By Melissa Burgess, GoGriffs.com contributor —
The Griffs will pay tribute to the college’s sesquicentennial, as well as the rich history of the Canisius hockey program, with new retro-inspired jerseys, to be worn at select games this season.
The jerseys, which feature components that mimic pieces of historic Griffs uniforms, were designed by a team of Canisius hockey-aligned community members, including head coach Trevor Large and the Barnett family (Tom, ’79), who also helped design last year’s third jersey.
“Tapping into their creativity was very helpful,” Large said. “They’re alums, they’re friends of the program. They have lots more ideas planned, and this just happened to be the one that we chose this year.”
“We took that [the sesquicentennial] as inspiration, and tried to collect ideas from everything that Canisius hockey has worn,” Large said. “We have a strong history and tradition here, and we tried to showcase that in as many areas as we could.”
The jersey’s design features a primarily “vintage white” coloring; the crest incorporates the arched “Canisius” wordmark, which has appeared on Griffs’ hockey and other athletic jerseys in years past. The retro Griffin logo – carrying a hockey stick – which was worn by the first Canisius varsity hockey team, also appears on the front along with the Atlantic Hockey patch.
Canisius’ sesquicentennial logo adorns the right sleeve of the jersey, while player numbers are printed in a similarly-styled badge on the left sleeve.
Striping along the shoulders of the jersey and on the socks mimic the original socks worn by Canisius’ first-ever hockey team from the 1950s. Brown pant shells, meant to mimic leather pants worn by teams in the college’s history, feature a bright blue and gold Griffin logo in another homage to the team’s history, rounding out this vintage-inspired style.
“We wanted to have an homage to everything that we’ve worn before,” Large said. “We looked for inspiration from lots of different jerseys, and lots of symbols that we’ve used in the past.”
“I’m really proud of what was put together,” he added. “It’s something that’s fun in the game of hockey. We get to do these things, and it’s a little extra-good feeling as we get into a rivalry.”
The Griffs will debut their new threads on Friday night as they kick off a weekend “Battle of the Bridge” series at home against the Niagara Purple Eagles (7:35 p.m. Friday; 4:05 p.m. Saturday).
A big rivalry game provides the perfect backdrop to introduce the new uniforms, but after this weekend, Griffs fans will have plenty of other chances to see the team in action in the new threads over the course of the season.
“These jerseys will be seen a lot as we get into the next month or so, in terms of the home games on our schedule,” Large said. “The next few months, I’d assume we’re wearing them … not every weekend, but close to it.”
For fans and alumni who are hoping to get a jersey of their own: stay tuned.
“We’re working on it,” Large said. “The plan is to do a re-order. With enough buzz, anything’s possible.”
Select Griffs’ game-worn jerseys will also be auctioned off later in the season (likely in February), giving fans a unique opportunity to own a piece of Canisius hockey history while supporting the program.
“This one is special,” Large said. “So, I know the lucky few that will get one, hopefully it’s the lucky many, will wear them with pride when they’re at the LECOM Harborcenter and elsewhere.”
And although this season is still in its infancy, the Griffs crew is already nearly finished designing next season’s third jersey, with Large and company picking out colors and finalizing the details.
“We’re trying to push the limits on what jerseys look like,” Large said. “It’s fun for the guys, it’s fun for everybody that’s worn a Canisius jersey before.”
“Something we want to do moving forward is to keep having an influx of new, fresh, clean, modern jerseys,” he added. “We’re trying to play on our history and tradition as well as what’s new for the program, and how we can move forward together.”