Ice Expectations For 2017

9:48:00 AM Add Comment
With the off-season rapidly approaching, it's time to start thinking about what ice designs we may see next season. We already know there are likely to be a few changes. Of course this is all speculation at this point but a few of the changes are almost a sure thing.

Colorado Avalanche
After a disappointing conclusion to their 20th season in the NHL, the Avalanche will likely return to their regular center ice design next season. They are not know for making many changes to their ice design.

Detroit Red Wings
We never expect to see a team like the Red Wings to make ice changes unless it is an anniversary season or a special occasion like they did for the playoffs this year. What was even more surprising was to see the Joe Louis Arena word-mark on the ice in a red "Detroit Red Wings" style font. Could that word-mark return next year for the final season.

Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers will have a new home next season and of course that means a little change must come to the ice. Aside from the arena name change, renderings and the extremely detailed seat locator both suggest that the team will go with a solid red line. I still wonder if this wasn't done for simplicity of the drawings as the Oilers have had the same red line design for most of their existence.

Florida Panthers
The Panthers have made little secret of the fact that they intend to completely re-brand themselves and while nothing has been officially unveiled, a great deal of information has lead to a very possible spoiler.

Los Angeles Kings
The Kings are one of four teams that will celebrate their 50'th Anniversary as part of the NHL's Expansion. Given how similar the anniversary logo looks to the primary logo, it's a good bet that the anniversary logo will appear at center ice next year.

Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers will celebrate their 50th Anniversary as well, but they are not a team to change up their ice much. I would imagine this would be a long shot but there is the possibility we might see this.

Pittsburgh Penguins
There seems to be two possibilities for the Penguins to change the ice next season. The Penguins are expected to switch to the gold logo that they are using for their very successful playoff run so it would seem a given that they would switch to the gold logo on ice next season. The others possibility is that we might see their 50th Anniversary logo on the ice, though I think fans would much prefer to see the new gold primary logo.

San Jose Sharks
Another team going to the Finals that will certainly have a change in their center ice, though I would imagine it will be a familiar look since their anniversary season will be over. They will likely just go for their normal primary logo with no other changes to center ice.

St. Louis Blues
The Blues are the final team to celebrate their 50th Anniversary season next year. In more recent years, they have opted not to use their anniversary logos on the ice. This time especially, I would hope they would not use their rather unimaginative logo on the ice. It is always a possibility though.

Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs will have a brand new logo, though more of a throwback to a previous look. We are certain you will see that logo at center ice next season.

We will post more updates as any new info comes along.

Rogers Place Scoreboard Lifted

9:18:00 AM 2 Comments
As the Rogers Place gets closer to completion, so does its new state of the art scoreboard. Yesterday the scoreboard was hoisted above the floor for the first time. While the LED screens are not yet completely assembled, you can surely get a feel for how this board will look above the ice now.

Scoreboards From The End Zone

10:33:00 PM Add Comment
In recent years, we have seen some NHL arenas replacing their scoreboards with new and improved boards that are built much like the gigantic scoreboard that hangs from the AT&T (Cowboys) Stadium in Dallas. This movement was led by the Tampa Bay Lightning. On the surface these boards seem to be a dream come true as they often stretch the entire length of the neutral zone. To be fair, if done right they can be quite impressive for everyone in the arena. However, these boards certainly have a downside that can really leave some fans left out. I am talking about those fans who site on the end zones of the arena bowl.

When the side screens are so big that they stretch the length of the neutral zone, some space has to be given up somewhere and that somewhere is typically on the video screens on the end zone sides of the scoreboards. 

Last fall we released an infographic for the 2015/16 scoreboards that ranked them from largest to smallest. That was based on the largest video screens on the scoreboards, so naturally these 'Cowboy Stadium' style boards ruled the league. But it got me to thinking about how this must be a lot different for those who are used to sitting on the ends of the arena bowl, so here now is a look at how the sizes change their rank when you compare the smaller end boards. 

As you can see, the award for the largest equal sided scoreboard would go to the Maple Leafs with their impressive new board which even considers those in the front rows who get their own video screens under the scoreboard to look at. Colorado and Minnesota still have a pretty good size screen to look at on the ends, and it has been noted that Colorado makes very good use of their end screens to provide better info than you even get on the larger video screens. 

Now we get to Anaheim and Tampa Bay. Anaheim's new board was almost not large enough to warrant the need for smaller end zone boards. All four sides of the Maple Leafs board are almost as large as the main video screens at Honda Center. Then there is Tampa Bay. The end screens have a portrait orientation which is not ideal for much of anything really except maybe taking selfies or Face-timing with a friend. You might be looking at the info graphic above and noticing that the area of those screens are close in comparison with Washington, so how could it be that bad, right? Well considering the fact that the odd shape makes it more difficult to use, and only half of the screen is used for the action/replays, watching the action on the scoreboard from an end zone seat would be roughly the same as watching a game at the Rexall Place, former home of the Edmonton Oilers. That is quite a different in presentation value for a fans sitting in different areas of the arena.

Edmonton is going to have the largest equal sided scoreboard in the league next season and video screens below it for the fans to watch as well. Hopefully as more teams will certainly replace their scoreboards down the road, they will think of their fans who circle the entire arena, and opt for a better fan experience for all. 

Heritage Classic Ice Prediction

9:48:00 PM Add Comment

We have a long wait before we will get to see what the Heritage Classic ice will look like, but it's previous two ice designs, I think its a pretty good bet we will see something quite similar this fall in Winnipeg.

Most Popular AHL Ice Of 2016

6:41:00 PM Add Comment

For the third straight year the Utica Comets center ice design was our most popular center ice for the AHL. The design was created by the Comet's graphic designer Eric Kowiatek. Thanks to Eric, the Comets have a very impressive visual web presence as well.

Here is the center ice that has been used since the Utica Comets began playing in 2013/14 as well as the ice that was used when the Comets hosted the AHL All Star Classic.

Portland Pirates Sold To Springfield

6:29:00 PM Add Comment

The Portland Pirates have been sold and are going to be moving to Springfield, where it was recently announced that the Falcons would be moving to Tuscon. The Pirates are the AHL affiliate for the Florida Panthers. While this move was a shock to fans who had no real talk about such a move, the overall situation the team faced was quite obvious. The team had the 2nd lowest attendance in the league. This is ironic because they are moving to a Springfield who drew in the lowest attendance this past year.

Its too early to speculate what the team name will be but as soon as we know we will get to work on some concepts.