This morning, the NHL revealed the logos for the 2022 NHL Heritage Classic, an outdoor game set to take place on March 13, 2022 at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario. The Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Buffalo Sabres, who will become the first American team to take part in this event.
Unlike the Winter Classic and Stadium Series, the Heritage Classic is not a yearly event. Because it traditionally takes place in Canada between Canadian NHL teams, the league typically schedules them once every three years. The last was in 2019 at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Also traditional is that the event logo uses a red maple leaf as its core design element. But a few things are shaking that up. Not only is an American team involved, but, for the first time, neither participating team has red as a primary color. That in combination with Hamilton—Canada’s steel city—playing host led the league to take the Heritage Classic branding in a new direction.
This infographic released by the NHL digs into the details of the design.
In case you have difficulty reading the text in the image, I’ll summarize.
The tri-tone blue frame is drawn from the participating teams along with the flag of Hamilton, which is blue and yellow. The stamped metal typography and steel plate crest highlight Hamilton as the historical center of Canada’s steel industry. The forged steel hockey sticks crossed along the bottom add to that look.
The horseshoe shape that encompasses the logo is inspired by the city’s coat of arms, in fact. And there are six rivets that represent the number of Heritage Classic games—including this one and the first one way back in 2003 when Edmonton hosted Montreal.
Another interesting feature of this logo is what happens when the sponsor logo is added. Instead of being tacked onto the bottom of the mark, as it has been before, it’s placed right in the center. And what’s more, Tim Hortons is also the naming rights holder of the venue where the game will be played—Tim Hortons Field. I imagine they’ll be getting their money’s worth with this one.
One thing we did not get today were the jerseys. The Heritage Classic traditionally sees both teams in throwback styles. And the logo provides no hints. Here’s a look at the version that incorporates the opponents.
It simply uses both teams’ primary marks. No word yet on when to expect jersey releases. But last time around, in 2019, the were announced about six weeks before the game. If you want to go by history, that would put it around the first week of February.
Until then, what do you think of the new blue Heritage Classic branding?