Mockup Credit: Chris Creamer/SportsLogos.net
While many expected to have to wait until Auston Matthews was called to the podium on Friday night before they got their first glimpse at the new logo on a Leafs jersey, but it appears that the social media machine has created a rare leak out of the Toronto Maple Leafs brass.
@sportslogosnet Yes. No shoulder patch. Two thin stripes on either arm. One thick stripe along the base.
— Willie Beamen (@13WillieBeamen) June 21, 2016
The above image is a mockup that reflects what Beamen told Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.net on Twitter this afternoon. Creamer, who is considered an insider in the sports branding news industry thanks to his graphic resource platform, confirmed with two other sources that this is what the team will be revealing in the coming days.
Given Creamer’s record, it’s hard to dispute the validity of this report, meaning that there’s a very realistic chance that what you see above will be the next home and away jersey of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Which means, for the first time since Dave Nonis gave Randy Carlyle a contract extension, I can say the following to Leafs brass with absolute certainty…
Are you all out of your minds?!
I love the new logo. I’ve been a long time advocate of switching back to something grittier and more reflective of the team’s most storied part of their history. I even ran a widely-publicized petition to go back to their roots back in 2009. They did just that with some slight modernizations, and I couldn’t be happier.
But these jerseys? They might be the single worst that the team has ever had.
Anybody with even the slightest eye for design will tell you that having two stripes on the shoulders and one large one on the bottom looks eclectic and unnecessary. The Leafs have always kept it simple; two stripes on the arms, two on the stomach. Three on the arms, three on the stomach. One big stripe from cuff to neck and back again? One big stripe around the stomach. So on and so forth. They broke character once, to have no stripes on the bottom, but that was absence rather than a clash.
This just doesn’t look like they don’t know what the heck they’re doing. It looks lazy, uninspired, and a change solely so it’s different enough to convince people to buy a second jersey.
But let’s be real, if you put out something like the above, you’d sell at least as many. Sure, the home jersey is just the current home jersey with the new logo and no shoulder patches, but the new logo has a massive approval rating and a bunch of up and coming players that will don it. The away jersey might be the 2008 alternate without the stroke tool attached to the logo, but that’s more than good enough.
People will buy the jerseys because they’re new and because they want Matthews, Marner, Nylander, and friends on the back.
This thing? It looks like someone ripped their Leafs jersey horizontally and stitched the bottom half of a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey onto it instead. Look, I know the Leafs are a little over a week away from probably poaching their captain, but the team didn’t have to make physical symbolism of that.
I hope these are wrong, and that our mystery leaker and sources have been shown some scrapped prototypes. Because as it is, a simple striping change makes all the difference between these being among the league’s best jerseys to, logo aside, arguably the league’s worst. If this is the route they’ve gone, what a wasted opportunity.