As the SHL prepares to take the ice for its 2019 season, several teams are announcing updates to their uniforms. The list of changes isn’t as extensive as last season, when there were two new teams and four other clubs with new or modified looks. This time around, however, there is one team – the Hamilton Pistols – that has completely overhauled its look, with a new logo, color scheme, and uniforms.
“Last year, our team showed that it was ready to be a rising power in this league,” said Pistols owner Cory Blackwood, Jr. “Now we’ve got a fresh, up-to-date look that matches our fresh young roster.”
The Pistols’ logo has evolved over their tenure in the SHL. The original logo prominently featured the silhouette of a handgun, a controversial choice that drew protests from gun-control groups. Possibly as a result, the team began de-emphasizing the gun as a design element, increasingly featuring a secondary logo consisting of the letter “H” superimposed over a red maple leaf. The team claimed that this logo was designed to highlight the team’s Canadian identity. However, that logo earned the ire of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, who threatened the Pistols with trademark action.
“We wanted something simple, clean, and modern-looking,” said Pistols GM Marcel LaClaire. “Our old logo had kind of a ’70s Starsky-and-Hutch type of appearance, especially with that mustard yellow. It was a little dated, and not suitable for today. We found ourselves asking, ‘When our team wins the Vandy, do we want to be in these uniforms?’ We quickly realized that we did not.”
The Pistols’ new uniforms pay homage to their previous look, while still providing a major departure. Red is still Hamilton’s dominant color, but the secondary color has gone from mustard yellow to black. The uniforms still have a contrasting color band along the shoulders and down the sleeves, but it narrows below the numbers. The stripe at the bottom of the jersey kicks up at the end, as the silver trim has been modified to look like a hockey stick.
“We’re going to look a lot cooler on the ice now,” said Pistols star Steven Alexander. “Our new threads are cutting-edge, cool, and a little dangerous. No one’s going to want to mess with us.”
In lieu of their previous maple-leaf jersey, the Pistols unveiled a new third jersey that’s primarily black. In place of the “Pistols” wordmark that appears on the home and road jerseys, the jersey includes the team’s secondary logo – a gunsight with a capital “H” in the crosshairs.
“I really like the alts,” said D Raymond Smyth. “They make us look like assassins, ready to take out the competition.”
Blackwood said that the team’s new look symbolized a new era of championship competition. “We want our fans to know, and the world to know, that we’re going all in,” the owner said. “We’re expecting big things from the team in the next few seasons. We’re breaking out in a big way, and we want everyone to know about it.”
While the Pistols’ image overhaul is the biggest sartorial news of the offseason, a couple of other SHL teams also announced smaller refreshes:
- The Seattle Sailors are brightening their accent color, going from spring green to a neon green. “Between the Seahawks and the Eclipse,” said owner Gary Blum, referencing Seattle’s NFL and UBA teams, “neon green is a popular color around here, and we thought it would work for us too.” In addition, the team is adding more black to their alternate uniforms, and are dropping the numbers on their sleeves.
- The Michigan Gray Wolves are switching their home and alternate jerseys. Now, their jersey with the wolf-and-moon logo is their primary home uniform, while the one with the “Gray Wolves” wordmark has been relegated to alternate status. “Just looking at our merchandise sales, it’s clear that our fans love the moon logo,” said GM Tim Carrier. “So we figured it was time for us to catch up.” The “Gray Wolves” wordmark remains on the team’s road jerseys, however. Also, the numbers on the back of the home and alternate jerseys have changed from white to red.