to. I'd love to see one of our talented concept artists create something for the ECHL's All-Stars.

ECHL has yet to announce an All-Star host for 2014

By the way, if you're searching your memory for the 2014 ECHL All-Star Game logo, you won't find it. Not only doesn't it exist, the league hasn't even named a host yet. One ECHL blogger learned last month from the league that there apparently aren't any teams interested in hosting in 2014.

So the ECHL may skip it this season. No big loss, I guess. With the Olympics and all, who'd be paying attention anyway? Still, it's one less new logo for us to stare at.

What are your thoughts on the 2015 logo? Love, hate, indifferent?

Solar Bears Roll Back the Clock

Photos provided by Orlando Solar Bears

Twelve years is a long time to wait for something. Orlando hockey fans had to wait that long to watch their championship banner be raised to the rafters. Last Saturday, Feb. 2, the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears paid tribute to their IHL predecessors by celebrating their 2001 Turner Cup championship.

But the interesting thing to us jersey geeks is what the Solar Bears wore while doing it. The team broke out the old Solar Bears jerseys for the special night — complete with the upper/lowercase surnames and everything! Those uniforms looked great from 1996 to 2001 and they look great now.

Photos: ©2013 Gary Bassing/OSB via Solar Bears official Facebook page

Great to see the new Solar Bears honoring the old Solar Bears. You can find a lot more pictures on the team's official Facebook page.

S.F. Bulls Plan Sharks Homage

San Francisco Bulls to sport old San Jose sweaters

For all you lovers of the original Pacific Teal, the ECHL's San Francisco Bulls are about to make your weekend. The classic San Jose Sharks sweater returns to the Cow Palace ice after 20 years this Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. 

The Bulls, who are affiliated with the Sharks, will be wearing their parent club's very first teal jersey — only without the awesome shark on the front. In their press release, the Bulls point out that this will be their first time wearing something other than their orange and white jerseys.

If you can get over the ugly crest, the jerseys will be auctioned off during this weekend's games. The Bulls host the Bakersfield Condors for both games on Sat., Feb. 9 and Sun., Feb. 10. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for photos to share.

The Jersey Brief: ECHL Edition

Ever since the return of the NHL, I've been back to ignoring the minor leagues. Sorry about that. Hopefully I can make up for some of what I've missed with this post and others to come.

Solar Bears disappoint with third jersey

I've had this one in the chamber for a little while now. But I can't ignore it anymore. The Orlando Solar Bears — of the ECHL's current top-selling jerseys — debuted their third jersey on Dec. 28 against the Florida Everblades. And it was extremely disappointing.

Photos: ©2012 Gary Bassing/OSB via Solar Bears official Facebook page

The Joe Bosack Graphic Design Co. created a wide and varied set of phenomenal logos for this team last year. And despite that, the Bears managed to create a rather boring jersey. So they play in the Sunshine State, you say? I'm all for simplicity, but it just feels like there's a big hole in the middle of this sweater. If you're interested, you can find more photos on the Solar Bears' Facebook page.

Solar Bears go pink for one night in January

While we're talking Orlando, might as well mention the Solar Bears' Pink in the Rink jerseys. That fad isn't going anywhere. The team's cancer awareness night was Jan. 19 and they were fully clad in hot pink and their familiar purple in front a crowd of 9,000-plus.

Photos: ©2013 Fernando Medina/OSB via Solar Bears official Facebook page

Those are certainly bright. But as pink jerseys go, they aren't the worst we've ever seen. Of course that contrasting nameplate thing won't die. Don't think the Bears have worn a single jersey yet that didn't have it. (Way to go, Flyers.) Of course you can find more photos on the team's Facebook page.

Wranglers to go "topless" on Over 18 Night, Feb. 4

Fresh off their Indoor Winter Classic victory, the Las Vegas Wranglers are going "topless" next week. The club known for weird and wacky theme nights will be wearing these jerseys on Monday.

