Red Wings Abandoning “Hockeytown” Moniker?

With the annual Red Wings Fantasy Camp taking place at Little Caesars Arena today, the world got its first look at the arena’s ice for the 2018-19 season – and it was missing something.

The “Hockeytown” logo that had adorned the center ice circle for the arena’s inaugural campaign (and since the mid-1990s at Joe Louis Arena) was replaced by the team’s standard Winged Wheel logo.

Does this mean that Detroit is no longer Hockeytown?  Well, Hockeytown Cafe remains just a few blocks from the arena.  Hockeytown Authentics in Troy is still open.  However, the “Hockeytown” trademark itself is listed as “cancelled” in the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).

Additionally, the most recent document recorded as part of the “Hockeytown” trademark filing is a courtesy reminder from the USPTO to the Red Wings about required filings that had not been made, dated June 23, 2017.

WARNING: Your trademark registration will be CANCELLED and will EXPIRE if you do not file the required documents below during the specified statutory time periods.

The above-identified registration registered on Jun 23, 1998. Therefore, the owner of the registration must file a Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Nonuse and an Application for Renewal under §§8 and 9 of the Trademark Act anytime between now and Jun 25, 2018. For an additional fee, the owner may file the documents within the six-month grace period that ends on Dec 24, 2018. See 15 U.S.C. §§1058, 1059. The current fee for a combined filing under §§8 and 9 is $425 per class if the filing is made via the Trademark Electronic Application System (“TEAS”) and $725 per class if the filing is made on paper, and the additional fee for filing during the six-month grace period is $200 per class if the filing is made via TEAS and $400 per class if the filing is made on paper. 37 C.F.R. §2.6.

A “cancelled” trademark is not the same as one classified as “dead,” though it would seem to be a sign that the Red Wings are – at the very least – scaling back their use of the mark.

The Detroit News and Free Press initially reached out to the Red Wings regarding the change at center ice and did not receive a response.  A prepared statement was later released.

At center ice, we will debut a fresh, new look: the Winged Wheel, one of the most iconic logos in professional sports, will be prominently featured. Also, in the coming days, several new initiatives that celebrate the fans and passion of Hockeytown are scheduled to be announced.

In the storefront at, the official supplier of NHL merchandise, only two items were returned by a search for “Hockeytown” – both discounted.

It’s worth noting that center ice at the team’s training facility still featured the Hockeytown logo as of Thursday.  Additionally, the team’s statement used the word “Hockeytown” even while confirming that the logo would no longer be in place at center ice.

Personally, I would be fine with the Hockeytown name being abandoned.  I’ve written previously about disliking the name and the logo.

That said, I’d prefer to see the team go back to a pair of Winged Wheels on either side of center ice rather than one giant logo filling the faceoff circle.

Red Wings Sign Larkin to Five-Year Deal

The Red Wings announced on Friday the signing of restricted free agent forward Dylan Larkin to a five-year deal.

Per idiotic team policy, the financial terms of the contract were not announced, but The Athletic’s Craig Custance almost immediately reported the deal to be worth $6.1 million annually.

Larkin will be an unrestricted free agent when the contract ends.

With the signing, the Red Wings have 22 players on their roster for next season and $82,772,044 against the salary cap, which is set at $79,500,000.  While Johan Franzen going on LTIR will save them almost $4 million, those numbers include only six defensemen on the roster, leaving the Red Wings in a bit of a cap crunch, especially if Michael Rasmussen and Filip Zadina are expected to compete for roster spots.

Even assuming that Martin Frk and Luke Witkowski are treated as expendable and are replaced on the roster by Rasmussen and Zadina, the Red Wings end up about $44,000 over the cap without resolving their blueline depth issues.

Shifting Witkowski to defense and sending Frk to Grand Rapids could possibly open a spot for either Rasmussen or Zadina but then Joe Hicketts and Filip Hronek are shut out of a spot in Detroit.

Bottom line?  If any of “the kids” are going to make the Red Wings’ opening night roster, more moves are coming, with Henrik Zetterberg‘s health likely to play a large part in that.

2018 Prospects Tournament Jersey Number Notes

The Red Wings released their roster for the 2018 Prospects Tournament in Traverse City today, which means we have new jersey numbers to over-analyze.

As always, the Red Wings’ official stance is that camp numbers are meaningless, so this all needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  But – as I always say – there are a lot of times that we can read something that hasn’t officially been announced from these choices.

There are only six players who appeared at the Red Wings’ development camp in June who will return with different numbers.

Kaden Fulcher, who has worn a slew of numbers in various camps with the Red Wings, switches from the #60 he had at development camp to the #36 that was worn by Filip Larsson.  Meanwhile free agent tryout Justin Fazio, a late addition in June, goes from #30 to #68.

Those are easy to read nothing into as the Red Wings generally assign #36, #38, and #68 to their prospect goalies.

Grand Rapids Griffins signing Jordan Topping takes the #53 that had been worn by Kaspar Kotkansalo, which probably just means that Kotkansalo won’t be in Traverse City this year and doesn’t need that number.

Free agent invitee Nicolas Guay switches from #20 to the #76 last worn by Chase Pearson.  I think this means that one of the Wings’ Grand Rapids-bound summer signings will wear #20 in camp (or on a call-up) but I don’t know which one.

Finally, there’s David Pope and Christopher Ehn.  Pope lost his #11 to Filip Zadina for development camp this year and wore #45 there but will wear #58 (worn by Griffins forward Luke Esposito last year).  Ehn had worn #45 at last year’s development camp and will now wear the #70 that Jack Adams wore in June.

Both players switching numbers seems to clear the way for goalie Jonathan Bernier to wear his usual #45.  Bernier was originally listed on the Detroit roster with that number but currently does not have a number assigned.

Speaking of July 1 signings, it looks like Thomas Vanek will wear his usual #26 this time around with the Wings.  That’s the number he’s listed with on the team roster but he wore #62 last time around as #26 was taken by Tomas Jurco.  Vanek’s former #62 was worn by Trevor Hamilton in development camp and Hamilton will keep it for the prospects tournament, so it doesn’t look like Vanek needs it.

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