We continue out ranking of the NHL logos by looking at a team that had to relocate twice before it settled and found success. Once the Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies, the New Jersey Devils come in at No. 18 on our list.
Jersey Devil, you’re up. The New Jersey Devils franchise has been relocated twice before: from Kansas City to Colorado and from Colorado to New Jersey. Through that, the team has had three different nicknames and three vastly different logos, with slight variations made to the devilish look over three decades. The history of this franchise was marred with failure until it finally found success in the 1990s after Martin Brodeur and the neutral zone trap came along. But before that came the Kansas City Scouts, who departed the city after just two seasons, and the Colorado Rockies, who made the post-season just once in their six years of existence and didn’t win a game. The most famous thing about the Rockies may be Hardy Astrom, made famous by coach Don Cherry who dubbed him ‘The Swedish Sieve.’ And Astrom only played two seasons with the team, while Cherry was behind the bench for only one before heading off to start Coach’s Corner. Of course, Colorado did also have the much better Chico Resch in net for their last season in the city before moving to New Jersey. But when I think of the Rockies, I think of Cherry and Astrom – because this team was just terrible. The current Devil design is a clever logo that no one felt tremendously passionate about placing in the top 10, or despised enough to place in the bottom 10, so it fits in neatly to the middle of the pack. Do you think you can come up with a design that would move the Devils logo up in our rankings? Here’s your chance. Send in your Devils logo redesign to email@example.com in whichever color scheme you wish and we’ll run our favorite reader redesigns at the end of our logo ranking rollout. And if you enjoy doing that, why not try
redesigning other NHL logos, too? All logos from
Chris Creamer’s website.
HISTORY OF THE SCOUTS/ROCKIES/DEVILS LOGO In 1967, the NHL began expanding into markets beyond the traditional Original Six. Six news teams were added in ’67, two more in 1970, another two in 1972 and the cycle ended with two more in 1974. The Kansas City Scouts were one of the teams added in ’74, but they didn’t last very long. The Scouts were named after a statue in Penn Valley Park that depicts a Native American on horseback. According to
VisitKC.com the “sculpture was originally created for the Panama-Pacific Expo held in San Francisco in 1915. On its return trip east, The Scout stopped over at Penn Valley Park. Citizens enjoyed the sculpture so much they raised $15,000 to purchase it for the city.” The
Scout statue that overlooks the city was featured in the Kansas City logo. The team was originally going to be named the Mohawks, to bring the border states Missouri and Kansas together. “MO” for Missouri and “hawks” to represent the Jayhawks of Kansas.
For a few reasons, not the least of which was a lack of attendance, the Scouts picked up and left for Colorado after just two seasons. Since the original team nickname reflected a Kansas City landmark, it obviously had to change. The Scouts became the Rockies, named, of course, after the mountainous region. Major League Baseball’s Colorado team also took this name when that league expanded into Denver. The NHL franchise struggled in this market, too. Though they had some noteworthy players in their short history, the Rockies were a revolving door of coaches and players. The team found almost no success, reaching the post-season just once and leaving for the East Coast after just six seasons.
When the team moved for a second time, the nickname again had to change because it no longer made sense for the new city. There were plenty of potential nicknames for the New Jersey team and it was ultimately settled on Devils. But the team isn’t named after the lord of the underworld, rather a mythical creature from the Pinelands that haunted (haunts?) the area. It’s a
piece of local folklore that dates all the way back to the 17th century. The Devils logo has horns, but it’s more clever than that. It has an “N” and a “J” built into it and, if you want, you can even make out a “D” for Devils. The original look outlined and circled the logo with green, which made for a pretty awesome jersey-pants color combination that we see in
throwback uniforms today.
The Devils logo has only changed slightly in its time. In 1992-93, the green borders were turned black (why does everything have to be black!?), which is the look we know today. In the late-90s, the logo was modified only a little bit when the shade of red was darkened.
Dissenting opinion: “What else do you want in a logo? The Devils’ ‘N’ is direct and not over-designed. While it’s probably too strong to call it iconic, the Devils logo is instantly recognizable and I don’t think it’s a coincidence the team has essentially gone with the same look for its entire history.”
Think you can do a better job designing a logo for the New Jersey Devils? Come up with a new look, using whichever color scheme you want, and send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the end of our logo rankings, we’ll post our favorite reader submissions.