The National Hockey League is heading back outdoors this weekend when the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs take the ice at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field for the 2022 Heritage Classic on Sunday, March 13th. It’s the first outdoor game in Canada in over three years, the first Heritage Classic to be held east of Manitoba, and the first to feature a team from outside Canada.
The logo for the game, created by the Fanbrandz design agency, is heavy on references to the City of Hamilton’s history in the steel industry. The logo features a steel grey shield outlined in three shades of blue with six rivets around it, “HERITAGE CLASSIC” is arched across the front, embossed in navy blue and a design featuring a vintage-styled maple leaf, gold ribbon, and two crossed sticks are placed at the bottom.
Here’s the logo:
The design remains the same for the French version of the logo aside from the necessary language changes — the NHL shield is replaced with the French LNH shield (“Ligue nationale de hockey”), and the “Heritage Classic” lettering becomes “Classique Héritage.”
The logo is full of symbolism. The shield shape itself is from the City of Hamilton’s crest. The six rivets reference the six Heritage Classic games. The double blue represents the colours of the two participating teams – the Sabres and Maple Leafs. Full explanation here:
The 2022 Heritage Classic logo is a deviation from the template the league had settled into for this event over the past four editions. The classic style maple leaf is essentially the only surviving element that began originally due to incorporating the sponsor’s (Molson Canadian) logo in 2003.
The only alternate marks for the 2022 Heritage Classic are wordmark logos, which strip away the shield and other main graphic elements. We’re left with just the name of the game in Brothers type in navy blue above the host and year information decorated with silver rivets and the sponsor’s scripted logo below in red.
2022 HERITAGE CLASSIC UNIFORMS
The Buffalo Sabres will be wearing cream-coloured (or “Heritage White”) jerseys with the team’s modern interpretation of their original sabre-crossed logo on the chest for the Heritage Classic. On each arm and around the waist are four stripes – gold/blue and then blue/gold separated by a thicker band of the cream in between the two paired-up stripes. The collar is blue with a thin gold stripe at the very edge, cream laces down the front, and the City of Buffalo’s lightning bolt/star design in white on the inside back collar. On the shoulder is the Sabres alternate logo, a charging bison in gold with “SABRES” in blue written on its side.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are going back to 1918 for their design back when the club played as the Toronto Arenas. The uniform is a dark navy blue base with a white “T” on the chest, “ARENAS” is written on either side of the “T” in a matching navy blue making it practically invisible — I’m hearing that the team only wanted a white “T” but had to include the “ARENAS” to hurdle trademarking concerns. There are no stripes on the sleeves and only a single thick white bar right at the waist. The collar features a slim white line at the neck and the Leafs’ usual motto of ‘HONOUR. PRIDE. COURAGE” is added to the inside back collar.
2022 HERITAGE CLASSIC STADIUM SETUP
The 2022 Heritage Classic will be played at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario, typically the home of the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Around the ice, the league will play up the fact that this is the first time a team from the United States will take part in the Heritage Classic with Canada and United States themed entrance pathways – the Leafs will enter the ice by walking upon a red pathway adorned with a white maple leaf. At the same time, the Sabres will do so on one which is red, white, and blue with several white stars. The Arenas and Sabres logos will be placed within white diamonds behind each team bench.
On the ice itself, the 2022 Heritage Classic logo is placed at centre ice within a silver-trimmed white circle with the rivets from the logo incorporated into it — the name of the event is arched above this in navy blue. Sponsor logos for Scotiabank, Honda, Molson Canadian, and ProLine are placed in the neutral zone; behind the net to the left are Fastenal and TikTok. To the right are Canadian Tire’s commemorative 100th anniversary logo and Chipotle.
2022 NHL HERITAGE CLASSIC PROGRAM COVER
The program cover for the 2022 Heritage Classic, like the stadium’s layout, goes all-in on the Canada vs. USA angle. At the top, we’re shown a Maple Leafs player wearing his Heritage Classic Arenas uniform in front of the skyline of Toronto with a red and white Canadian flag design in the sky. Down south is a Sabres player, again in Heritage uniform, on a Buffalo skyline with the stars and stripes flying behind. Keeping with the theme of “heritage hockey,” both players are sans helmet and wearing leather-coloured gloves.
All that’s left now is to watch the game! The action gets underway on Sunday, March 13th, 2022, at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field at 4 pm Eastern Time (remember we’re setting our clocks an hour ahead shortly before the game!).