As hockey fans know, with the professional hockey seasons drawing to a close, that can only mean one thing. It’s time for teams to start rebranding, relocating and generally adjusting a few things when it comes to uniforms and their franchises. That said, I started the Gear Guru last season and will be continuing it through this offseason. So for those logo, graphic and uniform nerds like me, here is your one-stop shop for all your minor league hockey information this offseason.
2019 All-Star Classic
- The Springfield Falcons will host the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic at MassMutual Center on Jan. 27-28, 2019.
- The organization unveiled the logo for the 2019 All-Star Classic on the team’s twitter. In my opinion, it’s one of the best All-Star logos I’ve ever seen. The chevrons on each side and the military look to match the team logo is fantastic. I’m excited to see the uniforms.
- The 31st team for the 2018–19 AHL season will be the Colorado Eagles. AHL President and CEO David Andrews announced in October that the Colorado Eagles have been approved as an expansion franchise for the 2018-19 season.
- The Eagles join other recently added ECHL markets in the AHL such as Bakersfield, Charlotte, Ontario, and Stockton.
- With Colorado joining the AHL, they will become the primary affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche while the Blues then became the primary affiliate of the San Antonio Rampage.
- The Eagles unveiled two new uniforms for the AHL season on September 13th. They give off a Colorado Avalanche vibe and feature the new Adidas-style collar that several AHL teams will be going with this season
- The Chicago Wolves will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this season. They’ve been wearing a neon green and black alternate jersey; it will be interesting to see if they stray from their classic maroon, yellow and black jerseys to celebrate the anniversary. That being said, look for the Wolves to don some sort of 25th-anniversary logo on their uniforms this season.
- The Belleville Senators have unveiled its secondary jersey logo for the 2018-19 AHL Season.
- From the team release, the new logo will recycle the inaugural season patch used last season as well as make a few changes. It will appear on the shoulders of jerseys for the 2018-19 season. “It features a stylised rendition of the City of Belleville logo embraced by the team’s name, stripes and color scheme.” – team release.
- The Texas Stars will be celebrating their 10th anniversary this season and have unveiled an anniversary logo to go along with the 2018-19 season.
- Fans who purchase a full-season or a pair of 24-game packages will receive a 10th-anniversary replica jersey for the season as part of the team’s celebration.
- The Crunch have unveiled a 25th-anniversary logo for the 2018-19 season. I assume the logo will be worn on the jersey and/or helmets for the upcoming season. In addition to the ribboned logo, the Crunch also have an alternate anniversary logo that will be used for merchandise
San Jose Barracuda
- The San Jose Barracuda unveiled a new logo and jerseys at the San Jose Sharks Prospects Scrimmage on July 6. It’s not much of a change from last year’s logo.
- When the Barracuda became a franchise in 2015 they entered a corporate partnership with the network security company Barracuda (logo here). The partnership included having the Barracuda Networks logo embedded into the team logo and uniform.
- The uniforms will not change, just the logo on the front. Still a great logo if you ask me. One of my favorites in the AHL
- The IceHogs will be celebrating 20 years this season with “special branding on marketing materials, season tickets and the game-day Pig Pen program, welcoming their 3 millionth fan this season and a fan vote for favorite IceHogs player.” (Team Release)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- The Phantoms partnered with Capital BlueCross to unveil a special Fifth Anniversary logo celebrating their fifth season playing inside of PPL Center in downtown Allentown.
- The team will wear special jerseys in honor of the fifth anniversary. The specialty jersey is white with black and orange trim and features the new Fifth Year Logo as well.
- The Quad City Mallards ceased operations after the 2017–18 season. The Mallards were the first of the teams added in the 2014 consolidation with the Central Hockey League to cease operations
2019 All-Star Weekend
- The Toledo Walleye unveiled the uniforms for the 2019 ECHL All-Star Weekend. “The inspiration for the jersey design is to connect with the format of the All-Star Classic, with the two Walleye teams, the ‘Fins’ and the ‘Hooks’, taking on the entire league,” says Walleye Creative Director Dan Royer in the team release.
