(photo: Dinur Blum)
With the AHL moving west for next season, preparations are already in motion for those teams that will move from the ECHL to the AHL. What has been a consistent theme for the three teams, Bakersfield Condors, Stockton Thunder and Ontario Reign, is a rebranding and update of their identity. Bakersfield and Stockton are in the midst of a “Name the Team” contest while the Reign is the only team that will keep its name as it moves to a higher level of hockey for the 2015-2016 season. They are the first to reveal a new logo and sweater design, unveiled at a press conference on Wednesday prior to the Reign home game against the Allen Americans.
“It is very important to the LA Kings that the Ontario Reign hockey club have its own unique look and logo. We did want it to represent the Kings and the brand that we have worked so hard to establish over the years, but – at the same time – we made sure it works well with Ontario,” LA Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille said. “I personally like it a lot because it has that retro look and feel to it. We believe it is going to be a hit with hockey fans here and beyond.”
The new jerseys reflect the design of their parent organization, the Los Angeles Kings. “These jerseys tie us to our parent club, the Kings,” Reign President Darren Abbott said. “The Reign will begin a new era in the American Hockey League next season as the primary affiliate of the Kings.” The home jerseys are white with black and gray stripes along the waist and elbows. A black stripe accents the shoulders and sleeve of the jersey, and the Kings shield logo is featured on both shoulders. The road jerseys are black with white and grey stripes along the waist and elbows, and a grey accent along the shoulders and sleeves. The new logo is displayed prominently on the chests of both jerseys.
Looking at the new AHL jerseys in comparison to the original Reign logo, some may think they leave a bit to be desired. The new design is modeled after the 1988 season when “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky signed with the Los Angeles Kings and the Silver and Black era began for the team. Thus begins a new era for the Ontario Reign and the AHL, as the league moves west into California.
The Anaheim Ducks AHL Affiliate San Diego Gulls will be the next to reveal their logo and jersey during San Diego HockeyFest on February 22nd. Mayors Manor, who has been on top of the latest with concept logos and the AHL movement west, has what could be a preview of the design for San Diego here.
San Jose may be the next team to reveal a name (here’s hoping they go with the San Jose Seals) and logo. Expect Bakersfield and Stockton to enter the race last as they settle up with a contest.