In the wake of a dismal 24-50-8 season and yet more scandal between the team and the City of Glendale, overshadowed speculation has continued to build regarding impending jersey changes for the Arizona Coyotes.
According to a source familiar with the team, it's possible the Coyotes could use its Kachina throwback jersey (pictured above) as the team's new official alternates. The team announced earlier this month that it would unveil a new set of jerseys on the day of the upcoming NHL Draft.
The guess here is that the Coyotes won't stray too far from its current home and road jerseys, but the team could elect to make a splash with its new alternates. After an extremely successful "Throwback Night" this past season, going with Kachina throwbacks as official third jerseys certainly has sound logic behind it.
But what if the strife between Glendale and the Coyotes truly becomes nuclear, and the team is forced to move and therefore rebrand itself? As I've written before, the Coyotes—even now—are certainly well-positioned to make a bigger identity change, despite CEO Anthony LeBlanc stated during Tuesday's "state of the team" press conference that the Coyotes like the current logo and only want to make tweaks.
Perhaps a move back to downtown Phoenix, as has been tossed around, could prompt this type of rebrand. Still, there was one report last June suggesting the team could consider changing its primary logo, and we don't know what the future holds with yet another offseason cloud hanging over the Coyotes.
As Examiner.com notes, the 2013 sale of the Coyotes to a new ownership group, IceArizona, could prompt the team to distance itself from past appearances, even without the help of the latest friction.
Here's an excerpt from the article:
Another possible factor for new uniforms is that the new ownership group, the team was sold to IceArizona in 2013, wants to differentiate themselves from the previous regime. Specifically, many logos note that the Arizona Coyotes were established in 2014 and an overall uniform change could give the superficial notion that this is a new team. Or maybe the Coyotes are channeling their Hamlet text and feel that a new uni can lead to a new id and then success on the ice.
Although they have not regularly used its inaugural logo on a sweater since the 2002-03 season, the Coyotes began wearing the Kachina jerseys upon moving to Phoenix for its debut 1996-97 campaign. In 2003, the team switched to the primary logo it currently sports today. The Coyotes have used the "running coyote" logo for a third jersey since the 2008-09 campaign, but have apparently decided to completely eliminate it for the 2015-16 season.
There has been speculation since last season on the potential of a Kachina comeback. With the old thirds being phased out, and a Throwback Night to showcase its old jerseys for the first time in 13 years, a clear path forms for the Coyotes to fully implement its original jerseys back into its apparel arsenal.
After the beta test that was Throwback Night on March 5 vs. the Vancouver Canucks, the Coyotes could have felt convinced enough with public response on the matter. Logically, it would make sense for the Coyotes to do this now.
But as for its primary home and road looks, the jury still seems to be out on that. Whether the Coyotes elect to go big or stay subtle remains an enigma.
But, while we patiently await the draft party, let's have some fun with some concepts submitted by the aesthetically inclined hockey enthusiasts around the interwebs—who have been hard at work trying to predict what the team will look like in 2015-16. I took a look at 12 of the best and most—er, unique—concepts I came across.
1. Kachina inspired
Okay, here's a pretty cool concept from Jack Holmes that may not be too far off from what the team is thinking. However, if the Coyotes do indeed use its Kachina throwbacks as regular alternates, implementing a Kachina-inspired pattern into the waist stripe and both arms would seem like overdoing it a bit.
But if the team goes a different direction with its thirds, this would be a fantastic option for primary home and roads. For what it's worth, I've seen a lot of concepts like this one around the web.
2. A modern take
I absolutely love the idea of going with an off-white primary color for any jersey, but I'm not in love with the weird font used with the numbers on the back. Overall, though, these are the types of minimal adjustments we can expect the Coyotes to make.
3. Desert roots
I'm thinking this concept would be more of a third jersey option for the Coyotes in 2015-16. Rather than going full Kachina, the team could use these as its normal thirds and still wear its Kachina sweaters for future Throwback Nights. Still, if this is the case, it doesn't answer the question of what the home and road sets will look like.
4. Valley verticals
Of the concepts we've seen thus far, these designs from Brandon Holmes seem to be fairly realistic in accordance with what the Coyotes might do. Granted, the lines on the darks are a little bit crazy on the shoulders, but they seem to work nicely on the whites.
Overall, I like this concept—as the main component the old jerseys were missing was a waist stripe. With a little fine tuning, the dark jersey use its lines to an advantage like the white sweater.
5. Decorative in the desert
To be fair, this is a concept I tracked down from back in 2012 when the team was still in Phoenix, but it certainly is a cool and more vibrant look for Arizona. There's a lot going on with these designs, and I don't know if the "tweaks" the Coyotes want to make are exactly what this concept depicts, but it's definitely—er—interesting to look at.
6. Flag freak out
Can you imagine the Coyotes going with these for a third jersey? Drawing inspiration from the Arizona state flag, this concept spits in the face of the team's current color scheme. Still, it's an interesting design to ponder.
7. Slight work
If the Coyotes really want to keep things grounded, this concept originally designed for the relocation of the team from Phoenix to Glendale wouldn't be a terrible idea.
These designs fix all the current issues with the home and road jerseys and further implement off-white as a very effective accent color. Although these are the most minimal changes of all the concepts we have on the list, these two designs would look great on the ice.
8. An ambitious alternate
Who else would buy one of these if the Coyotes implemented something like this as a new third jersey? These are absolutely wild, and would be cool should the team end up back at U.S. Airways Arena.
9. A likely suggestion
How awesome are these designs? Although these are pretty dated on the website, T.D. absolutely nails the home and road jerseys, and gives a different take on the Kachina throwback concept. I'd like a bit more flare on the third jersey, but this design for a new home and road sweater would get my vote.
10. Running back to Phoenix
The consensus is that these logos are going away, but perhaps if the Coyotes had been using these gems all along they wouldn't have been forced to phase them out. Or if the Coyotes are forced to play future games in Phoenix, these wouldn't be terrible third jersey options.
11. Good in gold
Talk about an old concept: this one dates back to 2008. However, it basically fits the bill for what the team may be looking to do. The addition of a gold accent color brings out some elements of the Arizona state flag (albeit not as conspicuous as that previous concept), and is overall a very good design with a modern flare to it. I'd be pretty happy if the team went in this direction.
12. New beginnings
Here's the last design we'll show, and it's a doozy you may have seen featured here before. If the Coyotes are indeed looking ahead to a total franchise redesign, these would be great options for them. The new primary logo taps into its Kachina predecessor and still shows small resemblances to the previous logo as well. Again, the Coyotes going this route seems unlikely, but it's fun to imagine what the team could look like if it wants to go a different direction.
The Coyotes will be unveiling its new jerseys during its draft party at Gila River Arena, which will be held Friday, June 26 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Arizona time. The NHL Draft will be held in Sunrise, Fla. from June 26-27.