Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vanek is one of us

Question: You got new/old jerseys for this season. How do you like the return to the original logo?

Vanek: I think they are very cool and, honestly, I’m glad that the old logo has gone now. For me, our throwback jerseys are the best in the league. I loved the buffalo with the crossed sabres already as a kid. I also think that they made a great job with our new third jersey.

(From his personal webpage.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Success Stories

Whether or not I was really the impetus for change, two of my recent attempts to eradicate the slug have been successful. The first was a request to WGR550's website manager to change out the slug on the puck for something more current. Here is the result:

The second was a request to Andrew at (great website, by the way) to at least change the "2008-" on the most recent slug set to "2008-10". Well, he did me one better:

Now, to see if we can get those slugs off of the Jumbotron ...

Updates: now slugless except some ads, now slugless, and Sabretooth now has a third jersey. We're making progress!

A little perspective on the slug's life.

In a discussion on SabreSpace, I started thinking about the timing of the events in the slugs life. We all know that Reebok played a big role in the design of the slug as part of their vision (which has never been fully embraced by the NHL) for re-branding the league. How much, we'll never know and it's not really an excuse; the Sabres could have and should have said no. However, here, I'm concerned with what happened after. Here's my guess at what happened:

- The Sabres decided that with the new jersey system, they would switch back to the blue and gold for the 2006-07 season, which most fans would agree was a good thing. (Note: that decision likely had to be made long before the 2005-06 playoffs, so it probably wasn't done to cash in on the team's popularity.)

- With "help" from Reebok, they designed and released the slug jerseys, which were met with immediate criticism. Also released, though in "surprisingly" delayed and limited quantities, was a throwback third. That jersey was very popular.

- (Speculation) After seeing the response to the three jerseys (not to mention being under fire after July 1, 2007), they probably realized that they needed to make a change. The league has minimum times for changes, so there would have been some time before the switch no matter what. They also knew that they had a 40th coming up in three seasons.

- Sometime during the 2007-08 season, they decided to release a throwback third in 2008-09 and began working on the design. These things aren't immediate in decision or design, so when you think about when it came out and how long the process takes, this decision was made shortly (one season) after the slug's release. This jersey would be worn for nearly half of the home games for the next two seasons.

- Two years later, the switch is completed with the release of the corresponding whites (and a non-slug third) as part of the 40th season celebration.

So, it seems reasonable that they realized their mistake very early on. They made the decision to start the process as early as the league allowed, but chose to delay completing the process a season (maybe two, depending on how quickly the league would have allowed for switching the second jersey) to correspond with an upcoming important and appropriate (since they are a return to the original logo) franchise event. If that really is the case, then despite the pain of watching the slug for a couple of seasons (nothing excuses its release in the first place), it's hard to criticize them for the time it took to switch.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ding, dong, the Slug is dead ...

(Observation: brand labels on pants for all three uniforms. I believe that the previous third jerseys were all just Reebok shells over the top. Does mean that these are actually different pants or, at least, the normal shell is swapped for each rather than covered up by an outer shell? No navy blue pants poking out of the bottom on the third uniforms.)

T minus 6 hours and counting ...

The slug dies at 11:30 today.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A New Campaign

With the official passing of the slug at 11:30 this Saturday, SabresNotSlugs needs a new mission. I say that it should be stomping out the last remnants of the slug around internet and elsewhere. I have already emailed WGR's internet design person asking that she remove the slug in the puck, but we should all do likewise whenever we find one (no, I'm not talking about beating up fans wearing their slug jerseys or defacing anyone's property; this is purely a passive, non-violent campaign.)

Other known slugs: HSBC jumbotron (perhaps the most important one to change) and the wire frame on

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another sign ...

The prospect camp back in July featured, unfortunately, the slug. However, it appears that was simply because they got the leftovers. Looking a the rookies in training camp shows the practice jerseys are now slugless:

Video here:

Nice goal by Kassian on a great play by Ennis at 0:24. I wouldn't mind seeing more of that combo in the future.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One of the most memorable quotes from the Buffalo News in awhile...

9/9/2010 article

"The primary jersey and logo from the past four seasons -- derided as the "slug" and largely lambasted since its introduction in September 2006 -- has been phased out."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Slug Still Haunts... For Now

According to a news post at WIVB TV's website, HSBC Arena crews are busy painting the ice in preparation for the upcoming season. But sadly, the slug still hangs from the score board.

On the plus side, they've added the 40th anniversary logo to center ice, and is it me or are they painting it in the original royal blue? And dig those stars on the red line!

