The Buffalo Sabres have made the previously unthinkable (but currently popular) decision to bring back their old black and red “Goathead” logo from the 1990s.
Starting with the upcoming 2022-23 season, the Sabres will wear uniforms inspired by the black uniforms the club wore from 1996-97 through to the end of 2005-06. This uniform, design yet to be released, will be classified as the Sabres’ third uniform, which means it will be worn many times per season and will be kept for at least three years.
While we haven’t seen the uniform yet, the team released the logo that will be worn on the third jersey; it’s a slight modernization of what the Sabres originally wore during that ten season period.
The new look removed some of the more complex detailing of the original — you’ll notice this most around the nostrils and the eye. The lighter shade of silver in the original logo has been removed entirely, as has the extra silver outline around the logo. The overall shape of the logo has also been modified.
Buffalo will debut the throwback look on November 23rd against the St. Louis Blues, the first of twelve games they’ll rock the red (and black) during the 2022-23 season.
BUFFALO SABRES GOATHEAD GAMES
November 23, 2022 vs St. Louis Blues
December 4, 2022 vs San Jose Sharks
December 13, 2022 vs Los Angeles Kings
December 23, 2022 vs Tampa Bay Lightning
December 29, 2022 vs Detroit Red Wings
January 7, 2023 vs Minnesota Wild
January 21, 2023 vs Anaheim Ducks
February 26, 2023 vs Washington Capitals
March 4, 2023 vs Philadelphia Flyers
March 11, 2023 vs New York Rangers
March 24, 2023 vs New Jersey Devils
April 13, 2023 vs Ottawa Senators
The original “Goathead” uniforms were unveiled in the spring of 1996 during an open practice held at the old Memorial Auditorium. The Sabres were initially looking to modernize their look for their 25th anniversary but then delayed until they moved to the then-named Marine Midland Arena in the fall of ’96.
“What we’re trying to do is revive interest in Sabres hockey,” Sabres president Doug Moss said at the time. “To be honest, I think this town could use something to be excited about.”
The logo was created by Vermont-based snowboard design firm Jagger, Di Paola & Kemp and their lead designer Steven Farrar.
“The big thing was, do we focus on the buffalo or do we focus on the sabre? In talking with the people there, they wanted the buffalo,” Farrar told the Bennington Banner newspaper at the time. “I wanted to convey the idea of a stampede, the aggressive nature of it as well as the skating movement. We wanted to stay with the deep colours and get away from the light blue to build mass and power in the uniform. We just want to make them look bigger and more powerful than their opponents.”
Fans quickly missed the old blue and gold, despite a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 1999 with the black and red, and the team announced a switch back to the original colour scheme for the 2006-07 season with a wildly unpopular logo (but that’s another story for another day).
The Sabres expect to unveil their new black third jerseys this coming October.