The first relocation in SHL history is official, as the Seattle Sailors are now the Portland Bluebacks. The Bluebacks have already rolled out their logo; this week, they revealed their uniforms for the first time in a meet-the-team event.
The Bluebacks hosted fans and local dignitaries at Portland’s Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, which is the current home of the USS Blueback submarine, for which the team is named.
“I’ve been like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for this moment,” said owner Jared Carmichael. “And now, the moment is finally here!”
The team’s uniforms, unsurprisingly, adopt the same color scheme as the logo: blue, green, and gray. According to Carmichael, the colors are tied to Portland and the Pacific Northwest. The blue represents the Willamette River, which runs through the middle of Portland and is where the Blueback currently rests. The green represents the forests that are central to the region’s identity. The gray represents the submarine itself.
Both the home and road uniforms feature a central element of the team’s logo: a blueback salmon jumping out of a submarine. The salmon has already been dubbed “Charlie Tuna” on social media, because its coloring resembles the famed StarKist mascot.
The uniforms contains an old-school touch: a lace-up collar. Thus far, the Bluebacks are the only team in the SHL with this collar; Carmichael had to negotiate with the league’s uniform supplier in order to make it happen. “Personally, I’m a fan of the throwback look,” Carmichael said. “And the fact that we’re the only ones doing it… that makes it even cooler. I bet some of the other teams will be copying us soon, though!”
The Bluebacks’ unis were a hit with the players. “I think we’re going to be the sharpest-looking team in the league!” exclaimed RW Vince Mango, who modeled the home uniform. “And when you look good, you feel good, and that helps you play good. I can’t wait to see these jerseys all over Portland!”
“I like that it’s a balance between old-school and new school,” said C Napoleon Beasley, who showed off the team’s road uniform. “It’s a crisp, clean, classic look, but it has a couple of more modern elements. And the green really pops!”
Bluebacks GM Taylor Teichman noted that the team was entering a new era by coming to Portland, but promised that their upward trajectory – the team made the postseason for the first time in 2019 – would continue.
“Today, obviously, we’re focused on the new – new city, new unis,” Teichman said. “But we’ve got continuity in the areas where it counts: out front office, behind the bench, and with our top players. And our commitment to being a Vandy-winning organization hasn’t changed one bit, either. And we’re going to prove it to you on the ice very soon!”
For fans who want to see the new uniforms on ice, the Bluebacks have open their season at Willamette River Arena against the Dakota Jackalopes.