If you’re familiar with this blog and podcast, by now you’ve probably realized that as fans (and I believe I can speak for all of us here), we sincerely care about the brand and aesthetic look of the Ottawa Senators franchise.
Like any franchise, over the past 20 seasons we’ve seen a number of adaptations to the team’s jerseys. During the 1990’s, black sweaters, horrific third jerseys and modern adaptations were en vogue.
Who could forget classics like the Wild Wing Duck jersey…
Or the green Phoenix Coyotes alternate…
And I have to include the Captain Highliner jersey being modeled below by former Senators villain Bryan Berard…
Or finally, how about that Burger King jersey…
During this era, because it was quite common for teams to introduce third jerseys and rebrand their franchise as a way to maximize their revenue streams. As such, teams like the Washington Capitals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Los Angeles Kings, the Vancouver Canucks and the Buffalo Sabres ditched timeless primary jerseys to replace them with logos like the one-legged eagle, the flying penguin, an ugly coat of arms, the Orca Bay whale and the ornery bison head.
I’m sure that there’s been at least one franchise rebranding that has actually worked and still exists but at the moment, it’s not coming to mind. Instead, I’m having a much easier time identifying franchises - like the Buffalo Sabres – that have come full circle and embraced their roots.
After the bison head primary logo was introduced prior to the 1996-97 season, a decade passed before ownership recognized that their logo and black garb was stale. Three years after he bought the team in 2003, Tom Galisano and the marketing department listened to the fans that had clamored for the return of the original color scheme. It came with a wrinkle however; as the team’s primary logo became the modernized Buffaslug. While the jersey itself sold well, thanks in large part to the return of the blue, white and yellow, the logo that adorned it was panned by critics and was replaced by the original 1970’s Sabres logo three seasons later.
Here in Ottawa, the Senators have also encountered their fair share of bad uniform designs. Since the organization introduced the updated forward-looking Senturion logo overtop the black wave/red jersey as an alternate in 1997, it has almost been all downhill for the Senators from a design perspective. For whatever reason, since 2007, the organization has insisted upon using bland, cartoon-like depictions to adorn their primary jerseys and their alternates have been just as bad, if not worse. From the gothic-looking Senturions, to the black one featuring the gold laurel trim, to the forgettable ‘SNES’ jerseys, the organization has missed the mark.
From the moment that Jacob Barrette’s grassroots ‘heritage’ design was introduced and circulated around the interwebs, it wasn’t surprising to see the groundswell of support for it. It deftly blended Ottawa’s professional hockey heritage with a modern twist. From the podcast episode that featured an interview with Jacob, I believe Tim put it best by stating that “Finally, we had a Senators jersey to be proud of.”
When the Blue Jays officially revealed their modern spin on a ‘retro’ yesterday, I couldn't help but wonder if another Ontario-based franchise was watching.
I mean, look at this new swag.
They’re everything Jays fans could have wished for. I couldn’t help but laugh when my favorite Jays blogger, @TaoofStieb summarized the experience by tweeting, “Currently sobbing. And looking for my credit card.”
I really hope that the Senators were paying attention, based off of the overwhelming success of the ‘heritage’ jersey and the amount of buzz that’s generated when teams like Oilers, Sabres, Capitals, Islanders, Flames and Devils (well, maybe there aren’t enough Devils fans to generate a buzz) don their original uniforms, it seems like a no-brainer for the Senators to return and stick to something that resembles the jerseys that they wore during their inaugural season. (As an aside, just you watch, once the Winnipeg Jets have exhausted the market on their current modern roundel jerseys, they'll make the switch within four or five seasons to the ones that they became renowned for.)
Other Saturday News and Notes:
- According to THE Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes), Chris Phillips took part in the whole team practice today and has deemed himself fit to play in tomorrow night's game against the Canucks. Thanks to Phillips' health, David Rundblad did not slot in on any of the team's three defensive pairings and will spend another game in the pressbox.
- Sticking with Mendes, he also shares an interesting behind-the-scenes story on a particular Daniel Alfredsson interview.
With Roberto Luongo still bothered by what's described as
general shittinessan upper-body injury, Cory Schneider will get the start between the pipes for the Canucks.
- According to everyone, the Senators have never swept a Western Canadian roadtrip. I have to wonder whether these same people will include Winnipeg as part of some South-East roadtrip.
- Senators forward Kaspars Daugavins has officially launched his own Facebook page. Check it out, spread the word and give it a 'like'. On a quasi-related note, because of Movember, has anyone noticed the uncanny resemblance between Daugavins and Burton Cummings.
Bryan Murray Not Willing to Sacrifice the Future?
Over at Sportsnet.ca, Ian Mendes touches upon some recent comments made by Bryan Murray regarding the Senators being unexpectedly average in the NHL standings. He writes that the Senators general manager made it very clear that he's not willing to mortgage the club's long-term future to simply secure a playoff spot this season. After selecting three players in the first round of this past June's NHL Entry Draft, the Senators have stockpiled a number of talented young players in their system.
Well, that's pretty damn reassuring but I'll be even more impressed if Murray is willing to acknowledge the inflated worth of some of his key veterans. Assuming that there will be some significant interest in the likes of Filip Kuba, Sergei Gonchar, Matt Carkner, Chris Neil, Milan Michalek or possibly even Craig Anderson, I wonder whether the GM would potentially risk any short-term gain to secure more future assets that will help this team in the future.
The 6th Sens Livefyre Comment System Now Supports Anonymous Comments
Alright you slackers who've been too lazy to register with Livefyre and leave comments on the website, you're now out of excuses. You can leave anonymous comments for each article without having to register. Have at it and contribute to the website discussions.
Great Article. The heritage design is a step in the right direction however I'm left with wanting more. Our current 3D centurion is a product of the feeble attempts to modernize the club; brought in with the introduction of the RBK edge design. We need a "back to the future" campaign of sorts to finally get some pride into both our logo and city.
Um...that ain't Randy Bachman....that's Burton Cummings. He was Winnipeg's "celebrity" captain during the NHL's 75th anniversary season, joining such luminaries as Fred Rodgers (Pittsburgh) and Susan St. James (Hartford).
How can you mis-identify such an iconic Canadian 'stache?
Wow, I had never seen those Duck or King jerseys. I was out of the country from 92 to 00, they must have come out then? And yes, I'm also one of the few guys in the office that didn't understand, "cowbells" or most seinfeld quotes.