With the Winnipeg Ice wearing the SpongeBob SquarePants jerseys this season, it got me thinking how rich are the teams’ jersey history. Is it the same as when they started? Did they try something that everyone hated or loved? For example, the Philadelphia Flyers’ jerseys have varied from one to another, but they have never lost their classic look. Whereas the Vegas Golden Knights, in their short history, have all sorts of different designs, colours, and textures. So today, I want to take a look at the Winnipeg Ice logo and jersey journey over the years.
1996-1998 – Edmonton Ice
So to start, I have to mention that Kootenay was not the original team. When the WHL expanded in 1996, they actually expanded to Edmonton. They were still called the Ice and had the same logo. The Edmonton Ice only lasted two years before moving to Cranbrook, British Columbia. The Edmonton Ice were also not very good in their short history, with a 31-105-8 record and a -150 goal differential.
The owner of the Edmonton Ice was former league president Ed Chynoweth, though. Yes, that Ed Chynoweth. Ed Chynoweth was the president of the WHL and CHL for over 20 years. The trophy handed out is literally called the Ed Chynoweth Cup. Not only that, but they were the start of Jarret Stolls’ career. Again, yes, that Jarret Stoll. He played parts of 14 NHL seasons and has won 2 Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings. That is just a brief history of the Edmonton Ice.
1998/99 to 2008/09 – Kootenay Ice
The Kootenay Ice started off with these beauties. The inspiration is very clear; it is the Washington Capitals “screaming eagles” jersey. The two are almost identical in design and colour. Personally, I am a fan. The jersey fits very well with the logo, and the Kootenay in the black line is a very nice touch. The logo with the jersey is also amazing. The yeti with a hockey stick is great; the mountain in the background really pulls it all together. The Ice had a lot of success while wearing these jerseys. They had a record of 443-253-32-15 with a +411 goal differential. They also enjoyed 2 WHL championships and a Memorial trophy win. You could argue that they were a top 5 team in the 11 years that they wore this jersey.
2004/05 to 2008/09 – Kootenay Ice Alternate
The alternate jersey that the ice wore for 5 years has a New York Rangers alternate vibe with the Kootenay colours. The “K” in this jersey will make a return later on in this article, but for now, the font on this jersey is iconic. I have not seen a jersey with that style of diagonal font. The jersey is a perfect alternate jersey, especially in this time period; it fits perfectly with this time and also with this time. Good job, Kootenay.
2009/10 to 2016/17 – Kootenay Ice
Now we are moving into more of the modern-looking jerseys. This jersey you can see gives hints of a Colorado Avalanche jersey. The colours are obviously different from Colorado, but the way the arms are two-toned with a third colour separating the two gives off that Avalanche look. The colouring on the side of the jersey is where the similarity stops, but it really makes that blue pop, which is what I think they really wanted. The element that puts this jersey over the top is the font. I have never seen a font like that on a regularly used jersey. In these jerseys, they had everything from a WHL championship to a 12-win season. It was a real Jekyll and Hyde-type era with these. They had a record of 226-238-25-15 and a -226 goal differential. You could say that they started hot and ended ice-cold.
2010/11 to 2016/17 – Kootenay Ice Alternate
I told you the “K” would return. Usually, I do not like the single letter on a jersey, but this works. I don’t know if it is the white shoulders that make it look good or the style of the “K”, but it looks amazing. The jersey being that blue is also nice because they moved away from that with their home jerseys in this jersey era. I honestly am a sucker for black, but the white on this jersey just pops and makes it look clean and crisp.
2017/18 to 2018/19-Kootenay Ice | 2019/20 to Present Winnipeg Ice
The Kootenay Ice is actually the true source of the Winnipeg Ices uniform design. These really finished off the transition from that early 2000s-looking jerseys to the modern style. These are the most obvious with the inspiration of the Los Angeles Kings jerseys.
There are a lot of changes that happened with these jerseys, the first being the switch of colours from blue, gold, and black to baby blue, silver and black. Changing the darker blue to a baby blue was an incredible choice; it just pops off the black on both jerseys. The next big change is the logo, it is a very angry-looking yeti, and I love it. It has the anger in the face and the subtle ice in the shadow of the yeti’s fur. Another amazing factor is the fact that they have two logos, the home being greyed out and the white being, well, whited out. The only thing we can hope for is that they release a baby blue alternate jersey.
So, did you learn anything? I definitely did when I was researching this topic. The Winnipeg Ice jerseys have come so far, and I am so excited to see where it goes next.