As I look around at our sports kitchen, there is a lot of stuff. There is a Chicago Blackhawks sticker, Detroit RedWings, Chicago Bulls, several Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rays, and Storm items… but it is mostly Tampa Bay Lightning memorabilia. My mom’s reaction upon her first visit was “Oh my gosh, it looks like the Ice Palace threw up in your kitchen.” Looking at our Lightning Championship wall is like taking a walk through history. There are several kinds of Bolts logos all bunched together. There are the alternate logos, but the main three reign. Of the main three, I have to say the middle logo is the one that sticks out the most as the ‘coolest’ to me. I think it looked sharp, and was by far, the best uniform. (Then again I still really liked the first alternate uniform with the lightning raining fire on it. Everyone thought it to be ugly, but I loved it. I’d give anything to have one for our collection! If you’re donating, a Brian Bradley would be nice!)
Out of all of our jerseys in our collection, again, the middle logo looks the best. The silver patch behind the sharp lightning bolt against the black material, the victory stripes… oh yes. Very nice. But I have to ask, was that logo cursed? I was a big critic of the new uniforms. If I don’t have my glasses on and I’m watching a Tampa Bay VS Toronto game, I can only tell the difference between the two teams by who’s wearing white or blue. The old school wide stripe and the plain and simpleness of the uniform I just didn’t go for. But after seeing it for an entire season, I have to say that I like it now.
Why do I think the logo is cursed? What really happened during those years that was good? Ok, yes, the Lightning signed Steven Stamkos. But we also suffered through ‘OK Hockey’ in a era that is commonly joked and nicknamed ‘Lawton’s Legacy’ or ‘Koules’ Kinks’. The original uniform was unveiled on March 25, 1991. It was first worn on October 7, 1992 and it was last worn on April 8, 2001. Yes, that’s right. Not 2007, but 2001. The first changed uniform was worn on October 5, 2001 where they actually darkened the blue to make it stand out more. It was the same logo, however. The first logo was worn from 1992 – 2007. In those years the team saw some amazing times. They were birthed, went through 2 temporary dwelling places before finally being able to call the Ice Palace, currently known as the Tampa Bay Times Forum, home. They had several playoff runs. They won the Stanley Cup! Phil Esposito, John Tortortella, Dan Boyle, Jay Feaster.. they are just a handful of the names that passed through under the first logo. Keeping the original logo, the organization played around a bit with the style of the uniforms. In 1993-1994 the name and number was italicized. In 1995-1996 and 2009-2001 the name and numbers had a different font, and the name was arched.
On August 26, 2007, a newly designed by Reebok jersey with a new logo was unveiled. From 2001-2007 fans were complaining that the font of the original logo was unintelligible, so the Lightning took the opportunity to change the logo and uniform all together. It was first worn on October 4, 2007 and last worn on May 27, 2011. In the 2007-2008 season, the Lightning came in dead last. …Coincidence? That season and the following two they did not even make the playoffs. Though the old logo was worn through the amazing 2010-2011 season, the new logo was unveiled on January 31, 2011. It was around then that the team really started turning around. Throughout the playoffs of 2011 the team continued to wear the middle logo, but the new logo was being pushed on most merchandise.
The newest uniform, designed by SME Branding, was worn all through last season. Though many think that last season was a failure, I do not. As head coach Guy Boucher reminded us, they set a franchise record for home wins. Steven Stamkos had his 60 goal year! In a team bound by ridiculous contracts from former mismanagement, the current management is doing their best to put the pieces together and rebuild. For a rebuilding year, last year was a heck of a year. I am looking forward to next year, providing there isn’t a lockout due to the CBA mess.
Though I do think the middle logo looks the best, let’s move on to the new, vintage look. Maybe it’ll bring some luck to a very superstitious sport. -and just for the record, I don’t think they should have removed the old rug from the locker room. They should have kept the famous one from Dave Andreychuk‘s lectures on walking on the logo.
Just another day in hockey paradise,
@HulaDolly @BoltsByTheBay @FanSided