Expansion Team Logos Unveiled!

Thousands of votes have been cast and counted. It's now time to reveal the winning logo designs for the IceHL's newest teams, the Hartford Mariners and Northwest Narwhals.

Eric Poole brilliantly blended of the the club's initials into a simple trident design. On the face of it, the trident forms an obvious M, but the negative space between the prongs forms a subtle H. Eric previously designed the winning entry for the Boston Colonials. Congrats Eric!

Fierce and menacing are adjectives that adequately describe a narwhal, for which the IceHL's Yellowknife franchise is named. Slavo Kiss vividly captured these traits in his winning logo design. Slavo also created the logos used by the Alaska Huskies and St. Louis Archers. Congrats!

What's Next?

This might be a good time to talk about what lies ahead for the IceHL Project — which will keep awfully busy this summer.

First, polls opened today for the North Division jersey design contest. You can go pick your favorites now. (Polls close on the North Division jersey voting on June 9, but the winning designs won't be unveiled until after June 18 as I'll be taking a much-needed vacation.)

Later this week, I'll begin accepting jersey designs for the Mariners and Narwhals, our two expansion clubs. Voting will begin in late June and by the start of July, all 32 IceHL teams should be fully branded with logos and uniforms. So naturally, we'll start looking at rebranding options so the well doesn't run dry.

In late June, a handful of teams will be put up for relocation and/or rebranding. Your vote will decide what, if any, changes should be made to the league. Should it be warranted, the rest of the summer will be dedicated to designing new logos and uniforms for these teams before the start of the 2012-13 fantasy league.

I've been receiving emails and tweets asking about how one can manage an IceHL team, especially now that we're adding a couple of new ones. I don't want to get into details now, but suffice to say that no decisions will be made until September. That's when I'll start the process of taking applications. We've been doing this four two seasons now and in that time, we've had more than 300 people apply to operate one of 30 teams. 

Going into 2012-13, many of last season's GMs plan to return but others have stepped down or been removed from their post, freeing up a number of teams. I'll let you know how many will be available and how to apply for one. But, again, all of that will happen in September.

Thanks for making the IceHL Project so much fun to operate!