Chuck Chin

Spruce Kings alternates: The Wolf Pack/Rangers influence

 

Grey is not an official team colour of the Prince George Spruce Kings. They’ve used grey on past jerseys but it was never as an official team colour. That’s what makes this alternate jersey unique when compared to the others.

It reverts to horizontal striping along the waist. The Prince George wordmark and jersey number carry over from before but the wordmark changes to red. The shoulders also change from white to red. While it isn’t visible the crown logo remains on the shoulders.

This jersey made me wonder. Were there any teams with a jersey that used a colour that wasn’t an official team colour? It turns out there’s at least two. And one has more in common with the Spruce Kings than the other.

This team has close ties with the New York Rangers organization, in fact, they’ve served as their American Hockey League affiliate since 1997. A team that, like many AHL franchises, bases their look on their National Hockey League parent club. The team I’m talking about is the Hartford Wolf Pack.

The Wolf Pack is named after a class of submarine built at Connecticut shipyards. When they first started playing they based their primary jerseys on the Rangers’ first alternate jersey. It is actually similar to one worn by the Spruce Kings during the mid-2000s.

Because the Wolf Pack based their identity off an alternate jersey, their logo includes grey. It’s not an official team colour, but it is present in the logo.

Image: JerseyDB.Com

This image comes from JerseyDB.Com. Hockey fans collect game-worn jerseys from different players and display them. This jersey is from the user akteon’s collection and was worn by Jayme Filipowicz. I believe this was an alternate jersey as it appears on a game program from the 2003-04 season.

Grey is uncommon

The Wolf Pack striping pattern changed from the jerseys they wore at the time. On one shoulder is an alternate logo of a wolf head on a submarine. On the other shoulder is a logo used by the Rangers on their first alternate jersey.

Image: SportsLogos.Net

Even after the Rangers stopped using the Statue of Liberty jersey, the Wolf Pack still use grey in their main logo. It’s not an official team colour but it’s still present in their primary logo. Meanwhile, the Spruce Kings haven’t used grey as a colour since the mid-2000s

It all comes back to the New York Rangers. That one alternate jersey used grey stripes on the arms and in the logo. It influenced the Wolf Pack who then created the grey alternate above. And all of this results in this Spruce Kings alternate.

Speaking honestly, this isn’t one of my favourite alternates the Spruce Kings have put out. I feel like there could have been better colour choices than using grey. It’s not offensive to look at, but it is dull compared to their previous alternates.

Near the beginning of this article, I mentioned a second team who wore a jersey that didn’t include an official team colour. That jersey’s influence on the Spruce Kings is looked at the next time I explore Prince George’s alternates.