-- Hot or not
Should the Toronto Maple Leafs change their uniforms?
@Real_ESPNLeBrun: The Maple Leafs with a new logo next season? That's the news from the website Sportslogos.net (which I didn't know existed, but is pretty cool). The Leafs wouldn't confirm or deny the reports, other than an email from spokesman Steve Keogh saying, "We have plans for our Centennial and they will be announced in the New Year.'' Toronto is also expected to try to host some of the NHL's marquee events during its 100th anniversary year, which also is the NHL's centennial year. (That's the advantage Montreal had, I guess, celebrating its 100th birthday without having to share it with the league itself.) The Leafs will do it well, no doubt, given that team president Brendan Shanahan has the right touch when it comes to connecting with the game's history. Which brings us to the logo and uniform. I guess they can't rebrand themselves the "Toronto 67's" to honor their last Stanley Cup triumph, because the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's might have a problem with that. They will still be the Leafs, of course, but apparently with a new look. This was front-page news in the Toronto Star, by the way, and stirred the passion of the fan base. What say you, gang?
@ESPN_Burnside: Pierre, I will confess that team logos rank right there with All-Star Game formats and where you sit in our hockey pool standings. Which is to say that I couldn't care less. If the Leafs want to put a stylized maple leaf on a bonfire shaped like 1967, I'm OK with that. In fact, I can completely get behind that. I am more interested in whether this team will ever rise up to meet its now self-mocking moniker as the "center of the hockey universe." I get that traditionalists will be boo-hooing all over the place at the thought of the majestic Maple Leafs logo somehow being sacrificed to mark the team's centennial, even though there have been many variations on the maple leaf theme over the years. If this team had a tradition of being anything other than a disappointment since Pat Quinn was the coach before the 2004-05 lockout, I might be able to generate some enthusiasm for what a new jersey might look like. That hasn't been the case, though, and maybe super-prospect Auston Matthews will feel differently when he ends up a Maple Leaf as the No. 1 overall pick next June.
@CraigCustance: My hope is that the new logo is a nod to the one used in the era from the 1930s to '60s. I love that classic look. Plus, maybe a logo change can help put the frustration of the past couple of decades to rest and encourage a fresh start. It's not like the current logo is overflowing with positive memories. If this new logo turns out to be great, I can't even imagine how much more revenue it's going to mean for the Leafs. This might drive the salary cap up all by itself. More importantly, based on the early returns from the Mike Babcock era and the work done by Shanahan, the team representing the new logo might actually be relevant. I'm with Scott, though, in feeling that the more interesting question is just how good the team will be during the centennial celebration. Based on the early returns of some of the kids in the system, it could be a fun year beyond just a logo redesign.
@ESPNJoeyMac: The Maple Leafs' logo, colors and sweaters are among my favorites in the NHL. I'm willing to bet if you poll current players in the league they would probably say the same. I'm also a fan of throwback sweaters from time to time, but a completely new logo for Toronto would not sit well with me. Celebrating the centennial season for the organization will be special, but rebranding the logo and sweater -- if it's done permanently -- would be a mistake. Of the Original Six teams, it seems like the Bruins have changed the most in nearly a century. The spoked B has been the standard for decades, but even that logo has received a facelift over the years. The Leafs, Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens have stayed relatively true to tradition, so I'm against Toronto making any drastic changes.
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