EDITOR’S NOTE: Co-written by The Sin Bin’s Mark Grainda
ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Newfoundland Growlers officially unveiled their logo on May 22 at a press conference at The Rooms Archives, Art Gallery, and Museum in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Beginning ECHL play in the upcoming 2018-19 season, the Deacon Investments LTD owned franchise will be affiliated with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
Earlier this season, the ECHL announced that St. John’s would be gaining a team to begin play in the following season. This comes after the city lost their American Hockey League team, the St. John’s IceCaps, in the summer of 2016 when the Montreal Canadiens chose to relocate their affiliate to Laval, Quebec to start the 2017-18 season. In a move that often times creates replicas of some sort to the team who previously resided in the area, the new ownership group chose to steer away from the St. John’s title and instead be known by the province name.
In the press conference, co-owner Dean MacDonald revealed the organization’s’ branding that consists of a Newfoundland dog in a gold/tan and black color scheme. The team announced the color choice was inspired by a photo of a black Newfoundland dog known as Sable Chief who served as the mascot of The Royal Newfoundland Regiment during World War 1. In the photo, Sable Chief is standing on his hind legs with his front arms in the grasp of Private Hanzen Frazier, dawning a golden uniform. The organization stated, “The vintage tones compliment the dog’s dark hues, creating a strong combination with a classic, universal appeal.”
The choice in mascot is appropriate beyond the significant historical context. As the Growlers team ambassador, musician Alan Doyle, stated to the CBC, “I’ve said it so often, I can’t believe we don’t have a Newfoundland dog on a sports logo in Newfoundland. We have our own dog! What’s cooler than that?”
On Twitter, the new ECHL club described the choice in relation to how it’s appropriate for a professional hockey team as, “A larger working dog who is known for their size, strength, intelligence and loyalty. The dog in the logo is fierce and stoic to represent the pride and resilience of our province and our reputation of never backing down from a challenge.”
Since it’s unveiling, some have been quick to point out how alike the logo is to that of the Vegas Golden Knights due to the color scheme. Although similar, the schemes separate themselves is the gold/tan of the Growlers. The Vegas gold is a color associated with the casinos and bright lights of the Las Vegas strip, whereas the Growlers logo presents the gold color in a more relaxed and tame nature to complement its Royal Regiment origins.
Despite the resemblance, hockey Twitter has proved to be quite fond of the logo. Many have stated their love for it, even saying it’s the best logo in professional hockey.
The Newfoundland Growlers are set to face off in their first ECHL game on Friday, October 12 against the Florida Everblades at Mile One Centre in St. John’s. Newfoundland will be sharing the center with the St. John’s Edge, a basketball team a part of NBL Canada.