The Florida Panthers revealed a new logo and uniforms on Thursday evening, as part of a special fan event at the BB&T Center. The new logo features a panther styled differently than the previous one, seated within a shield. Above the shield will be the word “Florida” when the team is away, and the word “Panthers” when the team is at home, according to a report by NBC Miami.
“The statement is pretty simple: We will not relent.”
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) June 3, 2016
The shield on the crest is inspired by the 101st Airborne crest from the U.S. Army, as reported by George Richards at the Miami Herald. Team Chairman, Owner and Governor Vinnie Viola is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The link to the military is made clear in a quote by Viola on the Florida Panthers’ website.
“The idea when we came into Florida and took responsibility for the stewardship of the franchise, was to start anew and create traditions that were unique to this new start. I think the logo harkens to the vanguard of courage; the idea that you put a shield on the hockey uniform. It’s something to protect, but you also protect it. We wanted something that began a new tradition of winning and demonstrated courage and selfless dedication to a team pursuit of victory.”
The first major logo change for the Florida Panthers since their 1993 inception was unveiled to the crowd at the BB&T Center by current players Aaron Ekblad, Steven Kampfer, Shawn Thornton, and Vincent Trocheck. Also on hand for the new logo and uniform reveal were former Florida Panthers Radek Dvorak, Ed Jovanovski, Olli Jokinen, and Billy Lindsay.
The new logo and uniforms will be worn by Florida beginning with the 2016-17 NHL season, according to NBC Miami. It is good timing for the Panthers to release the logo and uniforms now, with respect to fan interest, given the team’s success during 2015-16. The Panthers recently won their second divisional title and reached the playoffs for the fourth time in Florida’s franchise history.
Vinnie Viola’s son, John, further explained to the Panthers’ website what the team was looking to express with the new logo and uniforms.
“We wanted to really put a bold emphasis on the idea that this was a new era for the franchise. It’s not necessarily a new direction, but a new evolution, a new maturity for the franchise.”
The new franchise maturity is most aptly expressed through the updated panther on the logo, which was described on the team website as more mature and stoic. On the ice, the team’s maturity has been shown through wise draft selections, who are growing into steady performers for the Panthers. Also contributing to their evolution is the re-acquisition of top goaltender Roberto Luongo and the bold move to re-sign veteran Jaromir Jagr, who brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and leadership qualities to Florida.
There is also a patch on the shoulder of the new jerseys, which will serve as an alternate logo, according to the team website. That alternate logo features a prowling panther above the state flag of Florida. Additionally, there is a tab above the panther on the shoulder, which evokes a military feel, that will display the word “Florida” or “Panthers,” depending on whether the team is home or away. The team captain will have another tab above that one, detailing their designation.
Close-up of the new Florida Panthers shoulder patch pic.twitter.com/6n2W3b913c
— Chris Creamer (@sportslogosnet) June 3, 2016
Fans can now purchase Florida Panthers’ merchandise with the new logo at shop.nhl.com, according to the team. Pre-orders for the new jerseys are being taken at the team’s IceDen shop in Coral Springs, Florida.
[Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images]