But come on Quinn. All this effort to rebrand the team, and you still have that thing on the score board? Typical.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My final version

I don't know why, but I had to put up one final drawing, even though it's based on actual, known designs. I guess it's because this is the point of this whole blog. So, here it is, full of Sabres and with no slugs to be found:

A sharper representation of the new white jersey

Dave (DRUTKA), talented designer sent me this to illustrate is a less foggy fashion how the new whites look.

I know, the slug is dead, stop complaining...but I really don't like that bottom stripe pattern and don't know why blue wasn't used to match the old white jerseys. It throws the balance of the jersey off from top to bottom...the yellow does not blend with the blue shoulder yoke. Was keeping the stripe patterns the same as the Navy blue jerseys done as a cooking cutting production cost saver? Is the Sabres creative team over their head or something?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Only a matter of time before the camera phone strikes!

Chris at Icethetics got these up today from someone who leaked the new white road jersey and the new 40th Anniversary sweater. While overall, they look pretty good, the white is not as bold looking as it could be. They might have been better off making the underarms blue instead of silver and making the bottom middle stripe blue instead of the old jersey below with Pat Lafontaine. I gather that uniform cobblers judged that thin navy blue paired with the silver looks better than than yellow and silver for which I think most will disagree. Keeping the striping patterns the same on both home and away jersey makes production costs cheaper too, surely factoring into the design. Carpandean's mock up of the whites with the Navy bottom center stripe look far better than this leaked photo below of the new whites.

BUT...I'm happy with both jerseys and like the return of royal blue and am very glad there is no baseball script wordmark. I'm hoping the text is actually done in off white but the cloudy picture doesn't reveal that. The only question since these are blank jerseys is where on the new jersey, if at all, will be the player numbers...

Larry must be pretty ticked that these got out a week and change early. That's like 0 for 4 in the team keeping new uniforms under wraps statistic.

Overall, I'm actually suprised that the new 40th anniversary jersey wins here in my opinion. I did not expect the Sabres to go along with something that resembles the old Bisons wordmark at all, either not willing to pay the Pastor family for license to use the mark or out of totally oblivion to what the fans wanted. I was expecting a terrific new white jersey and was disappointed with some of the styling, mainly those stripes, leaving it excessively bland and yellow.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Possible leak of new away in NHL11

(Hat tip to Tom Doran )

Probably not 100% correct, as EA's jerseys are rarely perfect, but probably pretty close. It has the blue piping, though looking thick like that silver vertical stripes on the Slug jerseys, that I had on my concept.

So, I'm going with:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Phil asked, so ...

Gentlemen, We Have Details

The venerable Icethetics got a look at the new white away and oft-speculated-upon third jerseys and while he wasn't allowed to post pictures, he did spill the beans in his latest update to JerseyWatch 2010.

The Away Jersey
Since the last edition of JerseyWatch 2010, Icethetics has learned that the Sabres will wear a new road sweater — a white version of the new home jersey. It features a navy blue shoulder yoke piped in gold and a lace-up collar. To my knowledge, there is no shoulder patch on either sweater.

The Third Jersey
We also have new details on the Sabres' new third jersey. It's royal blue and celebrates the history of Buffalo hockey with a vintage white script across the chest inspired by the old Buffalo Bisons club. Beneath the script and set to the right side is the Sabres' 40th anniversary mark — the retro logo with 19 and 70 inside the blue circle.

The striping is somewhat unusual. Both the sleeves and bottom of the sweater feature two sets of yellow double-stripes — for a total of four stripes each around the sleeves an waist, perhaps symbolic of each decade the team has existed. The collar is yellow with vintage white laces.

Not sure at the moment whether the front of the jersey will feature the sweater number. However, the numbers will be vintage white with blue cross-stitching inside, as seen in graphics displayed on the Sabres' website. The nameplate on the back will be gold with royal blue lettering.

I reserve judgement on how the cross-stitched letters will look until I see them in person, but everything else sounds awesome. Comrades, think you guys can pound out come good looking concepts to post?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Couple more concepts

Glen submitted this with inspiration from the red thirds during the 'Goathead' years.

And WD brought this one to real life using the old Buffalo Bisons script on a current third jersey replica. Looks good.

This is getting to put the Sabres in a difficult spot because many of us are setting the Sabres up for the possible ride in their parade float around Failtown. Reason being there have been so many great concepts and ideas already out there for public viewing and now that I know that the 'Buffalo Bisons' script isn't going to be used, I personally expect to be disappointed and maybe others will too when we see the baseball-type script show up on September 18th.