The Tampa Bay Lightning officially unveiled their new logo and uniforms at a press conference today.
The new logo is one color... white on the blue home jerseys and blue on the white road jerseys, which includes the TAMPA BAY wordmark.
While it's a not a huge departure from the basic idea — a lightning bolt in a circle — it has been stripped down to its simplest elements.
We have a clean, iconic symbol here which is exactly what the new management was going for.
The uniforms are blue and white, and I hate to say it, but the striping is awfully derivative of the Detroit Red Wings'. It's understandable as it's a classic look but it's the one spot where the new brand fails to meet its goal of individuality and being unique. Outside of that, it's a traditional look that stands apart.
And it looks nothing like the Toronto Maple Leafs, as some worried. Unless, of course, you don't have your glasses on and every shade of blue looks the same to you.
At the press conference, we heard from owner Jeff Vinik and CEO Tod Leiweke. Even core players Vinny Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos were on hand to discuss it. And they loved the new look, which will take over starting in 2011-12 season.
Here are the renderings of the new logos and uniforms as displayed on the Lightning's website:
As a Lightning fan, my first impression is very good. I love the simplicity of the logo. We always talk about how a good logo is one you'd find a kid doodling on his notebook. This one's easy to draw. I've thought for a long time the Lightning should have a blue home sweater — and just more blue in their uniforms in general. They certainly have that now.
But there are some things I don't like. The lightning bolts on the pants were always a unique element that's now disappeared. The "championship stripes" underneath the arms were used by no other teams and don't appear on these jerseys. Neither of these elements would've taken away from the simplicity of the design. Instead, the character they added is gone.
That said, I already know what the reaction is going to be from most readers: You don't like it. It's change and many of you are averse to that as a rule, no matter what the end result. You'll come around. And unlike the last few uniform designs, I can see this one being around for decades to come. Vinik, Leiweke and Yzerman have done a tremendous job rebranding this franchise.
The team said the jerseys will not go on sale "for a while" but that they wanted to be the ones to reveal them, rather than seeing it leaked before the summer. And I think that is awesome. Also noteworthy, only the home and road jerseys will change. The alternate BOLTS jersey will be retained next season, according to CEO Tod Leiweke — presumably with the black and gray elements.