Photo by IIA Photography

Since there's nothing I can think to say, I'll give you an excerpt from the press release:

“Going bottomless was simply out of the question,” said Wranglers President and Chief Operating Officer Billy Johnson. “Yuck.”

The specialty Wranglers jersey, featuring a bare chest and sculpted abs, has a Wranglers crest tattooed over the right pectoral. Adorning the shoulders are a “topless hockey” and Wranglers word mark, with light arm hair filling out the details.

“The guys have never looked to be in better shape,” said Johnson. “Nor have they appeared to be as identical.”

The Wranglers host the Colorado Eagles for "Over 18 Night" on Feb. 4. "In addition to topless hockey," the team says, "fans can enjoy mild adult humor throughout the game, including uncensored clips from well-known movies applied to game situations."

Also the numbers look absolutely illegible. Can't wait to see pictures from the game.

Stingrays set to sport pink-infused jersey on Feb. 23

Rounding out our ECHL coverage tonight are the South Carolina Stingrays, who yesterday unveiled their Pink in the Rink Night jersey. As pink jerseys go, it's surprisingly decent. Icethetics reader Sean M., who let me know about the unveiling, even called it "tasteful."

Again, as pink jerseys go, I can't say I disagree. The pink-infused sweaters will be worn by the Stingrays on Sat., Feb. 23 when the host the Greenville Road Warriors.

I understand this doesn't completely make up for my lack of minor league posts recently, so there are more to come. For one thing, the AHL's Outdoor and All-Star Classics were this month, complete with lots of neat jerseys. Stay tuned for more.

Wranglers Share More Classic Details

Indoor Winter Classic "throwback" jersey unveiled

Earlier this month, we learned about the latest comical promotion coming from the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers. On New Year's Day (tomorrow), the club will host the Indoor Winter Classic — a theme night meant to mock the cancellations of the NHL schedule.

In the last few days, the Wranglers have offered up a few more details of what we can expect that night — not the least of which is the "throwback" jersey seen above. They're definitely having fun with this, as you can see from a recent press release.

“As one of the Original Four, we thought this would be another terrific way to celebrate our tenth season in Las Vegas,” said Wranglers President and Chief Operating Officer Billy Johnson. “The Indoor Winter Classic is quite a celebration of professional hockey for us and the three other originals, plus Ontario.”

The Wranglers — along with the Bakersfield Condors, Idaho Steelheads and Alaska Aces — were one of the original four western teams when the ECHL expanded in 2003.

Yes, they were. That's almost like the owner Dallas Stars calling his team one of the Original 12. Sure, you can make it true with the right spin, but that doesn't keep us from a little eye roll.

More fun from the release:

“We believe hockey fans will want to wear clothing that commemorates the first outdoor game ever played inside,” said Johnson. “There can be only so many firsts of anything, really, and this is one of those.”

T-shirts and hoodies are a dark ash color and feature the Indoor Winter Classic logo on the chest.

Advance weather forecasts for inside the arena call for intermittent snow for the Indoor Winter Classic, as well as unpredictable wind patterns caused by arena doors being left open.

The jersey announcement came on Friday. But there's more. The Wranglers made one more announcement on Sunday.

Wranglers reveal Indoor Winter Classic trophy

Indoor Winter Classic trophyThe Wranglers will host the Ontario Reign for the big event on Tuesday. And apparently the winner will walk away with this gem. (But then how can you really call yourself a "winner" carrying that thing around?)

“The trophy arrived early Sunday morning,” Wranglers President and Chief Operating Officer Billy Johnson said. “No one on our team went near it, which — if tradition is to be believed — tells me they really want to win it.”

The trophy features a base that displays an Indoor Winter Classic logo, and three columns support an upper shelf that features two U.S. dollar signs that flank a glittery-scarf-wearing bobble head doll of the team’s mascot, The Duke.

The entire award is wrapped in a chain that is padlocked in the front. A team representative said that the entire trophy came in at under $29.

Can't help but be entertained by the Wranglers. Guess that's what happens when you put hockey in the desert. Or maybe it's just Vegas.

