After reading that headline you’re probably thinking Oh no, not again. And who could blame you? The Ottawa Senators, despite being one of the youngest franchises in the league, aren’t short on logos in their history. But if Sens President and CEO Tom Anselmi’s words are to be believed, the Sens could be looking at making another big change in the near future.
Some of the logos they’ve employed have been better than others. We’ll get into each of the looks the franchise has used in its original and new incarnations later, but the overwhelming theme in their quarter century of recent existence has been change. In that time, the Sens have featured three primary logos and 10 different jersey/logo combinations overall.
A History of Change
Developing an iconic brand like that of the Chicago Blackhawks doesn’t happen overnight. On the other end of the spectrum, it doesn’t happen with constant change. Sadly, as alluded to, the Sens have taken the latter approach in their 25 years of existence in the NHL, changing looks almost as often as they have changed coaches.
The most popular of their many looks has arguably been their alternate black heritage jerseys. And although Sens fans have grown tired of their team’s constant design adjustments, the #GoWithTheO movement started by many of those same fans is pushing the team to once again change its logo ahead of Adidas’s takeover of NHL jersey production and subsequent elimination of third jerseys (thus, the end of the heritage jersey).
As mentioned, the movement has apparently succeeded in piquing Anselmi’s interest who, in his interview with the Ottawa Citizen, spoke about the potential for the team to change its look. In the same interview, he also acknowledged fan support for the heritage jerseys but didn’t commit to anything, noting the team’s revolving door of logos.
“Whatever we end up with at the end of the day, we want to stick with it” Anselmi told the Citizen. “We want something that will stand the test of time.”
For an organization that has lacked a long-term vision re: its image and branding for some time now, Anselmi’s words should put fans at ease. Yes, the team would once again have to re-brand itself – something that’s occurred far too often – but the short-term pain of doing so would leave the team in a better position long-term.
Because if there’s one thing the Sens don’t need, it’s another failed logo they’ll eventually have to replace five years from now.
Logos Through the Years
As mentioned, the Sens have put out a plethora of different logos and jerseys since 1992-93, and even in their unrelated, but still noteworthy first stint in the NHL.
1917-18 to 1933-34: During this period – the original years – Ottawa’s primary logo was the stylized “O” that has garnered such support of late. Their jerseys, however, featured a few designs and looks, including a logo-free look for nine of their first 12 seasons – the other three years featuring logos to commemorate their three championships – and using the “O” from 1929-30 onward.
1991-92: An ominous start to their second stint in the NHL, the original concept for the Senators new logo was scrapped before the team even hit the ice. The logo was simply the word Ottawa written out, with the Ts extending upward and connecting to form the iconic Peace Tower from Ottawa’s parliament buildings.
1992-93: After the Hill inspired logo failed, the two-dimensional Roman general was eventually chosen as the first official on-ice logo for the Sens, lasting until the 2006-07 season (at that point used solely on the team’s away whites). Prior to the 1997-98 season the logo underwent a slight change, as the Ottawa Senators wordmark on the right most edge was replaced with laurels.
2007-08: Still their main logo today, the three-dimensional Roman general brought the franchise’s original 3D logo from the ‘90s into the 21st century with a sharper appearance.
1997-98 to 2006-07: As mentioned, the Sens first introduced a 3D logo in the ‘90s, appearing on two different third jerseys in 10 years, as well as their home and away uniforms at different times during this period.
2008-09 to 2010-11: Easily the worst logo – if you can even call it that – and jersey combo in franchise history, the “Sens” monikered third jersey lasted a painful three seasons before the team mercifully did away with it.
2011/12: Thankfully, their next jersey choice was their best yet, as the popular stylized “O” look replaced the ill-begotten “Sens,” even making an appearance (albeit with a colour change) in the 2014 Heritage Classic against the Vancouver Canucks.