- The 2019 All-Star Classic will feature a 3-on-3 tournament, with four teams competing. The Walleye will make up two of the four teams (Fins and Hooks), and play against two teams featuring players from the ECHL’s Eastern and Western Conferences.
- Along with hosting the ECHL All-Star Classic, the Walleye are celebrating their tenth anniversary this season. In order to celebrate properly, there has to be an anniversary logo.
- According to the team, the logo, designed by the team’s creative director Dan Royer, “features the Walleye jersey font numeral one crisscrossed into an ‘X’ to symbolize one decade of play. The ‘real fish logo’ wraps around the “X” as if passing through it, and looking towards the future.”
- The Maine Mariners in Portland, Maine, were added as an expansion franchise after Comcast Spectacor purchased the franchise from the folded Alaska Aces. The Mariners will be the fifth team to replace a recently relocated AHL team, the Portland Pirates since 2015.
- The Mariners unveiled their jerseys in late June, showing a similar color scheme to the Florida Everblades but overall a great looking jersey. The right shoulder patch shows a nod to the original Maine Mariners by putting their logo with the new team’s colors. The left shoulder patch shows the state of Maine in the Mariners colors.
- The Newfoundland Growlers in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, were added, replacing the recently relocated St. John’s IceCaps and become the sixth ECHL team to replace an AHL team since 2015
- The Sin Bin’s Kristen Wooten and I gave a little background on the Growlers logo and colors
- The Allen Americans unveiled their 10th-anniversary logo this afternoon in front of a crowd at the Allen Event Center.
- According to the team website, “the team has many special events planned for the anniversary season, including the All-Decade Team which will be introduced later this summer.”
- The Kalamazoo Wings unveiled a 45th-anniversary logo for the 2018-19 season. It’s unknown if the logo will make any appearances on any uniforms or anything of that nature.
- Along with a 45th-anniversary logo, it looks like the Wings may be getting some new uniforms this season. A tweet sent in from @AlexJGoyette shows a screenshot from EA Sports NHL 19. If these are legit, it’s a way better look for the Wings. It’s a clean, classic look instead of their way too many stripes on the arms look of the previous seasons.
- The Fuel will be celebrating five years in the Circle City this season. They’ll be wearing a fifth-anniversary logo on their game jerseys as well as producing of blogs, video features, and more reflecting on former players and highlighting some of the memorable moments in franchise history.
- The SPHL will be 15 years old this season
- Anniversaries in the SPHL, Peoria – 5, Pensacola – 10, Knoxville, Huntsville, Fayetteville – 15
- There will be a quick return to pro hockey after the ECHL Quad City Mallards folded up shop. The SPHL announced that it will be expanding to Moline, IL, whose team will take to the ice as Quad City for the 2018-2019 season.
- The SPHL is holding a name the contest on the league website. Fans can submit their choice for the team name. Here’s hoping for the Quad City Wild Blueberries
- The ECHL owns the rights to the Quad City Mallards name so if the newest SPHL franchise wants to keep the name, they’ll have to make a deal with the ECHL to purchase the rights to the name.
Quad City Storm
- The SPHL and Owners John Dawson and Ryan Mosley revealed the name of the newest Southern Professional League franchise on June 21st at the newly named TaxSlayer Center in Moline. The team unveiled the name and logo as well team president and introduce Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Dave Pszenyczny.
- Since the unveiling of the new Quad City Storm logo, the Storm decided to immediately rebrand and make a logo change. The new Storm logo looks a little less 90s and in my opinion will look much better on a jersey. Here’s a tweet from Bobby Metcalf with a comparison between the previous logo and the new one
- The league held a naming contest on the league website. Fans were able to submit their choice for the team name.
- The ECHL owns the rights to the Quad City Mallards name so if the newest SPHL franchise wanted to keep the name, they would have had to make a deal with the ECHL to purchase the rights to the name.
- One day after announcing the addition of the Quad City franchise to the Southern Professional Hockey League, the league has announced the Mississippi RiverKings will be suspending operations for the coming season.
- “The league is actively seeking new ownership in order to bring the team back for the 2019-2020 season,” said President Jim Combs in the league release.
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