Coyotes confirm Arizona name change for 2014-15

Team will introduce new shoulder patch, keep same uniforms

The Phoenix Coyotes are dropping the "Phoenix" from their name. The club will take to the ice as the Arizona Coyotes to start the 2014-15 season, according to an official statement made today.

The team confirmed its uniforms will remain the same apart from the shoulder patch, emblazoned with PHX and the Arizona state flag inside a mark shaped like the state. The new patch will be officially unveiled in September prior to the first pre-season game of 2014.

Not addressed in the release was the fact that the wordmark and a shoulder patch from the third jersey will also need updates. Flip through the above slideshow to see some potential solutions to the problem.

Anthony LeBlanc — co-owner, president and CEO of the Coyotes — explained the name change:

“Becoming the Arizona Coyotes makes sense for us since we play our games in Glendale and the city is such a great partner of ours. We also want to be recognized as not just the hockey team for Glendale or Phoenix, but the team for the entire state of Arizona and the Southwest.

We hope that the name ‘Arizona’ will encourage more fans from all over the state, not just the valley, to embrace and support our team.”

This change is not at all unexpected. It was part of the agreement with the city of Glendale to keep the Coyotes in town for at least a few more years.

What to expect

So what will the new logo look like? Will the team create something entirely new to represent the state? It seems unlikely given how much Arizona symbolism is already baked into the existing logo.

It would therefore make sense that some minor tweaks could settle things. And there may already be a logo in existence that could do the job.

Many NHL teams have a post-game locker room tradition by which an outstanding player is recognized for his on-ice heroics. For the Coyotes, a custom-designed MVP belt is passed from player to player during the season. It was featured in an online video last spring. Flip through some stills here.

I haven't seen this particular logo in use anywhere else before. However, it could be something the club's marketing department devised as this belt was evidently designed around the time of the arena agreement that required the team's name to be changed. Probably not a coincidence.

What are you expecting for the new shoulder patch design? Big changes or minor tweaks?

RIP: San Francisco Bulls (2012—2014)

Sophomore ECHL club shuts down midseason

Maybe the Bay Area can only support one pro hockey team at a time. The San Francisco Bulls — ECHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks — ceased operations on Monday after only a season and a half in action.

Flip through the photo slideshow above and it's not difficult to figure out why. All those empty seats aren't good for business. Unfortunately, the club was unable to secure new ownership and that necessitated the shutdown.

During their brief existence, the Bulls brought us one of the most wretched logos in minor league hockey. That abomination was filled with crazy gradients — except, of course, when it had to be embroidered on the front of a sweater. So I can't say I'll miss this team all that much.

There is one thing they got right, though. Last season, the Bulls skated in San Jose Sharks throwback jerseys. A lot of us miss those so it was nice to see them in action one more time. Although they did their best to wreck it with those gradients in the crest.

Does Islanders’ black era end today?

TV broadcaster says 2011 third jersey is done

Interesting jersey developments came during the New York Islanders telecast today. During the first period of the game, play-by-play announcer Howie Rose said this match-up may be the final hurrah for the widely despised black third jersey.

Check out this clip and hear it for yourself.

For the video-impaired, here's the transcript:

Howie Rose: It may well be that the fans are getting some good news today. This could be the last time that the Islanders wear these sartorial atrocities known as the black alternate jerseys.

These schmattas might finally go away for good once the Islanders unveil their nifty Stadium Series jersey for the game against the Rangers Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

And you know, you can even hear… there's a discernible groan when the Islanders hit the ice either for warm-ups or before the game wearing these things. I know some of the fans have bought them.

Butch Goring: And they don't win either, Howie.

HR: 7-12-4, says Eric Hornick in these things that thankfully may well be consigned to the scrap heap in just a couple of hours.

One thing to note. Rose seems to suggest the Isles' Stadium Series jersey has not been unveiled yet. Of course we know it was back on Nov. 26. But this news jibes with what Chris Botta said recently.

That's now two sources saying the Stadium jersey will replace the black as the Isles' alternate uniform. Botta said by 2015, but Rose made it sound like the change could happen sooner.

Thanks to Layton O'Neil for the Twitter tip!


Another Twitter tip from Dave C. pointed out that the jersey will be worn for additional regular season games after its Stadium Series debut this week. Coming back from the last commercial break of the first period, Rose talked specifically about the new sweater.

