The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League turned back the clock over the weekend to honor another hockey franchise from their city’s past.
The Otters donned the jerseys of the Erie Panthers — who played in the ECHL from 1988 to 1996 — on Saturday, December 30, for their home game against the Niagara Ice Dogs.
The jerseys were black with the primary logo the Panthers used from 1993 to 1996 on the front. The logo features the front half of a grey panther inside a lighter grey circle, with a light grey trapezoid containing a hockey stick and the team name in lowercase letters.
The jerseys also had white stripes bordered in grey around the waist and sleeve, and the collar was light grey. The numbers on the sleeves were grey with a black outline and sat on top of the white sleeve stripe. Numbers on the back were white with grey outlines, while names were one-color white.
The jerseys were paired with chrome helmets and black pants shells; the gloves worn appear to be the Otters’ usual navy blue gloves with yellow accents. The socks worn were black with white and grey stripes that matched the jerseys.
Jerseys worn during the game — which Erie won 6-3 — were auctioned off with proceeds going to the United Way of Erie County. Replica versions are available through the Otters’ online store.
The Erie Panthers won the 1988-89 Henry Brabham Cup as the ECHL’s regular season points leaders, but never managed to get past the second round of the playoffs during their time in Pennsylvania. At the end of the 1996 season, the franchise moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and were renamed the Baton Rouge Kingfish.
In 2004, the team once again relocated, this time to Victoria, British Columbia, where they became known as the Victoria Salmon Kings. The franchise ceased operations following the 2010-11 season, making way for the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League.