Knights go retro with new theme, logo

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

Those sharp-looking green third jerseys are done.

The London Knights are planning a new look.

For theme and logo, think retro jerseys from the Darryl Sittler days of 1968-70.

And no, the upbeat threads aren't about changing the club's overtime luck in the playoffs.

"We're about tradition," London GM Mark Hunter said at the team's new crest and shoulder plate unveiling last night at the John Labatt Centre. "When we took over the team, we didn't know what that Spider-Man Knight thing was. We wanted to go back to the old look, the green-and-white.

"We wanted to keep that same tradition but at the same time, it's good to bring in a different look for the fans."

The team wasn't permitted to introduce the new style in jersey form yet. The OHL has a new sweater agreement with Reebok so teams have to wait for the cue in early September.

So the designs of assistant GM Jim McKellar, marketing director Geoff Hare, box office manager Krystal Potts and merchandise manager Cindy Hinton are on hold until then.

It's time to revisit which Knights' numbers should be retired next. Mark Hunter has three in mind. "It has to be those guys who helped get us started here early in our ownership," Hunter said. "I'm thinking about Rick Nash and Corey Perry and Dennis Wideman. One of those guys should be the next to go up."

That said, who's going to be wearing the updated gear for the Knights in 2009-10?

Head coach Dale Hunter is pretty sure John Carlson, a top-four American Hockey League defender with the Calder Cup finalist Hershey Bears is gone. The New York Rangers signed blue-line partner Michael Del Zotto so the Knights will wait to see where their personnel lands.

"That's the way junior hockey is now. You have to wait and see who gets drafted where. The NHL needs players. Especially if you're one of the top guys and you go to one of the 14 teams that didn't make the playoffs, they're in that position because they're missing something. They may never come back. But it's not just us. Windsor's in the same situation. Kelowna, at the Memorial Cup, was missing Luke Schenn because he made the Toronto Maple Leafs . . . But our job is still to develop players to go to those higher leagues."

Hunter believes the Knights will have plenty of depth up front. But the goaltending has to be corrected and the defencemen, even if Del Zotto returns, will have to learn quickly under assistant coach Jacques Beaulieu.

London is working on its first pick Scott Harrington. Second-rounder Jake Worrad is in the mix and, next month, the club plans to speak to former draft picks Jared Tinordi and Adam Clendening.

"You get a Del Zotto and he's a guy who can lead the way," Beaulieu said. "He's the one the rest of the guys can learn from his example. It's exciting. A lot of these younger d-men will be put in all kinds of situations, but it's always nice to have someone back there they can turn to because he's already seen everything."

One of the Knights' biggest fights will surround the three over-age spots. Big Leigh Salters, who trains with Danny Syvret and Brandon Prust-approved Dave Moore, wants a crack at wearing one of those new jerseys.

"My plan is to come into camp and win a job," he said. "I want to come in leaner. I'm going to work on my stickhandling, try to get those soft hands."

And if he succeeds, he'll be a sharp dressed man on the new-look Knights.


Videos

Photos