NPF: ALL-TIME WORST LOGOS, HOCKEY EDITION

I watch a lot of hockey and almost as much Project Runway. There is something to be said for style, for being on the cutting edge, and for pushing the boundaries. On the other hand, style has to be appropriate to its intended context, and in the testosterone-fueled world of contact sports that means design choices should adhere to some loose guidelines. Simple, classic, easily identifiable, appealing, and preferably a little bit tough. There is a reason there is no hockey team named the Silly Bunnies. It's all "Rangers" and "Flyers" for a reason. One should…you know…look like a group of professional athletes to be taken seriously. Even if, as is the case with the Rangers, you aren't.

Assuming that most of you don't care about hockey, let me assure you that you can still enjoy this post as long as you enjoy one of the five pillars of the Ginandtacos experience: posting pictures of things and proceeding to make fun of them a lot. So, in no particular order, here is Epic Fail: the Logo Edition.

1. 1996-1998 New York Islanders

Are you intimidated by the Gorton's fish sticks logo?

If so, you will shit your pants at the thought of playing the late '90s Islanders. You will find their logo positively terrifying. Ahoy, matey! Thar she blows. And by "she" I mean the New York Islanders.

2. New Haven Beast

The minor leagues are a great place to find both the best and worst of logo design. Can you guess which one this is?

This looks like they had a contest to let fans design the logo, but with some important caveats. The contest was open only to children aged 6 to 10 with profound emotional disabilities. And the prize money was only $4, so even most of the disturbed kids didn't bother entering a drawing.

3. Kelowna Rockets

Not pictured: A FUCKING ROCKET. This is like a t-shirt bearing the image of the British flag with "SPAIN" written underneath it.

4. Louisville River Frogs

There is so much wrong with this.

Start with the frog squatting as though it is trying to use a particularly filthy gas station toilet without making contact with the seat (I call this "Hover Modetm"). Then add Comic Tard font. Then have the anthropomorphic frog tonguing the puck, which, if not a 2-minute minor penalty, is at least frowned upon for sanitary reasons. This all overlooks the more obvious question of why anyone would name a hockey team the "River Frogs." Don't frogs live in ponds?

5. California Golden Seals

The NHL's first attempt at planting a flag in California was the California/Oakland Golden Seals (also the California Seals for a while) produced an artistic palette that practically shouted "It is 1973 and I do tambourines full of coke every night." The regrettable color scheme (check out the full uni – holy shit!), the Art Deco seal, and the inescapable fact that the seal is nature's comedian doom this logo from the outset. Fortunately the idea of having a shapeless blob for a logo died here…

6. Buffalo Sabres, current

Goddammit. Were you not listening, Buffalo? This is popularly known as the "Buffaslug", a horned invertebrate native to upstate New York. They went from one of the most bad-assed (if overly literal) logos in sports to this monstrosity, the love child of a flaccid hot dog and the American bison. For shame.

7. New York Raiders (WHA)

Ahem.

First of all, the team appears to have gotten a stock logo, perhaps from clip art, that has absolutely nothing to do with the team name. Second, the logo appears to have been copied from a competitive men's figure skating team. The Raiders were horrible, but at least they looked faaaaaaaaaaaaabulous.

8. Anaheim Mighty Ducks, "Wild Wing."

Can you believe professional athletes – adults, not children – walked out of a locker room with this on their chests? On purple and teal uniforms, no less? The indignity of playing for a team named after a Disney kids' movie wasn't soul-crushing enough, I suppose, so the owners (shockingly, Disney) piled it on. Unanswered, of course, is the question of how Wild Wing was able to breathe under the ice.

9. Boston Bruins alternate/historic logo

Hey look everyone! It's Gentle Ben!

Look at the look on that bear's face. He looks bemused. Puzzled. Perhaps interested in having a tasty treat from a picnic basket. Apparently back in the day when this logo was devised they figured any ol' bear would do. "The team is called the Bruins. Just draw a bear and let's go to a vaudeville show!" Most people would still be afraid if confronted by this bear, but it looks far more likely to lick you than to tear you limb from limb. These jerseys make me want to scratch Poopsie the Bear (or whatever the hell his name is) behind the ear and ask him if he is a good boy.

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30 Responses to “NPF: ALL-TIME WORST LOGOS, HOCKEY EDITION”

  1. Ike Says:

    That is a lovely bear.

