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History of NHL Team Names, Logos and Jerseys

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11-29-2013, 04:08 PM
  #1
Canadiens1958
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History of NHL Team Names, Logos and Jerseys

Starting a historic look at NHL team logos and jerseys. The Canadiens have a great history section and it has two pages on their logo and jersey history:

http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/jers...ogos/1909-1946

However, it will be interesting to look at the other teams including the defunct, moved or changed names as well as digging into the reasons behind the name, the jersey design and the various changes along the way.

The expansion teams present interesting studies. How team names and jersey design and colours were chosen. The procédures the club employed, arbitrary selection, hiring consultants, polling the fans, etc.

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11-29-2013, 04:57 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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I've always like any jersey with lacing on the collar. And I wish the NHL would go back to home whites.

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11-29-2013, 06:29 PM
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Killion
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Toronto

Origins I believe were literally yanked, co-opted by Smythe from the Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club. Not uncommon in the late 19th & early 20th Century for teams from the same city to share colors & names. The romantic version is that Major Smythe adopted the Leaf due to his own sense of patriotism, the Leaf a patch worn on the shoulder of WW1 Canadian Soldiers, inspiring his adoption of that emblem after he'd acquired the St.Pats.... Well, Im not buyin it. Smythe was mentored & supported by a wealthy & influential Toronto industrialist, JP Bickell, and Bickell there sat on the Board of the highly successful & popular Toronto Maples Leafs Baseball Club (instrumental in getting Maple Leaf Gardens built, sat on the Board of the Gardens for years thereafter as well) that had been around for decades. Im certain they essentially "lifted" the colors & logo, facilitated by Bickell, this whole Mothers Milk & Patriotism Fable created to cover for what was a far more mundane form of marketing & promotion in hoping to appeal to Maple Leaf baseball fans. A game & team that was in fact more popular than hockey & the St.Pats. One of just several top tier teams playing in Toronto at that time, and one that as fully professional would have been looked down upon as crass due to its professional status by the very WASP'ish intelligentsia in Toronto. You also had shifting demographics, the once predominantly Irish Catholic's being over-taken by immigrants from elsewhere, so in order to appeal to a larger segment of the population a new name absolutely required....

www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4JX94Md8qo

www.tmlfever.com/LeafsLogoHistory.html

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11-30-2013, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
I've always like any jersey with lacing on the collar. And I wish the NHL would go back to home whites.
My sentiments exactly, totally agree with my favourites being Detroit, Montreal, and Chicago home whites.

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12-01-2013, 12:02 AM
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Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Starting a historic look at NHL team logos and jerseys. The Canadiens have a great history section and it has two pages on their logo and jersey history:

http://ourhistory.canadiens.com/jers...ogos/1909-1946

However, it will be interesting to look at the other teams including the defunct, moved or changed names as well as digging into the reasons behind the name, the jersey design and the various changes along the way.

The expansion teams present interesting studies. How team names and jersey design and colours were chosen. The procédures the club employed, arbitrary selection, hiring consultants, polling the fans, etc.
Good link, I've never seen the Canadiens' 1911-12 edition. Would be a good choice of throw back in one of these winter classic/outdoor type games where the teams always seem to wear past uniforms.

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12-01-2013, 01:31 AM
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Killion
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Boston Bruins

In 1924 Boston along with the Montreal Maroons were the first 2 Expansion Teams to be admitted to the NHL, grocery store magnate with assorted sporting interests Charles Adams securing the club & hiring Art Ross as his Coach/GM. Adams & Ross wanted an animals name, something that was cunning, powerful, fast and decided on "Bruins", the origins of which stem from a medieval childrens fable called The History of Reynard The Fox.... the corporate colors of Adams grocery chain called First National were brown & yellow, so good fit, nice plug for the chain, away we go. In fact, legend has it that so taken with the color brown was Charles Adams, that all his horses, dogs, cats; the chickens & cattle he ordered up slaughtered for his food chains had to be brown; that he had Ford specially paint his Model T's, A's & delivery wagons brown when only black was available; that all of his clothing, hats & shoes.... brown.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVMjIstxoL4

... and as you'll have seen, quite the metamorphosis over the years. The colors changed to the current black, white & gold in 1938, the spoked 'B' first worn in 48. Way back when, Boston was the center of trade, of entry into & out of the New World, with Oliver Wendell Holmes referring to Boston as "The Hub of the Universe" which is what the State House is called. So youve got the 'B' as the center of the 8 spokes for symmetry, though Ive read theories it has to do with the roads & hwys running into & out of Boston amongst other tinfoil nonsense. Fact is, Boston, not Toronto is the Center of the Universe.... who knew?

