Logos, mascots, and team colors are all extremely important factors in creating a sports team’s identity. There have been some teams that have managed to become far more popular than others simply based on the fact that more people want to wear their merchandise. When the New Orleans Hornets announced that they’ll be changing their team name to the Pelicans they accepted the task of totally reinventing their marketing identity.
Articles by Lucas Di Giovanni
There’s no denying that the annual IIHF World Junior Championship produces some of the most fascinating hockey fans of the sport will see in a given year. Lucas di Giovanni weighs in on all the subtleties within the Federation’s unique rulebook that its more famous counterpart – the NHL – could stand to benefit from.
During the Toronto Maple Leafs’ extended stint outside the playoffs, they made a change at General Manager. After John Ferguson Jr. but before Brian Burke, Cliff Fletcher was brought in to clean up the mess. Instead, the interim GM arguably took a bad situation and made it worse, and the Leafs have been stuck in a vicious cycle of failure ever since.
The Edmonton Oilers are currently sitting atop the standings; a spot they haven’t enjoyed since their dynasty-like run in the 80s. A lot of credit goes to the emerging core of young stars, but some kudos must be reserved for 38-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin, who is enjoying yet another run carrying a team from worst to first.
As several NHL franchises can attest, permanently shaking the “expansion team” tag is not an easy task. Fortunately for hockey fans in Tennessee, the Nashville Predators have battled valiantly to do exactly that. Reliable coaching, consistent player development and a disciplined management staff have put this team on the map.
Time is running out for the veteran Calgary Flames if they hope to capitalize on the fast-shrinking windows of Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff. On good days the aged pair are enough to guide the stagnant club to wins in the tough Western Conference, but they’ll need to find other signs of success if they hope to squeeze back into the playoffs.
Coaching at the National Hockey League level has never been easy, but the roles that individual bench staffs play with their teams have always been largely influenced by the cultures of the organizations for whom they work, almost as much as their production on the ice. Just look at the New Jersey Devils and the culture established by general manager Lou Lamoriello when it comes to the bench boss of the franchise. Since taking the…