A pair of minor league franchises in the Pacific Northwest unveiled new brand identities on Wednesday morning as they prepare for the 2021-22 hockey season.
We’ll start in British Columbia where the newest AHL team was officially named the Abbotsford Canucks. That’s right, the Vancouver Canucks opted to name their recently relocated minor league affiliate after themselves. I suppose it does fit with their “We Are All Canucks” marketing slogan.
The name isn’t terribly original—and neither is the logo. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
This iteration of the Johnny Canuck logo was created in 2007 as part of Vancouver’s Reebok Edge rebrand. It was used as a helmet decal on their third jersey from 2008 to 2017 but it never got the glory it deserved. It’s nice to see it finally get top billing somewhere.
Take a look at the sweaters in this promotional photo from the team.
The dark jersey is green! This is absolutely the alternate uniform I always wanted to see Vancouver attempt. Wonderful to see it finally happen, even if only in the American Hockey League.
But it’s even better. The Abbotsford jersey gets its own unique striping and a subtle “A” on the sleeves—a reverse of the “V” on Vancouver’s original sweaters in 1970. That’s such a great parallel.
If the team couldn’t have an original name—and I know Abbotsford Aviators was a favorite among fans—at least they get to have an original uniform. In an age where teams want to maintain that brand synergy, this is probably the best case scenario.
Just a few hours south in Oregon, the Portland Winterhawks also revealed their new look to the world.
Since joining the Western Hockey League in 1976, the Winterhawks have always used some variation of the Chicago Blackhawks logo. It’s a shame such a unique city never had its own hockey identity. Today that changed—without changing the name.
The logo was designed by Brian Gundell, who’s also responsible for the Seattle Kraken’s secondary anchor logo.
Here’s a look at the secondary logo and wordmark for the new Winterhawks identity.
Portland isn’t leaving their old brand behind entirely, though. They’ll continue to wear Chicago Blackhawks jerseys with their new logos.
With less than a week until the Seattle Kraken select their first batch of NHL players, what do you think of these new Northwest hockey brands?