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Not Sure About the New Unis? Same Here (So Far)

I’m not going to commit to complete disdain for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s new uniforms, if only because that wouldn’t be fair until I’ve had the chance to see them in person. But, the first glances I got in pictures yesterday – pictures on a cell phone at that, while driving back bleary-eyed from All-Star Weekend in Raleigh – solicited much of the same negative reaction you may have heard in other circles. (Polls conducted by both the St. Pete Times and Tampa Tribune are reflecting as much so far.)

I believe one of the first things I may have said was something regarding the Lightning taking Sunday afternoon’s revealing of the NHL’s silly “Guardian Project” seriously enough to put themselves at the front of the line in the battle against Deven Dark and his minions. (Mr. Dark’s may not have been revealed as of yet but every evildoer has to have minions, no?)

Honestly, I can’t get away from the gut reaction that, in attempting to create a classic look, the Lightning have gone all superhero on us – at least with the home threads. (And lawyers for The Flash might just be meeting as we speak to consider all options.)

imageimage
Picture the color scheme of the guy on the bottom to be altered to that of the fellas on the top. Eek.

I get the desire for change and the effort to “rebrand” under the new regime but, as I admitted before the switch was announced, I feared how things might end up here. Judging from initial fan reaction, which is, at best, in shoulder-shrugging mode right now, it’s going to take a while for people to warm up to the new duds, if they do at all. I’ve already received a link to one online fan petition against the new scheme, though there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of legs behind that just yet.

On the positive side of things, what I can easily get behind from yesterday’s press conference is the announcement of a jersey for every season ticket holder, complete with a microchip that, when presented at the St. Pete Times Forum, will afford the bearer 25% off concessions and 35% off merchandise. Providing every STH with a jersey is a fine concept on its own but the added bonus of giving each recipient incentive to wear their new sweaters at each Lightning home game, thanks to the innovative implanted microchip discount is brilliant.

One, you’re furthering a united culture in your home rink. (Nothing cooler than everyone –well, as many as possible – wearing the team’s color in the local barn.) Two, you’re giving back to your most loyal fans both with the jersey itself and with the discount that comes with it. (Hockey people appreciate an $8.00 beer becoming a $6.00 beer, believe me.) And finally, it’s a fine business move that I’m sure will translate to an uptick in on-site merchandise sales as well. Kudos to the club for a great idea here.

(No truth to the rumor of the chip also having homing device functionality – well, not that I know of.)

Again, I’ll withhold my final judgment until I’ve seen the new threads up close, which may or may not happen any time soon. For now, for those of you that are struggling with the new look in its early days of existence, I feel your pain.

Up, up and away!!! (Sorry, had to.)

Up next: A final look back at All-Star Weekend in Raleigh.

JJ
jj@kuklaskorner.com
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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lightning+logo, lightning+uniforms

Comments

Hank1974's avatar

in attempting to create a classic look, the Lightning have gone all superhero on us

That’s precisely what I thought at first too.

The uni is growing on me, but it could have used a touch more dash. Maybe toss in a bit of gray - like a thin gray line outlining the stipes on the socks and arms.
And make the pants all one color.

Also, the emblem is just too simplistic.

To me, it almost seems like they tried to copy the Red Wing look. But it’s hard to achieve a classic look when you’re team is so new. And the Wings symbol is just classic.

Posted by Hank1974 on 02/01/11 at 01:30 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Someone else said it best in another string: Toronto Bay Maple Lightning

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 02/01/11 at 01:54 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

They should definitely go with a deeper blue to differentiate themselves from the Laffs.

The problem with these sweaters is that the logo is modern and cheesy, while the rest of the sweater is classically styled.

The Bolts should take their cues from the Blue Jackets. Their new-ish third jersey is a really great look. The Pens baby blues are a good example as well.

At the very least, if the go with that sort of style, they can take what is otherwise a cartoonish logo and enclose it in a crest, to kind of keep it from infecting the rest of the sweater’s styling. I think that’s why the Pens third jersey works so well. A cartoon penguin wouldn’t really look right on a sweater like the Leafs/Wings/Hawks. But you enclose it in a crest and it kinda minimizes it without losing or having to change the identity of the logo.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/01/11 at 02:07 PM ET

Avatar

I’m all for cleaning up the uniform designs after the convoluted RBK system jersey disasters, but something tells me you just don’t mess with a logo after you’ve won the Cup. I agree that they do need some tertiary color to make them distinct from the Leaf uniform. Why not keep the silver in the bolt and numbering? Did they add the Flashes winglets to the helmets is what I’d like to know?

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 02/01/11 at 02:09 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

hockey1919, this will be the second logo change since they won the cup:
http://cdn.everyjoe.com/files/2008/06/lecavalier-stanley-cup-nc-thumb.jpg
http://www.sportsbooks.ro/upload/pages/images/Vincent-Lecavalier-05102007.jpg

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 02/01/11 at 03:12 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Clearly I’m struggling…

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 02/01/11 at 03:14 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Not a fan neither, Jon.  I thought they could do better than that.  In fact, I really like the dark blue sweater they’re currently wearing.  They just needed to do away with the bolt striped pants.  I dig that they were going for a cleaner, less-cluttered look and that’s fine but it became generic.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 02/01/11 at 04:03 PM ET

Avatar

I see that they removed the name in the latest iteration, but the bolt had remained unchanged. It still holds that you don’t mess with the logo once it stands for something.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 02/01/11 at 04:21 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

between the two winter classics and the columbus third jersey, this is the best new one of the year.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 02/01/11 at 04:30 PM ET

Baroque's avatar

I don’t like the idea of a microchip encoding my spending patterns - but I wipe cookies off my computer regularly, so that’s probably just me.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 02/01/11 at 11:06 PM ET

Jon Jordan's avatar

Nathan:

“The Bolts should take their cues from the Blue Jackets. Their new-ish third jersey is a really great look. The Pens baby blues are a good example as well.”

I can’t stand the fact that the BJs, Panthers and Blues all have thirds that look almost identical to me… Like the design but let’s get original, huh?

NHLJeff:

“Clearly I’m struggling…”

SYF:

“I thought they could do better than that.  In fact, I really like the dark blue sweater they’re currently wearing.  They just needed to do away with the bolt striped pants.  I dig that they were going for a cleaner, less-cluttered look and that’s fine but it became generic.”

When I first heard they were changing the uniforms, I admitted a sense of nervousness but, at the same time, these guys haven’t goten much wrong since taking over. Then, when I saw them, I was kind of like, “Blah,” (followed, of course, by reaching for my photon phaser gun and X-ray glasses).

As for the current third, I’ve liked the color scheme since the debut but have hated the usage of “BOLTS” all the while. Same for “SENS”. You’re not going to see Montreal ride with “HABS” or Detroit (you know, the standard) wearing “WINGS”.

And the bolt-striped pants are a big point of contention right now. People are pissed about those going away!

Baroque:

“I don’t like the idea of a microchip encoding my spending patterns - but I wipe cookies off my computer regularly, so that’s probably just me.”

The Lightning now know exactly where you are at all times. (Oh, whoops. That was a secret.)

I’m trying to get behind these. I really am.

JJ

Posted by Jon Jordan from Tampa, FL on 02/01/11 at 11:51 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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