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12-01-2013, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
I've always like any jersey with lacing on the collar. And I wish the NHL would go back to home whites.
Agree on both counts.

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12-01-2013, 09:23 AM
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For the defunct teams from Atlanta

Flames in homage to the burning of Atlanta by U.S. Army general William Sherman during the American Civil War.

Thrashers because thats the state bird iirc.

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12-01-2013, 12:16 PM
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Killion
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California - Bay Area

1966, the NHL announces Expansion planned for 67/68 season, 6 teams playing in their own Division. LA had been threatening the NHL with anti-trust since the late 50's demanding entry, new arena etc, huge market. If they didnt get in, acquire a WHL franchise, hook-up with the AHL, inter-locking schedule, serious threat to the NHL's preeminence as North Americas' best professional league, stranglehold on the buildings in 'A' Market westcoast locales. Refused, so in 1961 they along with San Francisco awarded Expansion Franchises in the WHL. San Francisco's team named the Seals after a defunct but long time popular minor-pro baseball team, LA's team called the Blades (formerly LA had the Monarchs of the PCHL). By 65/66, NHL Expansion was pretty much rubber stamped by the BOG's, with CBS insisting that at least 2 of the 6 inbound clubs be located in California. The newly minted owners in San Francisco buying the WHL Seals, the name, player contracts etc (though the whole thing unraveled thereafter going to Hell in a Handbasket due to beyond intransigent ownership, and quite the story & cast of colorful characters that be, another thread)... here now in less than a minute and a half the history of the California nee Oakland nee California Golden Seals Jersey History...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AFNa4QGpCc


Last edited by Killion: 12-01-2013 at 12:25 PM.
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12-03-2013, 01:30 AM
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Killion
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California - Los Angeles

The very colorful Jack Kent Cooke formerly of Toronto for $2M bought himself a franchise in the NHL, a lifelong dream. He already owned the Lakers, so using the same color scheme named the hockey club the Kings, wanting something regal, a name that harkened back as well to the old Los Angeles Monarchs of the PCHL (fore-runner to the WHL). The original crown logo used from 67/72 (tweaked somewhat thereafter) to my eye at least one of the nicest in the history of sport, not just hockey & the NHL. Unfortunately, Cooke I think went overboard with the gold pants, not enough purple to ground the look.... love to see LA revive that crest & the colors.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdsZO8yA0Lc

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12-03-2013, 05:00 AM
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NHLuniforms has an even more detailed look at the jerseys, right down to slight variations of typeface and borders in the lettering.

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02-02-2014, 08:23 PM
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Killion
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and more recently from spitshockey...

... including names, how they were arrived at and why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spitshockey81 View Post
So I was at a Blue Jackets game recently and thinking about the old days when the Chill played there and wondered if the Chill was ever considered for the Columbus NHL entry. That got me wondering about what could have been in terms of current and past NHL teams and what nicknames were kicked around as serious options before the final selection. Or how team names have evolved over time is an interesting thought had they stuck with the original nicknames. What could the NHL today look like between original names and other "name the team" considerations?

-New Jersey Meadowlarks
-New York Empires (now Islanders)
-Colorado/Denver Black Bears
-Minnesota Voyagers (considered with Wild)
-Philadelphia Quakers-had they never folded
-Toronto Arenas or St Pats
-Detroit Cougars
-San Jose Blades
-Montreal Maroons or New York Americans could have been the surviving teams of the large markets with two teams, or maybe Montreal Wanderers had their arena not burned and the Rangers/Canadiens in the history books.

