The Maryland Black Bears are Maryland’s only major junior hockey team. A part of the North America Hockey League (NAHL) since 2018, the Black Bears practice and play their home games in Odenton at the Washington Capitals’ former training facility, Piney Orchard Ice Arena, which has been appropriately nicknamed The Den.
After their first two full seasons in the NAHL, the Maryland Black Bears decided to redesign their current jerseys and the result is an even more Maryland-y design than before.
“We wanted something a little more bold and different,” Brandon Gotkin, an assistant coach for the Black Bears, said in an interview. “Maryland has a unique and great state flag that we wanted to incorporate into the design. The yellow (alternate jersey) is great because not many teams, if any, have a yellow jersey.”
According to Gotkin, the organization met several times about refreshing the original design during the regular season and came up with several ideas that they wanted to pursue.
“From there, our league partner, K1 Sportswear, helped bring this to fruition,” Gotkin said. “The process of making the jerseys took about two months, with a few smaller adjustments throughout this time.”
The Maryland Black Bears jersey concept
Months later, Gotkin debuted the finished product and his players’ new jerseys on June 22 in a tweet.
The original Black Bears jersey came in white and red, featuring a circular crest. The Maryland flag was featured as a shoulder patch and highlighted in black, yellow, and red.
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The new jerseys are sleeker and relegate the circulate crest to the shoulder. The new logo is a silhouette of a bear roaring, which is outlined with red and yellow borders. The black-colored jersey features a Maryland flag stripe at the waist and arms while the yellow alternate aligns with the bear logo.
“As you can see it’s very bright and we believe not only our fans but fans of the game will enjoy these unique jerseys,” Gotkin said. “Our black jerseys are very sharp as well, and very popular with our players, as well as the fans.”
According to Robyn Remick, the president of the Black Bears, the team will sell replica jerseys on August 3. “We’ll reach out to our fans to ensure we get the sizes they want,” Robyn added.
— MBBPrez (@RemickMrs) July 21, 2020
Tuesday, the NAHL held its 2020 Entry Draft as planned and the Black Bears made six selections. In the third round, the team selected Kevin Scott, a six-foot-three defenseman out of Ashburn, VA. Scott will join several Maryland natives on the team as well as Mikhail Gonchar, the nephew of former Capital Sergei Gonchar. Black Bears’ training camp is scheduled to start in August.
According to head coach and general manager Clint Mylymok, “it is business as usual” in terms of preparing for next season, but when and how next season will happen is yet to be decided due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We do not have all the answers yet, and usually we wait for direction from our NAHL office,” Mylymok said. “We expect many players from last year’s team to return, and look forward to playing this season. How the season will unfold, still remains to be seen, but we certainly hope to have some positive news to announce to our fans at some point.”
But when they do, the Black Bears will take to the ice in new jerseys that every Marylander can truly appreciate.
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