The Florida Panthers will celebrate their silver anniversary with a commemorative logo and jersey patch for the upcoming 2018-19 NHL season, the team announced this morning.
It’s a combination of Florida state pride as well as Florida Panthers alternate logo history. The main feature of the logo is the large 25 in silver in the middle of the mark, on it a modern spin on the Panthers original alternate logo/shoulder patch. Behind the silver ’25’ we see a red cross, to symbolize the State flag of Florida all encased within a navy blue roundel with the name of the team in white, this a nod to the Panthers alternate jersey logo from 2009-2012.
The project was overseen by Panthers vice-president of business operations (and former player) Shawn Thornton, and John Viola who had previously played a major role in the Panthers complete rebrand in 2016. The design itself was done by the Panthers in-house design team of Alex Lytle, Danielle Maciver, and Molly Marshall.
“When we started there were a lot of ideas out there, we looked at a lot of the other anniversary logos from around the league and honestly we really liked the way Dallas did theirs [by using a state map in the logo]”, Thornton told SportsLogos.Net during a phone call earlier this week. “So we had talked about putting the actual shape of Florida on the logo but it didn’t work out, I have a bunch of concepts on my desk right now that have that involved. Since we couldn’t get the shape of the state to work we wanted to use the flag instead. We’re the *Florida* Panthers for a reason.”
The project was the first opportunity for the two-time Stanley Cup champion to work on a logo design, who told us the extent of his logo experience was no more than tracing a few Toronto Maple Leaf logos while at school during his days growing up in Oshawa, Ontario.
“Everybody really enjoyed working on the logo, we got started with a lot of leeway and extra time so we got ahead of it”, Thornton recalled, saying the entire project took about four months from beginning-to-end. “It was a fun process.”
The logo will be worn on the top right of the Panthers chest on both their home red and road white jerseys; the two jerseys will have slightly different versions of the patch, with the background re-coloured to match the uniform it will be added to; red background on the red jersey and white on the white.
It will be the third time in franchise history that the Panthers have worn a patch marking an anniversary season, having previously done so for their 5th and 20th anniversaries. The team has a few other anniversary logos which they didn’t wear on their uniform, a full look at their complete anniversary logo history here:
So from the perspective of a player, did it mean anything special to pull on that jersey with a commemorative patch sewn onto it?
“For me I did, I’ve always been a fan of the history and tradition of the game”, Thornton told us. “I took a lot of pride in the fact that I was able to wear an Original Six jersey [with Boston and Chicago]. Wearing Stanley Cup patches and a 90th anniversary patch with the Bruins, you realize you’re a part of history. It definitely meant something to me personally, I’m not sure every player is the same but I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to the traditions of hockey.”
The Florida Panthers joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team along with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for the 1993-94 season; success came early for the Panthers with an unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Final, capturing the Prince of Wales Trophy in 1996 amidst a storm of plastic rats. Since that big run it’s been a bit of a tough go for the team, only qualifying for the playoffs twice in the past seventeen seasons. The team was purchased by New York businessman Vincent Viola in 2013.