The Ottawa Senators Jersey Debate

OTTAWA, ON – JANUARY 11: Thomas Chabot #72 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Montreal Canadiens at Canadian Tire Centre on January 11, 2020 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Right away it must be acknowledged that any article written about the Ottawa Senators, the NHL, or sport in general is going to seem trivial at best during the current global pandemic but as we said the day after the NHL suspended the league. We want to try to continue offering Sens content to take our minds off of the unprecedented and troubling situation we are all going through.

On March 12, 2020, the jersey and logo watching website Icethetics updated its page about the plan for an Ottawa Senators re-branding. This has been something that fans of the Sens have been clamouring for some time. While fans were satiated a bit with the addition of a red alternate for the outdoor game against the Montreal Canadiens on December 16, 2017, the team has continued to trundle ahead with what many see as a tired design with a logo that is past its expiry date. Full disclosure, I am on one of those fans. I’d love to see the current 3D “Senturion” relegated to the dustbin of Sens history.

The thing is that the revolving door in the C-suite of the Ottawa Senators organization has left a lot of this “re-brand” up in the air. As Icethetics says on its site, “Many in Senators leadership positions have spoken publicly about plans to re-brand the team. Subsequently, each of them eventually left the organization. So I don’t have a clue what is actually going on up there.”

The most recent CEO, Jim Little, spoke about a re-brand as well, but so had Aimee Deziel and Nicolas Ruszkowski so fans who want some change really have no idea what is going on.

So what should the team do? Here are the two main (and most debated) options

The Heritage “O”

The “O” was first seen on a Sens jersey in the team’s 20th anniversary season as a throwback to the far more successful iteration of the team from the first half of the 20th century. It was immediately hailed as a beauty and is still seen as one of the best alternates in the league and to some, better than many teams’ normal kit.

This jersey was given a gorgeous partner in the Heritage Classic played against the Vancouver Canucks on March 2, 2014. While there was debate about whether or not the team should have opted for “pure” white instead of the “heritage” white, there was very little debate the team had hit a home run on the design.

The team had a white and a black “Heritage Set,” leading some to guess that a decision would one day come that the team would switch to them full time.

The red heritage jersey discussed earlier left many disappointed that something a bit more “creative” wasn’t chosen for a game in the spotlight like the 100th anniversary Heritage Classic, but the jersey has grown on many fans and you can spot several fans wearing them this season, a reality helped by the team’s decision to wear them at home regularly.

The O jerseys also happen to be the design template used for the Senators’ AHL-affiliate Belleville Senators, which has created an awkward situation where the farm team has a crisper set of jerseys than the big club.

Throwback 2D

There has always been a number of Sens fans who have kept the original logo from the 1990s and early 2000s in their hearts. Nostalgia has seen many more fans express a desire to bring back the 2D logo in some capacity, but this support really swelled during the alumni game on the Heritage Classic weekend in 2017.

It was something pretty special to see some of the Sens old heroes on Parliament Hill with the old 2D jerseys on and it had fans itching to see some of their new stars rocking a crisp OG jersey.

On March 13, 2020, Sens fan and Twitter user “Everday Sens” tweeted out their concept for an updated 2D jersey, using the new Adidas template. Everything about the jersey is slick, from the simple striping, the decision to use the “Ottawa Senators” lettering on the helmet instead of the laurels that replaced the writing in the 1997-1998 season.

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It is, admittedly, hard to deny that seeing Thomas Chabot or Brady Tkachuk donning a jersey like that would get many excited.

So, what does the team do? Do they go with a set of the O as the mains and the 2D as an alternate? Do they switch back to the 2Ds as mains with the current O or a new version of it as the alternate? Do they get something else entirely or do they leave them as is?

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The final twist is that Icethetics also reports a potential “Fourth Jersey” of some kind in the works, that it says could be a “throwback jersey” beyond the teams’ alternates. Whether or not the current financial situation and willingness of the team will allow for this is something to keep an eye on, but hopefully, there is a lot to look forward to when it comes to the teams’ visual identity.

Comment below with what you want to see the team move towards.

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