The ECHL's newest expansion team officially got a name and a logo this morning. The Newfoundland Growlers will begin play in St. John's this fall.
In black and gold, the logo design takes inspiration from "the Newfoundland dog that served as the mascot of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during WWI," according to the team's press release. They also say: "Paired with a forged-style font, the hard edges and strong weight give it a stone-chiseled feel which lends itself well to the vintage style of the logo."
I was genuinely surprised to see the cascade of praise the logo has received all day online. It's not that I disagree or dislike the design. It's got a cool vibe, though it does feel somewhat unfinished to me. The thing is, I just can't remember the last time any new hockey logo got so much instant positivity. It's great to see!
The Growlers pick up where the AHL's St. John's IceCaps left off. Last fall, the Canadiens' top affiliate relocated to Laval, Quebec leaving Newfoundlanders without a pro hockey team this past season. That wrong will now be righted.
Speaking of wrong, I can't let the name Growlers go without pointing out an ECHL expansion franchise that made its debut 20 years ago. Anyone else remember the Greenville Grrrowl?
That's not a misspelling. They really did put three R's in Grrrowl. The franchise had a brief eight-year existence in the ECHL but it did claim a Kelly Cup championship in 2002 — meaning that name will live on in the record books forever.
I hate to go off on a tangent, but I can't help but bring up the fact that this wasn't the only bizarre team name in Greenville, South Carolina's hockey history. Lest we forget the Road Warriors... who later became the Swamp Rabbits in 2015.
Now let's get back on track.
In addition to the Newfoundland Growlers, the ECHL will welcome another new team in 2018-19. The Maine Mariners revealed their name and logo last November as you may recall.
This franchise's lineage traces back to the Alaska Aces, who suspended operations at the end of the 2016-17 season. It was a sad day for Alaska hockey fans. But their loss is Maine's gain. Like the Growlers, the Mariners are replacing a relocated AHL club, the Portland Pirates.
Elsewhere, the Atlanta Gladiators recently revised their logo package which includes a new font for "Atlanta" in the primary mark and an "ATL" logo just because. Everything else in the package remains the same.
This club used to be known as the Gwinnett Gladiators, named for the Georgia county in which their arena is located. But being just a half-hour outside Atlanta, the Glads took up the "ATL" mantle in 2015, a few years after the Thrashers left for Winnipeg.
The only other thing I have to report at the moment is the 2019 ECHL All-Star Weekend will be hosted by the Toledo Walleye. And this is the logo.
Pardon the image quality. I haven't been able to track down a clean copy of this logo yet.
That about does it for now. I anticipate a new edition of JerseyWatch 2018 will be ready to publish soon and it will include a minor league section. Stay tuned!