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02-03-2014, 12:05 AM
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Columbus

When Columbus got the news in 1997 that ya, theyd' been awarded an Expansion Franchise, obviously one of the first things they did was to then try & figure out what the name of the team would be. Like several other franchises in various sports, they decided to go to the public, ask for suggestion, running a Contest through Wendys Restaurants in Central Ohio. They received over 14,000 entries & suggestions, plenty of duplicates, narrowed it down to 10, then 2, then went back to the NHL and with their assistance decided between..... The Columbus Blue Jackets or......... Columbus Justice....

.... and I guess we know which one they chose. Blue Jackets brilliant, based on Ohio's & Columbus's major contributions to the Union Army during the Civil War. I think an excellent choice, love the name & the uniforms, the Cannon, everything about it. As for "Justice"? Im afraid I dont get that one at all. Like, your going to take on a team & "dispense justice" on them by beating them or what? Beyond weak. Totally lame. Almost as if theyd decided it had to be Blue Jackets so they picked the worst suggestion of the 14,000 & presented it to the league along with Blue Jackets. No brainer. Of course you'd go with Blue Jackets against "Justice". Imagine that logo? The classic pose of the lady with the blindfold holding up a scale? Not really doing much for me.

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02-03-2014, 09:58 PM
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I read online that the Rangers were going to be named the New York Giants, which would have been the third team with that name in NY at the time, but newspaper headlines kept calling them "Tex's" Rangers because of Tex Rickard, the boxing promoter who founded the Rangers. I'm not sure if this was ever confirmed, since I don't think it has a source on Wikipedia.

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02-03-2014, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
When Columbus got the news in 1997 that ya, theyd' been awarded an Expansion Franchise, obviously one of the first things they did was to then try & figure out what the name of the team would be. Like several other franchises in various sports, they decided to go to the public, ask for suggestion, running a Contest through Wendys Restaurants in Central Ohio. They received over 14,000 entries & suggestions, plenty of duplicates, narrowed it down to 10, then 2, then went back to the NHL and with their assistance decided between..... The Columbus Blue Jackets or......... Columbus Justice....

.... and I guess we know which one they chose. Blue Jackets brilliant, based on Ohio's & Columbus's major contributions to the Union Army during the Civil War. I think an excellent choice, love the name & the uniforms, the Cannon, everything about it. As for "Justice"? Im afraid I dont get that one at all. Like, your going to take on a team & "dispense justice" on them by beating them or what? Beyond weak. Totally lame. Almost as if theyd decided it had to be Blue Jackets so they picked the worst suggestion of the 14,000 & presented it to the league along with Blue Jackets. No brainer. Of course you'd go with Blue Jackets against "Justice". Imagine that logo? The classic pose of the lady with the blindfold holding up a scale? Not really doing much for me.
"Justice" was both a nod to the local area and a relic of the 1990s. The Arena District was a barren wasteland in 1997, part of the site of the old Ohio State Penitentiary. The land was bought up with private money, developed with private money, and maintained with private money.

As to the idea of whether Justice was ever seriously considered, the most likely answer is no. Team owner John H. McConnell's favorite color was blue, and he apparently made the decision that any team name would have "Blue" as part of it.

Unlike what Comsat did with the newly-acquired Nordiques in 1995, Columbus never filed anything except "Columbus Blue Jackets". Comsat filed all of the following names:

Colorado Black Bears
Colorado Cougars
Colorado (e)Xtreme
Colorado Outlaws
Colorado Renegades
Denver Black Bears
Denver Cougars
Denver (e)Xtreme
Denver Renegades
Rocky Mountain Black Bears
Rocky Mountain Cougars
Rocky Mountain (e)Xtreme
Rocky Mountain Rapids
Rocky Mountain Renegades
Rocky Mountain Storm
Rocky Mountain Wranglers

Not so with Columbus; it was Blue Jackets only, and nothing else.

