The Florida Panthers will have a new look for the first time since their inaugural season in 1993.
It has been Panthers’ Chairman, Owner and Governor Vincent Viola’s plan since becoming owner of the Florida Panthers in 2013 and the plan finally came to fruition.
“The idea when we came into Florida and took responsibility for the stewardship of the franchise, was to start anew and create traditions that were unique to this new start,” Panthers Chairman, Owner & Governor Vincent Viola said. “I think the logo harkens to the vanguard of courage; the idea that you put a shield on the hockey uniform. It’s something to protect, but you also protect it. We wanted something that began a new tradition of winning and demonstrated courage and selfless dedication to a team pursuit of victory.”
“We wanted to really put a bold emphasis on the idea that this was a new era for the franchise,” added Viola’s son, John, who took the lead for his family in working with Reebok to bring the new uniforms to life. “It’s not necessarily a new direction, but a new evolution, a new maturity for the franchise.”
The new logo has a shield outline and contains an impassive gold panther in front of a navy blue background. “Florida” is written in white in front of a red background above the panther’s head.
The three primary colors for the logo and the new uniforms are the traditional Panthers Red, Panthers Blue and Panthers Flat Gold.
The new sweaters are very straightforward with alternating red and white stripes with a gold accent. The new secondary logo appears on the shoulders with a panther crawling along the top of the Florida state flag.
A “Florida” patch will be placed above the state flag patch on the shoulder home sweaters, while a “Panthers” patch will be in the same spot on the road sweaters.
Another detail of the sweater that will often be overlooked by the common hockey fan is the layout of the strings.
“I knew that (the designers) had it right when they pointed out that our drawstrings are the only ones in the league, I believe, that make just a cross. They did that so that the away jersey would reflect the state flag. I knew when we saw that that we were all on the same page and we were going in the right direction. Even in the subtlety was that we identify as Florida’s team.”
Panthers players Aaron Ekblad, Vincent Trocheck, Shawn Thornton and Steven Kampfer were given the honor to reveal the new logo and sweaters to Panthers fans on Thursday night.