Devils to Become First NHL Team with Advertisement on Helmets

The Devils today announced that they will have ad stickers placed on the players’ helmets for the 2020-21 season. They will be the first National Hockey League team to wear in-game ads during the regular season.

The ads in question are for Prudential Financial, who also own the naming rights to the team’s home arena and have done so since the building opened in 2007. Prudential Financial is headquartered in Newark.

In addition to this, the press release says that the Devils and Prudential will “initiate a new hockey helmet donation program providing new, Devils and Prudential co-branded helmets to diverse youth hockey players in New Jersey.”

Each side made comments about how this benefits both sides (and it does – especially for the Devils and their owners, who are seeing revenue down without being able to operate fully and with fans in the stands) and how both sides are committed to New Jersey.

While that may be true, we are looking at this from a fan’s perspective here. Did we really want the Devils to be the team to open Pandora’s Box and introduce ads onto NHL uniforms?

While the helmet deal by itself is nothing to panic about – it’s just the helmets, should we really worry about that? – you know that it is not going to stop there. I am not saying that in ten or fifteen years, the NHL is going to look like a European league with ads everywhere, but it will look different.

And we will get used to it.

Remember, when teams first began to put ads on the dasher boards, some fans (back in the mid/late ‘80s) took umbrage. Now flash forward to 2020-21. How often do you even notice the ads on the boards? Truth be told, things would look weird with naked boards in a modern arena.

As I mentioned, this is nothing to panic about yet. It’s just stickers on helmets. (Although considering the amount of Devils fans who were upset with the change over from the “DEVILS” wordmark to the logo sticker on the helmets a few years ago, there may well be some need to batten down the hatches).

We will, however, have to keep a keen eye on this. Major League Baseball is about to allow ads on jerseys and batting helmets. The NBA already allows ads on jerseys in-game. The American Hockey League has ads on jerseys and helmets in-game. Even the NHL allows ads on practice jerseys. We know this is a slippery slope and I fear the inevitable.

But time will move on, as new fans are created, they will be 100-percent used to seeing ads on NHL jerseys. And we will get used to it too. Soon a player will look naked without an ad on his uniform somewhere.

Seattle Finally Announces Nickname

The Seattle NHL franchise, the league’s 32nd team, will be known as the Seattle Kraken. The franchise announced the name earlier today in an event at the Climate Pledge Arena, their being-renovated “new” home.

The franchise, which will begin play in 2021-22, also unveiled their team colors and home (dark) uniforms.

The name “Kraken” comes from Norse mythology. It is said to be a large sea beast that lurks beneath the North Atlantic Ocean off of Greenland and Norway.

What, exactly, does that have to do with Seattle, Washington, a city firmly located in the North Pacific, about 3,000 miles away from the Atlantic Ocean? Well, one of their co-owners is film producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series for Disney. The second film in that series, Dead Man’s Chest, featured a Kraken as a main plot device.

Hey, that’s the best I could do, OK?

Anyway, the team colors are “deep sea blue” as their primary and then “ice blue,” “shadow blue,” “boundless blue” and “red alert” as their secondary colors.

The logo features a lone “S” in a nod to the Seattle Metropolitans, the Pacific Coast Hockey Association team that became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup. They defeated the Montreal Canadiens in 1917 prior to the formation of the NHL itself.

The logo is kind of an Olde English style “S,” similar to the Chicago White Sox logo in Major League Baseball. The “S” features a red eye at the top of it and a tentacle as part of the letter.

Their secondary logo is really cool. It features an anchor with the Seattle Space Needle forming the top of it. That will be worn as a patch on the shoulders of the jerseys.

The jerseys and logo were designed by the team with assistance from Adidas.

From now through August 21, according to an article on NHL.com by Nicholas J. Cotsonika, 100-percent “of net sale proceeds … from a bespoke line of merchandise” will be donated “to local nonprofits YouthCare, Community Passageways and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle to help end youth homelessness and create positive pathways and opportunities for BIPOC youth in the Seattle area.”

You can go to releasethekrakenstore.com for more information.

Now, I was not really a fan of the name, as I thought it was a little bit goofy, but the logo really does away with that. The endless puns that can be formed from the name are a headline writer’s dream, but the logo is the real star of this whole thing.

Also, their colors, featuring not one, not two, not three, but FOUR shades of blue is kind of cool. The red in the eye of the Kraken in the logo just makes kind of complements the whole thing.

As a fan of one team named after a mythical beast to another, welcome to the NHL Seattle Kraken!