The Professional Women’s Hockey League unveiled the uniforms for all six of their inaugural season teams this morning, and, well, it’d be tough to pretend it wasn’t disappointing.
Each of the clubs uses the same templated look across the front of their sweaters — the name of the market laid out diagonally (New York Rangers style). That’s it. There are no team names, shoulder logos or designs aside from a Canadian Tire advertisement on the Canadian clubs. Each market gets an exclusive colour scheme, all borrowing from other pro teams from the region, and there are some variations on striping — and, yes, I’m thankful we at least got that.
In their release, the PWHL suggests this is a special one-year-only tactic in honour of the league’s inaugural season (phew), and like the NHL, each club’s dark uniform will be worn at home, and the lights on the road.
We already had a sense of primary colours for each market, but the additional colours are all new to us. Here’s the colour breakdown per team:
Boston: Green, Silver, White
Minnesota: Purple, Black, White
Montreal: Maroon, Dark Grey, Beige
New York: Teal, Navy Blue, Silver, White
Ottawa: Red, Dark Grey, White
Toronto: Blue, Black, White
Why did a brand new league go so basic for a series of teams trying to find a place in already crowded markets?
“Our original six teams proudly represent some of North America’s most-passionate hockey markets,” Stan Kasten, PWHL Advisory Board member, said in the press release. “As we build our foundation and grow together this inaugural season, it’s important that our markets be a focal point of our identity.”
That’s a reason, sure. You could have also gone all-in on the market while changing up how the market name is presented too — in addition to diagonal, you can go arched, scripted, roundels, giant initials; I mean, there are more options out there.
Perhaps the PWHL just ran out of time when assembling a robust branding package for each club. Indeed, a club would make a much more significant impact if they were to blow us all away with a fantastic logo, name, and sweater package. The PHF gave us the Boston Pride with one of the best logos in all of pro hockey. Though its name was silly, the Toronto Six had a strong logo and colour scheme that would’ve stood out in Toronto if it had been given a real chance to make its mark. I’m hoping this decision was that they didn’t want to rush this, seeing that you only get one real shot at a first brand and wanting them to be as strong as possible — that’d be acceptable and would give us something to all look forward to in year two. Anything rather than legitimately thinking a series of nameless, logoless uniforms was the best way to launch the league.
Now, with all that in mind, I’m still a fan of those Boston and New York sweaters, though I wish Boston didn’t go with the diagonal lettering on the front. The colours and striping for these clubs are bright and eye-pleasing, allowing them to stand out from the rest of the other four teams.
The PWHL will drop the puck on their inaugural season in January 2024.
Here’s each of the team’s uniform graphics, provided by the PWHL: