One Logo Says It All
September 30, 2009 | Kevin Zdancewicz


Lost every year amidst the fanfare of the first month of football season (which is always a welcome and exciting time, no doubt) is the opening faceoff of the NHL. That’s right, hockey starts tomorrow night and as part of my seemingly one-man crusade to make sure you know about it, this week’s feature jersey comes from the ice north of the border, as far away from Virginia as NHL hockey can be found: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (a 1-day-and-20-hour trip by car - trust me, I actually mapped it out). Writing about uniforms can be a love-hate endeavor: most of the jerseys I talk about here are either really good or really bad in my opinion. Since I am trying to promote hockey, we’ll keep it positive by featuring a jersey (here’s a full view) that I really like for a number of reasons.

Here’s the back story: the “stick-in-rink” jersey had been worn on occasion in the mid-2000’s and became the team’s alternate for 2006-07 as a throwback to Vancouver’s look for most of the 1970’s. It took a season off when the NHL switched to a new, league-wide jersey template and then was introduced as the third jersey in 2008. The logo was updated on the current incarnation, making the “C” border a little bit clearer and tilting the stick, I assume to give it a more “modern” feel. What the “stick-in-rink” mark lacks in apparent connection to the team name or city, it more than makes up with in unique charm and a simplicity that immediately makes you think of hockey. 

The only gripe I have is that I think the Canucks should have used the rink logo with white since, you know, hockey ice is white. The home sweaters from the ‘70’s featured the blue rink logo to set it apart from the white jersey backdrop and similarly a white rink logo was used to contrast with the colored road jerseys. An updated logo with a white rink would have helped break up all the blue in the third uniform set and make for a more realistic representation as the current logo could more accurately be described as “stick-in-lake.” The 2006-07 throwback featured the original white rink logo and it looked great.

While the “stick-in-rink” logo dominates the conversation about the Canucks alternate look, there is a lot more to like. The color scheme is very underrated and underutilized in the black-dominated world of professional sports – though the home and third jerseys are arguably a bit heavy on the blue. The Johnny Canuck logo works perfectly as a shoulder patch and makes up for any team identity repping the stick-in-rink logo neglects. The alternates (as well as the home and road jerseys) also keep a nice element in the hemline stripes that many teams did away with when the NHL switched to a league-wide jersey template. An alternate jersey should be just that, an alternative to the usual uniform set. The Canucks third uniform provides a nice change of pace, while also paying tribute to the history of the franchise. Now let’s get it out on the ice!

Photo Courtesy of Waiting For Stanley