Oh what a (k)night… late November back in ‘016.
It was certainly a night to remember (and possibly one to forget for the IT department) but it’s finally done. We have a name and logo for the Las Vegas NHL team, and it isn’t even “Las Vegas”.
The VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS were introduced to the world via a fan event, streamed live over NHL.com and to the NHL Network tonight. The event included everything from Cirque to Soleil, to a booing of Gary Bettman, a fan heckling GM George McPhee (“Is this a Donald Trump event?”, he shot back), and the placeholder graphic seen ’round the world, displayed when a video introduction of the logo would not play. Due to the delay with getting the video running the NHL’s official website launched the new site a little early giving us all a sneak peek at the new logo and name of the team. After five months of tight lips they lost it with about a minute to go.
Official team colours are steel grey, gold, red, and black. From the official press release — the steel grey represents strength and durability, the gold due to Nevada being a leading producer of gold, red for the Vegas skyline and the red rock canyons (as well as a “readiness to serve”), and black for power and intensity. Most definitely not because those are basically the colours of the Army Black Knights, who team owner Bill Foley had made it clear he wanted to base this new identity on.
The logo, designed over the course of five months by Adidas, shows a golden knight helmet facing the viewer straight-on, the negative space in the helmet (and I’m always a sucker for negative space) forms the eye holes and the letter “V”. The entire logo is placed on a black and gold shield.
A secondary logo features the starburst from the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign with two crossed swords behind it. A wordmark logo was also unveiled.
The team used the Knights name because, “knights are the defenders of the realm and protect those who cannot defend themselves. They are the elite warrior class.” Again, not because of Foley’s desire to borrow Army’s identity.
“We want our team to be known for dedication, honour, strength, courage and a commitment to never give up – both on the ice and off,” Foley continued. “We want our team to be committed to teamwork, service to this great city and integrity in all things – and we wanted a name and logo that represented all of this and was unique to Las Vegas and our community. Vegas Golden Knights is that name.”
No explanation as to why they went with Vegas over Las Vegas, but they join the Carolina Hurricanes, and Tampa Bay Lightning as teams who do not use the exact name of the city or state they play in. It remains to be seen what the three-letter abbreviation they use on scoreboards and league leader charts will be (yes, this absolutely matters to people like me!) VEG? VGK? VGS?
The uniforms weren’t unveiled yet, but those should be coming soon, ESPN’s Scott Burnside revealed some very minor details about what we could expect in this excerpt from his post on the unveiling:
“Thumbing through a book that displays the jersey colour schemes for home and away, Foley pointed out the changes that had been undertaken even since September, including a band of red on both the jerseys and socks that was initially white. That was the brainchild of McPhee. “George McPhee coloured it in and said, ‘What do you think about that?'” Foley said. “And it looked perfect. It makes the grey look more powerful.” “
The Burnside post also disclosed that the design wasn’t final until just two and a half weeks ago and that the league had to seek permission from Clarkson College in New York who also use the Golden Knights nickname.
Whether the locals like the logo or not — this will be the one they look back upon fondly years from now, kids will start petitions for them to return to this look “full time” because it’s “way better” than that re-design they went through in 2024. Eventually this will be a worn in a throwback game in the 2030-31 season before being brought out for the 2033 Winter Classic in Seattle. A new alternate jersey featuring a modernized version of the logo will be introduced in 2034 to great acclaim even though we just wish it would “be like the original”. Finally, in 2038 the team returns to their expansion season logo and uniforms full-time, albeit with a few silver lines thrown in and the colours darkened slightly. Plus some elements had to be removed to make it work on the new Amazon uniform template.
I’m starting to think I need a vacation.
The Vegas Golden Knights are the first expansion team to join the league since the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild in 2000, and the first team in the “Big Four” to introduce an *entirely new identity* while also playing in a new location since the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA back in 2008. The Golden Knights will begin play in the National Hockey League for the 2017-18 season. You can see their logos and vote on them here.