I'll be curious to see how the Indoor Winter Classic turns out. But more than that, I imagine I'll be spending the next few days hoping for a press conference with the NHL and NHLPA to announce they're ready to stop being stupid. Fingers crossed.

Solar Bears Tout Top-Selling Jerseys

Orlando's ECHL expansion team tops league jersey sales

The Orlando Solar Bears have a little something to be proud of. On Wednesday, the team announced it has the top-selling jerseys in the ECHL. The league recently informed the team of this impressive accomplishment.

Credits: Photo (left) from Solar Bears (official website); photo (right) by Stephen Sylvanie (via Facebook)

From the Solar Bears' press release:

"Here at the League Office, we have been very impressed with the support the great hockey fans in Orlando and the surrounding communities have shown for the Solar Bears," said Todd Merton, Director of Marketing and Licensing for the ECHL. "Team jersey sales are a great indicator of how well a team has been welcomed into a market. With the Solar Bears being at the top of the league in jerseys sold, it is clear that the team has been welcomed back in a big way."

If you don't live in Orlando, you can buy your Solar Bears jersey from the team's online shop.

Solar Bears to auction military-themed jerseys on Saturday

Photos from Solar Bears (via Facebook)

Last month, the Solar Bears wore the first in a series of specialty jerseys they'll don throughout the season. On Veterans' Day weekend, they celebrated military vets with these camouflage sweaters. During this Saturday's game, MeiGray will conduct an in-arena auction of those game worn jerseys.

Six specialty sweaters on the schedule for Orlando

While we're on the subject of Solar Bears jerseys, it's worth pointing out that the team has several more specialty designs scheduled to be worn as this season continues. Here's a look at them all:

  • Camouflage Jersey: Nov. 10 and 11 (Military Appreciation Weekend)
  • Scout Jersey: Dec. 8; March 2 (Scout Night)
  • Pink Jersey: Jan. 17 and 19 (Hockey Fights Cancer Weekend)
  • Vintage Jersey: Feb. 2 (2001 Championship Banner Raising)
  • Old Time Jersey: Feb. 22 (Turn Back the Clock Night); March 24 (Fan Appreciation Night)
  • Special Jersey: March 17 (St. Patrick's Day Theme Night)

We'll have to keep an eye on these theme nights in Orlando to see what the Solar Bears will be wearing. I'm particularly excited to see their "Vintage Jersey" on the night they raise their 2001 championship banner. The Solar Bears won the last Turner Cup championship as a member of the International Hockey League before it merged with the AHL.

I say "last" but technically the Fort Wayne Komets were the last to win the Turner Cup because the trophy was resurrected when the IHL was in 2007. But then the league shut down again for good in 2010. The Komets won the Turner Cup in all three seasons. They then joined the Central Hockey League and this season were admitted into the ECHL. Turner Cup champs together again. But I digress.

What do you think of the Solar Bears' jerseys? As the NHL slowly kills itself, do you imagine taking on a minor league team to cheer for? If so, would you buy that team's jersey?

Wranglers Wrap Up Movember

ECHL's Las Vegas club wore Movember jersey on Nov. 30

The ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers suited up in their specially-designed Movember jerseys last Friday, Nov. 30. They lost in a shootout to the Orlando Solar Bears. But it was for a good cause, right?

The sweaters were unveiled on Nov. 16 and feature a comically large mustache tacked onto their standard crest. The jerseys were white and blue despite the team's red-and-black color scheme. (Must be the equivalent of pink for breast cancer nights.)

Photo by Stephen Sylvanie via Wranglers (official website)

Wranglers raised over $6,000 in Movember donations

According to an announcement made Thursday, the team raised $6,286 in donations as part of the month-long event. The money benefited the Nevada Cancer Coalition.

How do these Movember jerseys stack up against those of the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms?

The Force Guides IceMen to Victory

Evansville IceMen wore Star Wars jersey on Dec. 1

The ECHL's Evansville IceMen used The Force over the weekend to defeat the Kalamazoo Wings. It was Star Wars Night at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. on Saturday. And the IceMen were decked out in special sweaters to mark the occasion.

