St. John's IceCaps

Winnipeg’s AHL team called St. John’s IceCaps; Good nickname or silly nonsense?


Now that the Winnipeg Jets have a name and a logo, their AHL farm team in St. John’s, Newfoundland was in need of the same treatment themselves. Today, they unleashed the team’s new look and name upon the minor league hockey world. The former Manitoba Moose will be called the St. John’s IceCaps.

No, that’s not a typo and yes, your grammar alarm is going off big time. Then again, the AHL is a league that has two teams nicknamed “Admirals” so let’s just have some fun with this. Yes, you’d better believe that both the Milwaukee and Norfolk Admirals had better be instant rivals with the IceCaps. Titanic Night at the arena should be a lot of fun, especially for the fan that ends up being the “king of the world.”

Team President and CEO Danny Williams gives his thoughts on the name and look.

“I am so pleased to present the St. John’s IceCaps and our new logo to fans, as we begin a new era of professional hockey in the province,” said Mr. Williams.  “The IceCaps is a name that I am confident hockey fans will support as it captures both our rich hockey history with a reference to the Caps, while at the same time capturing a natural element that is iconic for the province, ice. We wanted to ensure that, although the team is based in our capital city, the province as a whole can identify with it and embrace it as their own.”

Never mind that whole thing with there being an NHL team referred to as the “Caps” already, their reasons behind the name make sense. It’s all about identity for the area and their home city and its importance to them. That’s great and wonderful and good for the folks in St. John’s to once again have AHL hockey.

That said, reading the marketing buzz words behind the reasons for the team name and the team logo make for a hilarious read.  Here’s a sample. First, the reason for the name IceCaps.

The team name, IceCaps, is a clever combination of the history we are so proud of and the climate and landscape for which we are so well known.

The name is nostalgic of the St. John’s Caps, the local NAHA senior hockey team, circa 1960. The Caps, of course, is short for Capitals, St. John’s being the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador.

That’s a creative use of the word “clever” at the very least. As for the team’s logo, there’s a lot to be said for getting inventive and silly all at once.

The logo features a jagged mountain or rock with the geographic shape of Newfoundland and Labrador on its surface like snow or ice. This province is beloved for its rugged landscape, geology, and snow-capped mountains in our northern regions.

All right, that’s a pretty neat touch. It also teaches some of us silly Americans a bit about Canadian geography. We could all use some brushing up on that, especially when it comes to extreme eastern Canada. With that said, these next two pieces are just crazy.

The colours in the logo represent the coldness of ice, as well as our ocean culture. In fact, when you look at the word IceCaps, you can see the line where the ocean meets the sky. The colours also stay true to those of our parent NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets.

The mountain graphic and the IceCaps font are purposely jagged and edgy: rugged like our land, strong like our people, and fierce like our hunger for hockey.

Mind. Blown.

We think it looks nice, but the name itself is rather silly. What do you make of it though? Let us know in the poll and in the comments.

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
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The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?

Hitchcock going to more aggressive attack for Blues

Ken Hitchcock

ST. LOUIS (AP) After three straight first-round playoff exits, the St. Louis Blues have learned to temper expectations.

They have been consistently among the NHL’s best in the regular season and realize it is past time to build something for the long haul. The sting still lingers from the latest failure, against the Minnesota Wild last spring.

“We’re all disappointed, everybody can agree on that,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “It’s never easy to kind of think about your failures, but we grow every time it happens.”

Management isn’t ready to tear it all down yet.

“We play, in my opinion, one of the toughest if not the toughest division in the NHL, and we’ve finished first or second in the last four years,” forward Alexander Steen said. “So we have an extremely powerful team.”

Maybe a change in strategy will be enough: Coach Ken Hitchcock is back with a mandate for a more aggressive, even reckless, style of play from a roster that hasn’t changed appreciably.

“We’re coming hard from the back and we’re coming hard to see how close we can get to the attack,” Hitchcock said. “I think it’s where the game’s at; I think it’s where the game’s going to go.”

The 63-year-old Hitchcock is pushing forward, too, unwilling to dwell on the flameouts. Coach and players agree that would be “wasted energy.”

“My opinion is when you sit and think about the past, you do yourself no good,” Hitchcock said. “If you learn from the past, that’s when you do yourself a whole bunch of good.”

There were only two major roster casualties. Forward Troy Brouwer came from Washington in a trade for fan favorite T.J. Oshie. Defenseman Barret Jackman, the franchise career leader in games, wasn’t re-signed.

“If you were expecting 23 new faces to be on the roster this year, I don’t think that was realistic,” captain David Backes said. “We’re going to miss those guys in the room and on the ice, but there has been some changeover and I think it’s pretty significant.”

Things to watch for with the Blues:

GOALIE SHUFFLE: Just like last year, there’s no true No. 1 with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen sharing duties. The 25-year-old Allen missed a chance to seize the job last spring when he failed to raise his level in the playoffs.

TOP THREAT: Vladimir Tarasenko had a breakout season with 37 goals and was rewarded with an eight-year, $60 million contract. The 23-year-old winger is by far the Blues’ most dangerous scoring option and said he won’t let the money affect his play. “I never worry about it,” Tarasenko said. “If you play good, you play good.”

NEW FACES: Brouwer and center Kyle Brodziak add a physical element that was perhaps lacking a bit last season. Brouwer has three 20-plus goal seasons and Brodziak, acquired from Minnesota, fills a checking role. Veteran forward Scottie Upshall got a one-year, two-way deal after being coming to camp as a tryout. Rookie forward Robby Fabbri, a first-round pick last year, will get an early look. Another promising youngster, forward Ty Rattie, begins the year at Chicago of the AHL.

RECOVERY WARD: Forward Jori Lehteri bounced back quickly from ankle surgery and opens the season without restrictions. Another forward, Patrik Berglund, could miss half of the season following shoulder surgery.

TRACK RECORD: The Blues won the Central Division last season and Hitchcock, fourth on the career list with 708 regular-season wins, has consistently had the team near the top of the standings. “He is our coach, tough cookies if you don’t like it,” Backes said. “From my experience, he puts together one heck of a game plan.”