On Monday, when the hockey world was full of news because the NHL was finally back, the Ottawa Senators rebrand quietly made news as well.
Speculation over a #Sens rebrand has risen on Twitter in recent weeks.
A source familiar with the plans confirmed to @TheAthleticOTT that the long-rumoured rebranding effort (and return to a 2D logo) is coming.
Details on what it could look like here: https://t.co/QvnitqNAkG
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) July 13, 2020
The Ottawa Senators Rebrand
Senators’s beat reporter Hailey Salvian reported that the Senators are trying to rebrand for next season. According to her report, the Senators are going back to their two-dimensional logo they used between 1997-2007. Their main home jersey will be black with two-red bands on the arms and a red stripe at the bottom. The away jersey will be white with red bands on the arms and black forearms. Their third jersey will be red but the design is not finished yet.
The black jerseys with the two-dimensional logo have been used before by the Senators. That was their original jersey design until the 1999-00 season. The type of black jersey Salvian described looks like either the 1992-93 jersey or the 1993-95 jersey shown here on NHLuniforms.com.
This rebrand has been sent to the NHL for approval but no decision has been made.
Using Salvian’s descriptions, a Senators fan twitter account designed what the main home jersey might look like, and added a little fun by giving Brady Tkachuk the ‘C’.
Here’s another concept regarding the Senators confirmed rebrand. 👀
— Everyday.Sens (@EverydaySens) July 15, 2020
The Ottawa Senators rebrand is a great idea. It is great for business, and it allows the organization to create a mental reset from all of the drama that has taken place over the past few seasons. It is also symbolic because the black jersey were used as the 1990’s Senators were forming into a contending team. Something the current group is trying to do.
Good for business
The Ottawa Senators have been struggling with attendance. This season, they finished last in average attendance with 12,618, and attendance has been going down by about 1,000 fans a season since 2016-2017. However, it hasn’t always been this way. From 2005-06 to 2015-16 the Senators had an averaged attendance in-between 18,085 to 19,821 fans. The rebrand could be a way to get Senators fans back into the stands because fans would want to see the new jerseys live. That would also be combined with the money the team would receive with fans buying new merchandise. It would be a big business boost for the team.
From the reaction to the rebrand on social media, it looks as if this will be successful.
We are honestly going to have the best jerseys in the league pic.twitter.com/L3x5RE2HX4
— Benjamin Milks (@brian5or6) July 14, 2020
Dear Senators men, what is preventing you from looking like this: pic.twitter.com/0aaxpm4mRq
— Bonk’s Mullet (@BonksMullet) July 14, 2020
Celebrating at Sandbanks the Sens return to 2D. pic.twitter.com/3XtGAc8v4O
— Devin Stratton (@ladsdeev) July 14, 2020
— Kevin Lee (@BringBackLee) July 13, 2020
Just gonna leave these here… pic.twitter.com/uskPWW0pZw
— Locked On Senators (@SensCentral) July 13, 2020
overall i’m super excited the sens are going back to 2D. that logo was awesome and was worn by so many great players over the years. will definitely be buying one.
— brochenski (@brochenski) July 13, 2020
If the Senators can combine the rebrand with a great 2020 draft, locking up Brady Tkachuk long-term, and use their plethora of salary cap space to enhance their rebuild, it will bring some much needed excitement to the team. Something that hasn’t truly existed in Ottawa since they made their playoff run in 2017.
It is common to see NHL players switch sticks, wear new gloves, change their skate laces, something to get themselves back on track if they’re having a rough game. In a grander scale that is what this rebrand could do for the Senators.
They’ve had a rough few years. Only the Detroit Red Wings have had a worse points percentage than the Senators over the last three seasons. There has also been a lot of drama. Owner Eugene Melnyk has threatened to move the team and fans protested against him. The Senators also have had four CEOs in three years, parted ways with their charity, they weren’t able to negotiate for a downtown arena, their former assistant general manager pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment, and multiple players have been caught in a leaked video criticizing their assistant coach. They have also traded fan favourites such as Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone.
The players, management and fans need a reset. A jersey switch could be the mental reset everyone needs to move on from the past and look ahead to the future. Now is the time to do it.
Ottawa has a plethora of young prospects. And many of them like Drake Batherson, Logan Brown, Joshua Norris, Alex Formenton, Rudolfs Balcers, Christian Wolanin and Erik Brannstrom could be ready to jump full-time into the NHL next year. However, it is unlikely there is room for all of them. The Senators also have no more big names to trade from the old-guard. The dark parts of Ottawa’s rebuild might be behind them. That is why now is the right time to switch jerseys.
The Symbolism of the Black Jerseys
The Senators wore their black jerseys through most of the 1990’s decade. During that time they missed the playoffs for four straight years from 1992-1996 but in 1997 they finally made it and didn’t miss the playoffs again until 2009. Even though they were terrible for a few seasons, Ottawa built up a young core of players such as Daniel Alfredsson, Alexei Yashin, Wade Redden, Chris Phillips, and Marian Hossa who led the team from being a rebuilder to a contender.
That is what the current Senators are trying to do. So it is symbolic that they’re going back to their black jerseys because the only time in the franchise’s short history that they have done this type of roster construction was while they were wearing those jerseys.
However, it would be more symbolic if they went with the 1995-99 black jerseys with the white stripe on the arm, because that is when they started to get better. With all of their promising young prospects, they should work on making significant improvements in the next year or two.
Pending approval from the NHL, the Senators will go with black jerseys with the two-dimensional logo. This Ottawa Senators rebrand has gotten the fans excited, which has been a rare thing during these past few years. The Senators and their fans will be hoping that their new jerseys will signal a new and brighter era of Ottawa Senators hockey.