San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

Back in silver and black: Kings make Gretzky-like look their official color scheme


While I wasn’t a fan of the Los Angeles Kings’ purple-tinged color scheme, you have to give it a little bit of credit for being different. The logos and general design were a bit on the bland side, but there aren’t many teams in sports – let alone hockey – that use purple so prominently.

That being said, there should have been little doubt that the franchise was going in a crowd-pleasing direction toward a look that emulates the style of uniforms the team wore when Wayne Gretzky captivated Los Angeles. The team wore those black, white and silver alternate jerseys during their last two playoff runs, which is pretty obvious indication that fans and players alike preferred that design.

Although my preference would be for the team to go the full Gretzky-like distance by using the superior logo from that era, it’s great to hear that the Kings officially announced that those alternate jerseys will be their full-time look. The official team colors will be black, silver and white, the team will wear a new road version of that look for all away games and the team’s old crown “mark” will instead serve as the alternate one – only now it will no longer feature any purple.

The team reports that it won’t alter the look of the alternate-turned-home jerseys, but they provided two examples of what the new road duds will look like.



Now that you have a feel for what those road jerseys will look like, glance at the team’s two marks.

First, the primary mark:


Next, here is the primary-turned-alternate mark – the crown without a trace of purple.



Personally, I like the changes in the grand scheme of things, since it acknowledges the obvious preferences nearly everyone shares. I’d still prefer the Gretzky-era logo over the LA emblem they’re opting to use, but that’s nitpicking more than anything else. Here’s what Luc Robitaille had to say about the changes, via the Kings’ press release.

Said Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille: “There was an overwhelming sentiment from our fans and from our players that has led us to this change.  Our fans really like the late 80s and early 90s era Kings uniforms which are very similar to this uniform.  As a player, the colors give you an attitude and an edge.  Dean Lombardi and I talked a lot about it with the players and they love it.  We feel our fans believe in it as well.”

Kings players will wear the new jerseys in public for the first time during the team’s Hockey Fest event on September 11.

Now that you’ve had some time to look over the road jerseys and decide how you feel about the changes, I thought I’d gauge your feelings about the Kings’ decisions with a poll. Rather than asking if you merely like the changes or not, there’s an added wrinkle: even if you dig the look overall, would you rather see the Gretzky-era emblem on the duds? Here’s a shot of Gretzky in that old look for your own reference.

source: AP

OK, now go ahead and share your thoughts in the poll and comments.

(Gretzky photo via The Associated Press.)

Oilers go captain-less, name four alternates instead

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Edmonton’s made a fairly significant shift in its leadership group.

The big news is the Oilers won’t have a captain this season, as Andrew Ference will relinquish the “C” he’s worn for the last two years.

Ference will, however, remain part of the group and wear an “A” as part of a four-man alternate captain collective, one that also includes Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.

The news of Ference being removed as captain doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The veteran d-man is a well-respected leader, but isn’t expected to be in the lineup every night this season.

The decision to go without a captain, though, is something of a surprise, especially given what new head coach Todd McLellan endured during his final season in San Jose.

The Sharks’ captaincy issue — stripping Joe Thornton, then going with four rotating alternates — was an ongoing problem, something that players, coaches and GM Doug Wilson had to repeatedly address until it blew up in spectacular fashion.

That said, the circumstances in Edmonton are quite different.

It’s believed the club’s intentionally keeping the captaincy vacant, on the assumption that Connor McDavid will evolve into a superstar and, subsequently, the club’s unquestioned leader.

Finally, McLellan noted that with Eberle currently sidelined, a fifth Oiler would be added to the leadership group — veteran forward Matt Hendricks, who will serve as a temporary alternate.

Brandon Sutter didn’t have the greatest preseason

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When Brandon Sutter was acquired by the Vancouver Canucks, GM Jim Benning called the 26-year-old a “foundation piece for our group going forward.”

Sutter was quickly signed to a five-year extension worth almost $22 million, more evidence of how highly management thought of the player.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Benning was asked the following question:

“What does it say that you made the trade for Sutter, you called him a ‘foundation’ player, and it took him until the final night of the preseason to find a spot (with the Sedins) on the wing, which isn’t his natural position?”

Here was Benning’s response:

“Well, [head coach Willie Desjardins] wants to try that out, he thinks that’s going to be a good fit. At various times, the Sedins played with wingers with speed, with [Ryan Kesler], who could get in on the forecheck and had a good shot. Sutter brings some of those qualities, too.”

While all that may be true, Sutter was not signed to play the wing; he was brought in to play center, specifically on the second line. He finished the preseason with zero points in five games. And as mentioned, he’ll start the season on the wing, not his natural position.

Meanwhile, youngsters Bo Horvat, 20, and Jared McCann, 19, had outstanding camps and are expected to start the regular season (tonight in Calgary) centering the second and third lines, respectively.

Though Sutter did finish the preseason with 12 shots on goal, up there with the most on the Canucks, it’s fair to say he did not look like a “foundation” player.

“I haven’t seen him play his best,” Desjardins said last week. “I see a guy who’s big and a good skater and who understands the game real well, but just hasn’t got that involved.”

Now, we are only talking about the preseason here. New players often take time to get comfortable. Perhaps playing with the Sedins can provide Sutter with some confidence.

“I know he’ll be there and I totally believe that,” said Desjardins.

But it hasn’t been the best start, and if it wasn’t for the encouraging play of the youngsters, it would be a far bigger story in Vancouver.

Related: Canucks roll the dice on rookies, waive Vey and Corrado