Junior hockey team logo unveiled

Published 10:21 am Thursday, March 4, 2010

Craig Patrick wants people to know that the Austin Bruins junior hockey team will not be an exact replica of its namesake, the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins.

To that end, the owner of the new Austin franchise, which will begin play in September in Riverside Arena, unveiled a logo Wednesday evening that departs from the design used by the 86-year-old Beantown bunch.

The Austin Bruins’ primary logo is a front-on image of a fierce brown bear, with teeth exposed. Above that, the words “Austin” and “Bruins” are wrapped around the bear in a two-tone style. A bruin, of course, is another name for a brown bear.

Patrick, who did acknowledge that the team will share black and gold colors with the Boston franchise, said his team’s style will ultimately be its own.

“We will not wear replica (Boston) Bruins jerseys,” Patrick said. “They will be our own look.”

The most significant change from the Boston design is the shift away from a circle logo with a single letter inside. The Boston “B” is an iconic image, and Patrick said his team would not replicate that as a primary logo. However, the owner did say his team may use an “A” inside a circle as a secondary logo.

Patrick said the team’s name, which was announced Monday following a naming contest last week, is certainly a nod to the historic franchise. But the owner also said bears are an important part of the early history along the Cedar River, and he said that point will be emphasized during games.

“We are (paying respect to the Boston Bruins),” Patrick said, “but we also don’t want to copy everything they do.”

Austin fans, however, have not been overly receptive of the name. An unscientific poll conducted by the Austin Daily Herald showed that, among 272 people who have cast votes so far, only 13 percent said they liked or loved the moniker. Thirty-eight percent said they “can’t stand it.”

Those opposed to the name generally cited lack of originality and a lack of connection with the area as their points of contention.

“They should have something more to do with Austin, a little less to do with Boston,” local business owner Bob Ford said Monday.

Added Austin salesman Rich Bergstrom: “There are probably better names out there.”

However, Ford and Bergstrom said they were ultimately just happy to see a team on its way to Austin and would likely attend games no matter the name.

Other fans, like retiree Linda Halvorson, said they didn’t care what name was picked — they were just glad to see junior hockey back in town for the first time since the Mavericks left in 1985.

“I just love hockey,” she said. “I don’t care what they call them.”