The 2007 Tampa Bay Lightning logo and jersey designs have reached the end of their life. They've never really been reflected upon and rallied around as a symbol of pride, at least not compared to the more memorable logos and uniforms from other franchises around pro sports. The jerseys themselves have been maligned, and only seldom heralded. Heck, my opinion of the black home jersey has been that it resembles a smock. The road whites often get described that way too, but with a little more contrast.
Yet, as I said, the logo and jersey system's collective life is over. With the final game of the 2010-11 Tampa Bay Lightning season in the books, the Bolts effectively retire the uniforms and fully embrace the new. The new primary logo, as most Lightning fans are well aware, has been plastered all over the place since it's January 31st unveiling.
But the next time you see a player dawn a Lightning jersey at a league function (the 2011 NHL draft in Minnesota), they'll be wearing the new sweater, and dawning a cap that has the new logo stamped upon it.
Since the design's inception in August 25, 2007, the Bolts record has been 181-143-50 (a .483 win percentage). They've seen three different ownership groups, huge roster turnovers, and a lone winning season: the 2010-11 campaign.
While the design was cooked up and implemented at the tail end of the Palace Sports and Entertainment ownership group, the jersey system has been tied to ownership changes from day one. In August 2007, before its official unveiling, Absolute Hockey was introduced as a group determined to buy the Lightning. Of course, that group fell apart and OK Hockey bought the Bolts, and then sold the team in February 2010 to current owner Jeffrey Vinik.
The jersey system saw only one playoff berth - the 2011 playoffs - and has a post-season record of 11-7. Even though it's going out with a loss, the 2007 design is going out with a winning record in the post-season.
So we bid adieu to the black and silver, we say "until our next meeting" to the victory stripes, and we move forward once again.