Washington and Calgary are going back to their inaugural seasons for their new alternate uniforms.Read More
NEW TEAM, CLASSIC CREST
A familiar logo joins the American Hockey League this fall. It was officially announced in May that the Abbotsford Heat are moving to New York to become the Adirondack Flames.
As you can see, the Calgary affiliate has adopted an updated version of their parent club's logo from long ago.
The Atlanta Flames were founded in 1972 — where they introduced the flaming "A" — but relocated to Alberta in 1980. In recent years, the flaming "A" has been used on Calgary jerseys to designate assistant captains.
Now it will go on to be a full-fledged team logo once again — but not without a few color changes.
JERSEYS STILL TO COME
The A-Flames — as we shall now call them — have yet to introduce their jerseys, however. At the press conference in Glens Falls on May 16, a Calgary jersey was on display with "Adirondack" across the nameplate.
That said, give how we've seen the Flames continue to align their AHL club's branding with their own, don't be surprised if it's the same jersey template with the A-Flames crest.
HOW THIS HAPPENED
It all started when the Flames decided not to renew the Abbotsford Heat's arena lease. Part of the problem was geography.
The Heat were so far removed from the rest of the mostly northeast-based AHL. So the travel was ridiculous, both tiring for the players and expensive to the organization.
Naturally, the perfect opportunity arose this season with the Adirondack Phantoms departing upstate New York for a new arena back home in Pennsylvania.
The Philadelphia Phantoms were formed in 1996 but displaced in 2009 when their arena, the famed Spectrum, was closed and demolished. The plan was to spend five years in the vacant Glens Falls Civic Center while a new arena was built in Allentown, Penn. That time has now come.
With the Glens Falls building being freed up again, the Flames saw an opportunity to move the Heat.
BRINGING BACK A CLASSIC
Perhaps the best part of this relocation is seeing a classic NHL logo come back. In the Flames' press release, GM Brad Treliving said this:
“The history and tradition of the Flames franchise goes back to the team’s birth as the Atlanta Flames and we are proud to also pay tribute to our history with the introduction of a new version of the flaming “A” here in Adirondack. We look forward to building on Glens Falls’ rich hockey history.”
Icethetics readers may recall that concept artist Thomas Hopkins actually proposed using the old Atlanta Flames logo in Abbotsford last December. But we'll take it in Adirondack just the same.
Are you excited to see the old Atlanta Flames logo back in action this fall? Any other past NHL logos you'd like to see resurrected?
On Saturday, Mike Modano had his jersey retired by the Dallas Stars. But the night before, March 7, the Calgary Flames honored his 1999 Stanley Cup championship teammate and playoff MVP Joe Nieuwendyk.
Instead of retiring numbers — which becomes limiting as years pass — the Flames have taken to honoring certain players with their Forever a Flame program. A special banner is raised to salute players who have made a lasting contribution to the franchise. Lanny MacDonald, Mike Vernon and Al MacInnis have earned the tribute.
In the slideshow above are photos from Nieuwendyk's ceremony and the Flames' pre-game skate, in which the players all wore No. 25 jerseys with the captain's C on the chest.
The Forever a Flame "25" logo was also worn as a patch on the players' jerseys during the game. And befitting the nostalgic night, the Flames skated against the New York Islanders wearing their classic throwback threads — based on the sweater Nieuwendyk wore in 1989 when he won his first Stanley Cup. He won two more in his career, in 1999 with Dallas and in 2003 with New Jersey.
Seeing the Flames in their retro jersey was a relief to fans worried it would be permanently replaced by the new third jersey. It's nice to see the Flames leaving themselves the option of a fourth jersey as a handful of teams are beginning to do — Anaheim, Los Angeles and Vancouver among them.
But what I'd really like to see is a fifth Flames jersey — this white throwback!
By the way, the Flames were not the only team to sport their red retro jersey this season. Anyone know who it was? That'll be the subject of another blog post this week.