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02-03-2014, 11:01 PM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kane One View Post
I read online that the Rangers were going to be named the New York Giants, which would have been the third team with that name in NY at the time, but newspaper headlines kept calling them "Tex's" Rangers because of Tex Rickard, the boxing promoter who founded the Rangers. I'm not sure if this was ever confirmed, since I don't think it has a source on Wikipedia.
Interesting. Ive never heard that one before, just "Tex's Rangers" and that that nickname stuck, morphing into the New York Rangers... Ive read quite a bit about Tex Rickard, fascinating character really, like something straight off the pages of a Jack London novel. Very interesting life & absolutely a scoundrel of the first order. One with considerable smarts, charisma & certainly flair. Town Sheriff in Henrietta Texas at the tail end of the Old West; Gold Miner; Saloon & Brothel Owner etc from Texas to Alaska, points in between & finally in New York City. He's recognized as the first American Promoter to really understand the Star System. How celebrity would draw crowds specifically through his Boxing activities in the teens & twenties. Built the 3rd version of MSG, the Boston Garden, had a vision to build 8 more around the country before dying somewhat prematurely of natural causes.

Was an associate of the Grandfather of Vince McMahon of WWF & WCW wrestling fame, who was also a wrestling & boxing promoter & manager as was Vince's father though Rickard wasnt big on wrestling himself. Concentrated on Boxing, Concerts, Skating Shows, Prostitution & Procurement, Gambling, Loan Sharking, the usual healthy vices of a Gad about NYC back in the day. After witnessing the success of the Americans & controlling MSG, breaches all covenants & clauses with Big Bill Dwyer, previous promises of non-competes right out the window, goes to the NHL & secures a 2nd team to play out of his own building. Hires Conn Smythe to go forth & put together a team of Superstars, the rest well known history Im sure. But as a larger than life figure even then, cant imagine that team being called anything but Tex's Rangers really. Excellent play on Rickards name, colorful past & Texas roots, one time town Sheriff.

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02-03-2014, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
The very colorful Jack Kent Cooke formerly of Toronto for $2M bought himself a franchise in the NHL, a lifelong dream. He already owned the Lakers, so using the same color scheme named the hockey club the Kings, wanting something regal, a name that harkened back as well to the old Los Angeles Monarchs of the PCHL (fore-runner to the WHL).
A commonly held erroneous belief is that the Kings used the Lakers' colours. Jack Kent Cooke changed the Lakers' colours to match the Kings, not the other way around.

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02-03-2014, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
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A commonly held erroneous belief is that the Kings used the Lakers' colours. Jack Kent Cooke changed the Lakers' colours to match the Kings, not the other way around.
Have you got a link on that? He moved the Lakers to the Forum in 67 & changed their colors from apparently a Royal Blue & Light Blue to Purple & Gold, and in designing the Kings logo & jersey followed the same color scheme. I cant find anywhere that explicitly states the Lakers followed the Kings, but quite a few citations that state the Lakers color scheme was mimicked by the Kings. Rather a moot point, doesnt matter, but if the Kings were first, be interested in reading up on it.

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02-04-2014, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
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Have you got a link on that? He moved the Lakers to the Forum in 67 & changed their colors from apparently a Royal Blue & Light Blue to Purple & Gold, and in designing the Kings logo & jersey followed the same color scheme. I cant find anywhere that explicitly states the Lakers followed the Kings, but quite a few citations that state the Lakers color scheme was mimicked by the Kings. Rather a moot point, doesnt matter, but if the Kings were first, be interested in reading up on it.
I don't have a good internet source for you, but I will endeavour to find one.

The colour scheme certainly became synonymous with the Lakers because of the success they had, whereas the Kings never did much in their "Forum blue and gold" uniforms. It's also very easy to conflate the story with the Kings' colour change in 1988 upon the arrival of Gretzky. The change to black and silver really was a very deliberate homage to the Raiders football team.

I'll try to find a period quote from Cooke himself, who claimed that the purple and yellow (err, Forum blue and gold...) colours were 'regal' and befitting of a team named 'Kings'.

Facts are the Kings took to the ice in purple and gold on October 14, 1967 and the Lakers didn't debut their new uniforms until three days later.

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02-06-2014, 11:08 PM
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I remember as a kid back in the summer of '95 the rampant rumours that the Quebec Nordiques were going to be renamed the Denver Huskies, but I'm sure that was an adolescent mixup of the relocation to Colorado and the never used Nords jerseys that were set to debut in 95-96.

