There has been a lot speculation about the new look jerseys coming to all NHL teams in 2007-08 season. We've already seen the preview courtesy of the past all star game, and there is no reason for traditionalist fears of radical change.
Another piece of speculation has the NHL giving all teams the green light to change colors and logos as part of the new launch. This weekend's Vancouver Sun tries to get a look into the Canucks top secret plans, and speculates about the possibility of the long awaited return of Johnny Canuck.
According to Collections Canada's website "Johnny Canuck, the personification of Canada in early political cartoons, emerged in 1869 as a younger, simpler cousin to America’s Uncle Sam or Britain’s John Bull. Reborn in the image of cartoonist Leo Bachle during World War II, the popular Johnny Canuck was Canada’s defender from the Nazi menace."
The Canucks created the modern image of the hockey stick wielding lumberjack logo used in their original incarnation with the old professional Western Hockey League, but have never worn it in the NHL. Roberto Luongo's alternate goalie mask features the popular character, leading Sun writer Greg Douglas to wonder if that is a hint of things to come.
Though it would be a very popular change, I doubt Luongo had any insight when he had his mask done.
Douglas' article was able to dig up the following quote from an unnamed sports store in North Vancouver:
"Right now we're ordering next year's inventory blindly. All we've been told is that the colours of the uniforms will be blue, green and white, but we don't know what the crest is going to look like. The current killer whale jersey, as we understand it, will be kept in reserve and occasionally be used as a 'classic' uniform."
It appears the Canucks will definitely be going back to their original colours. Whether they keep the original stick-in-rink logo or switch to Johnny Canuck remains to be seen. Another piece of speculation floating around the NHL's new jersey launch is that only home and away jerseys will be used in year one, no alternates. So the corporate Orca Bay jersey is hopefully a thing of the past.
The article has spurred a flurry of internet chatter and artist renditions. At this stage the jersey posted above is likely a speculative vision making the internet rounds, but I'll tell you one thing - I like it!