Game photo by Steinhaus Fotographie

The IceMen hold these Star Wars Nights each season, but don't always have a special uniform like they did over the weekend. You can find more photos from this game via Steinhaus Fotographie. (Too bad about the excessive watermark even if it is understandable.)

Thanks to Icethetics reader Jason Jones for the tip.

Walleye Prep Scout Night Jersey

ECHL team set to wear, then auction special sweaters on Jan. 5

Toledo Walleye "Scout Night" jerseyThe ECHL's Toledo Walleye will sport special edition jerseys on their Scout Experience Night on Jan. 5 when they host the Orlando Solar Bears at the Huntington Center.

The sweater design (right) was unveiled via Twitter on Nov. 14. As you can see, it looks a bit like a Boy Scout uniform — for better or worse. But in my opinion, this is really not a brilliant idea for a hockey jersey. Maybe it's the khaki.

On their website, the Walleye note that this will be their first time suiting up in special uniforms to honor their scout guests. But they have held these Scout Experience nights in the past.

The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, according to the team. Proceeds from this live auction will benefit the Boy Scouts of America — an organization that's been on the controversial side these days. But we'll leave that conversation for another time.

Let's stick to talking about the jersey. What do you think? And more importantly, if you'll be in Toledo, Ohio on Jan. 5, would you consider buying one? (Though I think I already know the answer to that question.)

ECHL Unveils 2013 All-Star Jerseys

ECHL's 2013 All-Star Game jerseys unveiled Nov. 21

Last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving in the U.S., the ECHL unveiled the uniforms that will be worn at the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game. The jerseys were revealed at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo. — home of the host Colorado Eagles — during the first intermission of their game against the Florida Everblades.

Game features Colorado Eagles vs. ECHL All-Stars

The ECHL is continuing with a new format introduced at the last All-Star event in 2011 (the ECHL did not hold one in 2012), where the host team faces off against the top players from across the league. If that seems a little one-sided, you're not wrong.

The Bakersfield Condors lost to the All-Stars 9-3 in 2011. Currently, the Eagles are third in their division (of four teams) with a record of 8-7-1-2 — which is to say they're mediocre. So it's not like the league's best team is taking on the all-star roster. That said, it's easier to sell All-Star Game tickets in Loveland when the locals can cheer on their own team.

Photo by John Babitz

Four jerseys designed for All-Star Week events

Reebok has designed a total of four different sweaters for the ECHL's All-Star Week festivities, one set for the big game and another for the Skills Competition. The Eagles, who normally wear black, will sport a blue jersey with a few stars around the waist. The All-Stars will wear white with the event logo on the front. All jerseys will have the ECHL's 25th anniversary logo on one shoulder.

For the Skills Competition, the Eagles jersey will have the team name written diagonally down the front. The All-Stars will wear the same white jersey but with their own team's crest on the front. And if all these jerseys feel reminiscent of the NHL's old Colorado Rockies, that's sort of the point.

Uniform designs an homage to NHL's old Colorado Rockies

From the Eagles' press release:

With the strong Colorado theme, it made sense for the jerseys to also pay homage to Colorado's rich hockey history. As such, the jerseys worn by both teams will include the main colors from the state's flag (red, blue and yellow) and are strikingly similar to the jerseys worn by the National Hockey League's former Colorado Rockies franchise, which played in Denver from 1976 through 1982 (before moving to New Jersey as the current day Devils). The ECHL's championship trophy, the Kelly Cup, was named after Patrick Kelly, who coached the Colorado Rockies in 1977-78.

If you want to get your hands on one of the jerseys, here's how:

Replicas of each, except the All-Star team Skills event jerseys, will be available exclusively at the Eagles' holiday store in the Foothills Mall in Ft. Collins, Colo. through Dec. 30. After the new year, the aforementioned jerseys will be available online. Game-worn jerseys from both events will be available via auction from The MeiGray Group; details will be announced in January.