  2. Daniel Says:

    Top 10 in my opinion:

    1. Blackhawks

    2. Red Wings

    3. Canadiens

    4. Maple Leafs

    5. Bruins

    6. Rangers

    7. Penguins. (excluding the early nineties ones)

    8. Flyers

    9. Oilers

    10. Present Canucks.

  3. Mike O Says:

    Although it makes NO sense for a team called the 'Rockets', Kelowna's logo is Ogopogo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogopogo), legendary lake monster and star of an X-Files episode. He's a big deal in Kelowna, a local celebrity. Still, they could have at least drawn him RIDING a rocket or something…

  4. Keith Says:

    A team named "Silly Bunnies" could be a stroke of genius, as the players would always have something to prove on the ice. Or they would just get beat up every night.

  5. schooner Says:

    Where the hell are the Canucks? Half the uniforms in their history would qualify.

  6. Robert Says:

    Ed, you made me laugh at hockey logos. Bravo.

  7. Doc Nagel Says:

    Okay, so, the link to California/Oakland (erstwhile-) Golden Seals pics includes an image that pretty demonstrably shows the players wearing white skates. Unless, despite being a lifelong hockey fan, I'm somehow utterly mistaken, hockey season starts in October. As in, *after* Labor Day. I know, I know, the Stanley Cup playoffs don't end until June these days, which seems terribly wrong to me, but that wasn't happening while teh Seals were in the league, and anyway, they only made it to the first round of the playoffs, twice – so they never played after Memorial Day.

  8. Daniel Says:

    By the way, how can you not include the Atlanta Thrashers logo? That has to be the most incomprehensible and terrible logo in all four of the major North American sports.

  9. Jacquie Says:

    That Kelowna Rockets logo reminds me of a recent conversation with my boyfriend. We were out for a walk, and this girl ahead of us was wearing blue sweatpants that said "PINK" on the ass. He though it was some kind of intelligence test.

  10. Unrepentant Fenian Says:

    The Chicago Blackhawks have the best logo in all of sports.

    "Commit to the Indian"

  11. tommytimp Says:

    Daniel is full of shit. Or perhaps didn't really read the post.

  12. Daniel Says:

    You are full of shit.

  13. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    Dude, I'd rather hammer rusty nails through my fucking dick than watch hockey, but that was a funny post!

  14. Daniel Says:

    What is identifiable or appealing about the Thrashers logo?

  15. Prudence Says:

    None of those are making it work. Tim Gunn would not approve.

  16. Daniel Says:

    When I said Top 10 in my first post, I meant those are the top 10 best ones in hockey. Did Tommy boy really not get that. Would anyone name any of the classic Original 6 logos in the top 6 worst? Are you fucking bent?

  17. Elle Says:

    Number 7 looks like something an enthusiastic PTA member came up with for a school ice-dancing team, having misled the other parents as to their level of PhotoShop competence.

  18. Elle Says:

    Number 1 looks kind of like a Scooby-Doo villain.

    "Damn, you pesky kids. You have revealed that the ghostly Zamboni is nothing more than a mysteriously technologically advanced hologram. Now I won't be able to sell this crapped out old ice rink to an evil property developer, and our regionally ambiguous little town will be deprived of its strip mall."

  19. beau Says:

    "Start with the frog squatting as though it is trying to use a particularly filthy gas station toilet without making contact with the seat (I call this "Hover Modetm").

    Oddly, a friend of mine refers to that as "frog squatting".

  20. acer Says:

    Hey, at least the Rockets Dragon has a missing tooth. That counts for something.

  21. BillCinSD Says:

    No Minnesota Fighting Saints or Miami Manatees? forshame

  22. RD Says:

    hah. Great list. In Western New York the Sabres' horrible new logo is comically referred to as the Barney Rubble Hairpiece.

  23. SaminMpls Says:

    Daniel's list at the very least has the 9 best NHL logos, where they rank might be a matter of personal preference. I'm a former North Stars fan and as such jealous of fans whose team's logo is a clearly superior design. The fact that the Bruins' standard logo is so great is really what makes the alternate such total and utter shit.

  24. heydave Says:

    Sweeeeet!

  25. Matt L Says:

    You forgot the recently minted "Minnesota Wild"… what the hell is a "Wild" anyway? Bring back the North Stars dammit. Screw Dallas.

  26. renalfailure Says:

    A few nitpicks… The Seals came into the league the same year as the Los Angeles Kings. And the Wildwing jumping-through-ice was a 3rd jersey, only used for one season. I'm surprised you didn't go with the LA Kings "King's head" 3rd jersey from the Gretzky-era (another one-season wonder). Weird-looking and had the weird aesthetic choice of being worn over the heart rather than centered on the jersey. And were the Kansas City Scouts a close 11th on your list, tied with the old Winnipeg Jets WHA/80's logo?

  27. bill Says:

    Daniel is correct. He must be from Chicago hr put them first, even though they are second

  28. KG Says:

    Chill with the Beast of New Haven logo. That's a sweet jersey bro. And that whole thing about a children's contest to design it could not be farther from the truth. I personally know how that logo was created so stfu