WHL Concepts, March–May 2021
My take on all new jerseys, several new logos, and a couple rebrands for the teams of the major-junior Western Hockey League.
Hover over/tap on an icon for info and jersey.
Brandon Wheat Kings
The Brandon Wheat Kings get a jersey very much like their 2017 set, but with a wheat pattern embossing inspired by the Vegas Golden Knights. The new logos are simplifications of their current primary, shoulder patch, and throwback logo.
Calgary's got a fun logo; it just needs fewer outlines and a return to the previous colors. You'd think that a team purchased by the Calgary Flames and with flames on a shirt on its logo would have kept flames on its jerseys. Hopefully this take isn't too busy. Anyways, the shoulder patch is of the Calgary Tower.
Edmonton Oil Kings
I wouldn't want this IRL for a brand that started in the '50s, but the Oil Kings seem perfectly happy to do crazy neon colors, so the concept is a rainbow oil slick theme. The striping is inspired by the architecture of the team's arena. The shoulder logo is based on the Oil Kings' original WCHL logo from the '50s, but Edmonton skyscrapers replace the small village.
I did not attempt to improve on Everett's excellent mountain & tree striped jerseys. However, their 25th anniversary vintage fauxbacks were nice but a bit too plain, so I attempted to spice that look up a bit. The bear shoulder patch is now front and center atop Three Fingers Mountain.
The Blazers' logo is fine, but I prefer a K for Kamloops rather than a B, so I split the difference. The team's real Oilers-esque jerseys are really nice, but I tried something slightly different. The Y-shaped striping is based on the city coat of arms. The sleeve patch is a mountain campfire.
The Rockets get a "Black Diamond" theme, inspired by both the team's retro logo and the local ski resorts. The Ogopogo lake monster is integrated into the wordmark, and appears in the water below the Okanagan Lake Bridge. The shoulder patch is an apple tree based on Kelowna's "Orchard City" nickname.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes keep their logo and colors but get fauxback scripts and jersey designs inspired by the Lethbridge Native Sons of the '50s. A new Clock Tower themed logo appears on the pants.
Medicine Hat Tigers
Medicine Hat flips to orange as the primary color, and gains tiger striping in the shape of the fumes found on the Gas City's coat of arms. The logo is simplified and a paw goes on the shoulder. The new wordmark is based on the original wordmark logo.
Moose Jaw Maroons
Moose Jaw really needs to ditch its terrible branding, so I rebranded the team to be named after the Moose Jaw Maroons of the 1920s. The new logo is a moose head sort of in the style of the current logo. The shoulder logo is based on the Snowbirds aerial acrobatics squad based in the town. The countercolored nameplate, while not my favorite, stays from jerseys past.
Prince Albert Raiders
The Raiders get a more angular logo update and the main design motif becomes bevels. The shoulder yokes are themselves beveled stylizations of the La Colle Falls Dam outside Prince Albert. One secondary logo is based on the city flag, and the other is a stylized skull and crossed hockey sticks.
Prince George Cougars
Prince George is the Spruce City, so a more foresty look for the Cougars was in order. The current Pacman cat logo becomes a circular saw, and the sleeve patch is based on the city's welcome sign.
While the Winterhawks name is not necessarily a problem, Portland's current primary logo needs to be phased out. I propose a much more literal take on the name. The striping remains the same but is tilted for some Trailblazers synergy, and forest green replaces black. The font is a bit weirder, because Portland asked for it.
Red Deer Rebels
Red Deer has a beautiful primary logo, all it needs is the removal of the pucks. I opted for a more western color scheme and number font, and jerseys based on their current thirds. The striping includes a barbed wire pattern. The wordmark logo is a cowboy-themed spin on the Rebels' original 1991 skate logo.
The Pats have gone through a few subtly different variations on their classic jersey over the past century, so I basically ended up trying to make a cohesive set that combines the yokes and striping from multiple sets. I really like that cream 1920's fauxback with the red chest stripes, so that became the basis of the away jersey. The shoulder patch is puts their dog mascot into the currently-used insignia, topped with the crown from the Regina flag.
Saskatoon's logo is fine but it doesn't really look like anything (not even the skate blade it's meant to be.) I just figured I'd turn it into the Traffic Bridge for the City of Bridges. A saskatoon berry is the shoulder patch logo.
There's not really a need for anything new or fancy for my hometown T-birds, but I threw in a subtle stylized nod to the ferries of Puget Sound with the shape of the striping. Mostly I just tried to pare down some of the silver.
Apparently the Chiefs organization has a good relationship with the Spokane Nation, but I thought I'd try something slightly different. Before the Chiefs, Spokane's team for 33 years was the Flyers (predating Philadelphia's use of the name by almost two decades!) The logo is a simplified version of the current logo. The wing replaces the headdress, and incorporates a stylized Spokane Falls. The shoulder patch represents the local "Lilac City" nickname!
Swift Current Broncos
Swift Current already has a nice look, but some simplification to the logo makes a good difference, IMO. Lately I've enjoyed attempting cohesive uniform sets with slightly different colors (a la New York Giants), so the retro yellow is used at home but not on the road. The yoke/striping design is based on the team's inaugural uniform.
(formerly Tri-City Americans)
I think the Tri-cities deserve a less generic brand than "Americans." I've renamed them the Atomics, representing the area's unique history with nuclear technology and physics research. Red is replaced with wine, and a steam cloud is used for a shoulder yoke!
The Giants logo is a really good idea (lumberjack in the shape of a G) but it's kinda stuck in the early 2000s. I might have swung the pendulum a bit too far in the other direction :P For their jerseys, the team really needs more striping and less piping. This sleeve-length yoke design is based on the flag of the Giants' Langley, BC hometown.
The Royals have one of the best logos in sports, IMO, but their jerseys are kinda busy. The CHL also desperately needs some purple, so I revamp the look in royal purple and lavender, with striping based on the famous Empress Hotel. The shoulder patch is based on the Victoria city coat of arms.
So I don't mean to say that the Ice brand belongs in Winnipeg instead of the Kootenays, but I tried to show them embracing their new city with a new set. The current jerseys are quite bad, IMO, with gross shades of gray and powder blue bleeding into each other, and a decidedly un-wintery black base. For my take, I add Winnipeg's famous Esplanade Riel bridge as a patch and go with a light blue base with icicle striping.
BONUS IDEA for Winnipeg so that Kootenay can keep the Ice brand: a design based on the 1920 Olympic champion Winnipeg Falcons. The name was considered during the return of NHL hockey to the city, so maybe it should be considered for the WHL's return too! The neo-retro style jersey design is *very* loosely based on the original team. The primary logo combines the Esplanade Riel with a falcon and the secondary logo shows the famous Golden Boy's torch which also stands in for the Olympic flame.
BONUS IDEA for a Kootenay expansion team if the Ice brand stays in Winnipeg: the Kootenay Crows! The team name is inspired by the nearby Crowsnest Pass, which has been an important trade route through the region. The crow in the primary sits on a railroad spike representing the region's railway history. The secondary logo is based on the Ice's old shoulder patch.
BONUS IDEA for a Tacoma expansion team. The Rockets name dominates the city's hockey history, but since that's off the table, I tried something new based on the harbor porpoises found throughout Puget Sound. The jerseys are a sort of mixture of two photos of the 1940s Tacoma Rockets and the Stars' classic geometric design, set in a sorta Defiance-adjacent, Rainiers-adjacent color scheme. The triangular stripes are made into the shape of the Tacoma Dome.