This news came just two days before the NHL announced the cancellation of its 2013 All-Star Game in Columbus. Seeing the unique format the ECHL uses, what do you think of the NHL doing something similar in the future? What sort of format would you like to see?

Road Warriors' New Third Mimics Rangers

Photo from Greenville Road Warriors (Facebook page)

The ECHL's Greenville Road Warriors unveiled their new third jersey earlier this month and it's practically identical to that of their NHL affiliate, the New York Rangers. The sweater debuted Sun., Nov. 4 to a 4-3 Warriors win over the Florida Everblades.

Here's what the team is saying about its new threads:

“We wanted these jerseys to reflect the strong partnership we’ve built with our NHL affiliate the New York Rangers. We’d like to thank the Rangers organization for their help and support in the development of these new jerseys,” said Chris Lewis, Road Warriors Executive Vice President and General Manager.

“The Rangers’ jersey has become iconic in the hockey world. It evokes a rich history of one of the NHL’s storied franchises and we are proud to celebrate our affiliation by wearing these jerseys this season.”

The alternate uniform will be used for each of Greenville's Sunday home games this season.

The Rangers and Road Warriors have had an affiliation agreement since the club's relocation to Greenville in 2010. (Until then, they had been the Johnstown Chiefs, a founding member of the ECHL in 1988.)

What do you think? Do you like when minor league teams emulate their NHL partners? Or is it like giving the players the chance to wear the big league's uniforms before they've earned it?

Gladiators Add 10th Anniversary Jersey

Photo from Gwinnett Gladiators official website

The ECHL's Gwinnett Gladiators will be sporting a special edition 10th anniversary sweater this season and fans can get their hands on one for the first time tonight when the club opens its home schedule.

The Gladiators are looking to their NHL affiliate, the Phoenix Coyotes, for inspiration, quite clearly. It's essentially the Coyotes' home sweater with some text on the front. That's right, text. My favorite. (Sorry, hope I didn't drip any of that sarcasm on you.)

It sounds like this won't be an alternate jersey so much as the Glads' go-to dark jersey this season. ECHL teams wear white and home and colors on the road until the midpoint of the season when they all do a big switch-a-roo. (It gives teams a chance to showcase both of their uniforms to fans in an effort to sell more of each.)

Here's what else the team had to say about it a couple weeks ago.

In honor of their 10th year in Gwinnett, the Gladiators have decided to commemorate the anniversary by introducing a new maroon jersey for the 2012-2013 season. Fans in attendance at this past Sunday’s pre-season game were privy to a special sneak peek at the new sweaters.

The Gladiators will wear them for Opening Weekend before their designation on road games as the "dark" sweater option per ECHL mandate. At the midway point of the season, member teams will switch their jerseys, and the Gladiators will finish the 2nd half of the year wearing their maroon sweaters at home.

In homage to the history of hockey, the jerseys have a decidedly vintage feel complete with lace-up neck and "Gwinnett" across the chest.

The right shoulder will bear the ECHL's 25th anniversary patch while the left will have the team's 10th anniversary patch. But whatever floats their boat, I suppose.

I have to say, the design is quite plain and really does nothing for me, but I'd rather hear what Gladiators fans think of it. Would you buy one? It turns out they'll actually be kind of a "limited edition" type deal since the team's contract with SP Apparel is ending and they don't want to be left with stuff they can't sell. (Does this also mean we'll see more new Gladiators jerseys in 2013?)

San Francisco Gets the Horns

Photo from San Francisco Bulls official website

The San Francisco Bulls made their ECHL debut over the weekend, giving us our first opportunity to see the team in action. And if you were paying attention when the club unveiled its uniforms last March, you'll notice a few differences.

Photos from San Francisco Bulls (Facebook)

Mainly, the name and numbers on the back of the jerseys have been changed. But apparently, that was the plan all along. When it was pointed out via Twitter (by @Puckguy14) that the numbers looked a lot like those of the MLB's San Francisco Giants, a response came from the guys who actually do the jersey customizations for the Bulls, Junkyard Athletic.

