One thing you can always rely on in life is change. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something you are ready for or even care for but it happens. Anytime life can become stale a little bit of a switch can be a good thing. This even applies to professionals sports. All of the time you see franchises changing management, players, city names (I am talking to you Coytoes), arenas, all because they need or want change. The same thing goes for uniforms.
[For Buffalo Sabres Jersey History – Click Here]
[For Colorado Avalanche Jersey History – Click Here]
Entering the league as an expansion team back at the turn of the 21st century, the Columbus Blue Jackets not only had to decide on a name but on a uniform and logo as well. Taking fan votes into consideration, ownership along with help from the NHL decided on the name “Blue Jackets” which is symbolic for their rich history during the Civil War and the Union Army. As a team that hasn’t reached a decade and a half of existence, they have had their share of uniform changes.
Keeping the reasoning behind the name they chose, it was only fitting that red, white, and blue would be the main colors on their jersey. The first installment was relatively basic with the red, white, and blue stripes on the sweaters with red shorts. The first logo in franchise history was “CBJ” on the jerseys crest. The “C” and the “B” are very noticeable but for whatever reason I never noticed the “J” as the hockey stick. After looking at it for about two seconds it is really easy to figure out. The other addition to the logo that I find very cool are the stars on the letters. There are 13 stars which represent the original 13 colonies with one larger star at the top of the “J” which represents Columbus as the state capital.
In addition to the “CBJ” logo, Columbus introduced their mascot named “Stinger”. Stinger graced the shoulders of the first uniform and was dubbed the “Bug with an attitude”. After further investigation, the mascot was chosen to represent the citizens of Columbus.
There would be slight alterations to the width of the lettering and the numbers, but it would stay unchanged for s few seasons.
Hopping on the third jersey wagon, Columbus would add one of their own, but unlike many that came before them this one was actually kind of nice. The main color would be the same but there would be an addition of black on the shoulders and on the bottom of the sweaters. The logo would change from the “CBJ” (which would be found on the shoulder), to the state flag of Ohio wrapped around a giant star. Also on the sleeves of the new third jersey were three larger stars.
Unfortunately for Blue Jackets fan, the attitude riddled “Stinger” would take his last flight during this time span as the team decided to retire him.
With the entire league changing over to the Reebok style, the Blue Jackets ditched the “CBJ” and stayed with the logo off of their third jersey full time. The piping on the top and down the sleeves became a bit sleeker to conform to the new manufacturer’s standards. It remain unchanged until the introduction of another alternate jersey.
2010 – Present
Columbus added their second “alternate” jersey in team history and I have to say, although some won’t agree, I think they got another one right. The color of the jersey changed a bit to a lighter blue with lighter blue stripes on the sleeves and on the bottom. The shoulder would be an off-white color and they would add laces (which is another nice look in my opinion).
The logo for the alternate would change as well to a circle crest with a cannon in the center. “Columbus Blue Jackets” would arch over the cannon and they would keep their signature star for the capital centered on the bottom of the logo. One of the other additions to the alternate sweater which can’t be seen are the words “We fight, we march” which is located on the inside of the collar. Many teams have done that and I am sure the inspirational quotes will continue as teams see fit.
Overall the Blue Jackets haven’t changed all that much but remain one of my favorite uniforms in the NHL.
John Is a contributor with The Hockey Writers covering the Buffalo Sabres. He is also a Senior Writer and Editor at MetsMerizedOnline.