THN TOP 10: EXPANSION LOGOS
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2017-18
LIKES: It’s a simple, clean image. The gladiator-style helmet exudes camaraderie. Not only does the black shadow create the effect of an intimidating presence wearing it, but it also forms a ‘V’ for Vegas. The gold in ‘Golden Knights’ represents Nevada, which produces more gold than any other U.S. state. DISLIKES: The only negative is a lack of originality. Thousands of teams from the beer leagues to major junior have knights for logos.
NASHVILLE PREDATORS 1998-99
LIKES: The saber-toothed cat looked mean, sleek and aerodynamic. While the ‘Predator’ moniker felt a bit forced, the image was not. It referred to a
smilodon floridanus skeleton discovered in Nashville in 1971.
DISLIKES: Too many colors. Too busy. It wasn’t built to transcend its era. The cat almost looked exhausted, like it had bags under its eyes, and its appearance is rather metallic, almost like a robo-fossil. That style of logo has aged quite poorly.
SAN JOSE SHARKS 1991-92
LIKES: San Jose couldn’t go wrong with a shark logo. The fan vote winner was the Blades, but ownership overruled it because it had gang connotations. A shark biting through a hockey stick was a fun idea. For anyone wondering if the shark actually fits San Jose: sharks frequent the Bay Area’s Red Triangle. DISLIKES: We aren’t ranking the Sharks’ current logo. The old one is crudely drawn. The designers avoided realism as they didn’t want to frighten children.
MIGHTY DUCKS OF ANAHEIM 1993-94
LIKES: There was a nice synergy between the duck-billed logo and team mascot Wild Wing. The duck’s cartoonish appearance tied in nicely to Disney ownership at the time, and the triangular background was fashion-appropriate for trends in the early 1990s. The duck itself looked fierce. DISLIKES: It was just so loud and cheesy, seemingly aimed at selling merchandise to kids. The ventilation holes in the mask looked like bullet holes, too.
MINNESOTA WILD 2000-01
LIKES: It remains one of the league’s most beautiful designs, featuring everything that embodies the concept of “wild,” including Minnesota’s North Star, a forest, a sunset and a stream. The entire nature scene also forms the head of a wild beast. DISLIKES: The knock is the beast itself, as no one knows what it is. Why not commit to an existing earthly creature? The team did not, inviting criticism over the years.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 1992-93
LIKES: Tampa had the major advantage of, you know, a lightning bolt for a logo.
DISLIKES: The Bolts have learned in recent years “show, don’t tell” is the best way to feature something so awesome and elemental. Scrawling ‘Tampa Bay’ in cursive and ‘Lightning’ in block letters on the inaugural design softened the logo’s impact significantly. It’s likely ownership felt the need to spell out the team name to establish equity in a non-hockey market.
OTTAWA SENATORS 1992-93
LIKES: It was an elegant crest with a Centurion-like solider, complete with a red cape. It was the type of stoic figure one could picture guarding a capital city like Ottawa in an alternate universe. The color scheme of red, gold, black and white was classy. DISLIKES: Did it really depict a Senator? It was a Centurion or Roman general, which only loosely connected to the term Senator. Did that make the logo a cheat? Why not just be the Ottawa Centurions?
ATLANTA THRASHERS 1999-00
LIKES: It may sound like a tacky “x-treme” late-millennium nickname, but the brown thrasher is actually Georgia’s state bird.
DISLIKES: I used to refer to the logo as the Butterscotch Pudding Bird. It looked like some poor thrasher landed in the bowl right as someone was mixing the ingredients. The attempt was abstract, but the result was ugly. And how was the bird gripping the stick? Was that a talon coming out of a wing? Poor thing had some weird genes.
FLORIDA PANTHERS 1993-94
LIKES: Artistically, there was a ton to like about this Panther logo. The big cat had tremendous detail to it, and it appeared to be leaping at you.
DISLIKES: THN’s Ryan Kennedy, says a great way to test a logo’s universal appeal is to ask a kid to draw it. No non-gifted child had any hope of replicating Florida’s logo. It was far too intricate, with so many patterns and color variations. It missed out on becoming iconic. It gave the eyes too much to process.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 2000-01
LIKES: Um, what?
DISLIKES: Spelling out a team’s name is a crutch. The franchise called the Blue Jackets had 0.0 Blue Jackets depicted in its logo. The lime yellow-green stick, which formed a ‘J,’ clashed with the rest of the colors. The red ribbon, which depicted the 13 Colonies, formed a ‘C’ and a ‘B’, which were barely legible. Columbus redeemed itself with an alternate logo and adopted the current one for 2007-08, but the original was an abomination.