They also added that that was the team's plan from the beginning. (I think someone has an unhealthy attachment to the Giants. What happened to building your own identity?)

You may also note that conspicuously absent from these jerseys is any sign of a shoulder patch designed by one of our talented Icethetics artists. A week before the Bulls unveiled their jerseys, they said they'd be interested in looking at secondary logo proposals from our designers.

Well, they were interested in a couple but after a communication breakdown, the whole idea went nowhere. So instead, the jerseys feature the ECHL's 25th anniversary patch on the right shoulder and another smaller patch on the left that I haven't been able to make out. (Looks like it says BAT or something.) Can't tell if it's a sponsor or some kind of memorial patch.

Photos from San Francisco Bulls official website

I can't say I'm impressed with the uniforms and I still hate the logo, but I do like how Justin Bowers and his teemmates keep giving the horns to Bulls fans at the Cow Palace.

Does seeing the Bulls' uniforms in action change your view on them? Love 'em? Hate 'em? The comments await.

New Sweaters with Ties to Tampa

With no Tampa Bay Lightning hockey to follow at this point in the fall, I'm a little lost and turning to the minors for comfort. And it just so happens the Bolts' AHL and ECHL affiliates are sporting new uniforms this season. So let's have a look.

Photos from Rochester Americans and Syracuse Crunch official websites

It happened with the Norfolk Admirals a few years ago and now it's happening to the Syracuse Crunch, who opened their season last night wearing not quite what you'd expect. For a team that just unveiled a very blue logo this summer, I'm surprised to still see so much orange in their uniforms.

But who knows what goes on behind the scenes with these teams? It could very well be that the rebrand happened too late in the game to get the uniforms completely overhauled. (Plus, they probably still have a lot of orange gear leftover that they need to sell, right?)

What's cool: The lightning bolt down the pants. Crunch players are actually wearing the same pants as their NHL affiliate. (You can even see the NHL shield on them in the photo above.) This is useful for two reasons. For one thing, it ties the branding of the two teams together. But more practically, players who are getting called up already have a key piece of their gear in tow.

What's not cool: The white Lightning logo over orange on the right shoulder. Someone at SME has to be shaking their head over that. I would've at least used the blue bolt if the shoulders had to be orange. Which brings me to my other point: Why not make the shoulders blue? These are obviously not recycled jerseys. They're new, with the blue piping added all over the place. Fix it.

That's all I have to say on Syracuse for now. Their home opener is tonight so I assume we'll get to see the other jerseys. I'll add photos as an update to this post later on.

Photo from Florida Everblades (Facebook)

Also this season, the ECHL's Florida Everblades are celebrating their 15th anniversary along with their 2012 Kelly Cup championship. You can see both represented in the photo above as the team hit the ice in their new green anniversary sweaters and raised a special banner last night.

By the way, that Blades game was also the first time that expansion team Orlando Solar Bears hit the ice. You can see what their uniforms looked like in action for the first time on their Facebook page. The Orlando Sentinel also has a neat side-by-side shot of both teams' uniforms.

Interestingly, both of these games required extra time to decide. The Everblades won on a goal 26 seconds into overtime while the Crunch fell to the Rochester Americans in a shootout.

Wranglers Roll Out New Uniforms

Back in July, we got our first look at the new look of the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers. The team kept its color scheme but launched a whole new set of logos. Then last week, they debuted their new home sweater during a preseason tilt which introduced us to even more logos! But more on that in a sec. First, take a gander at the new uniform.

Wow, is it red! Really red. As Icethetics reader Jeannette H. pointed out, what ever happened to finding that balance in your color palette? Before this, the Wranglers wore almost solid black. Now they've swung completely the opposite way.

Add to that, I count four different logos on that uniform, including the ECHL 25th anniversary patch on the right arm.

So between the graphic above and the one to the right, we have our logo bases covered — the crest which prominently features Las Vegas in giant letters, the shoulder patch made up of a big W, a tiny LV and the new shield shape (new since the July unveiling), and finally the 10th anniversary logo comprised of a pair of fives.