Again, if you can't play the video, here's a transcript:

HR: Now that is a great looking alternate jersey. The Islanders are going to wear those for the first time at Yankee Stadium this week. And we'll be seeing them — so we understand — a few times throughout the rest of this regular season.

That's a third jersey I think the fans are really going to take to. So [we'll be] seeing a lot more of that.

What do you think? Do you prefer the blue or black?


There's another update to this story, in the form of a Chris Botta tweet (right).

We'll see them for at least two more games after Wednesday's debut. The more, the merrier, I say.

Loose Threads: Alternates & Adidas

It's not quite time for the first JerseyWatch 2014 yet, so consider this a warm-up.

Penguins pondering another retro third jersey

The Pittsburgh Penguins are considering a new third jersey for next season, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. And it could make a lot of fans' dreams come true. (I'm thinking of one regular reader in particular. He knows who he is.)

The only details came by way of an article published on Dec. 13, the day the Pens unveiled their Stadium Series jersey, which the article confirmed will only be worn once.

There are tentative plans for a new alternate jersey that could debut next season. A design is not finalized, but under consideration is a jersey similar to the ones the Penguins wore during their 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup runs.

Who's excited?

If they're smart, they'll move forward with these plans. Such a jersey would probably sell well, especially among Icethetics readers. But don't take my word for it. Check out the rating for the Penguins concept I posted yesterday.

Islanders' Stadium Series look may endure

While the Pens are ditching their Stadium Series jerseys after their big game, the New York Islanders are going in the opposite direction. Isles beat writer Chris Botta tweeted last week that we're certain to see at least the new crest sticking around.

That NY look on the Islanders' stadium jersey? Yeah, it's confirmed that you'll be seeing more of it in coming seasons.

He followed up with a few details.

Expectation is that the NY crest jersey, or something very close to it, will be the Islanders' 3rd jersey by 2015.

This effectively means the black third everyone loves to hate is on the way out. Perhaps only one more season of it — if that. Maybe the Isles will surprise us and have the new sweater ready by the fall. But it's more likely they'll wait and launch it with their move to Brooklyn.

By the way, check out their current Twitter profile image.

Ducks may promote third jersey, add white road version

If you don't follow me on Twitter, you may have missed this nugget. Orange County Register writer Eric Stephens says the Anaheim Ducks may have new home and road sweaters next fall.

This was his tweet back on Dec. 3:

Plan is for current Ducks third jersey to become main home sweater, perhaps next year. I figure next alternate will be orange-based.

No more wordmark! Wahoo!

Stephens doesn't specifically say there would be a white version added as a road jersey, but it makes sense the team would want matching sweaters.

That news followed the unveiling of the Ducks' Stadium Series jersey. It would be simple enough for that to become the new third — though it may not be popular enough among fans. But I've seen mixed reviews from Icethetics readers. You've got those that love it, hate it and are indifferent to it — in seemingly equal parts.

If the Ducks were to follow in the footsteps of the Penguins, what would you think of an orange Mighty Ducks jersey? Again, I'll point you to the Concepts page to see any number of ways that could work successfully.

Adidas may replace Reebok jersey branding

In the world of hockey jerseys, the word Reebok has become synonymous with repulsive to many. But that's not why parent company Adidas may soon swap out the name seen on the back of every NHL sweater.

CBC's Elliotte Friedman included an interesting tidbit in his 30 Thoughts article posted Monday. Specifically, he wrote:

Small business item: Reebok has the rights to make NHL jerseys. Its parent company, Adidas, apparently is considering putting its own name there instead of Reebok. As part of that, we may see an extension of the current contract, which runs through 2016-17.

This isn't totally unexpected. Adidas has been trying to reposition the Reebok brand back to its focus on runners — like it has been historically. From their mission statement:

At Reebok, our innovation focus is on fitness and training, where the priority is creating products that provide a material benefit to the consumer's fitness activities (e.g. flexibility or lightweight).

Hat tip to Matt Johnson for the link.

That said, I would've expected to see Adidas reposition CCM as the big name in hockey — as it has been historically. Plus, this is a brand that still has a very good reputation among folks who appreciate (and buy) hockey jerseys.

Then again, Adidas is a bigger name with better brand recognition — even if people like me associate them solely with soccer. Regardless of any branding changes, I would not expect the Edge uniform system to be replaced anytime soon.

Lots of news here tonight. Take your time digesting it all. I'm taking a long weekend in California!