AHL: New Thirds for Bears, Stars

While I was away on vacation last week a couple of AHL teams unveiled new third jerseys.

The Hershey Bears announced they are bringing back another retro look as their new alternate sweater for the 2011-12 season. It will make its game debut on Saturday, Oct. 15 for the club's home opener as they host the Norfolk Admirals.

On Wednesday, the Bears tweeted a graphic that showed the design, though an actual photo of the jersey itself has yet to surface. It features the "skating bear" logo that's been seen on a number of sweaters throughout the club's long history.

The Bears previously wore a maroon version of this jersey as their alternate. Presumably they're switching to white to make it easier to wear at home. In the AHL, teams wear dark uniforms on the road, so if a club wants to don a dark alternate on their home ice, they need to work out logistics with the visitor in advance.

Lately, it seems whenever a new Reebok Edge jersey is introduced, the game we play is which NHL team's template is it based on? I'll give you a minute. If you came up with the Buffalo Sabres home/road jerseys, you got it. The colors may be different, but the design is the same.

AHL Stars' new jersey and logoThe Texas Stars are also introducing a new white third jersey this season. 

Like the Bears, the Stars unveiled their new sweater online on Wednesday. But just over a week earlier, they first showed the new alternate logo seen on the shoulder. It's a wordmark that reads TEXAS with a star replacing the X.

Though this week's press release doesn't mention a specific date for the new sweater's debut, it does reference tonight's home opener a number of times. I'll keep an eye out for game photos.

Now a couple of pull quotes. Here's what the team says about the new secondary logo:

The new design was developed in coordination with the Texas Stars marketing department and the official jersey provider, Reebok. The new design will feature a centered two-tone gold star as the ‘X’ in Texas and will be comprised of the team’s existing colors with the addition of a new dark gold. 

“We are excited to unveil the new secondary logo for the Texas Stars,” said Texas Stars President Rick McLaughlin. “The new design is important to our team’s branding and establishing a new way to identify us. The new design looks great and will help us stand out in the league.”

And the new jersey:

The alternate jerseys are primarily white and dark green, with gold accents. The Texas Stars primary logo serves as the jersey crest, while the Stars new alternate logo (unveiled earlier in the off-season) serves as the shoulder patch on the new jerseys. The nameplates will consist of dark green lettering on the backs of the jersey.

The numbers on the sleeves and the backs of the sweater will be dark green with gold trim. The Stars will wear black pants, black gloves and white helmets with their new alternate jerseys.

“We are excited to unveil the new alternate jersey for the Texas Stars,” said Texas Stars President Rick McLaughlin. “The new jersey is an important extension of our brand in central Texas, using a combination of our original logo and our new secondary logo. Fans will be able to identify us in a whole new way.”

This one uses the template of the Phoenix Coyotes' third jersey. It's not a bad look and I like that they're using their actual logo on the front of this one rather than the text they use on their home and road sweaters much like the Dallas Stars.

UPDATE (9:05 PM): The Stars did not debut their third jersey during tonight's 7-0 blowout of the Oklahoma City Barons. Guess we'll have to keep an eye on them over the coming weeks to get a glimpse of it in action. Their next home game is Friday, Oct. 14.

Any AHL fans reading? What do you think of these new thirds?