For a better look at the Wranglers' new red road jersey, reader Matt McCall sent in this shot from the team's merchandise counter. It's the same design as the white with the colors flipped.

Photo by Matt McCall

Nothing earth-shattering in Vegas, but now we know how the Wranglers will look this year.

Gladiators Mark 10 Years in Georgia

Before we dive in, two things: 1) I'm back. The The IceHL 2012 Yearbook — a labor of love and some intense work over the last few months — is finished! And 2) that means I'm getting back to the blog. And even though it's been a quiet year, I'm determined to find ways of keeping Icethetics interesting. Even if I have to make up news.

For today, however, I don't have to make anything up.

The ECHL's Gwinnett Gladiators unveiled their 10th anniversary logos last Thursday. During the 2012-13 season, they'll be celebrating "A Decade of Excellence and Achievement," as they put it. Of course that's ignoring the eight previous years the club spent in Alabama as the Mobile Mysticks.

The Gladiators primary 10th Anniversary Season Logo is a stylized number ten with the distinctive Gladiators head profile logo incorporated into the zero. It also features roman numerals along the side denoting the years of operation, 2003 to 2013. The Gladiators will also utilize a secondary logo that features a roman numeral "X" incorporating the classic "G" shield/sword logo version and stylized banner indicating the team’s tenure.

The Gladiators are affiliated with the Phoenix Coyotes. And most of the people at their games used to be Thrashers fans, right? There's gotta be a joke in there somewhere about fans getting shafted. I'm just not clever enough to find it.

Guys, the IceHL Yearbook was a huge weight off my shoulders and I'm tired of seeing this page so static. There's been a lot of news I haven't covered over the last month or so and it's my goal to put it here with new posts every day or at least every other day for the next several weeks.

After that? I don't know. Maybe we get some Top 10 lists going. We all like lists, right?

And let there be NHL hockey before 2013... please!

New Sweaters Around the Minors

One after another this summer, teams across the minor leagues have been overhauling their looks. We've mostly been focusing on logos lately, so today we're switching gears. Check out some of the new jerseys that have been recently unveiled.

On Friday, the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers not only unveiled new sweater designs, but a revamped logo and color palette. Most notably, red is no longer one of the team's primary colors.

The Nailers' have been red, gold and black for as long as I can remember. But beginning in 2012, they switch to black and gold, just like their NHL affiliate, the Pittsburgh Penguins. In fact, their new home and road uniforms look awfully familiar.

The new dark jersey (right) was actually introduced as a third last season. It gets the full-time treatment this fall along with a white version to match. Of course the red isn't completely disappearing. The Nailers will wear a red alternate uniform (center) which features the old logo on the shoulders.

A bit of a downgrade here, if you ask me. Shrinking the color palette often provides a cleaner look, but in this case, it just sort of flattens the Nailers' logo. As we've seen with the Penguins, Vegas gold is just too bland to be a team's only color.

For those not familiar with the ECHL, teams wear white at home for the first half of the season and switch for the second half. The Nailers say the red jersey will be worn on Sunday afternoons at WesBanco Arena.

Elsewhere in the ECHL, the South Carolina Stingrays unveiled their 20th anniversary logo along with a pair of new jerseys for 2012. The North Charleston-based club made the announcement on May 31.

The Stingrays have done it right. These are some great-looking uniforms — even if the anniversary logo is a little too busy. Fans should be thrilled to see them hit the ice this fall. By the way, if you find yourself needing to add one of these to your collection, they're available.

And finally, the OHL's recently rebranded Mississauga Steelheads officially unveiled their uniforms last Friday. Here's a closer look at their new secondary logo.

And they'll look a lot like the nearby Toronto Maple Leafs when they hit the ice.

If you need a recap on where this team came from, see this blog post from May 31. Before the name change, the Steelheads were known as the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors. 

Now what do you think of all the new threads hitting the lower leagues this fall?