Tampa Bay Maple Leafs Uniform

The Tampa Bay Maple Leafs?

One of the few things that the Toronto Maple Leafs currently share in common with the ultra successful Detroit Red Wings is that both team's uniforms consist of only two colours (or one, if you want to nitpick). That's set to change next year, as the Tampa Bay Lightning, now under the management of former Wings superstar Steve Yzerman, have unveiled a new striped-down, blue and white uniform.

So who cares? The Leafs have bigger fish to fry than the loss of this dubious and already shared "distinction." Yes, to be sure. But, here's the thing about these new Tampa uniforms: aside from their logo, they're eerily similar to those worn by the Leafs. As far as hockey terminology goes, "the blue and white" has now become a shifter, a moniker that lacks a fixed reference point.

For his part, Yzerman admitted the rebranding effort was aimed to capture the aesthetic of original six franchises. "The long-term goal is for the Lightning to be an iconic franchise, rich in tradition with championship values and a strong legacy....We're not trying to reinvent the wheel here. We're just going back to the basics of what a hockey uniform is," he said at last week's unveiling.

Yeah, but did you have to take ours? Couldn't you have used a different shade of blue? Tradition is pretty much all our franchise has to cling to. Well, that and some undefined passion that apparently "unites us all." You can't put a patent on a colour, I suppose, but I can't imagine the MLSE brass are too happy. After all, the way the Lightning are playing (currently third overall in the league), they'll probably be the first team in blue and white to win the Stanley Cup since 1967.

What do you think? Is this little act of mimicry worthy of anger on the part of Leafs fans? A sign that the Leafs no longer yield as much power in the NHL? Or just completely irrelevant, like the ever-losing team itself?

Photo via the Tampa Bay Lightning's website.


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