Thursday December 10th, 2015

An $86 million public bailout ensured the Florida Panthers won't be rebranded as the Quebec Nordiques any time soon, but the club will have a whole new look next season.

According to beat writer George Richards, the team will ditch the familiar leaping panther in favor of a new logo and will feature a "new" color scheme that will be "similar" to the traditional red, gold and blue.

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He also says to "expect a horizontal logo (like the Blackhawks, although perhaps in a circle crest) on a horizontal striped sweater (like the Canadiens). The alternate palm tree/hockey stick logo will likely be lost in the transition."

There have been rumors that the organization, which was purchased by Vinnie Viola in 2013, might undergo a name and nickname change as part of a larger rebranding, but Richards was told that would not be the case.

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There's also some thought that the organization, which has close ties to the military, would use that relationship as inspiration for the new look. Although Richards said camouflage has been ruled out, there's speculation that the new crest could resemble the famous logo of the 101st Airborne Division.

The good news is that the leaping panther design, currently one of the best in the league, won't be relegated to history. Richards says the original 1993 jersey is likely to be brought back as an alternate next season.

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