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PWHL shares inaugural jersey designs for its 6 teams to lukewarm reviews

With training camps set to open on Wednesday, the PWHL released its jersey designs for its upcoming season, though not everybody is a fan.

The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) shared inaugural jersey designs for its six teams on Tuesday, and reviews are tepid. Considering how underwhelmed many feel, it’s a relief that most signs point to these "cookie cutter" designs being temporary.

The PWHL’s first season is expected to begin in January 2024.

Per The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian, the six teams (Boston, Minnesota, Montreal, New York, Ottawa and Toronto) all have dark and light jerseys with the city/state names displayed diagonally, reminiscent of the popular New York Rangers design. None of the six designs feature a logo or team name beyond the market they play in.

The league has also provided a complete list of each market’s color scheme.

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Boston: Forest Green, Grey, White.

Minnesota: Purple, Black, White.

Montreal: Burgundy, Storm, Sand.

New York: Turquoise, Navy Blue, White.

Ottawa: Red, Storm, White.

Toronto: Blue, Black, White.

The PWHL also notes that Canadian Tire will have ads on the shoulders of the Canadian teams in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Inaugural PWHL jersey designs may be temporary

It's notable that much of the messaging surrounding the announcement hint at these designs being temporary.

“Our original six teams proudly represent some of North America’s most-passionate hockey markets,” PWHL Advisory Board member Stan Kasten said. “As we build our foundation and grow together this inaugural season, it’s important that our markets be a focal point of our identity.”

Although designs with more personality, and ideally logos, are sure to be in the cards down the line, there's also a sense that the league missed an opportunity to make a more dramatic first impression.

Team logos, branding still a work in progress

Often, jerseys look bland in a design document but “pop” more on an actual hockey player. Some of that is true with the PWHL designs.

Trademark filings don’t always translate to finalized team names, so it’s unclear if any of Boston Wicked, Minnesota Superior, Montreal Echo, New York Sound, Ottawa Alert or Toronto Torch will stick.

On the positive side, Boston’s choice of green drew some praise.

Although Sports Logos’ Chris Creamer ranked among those wondering why the designs were rather uniform and lacked logos or team names, he did praise the color schemes for Boston and New York.

Ultimately, the league invited criticism with what felt like a half-baked rollout, but it shouldn’t take away from the on-ice product.

The PWHL’s six teams completed a draft on Sept. 18, with Taylor Heise going first overall. Each of the six teams already selected head coaches and GMs. As much as the league’s branding feels like a work in progress, other key elements are locking into place.