The Florida Panthers will undergo yet another jersey change this offseason, as Adidas takes over for Reebok. Whether it may be minor or detailed is the big question. It could also just be as simple as adding the full stripe across the back.
The Panthers started out in 1993 with just home whites and away reds. Complete with the horizontal red and gold stripe on the bottom of home uniforms, and with navy blue and gold striping on the aways.
The same color stripes for each would run diagonal, along the sleeves as well. As for the shoulder patch, it would feature the sun, palm tree and hockey stick we all grew to love over the years.
The leaping cat was of course the main attraction, resting or “jumping” right out of the middle of every jersey.
In 1998 the Panthers would debut their first alternate jersey. A navy blue base and this time, the leaping cat had a broken hockey stick in it’s claws/mouth. The name layout on the back of the jersey’s would change as well, going from a straight line to an arch over the numbers.
In 2003 the NHL would decide on using colored jerseys at home, the Cats would make the navy blue digs the official home uniform. This turning the white one into the away uniform, the red would become the alternate with the broken stick leaping cat logo.
In 2006 they’d make a subtle change, straightening the names on the back of the jerseys up. They’d ditch the arch and big font and go back to normal.
2007 would hit and Reebok Edge would take the Panthers jersey and give it a more “new school” shake up. Subtracting the classic horizontal, diagonal stripes and leaving one half stripe on each sleeve. They also wouldn’t have the red jerseys as an alternate anymore after the change.
The 2009 alternates, oh boy we’re these ugly like some Pittsburgh Penguins reject jersey. The navy blue, sky blue and white color way was something never seen before and didn’t make sense to a lot of fans.
The only thing remotely nice on these uniforms was the “FLA” patches with a sun on the shoulder. The logo in the middle, yuck. A circle reading “Florida Panthers” outlining just the head of a Panther that seems upset to be on the jersey in the first place.
In 2011 the Cats would ditch the navy blue homes and go back to red, ultimately a great choice. They’d take on the same layout as the navy’s, minus the annoying piping running from the top to the bottom of the jersey.
2016 the Panthers saw their biggest change in team history, retiring the original leaping cat. The new logo, featuring a more realistic Florida Panther in a shield that was designed after the 101st Airborne Division’s.
The uniforms would stay red and white but the former colors would be tweaked a small amount. The red being lightened up a little bit, navy blue not as prominent and the gold is more definitive than the previous “yellow/gold”.
There’s also the laces or faux laces, I guess you could say on the newer jerseys, that the Cats had never featured before.
The uniform would be complete with a stripe going through the logo on the front of the jersey for and along the two sleeves. A Florida Panther can be seen on the shoulder, prowling over the state flag with either the words “Florida” or “Panther” relying on home or away.
It will be interesting to see what changes are made to the Panthers uniforms having just gone through a full re-brand. We’ll find out on June 21st when they’re unveiled at the NHL Awards.