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10 Greatest Defunct NHL Logos of All Time

Gerard MartinCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2012

10 Greatest Defunct NHL Logos of All Time

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    After taking a look at some of the worst NHL logos, I wanted to put a positive spin on things.  A buddy of mine suggested a retrospective on the greatest NHL logos no longer in use.

    The library is extensive; it was tough to narrow it down to just 10.  As with before, I stuck with only primary logos, no alternates. 

    These are just the classics—all looks that I would love to see make a return in one way or another.

    Thanks to the good folks at sportslogos.net, here's the list.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks: 1994-2006

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    This one is all sentimental for me.  Anything that evokes the greatness of Gordon Bombay, Charlie Conway, Adam Banks and the Oreo Line absolutely deserves a spot on this list.

    This logo is a portrait of mid-1990s childhood, when Disney was making so much money that it decided to buy a hockey team, and I spent hours in my driveway honing my knucklepuck technique.

    It's not an everlasting design, but it earns a spot on this list because it's absolutely the pinnacle of the teal and purple era, when logos became cartoons and ill-tempered ducks jumped through hoops of fire.

Colorado Rockies: 1977-1982

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    The Colorado Avalanche weren't the first team to take the ice in that great square state out West.  Back in the late 1970s, and after a flurry of team movement, the NHL relocated the floundering Kansas City Scouts to Colorado.

    This is a wonderful logo, a classic homage to its home state that looks even better when compared to the silliness that represents Denver's baseball team of the same name.

    However, if for some reason you doubt the validity of the Rockies' inclusion on this list, consider that this guy coached them, and decided that the best way to draw fans was to play by the motto: "Come to the fights and watch a Rockies game break out!"

Detroit Cougars: 1927-1930

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    Before the Detroit Red Wings became the greatest American hockey franchise, they were the Detroit Cougars, represented by this shielded spin on the Detroit Tigers' Olde English D.

    I have no complaints with this logo's replacement, the iconic winged wheel, which has remained unchanged for over 60 years.

    However, it was great to see the Red Wings bring back this look for the 2009 Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Hamilton Tigers: 1922-1923

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    Hamilton, Ont., has often been mentioned as a possible NHL expansion site.  Detractors point out that its proximity to the territory of the Toronto Maple Leafs could make it difficult for Hamilton to draw fans.

    True, the Maple Leafs are an established juggernaut in the area, but there exists a dormant fan base nearby.

    Before the Panthers, Coyotes or Predators were even a misguided twinkle in Gary Bettman's eye, there were the Hamilton Tigers—the first NHL franchise to introduce jungle cats to the ice.

    The Tigers had some mild success in the 1920s, but by far the most interesting piece of Hamilton Tigers' history is the player revolt of 1925 when Hamilton players staged the first strike in NHL history.

Hartford Whalers: 1980-1992

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    There's no defunct NHL team that I miss more than the Whale, if only for the fact that it gave little old Hartford, Conn., a professional sports team.

    The team name is genius, and the logo is a beautifully clean take on it.

    The Hartford Whalers logo always looked great, but never looked better than on the back of Gordie Howe when he played 80 games for Hartford in his final NHL season at 51 years old!

Minnesota North Stars: 1980-1991

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    The Dallas Stars did, and have continued to do, a very nice job of adapting a later version of this logo for their purposes.  However, their current emblem has nothing on this classic.

    It's simple, features the seldom used green-on-yellow color scheme, and visually shows the team name with just one letter.

    Although it's rather disheartening to see the depths to which Minnesota's professional hockey logo has descended, I do really like this new logo, with a slight detail that was certainly inspired by the North Stars.

Montreal Maroons: 1925-1938

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    The Montreal Maroons have one of the most classic logos from back in the days when hockey sweaters were, in fact, sweaters.

    It's simple, it's understated, and with just one block letter, it conveys both the city and team name.

    The team was created to appeal to the English-speakers in Montreal, and while it's tenure was short-lived, the Maroons were certainly an on-ice success, winning two Stanley Cups in their brief history.

    Perhaps more impressively, they made this happen.

Pittsburgh Penguins: 1972-1992

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    This classic Pittsburgh Penguins logo is cartoonish, but in the right way.  It's playful, just a little bit silly (look at his cute little hockey gloves!) and doesn't try to be intimidating.

    Look, I'm as happy as anybody that the Pens brought most of this logo back, but that doesn't excuse them for this horrific blunder.

    Yes, the new one is very similar, but the slight change of replacing yellow with gold separates the Penguins from the rest of Pittsburgh's professional sports teams.

    The Steelers and Pirates have stuck with the black and yellow color scheme; the Penguins need to come back to the herd.

Quebec Nordiques: 1980-1995

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    Apparently, the Quebecois prefer their sports logos to be red, white, blue and rather odd looking.

    The Nordiques' logo is classic and simple, perfectly designed to adorn a hockey sweater and nothing else.

    The idea of the NHL returning to Quebec City has been floated around and I, for one, would love to see it happen.

    The Nordiques' fan base had to go through something that no sports team ever should, watching a team grow up, only to see it leave for another city and win a Stanley Cup in its first season there.

Vancouver Canucks: 1993-1997

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    To be completely honest, I hated this logo when it originally existed. 

    I rooted against the Vancouver Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals solely because I thought this logo looked like it came off of a sledding hill at Chernobyl.

    Since then, I have gained perspective.

    Yes, this logo is still a bit odd, but after seeing the Canucks' current Shamu-inspired selection, I'd love to see it come back.

    In terms of uniqueness, there aren't many that can match it.

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