Wings Over Winnipeg

By Way of New York

When we first went looking for a Red Wings correspondent, we turned to our good pals at The Production Line, a Hockey Town site so clever, everyone assumes they’re gay.  But they’re not; trust us, we’ve tried, and they weren’t much help in recruiting. Rob “The Dish” Discher, told us point-blank, ‘There are no gay Red Wings fans.”  To which we responded, “Yeah, but what about that Bertuzzi guy?” Rob no longer returns our calls.

Nonetheless, we soldiered on and found just the right man, Jeff Adams.  Like the TPL guys who all fled the Motor City but still love the Wings, so too does Jeff; he’ll report on his team from a remote location, New York City (the most exciting city in the Tri-State area).  Unlike those TPL poseurs, Jeff actually plays the game; he’s a D-man for the Boxers, our fave team in the New York City Gay Hockey Association.

Considering the serious ice cred he brings to our ragtag operation, we felt a little guilty when we gave Jeff his first assignment – a review of the new Winnipeg Jets unis. Detroit, Winnipeg – same thing only different, right? In the hands of a less capable writer, or one less comfortable with his own sense of masculinity, this piece could’ve played into to every cheap stereotype and cliché about gay men and fashion.  Spoiler Alert: It didn’t.

This doesn’t mean we’ll shy away here from some of the more well-earned stereotypes, ::cough @GayCanuck cough:: but we’re thrilled to have an honest to goodness player like Jeff on our squad, and a great guy to boot. The Boxers are coming off a tough 6-1 playoff loss on Saturday night against the top-rated Sled Dogs. Let’s give Jeff some time to heal and rest before he suits up again.  -Craig

“It’s been a busy summer in Winnipeg with the home-coming of the Winnipeg Jets, a team that left the city in 1996 when it became the Phoenix Coyotes. In June, the Atlanta Thrashers packed up and moved north to give this central Canadian town an NHL team again.

Earlier this summer, the Jets unveiled their jerseys, which happened about six weeks after the team debuted their logos. To their credit, the Jets went with a design to honor the Canadian Air Force.  Upon the release of the jerseys, Kevin Cheveldayoff, executive vice president and general manager of the Winnipeg Jets said this about the design choice: “It was also vitally important to us to honor the rich history of hockey in our city, and fit the era of the Royal Canadian Air Force which inspired the primary crest design. The result is clean, simple and traditional.”

“Now that the Jets have revealed their whole look, lets see how it compares with the rest of the league’s home jerseys and logos.

Color: The NHL does not work with a large color palette for the primary color on home jerseys. Among the 30 teams, only two break the color mold—the San Jose Sharks with teal and the Philadelphia Flyers in orange (the Dallas Stars used to have green home jerseys, but they have shifted to black). The rest of the teams break down as 12 reds, 10 blues (yeah, teal is in the blue family, but the Sharks’ teal set them apart from the blue pack) and six blacks.

The Jets stayed consistent with former Jets colors, and kept with the RCAF theme, with the blue choice. Specifically the team noted that the navy blue is named “Polar Night Blue” and is the color found on many of the air force’s planes. While the lighter blue, appropriately named “Aviator Blue,” is consistent with historical colors used by the RCAF. 

The color combination of the blues, along with silver accents and just a hint of red in the logo, give the Jets jersey a sharp, steely look. I think this is a very good looking jersey and fits in well with the other blue jerseys in the NHL.

Logo: Like colors, NHL logos tend to fall into a very few categories: letters, team names, symbols and a few instances of hybrids that have names and symbols.

Names certainly make the team easily identifiable, but can be boring (like “Dallas” across the Stars jersey). A distinctive letter logo can be a great look—Calgary’s flaming C, the Montreal Canadians C/H combo, and Philadelphia’s Flying P are all great executions. Symbols can also work very well.

The Red Wings, Penguins, Sabers (who worked in both a buffalo and sabers), Blues, Coyotes and Sharks all have strong symbols. The name/symbol combination has some strong candidates as well—the classic Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightening, and Edmonton Oilers each stand out nicely on their jerseys.

For their primary logo, the Jets went with a straightforward symbol—a silver/blue/white circle with a red maple leaf overlaid with a jet. There are alternate logo versions as well.

There’s an emblem with wings and hockey sticks and a maple leaf in the center with the team name framing it on the top and bottom. There’s also a name-only version, with Jets in a script font and the maple leaf set in the upper right.

Of the three designs in use, I think it’s the emblem that works best. The wings imply jets, the sticks scream hockey, the maple leaf says Canada and the name puts everything in context. It’s also reminiscent of the classic Jets design which also featured the name, a stick and a jet.

The primary logo the Jets are using, however, is difficult to decipher on first look. The maple leaf is obscured by the jet to the degree you can’t really tell what it is. It’s also surprising that a maple leaf is used at all since Toronto claimed it first back in 1927.

Other than hockey sticks, which show up within four logos (Islanders, Penguins, Sharks and Capitals), and stars, which are used as accents, no other item is repeated on any team logo.

Reaction to the new logo has been mixed. Some praise its link to the RCAF while others don’t believe the military connection is appropriate. Beyond that, there’ve been many yays and nays for the new look. Typical of the comments are these from Twitter:

“Love the new Jets jerseys! If nothing else, we’ll be well dressed when the puck drops,” tweeted @Dalydaldal.

“The #WinnipegJets broke out the new jerseys. Problem is, they were serious those were the ones they picked. #theyworewhat,” wrote @ DarkPrince187

I am mixed. I like the jersey, but I’m underwhelmed by the primary logo. I’m also disappointed they felt the need to re-use the maple leaf. I realize it’s very Canadian, but in the world of the NHL it should belong only to Toronto.”

You can follow Jeff on twitter here: @hockeyguynyc

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About Craig

Proudly serving gay hockey fans and players since 2010
This entry was posted in Detroit Red Wings, Winnipeg Jets and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Wings Over Winnipeg

  1. It really is a sharp jersey and logo set. I may get KANE on the back and one punch a Matt Cooke fan.

  2. Poseurs?! I won’t throw the other guys under the bus (hint: yes I will), but I played hockey for 19 years until my knee literally (not literally) exploded. And now I’m coaching a prep school.

    The other two guys? Total poseurs. Don’t let Disch tell you otherwise.

    Also, thank you — I’m flattered. Still not gay, but flattered.

  3. Andrew says:

    I was drastically underwhelmed by the jersey//logo. Primary especially. But, truth, I’m just happy to see any Jets jersey again. Even if, as you said, they ripped off my Leafs a spell.

  4. Rachel Cohen says:

    I LOVE the wings&stick emblem. I’m not even a Jets fan, but if that came out with a pin of that logo, I’d buy it.

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