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02-06-2014, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoser View Post
A commonly held erroneous belief is that the Kings used the Lakers' colours. Jack Kent Cooke changed the Lakers' colours to match the Kings, not the other way around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Have you got a link on that? He moved the Lakers to the Forum in 67 & changed their colors from apparently a Royal Blue & Light Blue to Purple & Gold, and in designing the Kings logo & jersey followed the same color scheme. I cant find anywhere that explicitly states the Lakers followed the Kings, but quite a few citations that state the Lakers color scheme was mimicked by the Kings. Rather a moot point, doesnt matter, but if the Kings were first, be interested in reading up on it.
According to this website, it seems like the Kings copied the Lakers:

http://www.lakerstats.com/lakers-uniforms/

The only way it's possible the Kings didn't copy the Lakers is if the Lakers knew the Kings were going to use those colors and they wanted to match, but just wore them first. The Lakers and Kings both had the same owner at the time, Jack Kent Cooke.

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02-06-2014, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
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Facts are the Kings took to the ice in purple and gold on October 14, 1967 and the Lakers didn't debut their new uniforms until three days later.
.... yet according to my search engines, the precedent was set with the Lakers & earlier than you suggest Hoser. That Cooke selected the purple & gold prior to the date you cite, the Kings as part of his newly founded empire at the Fabulous Forum following suit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kane One View Post
The Lakers and Kings both had the same owner at the time, Jack Kent Cooke.
Indeed they did. And Jack being a Toronto boy as am I, well, Ive paid attention. Made his business mine. Bought the Lakers (and why he didnt change the name, as theyd moved from Minnesota to LA I dont know, fresh moniker required IMO) before he was approved by the NHL & yes, changed the primary colors of the Lakers before the Kings arrival. Wanted unity.

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02-14-2014, 07:25 PM
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Kane One
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The New York Americans were officially the "New York Hamilton Tigers" because their owner Bill Dwyer bought all the players from the about-to-be defunct Tigers and started the new team. Apparently they changed their named during training camp.

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02-15-2014, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
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According to this website, it seems like the Kings copied the Lakers:

http://www.lakerstats.com/lakers-uniforms/
That website is wrong. Very easily proven wrong too.



Those are the 1966-67 Los Angeles Lakers. You can tell it's the '66-'67 Lakers because #40 in the back there is Jerry Chambers and #34 is John Block, both of whom only played the one season for the Lakers.

(And these are the '67-'68 Lakers, in their first (half-)year at The Forum.)

Quote:
The only way it's possible the Kings didn't copy the Lakers is if the Lakers knew the Kings were going to use those colors and they wanted to match, but just wore them first. The Lakers and Kings both had the same owner at the time, Jack Kent Cooke.
That is PRECISELY what happened!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
.... yet according to my search engines, the precedent was set with the Lakers & earlier than you suggest Hoser. That Cooke selected the purple & gold prior to the date you cite, the Kings as part of his newly founded empire at the Fabulous Forum following suit.

...

Bought the Lakers (and why he didnt change the name, as theyd moved from Minnesota to LA I dont know, fresh moniker required IMO) before he was approved by the NHL & yes, changed the primary colors of the Lakers before the Kings arrival. Wanted unity.
There is an old adage, Killion: if you repeat a lie enough times it eventually becomes the truth.

As I said, it's

Quote:
A commonly held erroneous belief
and

Quote:
The colour scheme certainly became synonymous with the Lakers because of the success they had, whereas the Kings never did much in their "Forum blue and gold" uniforms.
The Kings won diddly squat in their original sweaters while the Lakers won 12 conference championships and six NBA championships in the time both teams wore the same colours. The Kings have changed colour schemes three times since 1967; the Lakers still wear purple and yellow. Like I said the colour scheme is synonymous with the Lakers and not the Kings but only a revisionist historian would say "the Kings copied the colours from the Lakers".

