Three years ago, led by Tom Gaglardi, we took great pains and spent countless hours developing a new Stars logo.
The result was a powerful, more modern brand image for a franchise that was experiencing the very infancy of a rebirth.
The logo, as it should be, has been plastered ubiquitously throughout the corporate offices in Frisco, on all advertising, in social media and at American Airlines Center downtown. There, at the home of the Dallas Stars, it is on walls and cups, t-shirts and banners. It’s also been woven into the carpet in the middle of the dressing room floor and meticulously painted into the frozen water at center ice.
And it is that logo rendering at center ice that I have issue with.
Not the logo itself - of course not - that thirty-foot wide logo is glorious.
The issue is the same issue I have with 28 other logos at center ice around the NHL: (I believe the Canadiens and Flyers are the only two that don’t fall into this category.) The issue is that the team logo is sliced right through the middle, desecrated, by the league-legislated red center line.
Rules 1.1 and 1.5 in the NHL Handbook state that:
Rule 1 – Rink
1.1 Rink - National Hockey League games shall be played on an ice
surface known as the “Rink” and must adhere to the dimensions and specifications prescribed by the League and these rules. No ice markings shall be permitted except those provided for under these rules unless express written permission has been obtained from the League. On-ice logos must not interfere with any official ice markings provided for the proper playing of the game.
1.5 Lines -
There shall also be a line, twelve inches (12'') in width and red in color, drawn completely across the rink in center ice, parallel with the goal lines and continue vertically up the side of the boards, known as the “CENTER LINE.” This line shall contain regular interval markings of a uniform distinctive design, which will readily distinguish it from the two blue lines, the outer edges of which must be continuous. (Paint code PMS 186.)
I get it, sort of. But it seems the need for such a stickler rule was greatly reduced when the league abolished the two-line offside pass. Since then the only need for the red line has been for the purpose of “icing” (Pucks sent from a players side of that line and either go over or have the potential to go over the icing line at the far end of the rink without contacting any other player and with the opposing team’s player having either won the race to the hash mark or would have won the race to the free puck. Yes, complicated) And I’d estimate that 98% of those “icings” originate with a puck propelled up ice from along the boards, while the other 2% are so obvious it wouldn’t matter where on the width of that side of the ice the puck was sent from.
So why the need for this eyesore of a line through all but a couple of the leagues proud charter member corporate logos? Why?
The NFL has lines on the playing field that are equally integral to their competition, and they have similar verbiage in their rulebook to protect them. Yet…
As you can see they seem to fudge their ideals a little bit in the interest of presenting their “brands” in the best possible light.
College hockey is the same.
They have a rule stating the need for a “continuous red line from boards to boards” and yet...
(Thank you Frozen Faceoff)
If the league argument is that teams are left to their own decisions regarding logo position at center ice (The Stars logo would be a tough fit on each side of center) then maybe they (the NHL) should become more proactive and show a bit more malleability to allow their franchises to showcase their logos in a large, bold, and un-obscured manner.
A team’s logo is a shared source of pride between corporate, players and fans. (Just as the league's shield is; because that shield or crest represents the best hockey league on earth and it is - as it should be - ALWAYS presented unobscured) Individual team logos should NEVER be defiled, debased or dishonored. That’s why jersey’s – even practice jerseys - never hit the floor and why dressing room carpet logos are never treaded upon.
I know its too late for the 2015-16 season but I'm making it my mission to get this unnecessary practice of “striping” the team logos either altered or abolished going forward.
It's an honor and respect thing.
I feel better.
Now lets drop the puck on them.