I'll ask you this: why purple and yellow? Why would Jack Kent Cooke change the colours of his basketball team's uniforms from blue and white to purple and yellow in 1967? (And let's not forget I just provided you with photographic proof that the change happened in 1967, NOT 1966 as Kane One's fan blog source suggests.) What in the hell do purple and yellow have to do with lakes?

Nothing. Precisely nothing.

On the other hand those colours do have a lot to do with royalty. Purple has been a regal colour since the Roman Empire. (Do a Google search for "Tyrian purple".) Gold has been associated with royalty for a long time for obvious reasons. Jack Kent Cooke was awarded the Los Angeles expansion NHL franchise in February, 1966 (he bought the Lakers only five months earlier, FYI) and the team was named 'Kings' in May of '66. Harry J. Mullen of Pasadena was the man who suggested the name (his was the earliest postmarked envelope among about 30 that suggested 'Kings') and he was rewarded with a colour TV, portable AM-FM transistor radio and two season tickets and a parking pass for the 1967-68 season. See here for a copy of the article in the LA Herald-Examiner from 1966.

Cooke chose purple and yellow for the Kings because they were traditional regal colours, and the Lakers colours were changed to match.

And that's another thing: the Kings'/Lakers' colours were not just "purple and yellow". The latter was "Gold" and the former, according to Jack Kent Cooke himself, was "Forum Blue". Why Forum Blue? Named after the arena of course. Why did Cooke build The Forum? The KINGS!

The Lakers played at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, adjacent to the massive Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum which was then home of the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. Remember that in 1966 the city of Los Angeles was already home to a pro hockey team: the WHL's Los Angeles Blades. The Blades were owned by Dan Reeves, who also happened to own the Rams and was one of the competing groups seeking the expansion franchise in LA. The Blades shared the Sports Arena with the Lakers. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, managers of the Memorial Coliseum and the Sports Arena, backed Reeves's bid for the NHL team.

It was almost assured that whoever held the hockey lease at the Sports Arena would get the NHL team since the NHL had said they were looking for ownership groups who held firm lease agreements or had plans already in motion to build their own arena. So the Coliseum Commission backed Reeves and Cooke was left with no other choice than to tell the NHL he'd build his own arena instead. And so he did.

The Kings took to the ice on October 14, 1967 at Long Beach Arena, and the Lakers took to the court in Forum Blue and Gold for the first time on October 17, 1967 at Chicago Stadium against the Bulls. The Forum opened December 30, 1967 for a game between the Kings and the Flyers. The Lakers played their first home game at The Forum the next night, Dec. 31, against the San Diego Rockets.

The Lakers' move to The Forum wouldn't have happened if not for the Kings' existence. They (probably) wouldn't have changed colours (or at least not to the colours they have now) if not for the Kings. Cooke bought the Lakers before he was awarded the NHL franchise but he didn't change their colours until 1967; NOT before the Kings' arrival. The colour change was precipitated BY the Kings' arrival.

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02-15-2014, 02:46 AM
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Hoser
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While on the subject of the Kings and Jack Kent Cooke the only change of note to their uniforms under Cooke's ownership was the addition of yellow pants in 1970.



I guess it was lost on Cooke that his team looked like a bunch of overgrown canaries out on the ice. One of the first things Jerry Buss did when he bought the Kings (and Lakers, and The Forum, and a 13,000 acre ranch) from Cooke in 1979 was throw the yellow pants into the dustbin of history. In 1980 the sweaters changed, adding contrasting shoulders.



They would remain as such until Bruce McNall bought out Buss's share of the team in 1988. McNall introduced the new jersey at "The Trade" press conference.

Here's a wee bit of wacky trivia for you. McNall gave an interview a little over a year ago about the change to black and silver and he explained:

Quote:
After asking such Kings players as Luc Robitaille, Jimmy Carson, and Bernie Nicholls for their input, McNall received feedback that choosing black would make them feel bigger and tougher. Robitaille had the greatest impact, telling McNall he enjoyed wearing the black and silver of his junior hockey team, the Hull Olympiques.
Do you know who owned the Hull Olympiques at the time?

Wayne Gretzky!

http://www.uni-watch.com/2012/11/23/fade-to-black/

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