August 1, 2014

Friday: First Day of August

New month, still no hockey. Oh well, that's what road hockey was made for!

Welcome to the Friday post.

This week, let's look at some hockey songs that make me think of the greatest game on skates. Most of these songs are either from the NHL video game series, Stadiums, Hockey Hall of Fame or just songs that get me pumped for hockey. Obviously, depending on your nostalgia levels, region and such, this list will be different of you, which is why it isn't a top 5 or 10 list, it's just a list of songs that bring to mind hockey

Without further ado...

The entire NHL 2003/2004 soundtracks

Kind of cheating with this one, but they are two of the most popular soundtrax in the series for a reason. The songs are mostly all early 2000's pop/punk with a little alternative and metal mixed in. Some highlights include Sweetness (by: Jimmy Eat World), Sick With You/I've Been Up These Steps (By: Gob), Deny (By: Default), No One Knows (By: Queens of the Stone Age), The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows (By: Brand New), Strong (By: Greenwheel), Pitiful (By: Blindside), Chapter Four (By: Avenged Sevenfold) and Hundred Million (By: Treble Charger). I could list every song, and the whole list could honestly just be these songs, but they all get you pumped for hockey or recall a memory of a fantastic goal (virtual or not).

Old Hockey Night in Canada Theme

It's now the NHL on TSN theme, but really, it's the original Hockey Night in Canada theme. This song is such a staple of hockey, I find it hard to think of watching a game on TV without hearing it. The song spans generations of fans/players/teams and tvs. The theme lets you know, Don Cherry is going to ramble about something for just slightly too long but leave you with a good message, Ron Maclean will but in every once a while, and the two best announcers in the game (Craig Simpson and Jim Hughston) are going to guide you through the play by play.

Training Montage From Rocky IV

I guess this is technically a boxing/workout song, but, just like in Rocky IV, the greatest movie ever made, the cold settings of rural Russia sort of makes me think of the Canadian team in '72 training to beat the Russians on their own turf. Just imagine Tony Esposito using logs as weights and trudging though the 4ft. of snow. The song builds and builds, gaining confidence with an explosion of energy, as the underdog prevails through. To be fair, Tretiak is arguably better than Esposito.

Blitzkrieg Bop 

Even if you don't like the Ramones (shame on you) or haven't heard of them, you've heard this song. This is the definition of a pump up song. Easy to know the words (Hey, Ho, Let's Go), during stoppage in play, this song blares from the Jumbotron and you start telling your team to turn it up to 11. You could easily say that Welcome to the Jungle, Hells Bells, We Will Rock You or Crazy Train would replace this, but this is my personal favourite.

Good Old Hockey Game

Need I say more....

Actually, yes, I do, because HJC has the BIGGEST NEWS IN ITS HISTORY!

As you may or may not have heard, the Grand Rapids Griffins, a team who has had fan designed jersey contests in the past, with amazing results, is partnering with HJC! How awesome is this! THE one and only Grand Rapids Griffins, the most unique identity in the AHL is giving the HJC community a chance to design a specialty jersey.

A Calder Cup winning franchise is asking for your help in designing a jersey!

If you wish to be a part of this amazing opportunity, click the above tab with the griffin on it and read the rules and submit your entry. Also, for updates, follow the Grand Rapids Griffins and HJC on Twitter and well as Facebook.

Just remember, this contest runs until August 31st in its entry phase. There's a lot of time left to tweak and fine tune any details you have with any concepts you've started. If you have concept block, don't worry, there's time.

Thank you to the Grand Rapids Griffins organization!

Also in HJC news, there is obvious voting to be done. COTW doesn't stop just because and AHL team comes to visit, get your votes in!

And finally, the HJC Open enters into the Semi Finals, with every vote meaning so much in a finalist group this competitive. As I said in my vote, this is a hard choice to make, so be sure to make it! It's HJC's annual tournament of champions and a chance to be engraved on the digital Open trophy.

COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals vote (due Saturday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

On to the concepts!!!!


Denver Spurs Concepts (By: Christian L.)

The Spurs were quite the noisy failure of a franchise, even for the WHA, but they still had a solid logo that leaves way for some solid concepts, like this one. Christian makes the Spurs jerseys more exciting, adding brown to the colour scheme, and old west style numbering and his own shoulder patch. The updated logo is a major improvement, still looking of the era, but exciting and colourful. The shoulder patch is a nice creation, though I would have made an orange version for the white jersey to make it more visible. The stitching should stop at the hem striping, but other than that, a really solid concept that makes me want to see some sort of throwback from the Avs. (9/10)

University of Virginia Cavaliers Concepts (By: David P.)

The Cavs currently wear Islanders rip offs with script, which look meh, but why not make something more original. David's concept has the same hem striping error as the concept above with the stitching but everything else is nice. The home and road are simple, like the logo, this pattern is so underused in hockey. The alternate has that amazing alternate logo, and I like the lack of hem striping. Only other complaint is the logos being pixelated. (7.5/10)

Buffalo Sabres Concept (By: Scott B.)

Scott B. continues to improve with this concept, and this is one of his best executed concepts yet. The striping is very similar to the original Sabres socks striping and it looks solid across the jersey. The yoke shape is unique, I've seen this idea done before, but it adds a modern twist to this concept. Scott keeps some of the elements from the current Sabres mess, like the script below the collar and doesn't use a classic block font, and this shows how even a jersey so awful can have good elements. The lack of a name still bothers me though, I'm glad Scott has stopped using ABCDEF, but adding a personal tag or player name shows effort. Still, looking forward to more concepts like this, Scott! (7.5/10)

Calgary Flames Concepts (By: Ben S.)

I love this idea, I've tried to work with a similar idea, and this is the route I want the flames to take in any future re-design. The simplified arm and hem striping look great, without the random angled spot below the logo this jersey could fit into any era. The addition of the current Flames alternate shoulder patch is a nice move, though it's a bit too small on the concept. The primary logo is also too small, and both errors can be fixed with resizing. One thing that will make of break this concept is the gear. Using black gear over red gear will keep the red jersey from looking like a skating blood clot. (8/10)

Colorado Avalanche Concepts (By: Steve M.)

I haven't reviewed a concept from Steve in a while, and his execution has gotten better since that time. If any team could pull off the angled striping and curved yoke the Stadium Series template had, full time, the Avs are that team. Steve takes black almost entirely out of the Avs colour scheme, aside from the puck on the logo, which may seem like a lateral move to some, but the maroon pants surprisingly look good, I thought they'd suffer the same problem red pants can cause to a red jersey, but the amount of blue on the maroon jersey keeps things solid. The striping is the Stadium Series pattern with a simple Avs touch, and it looks nice. The only problem with this concept is the size of the numbers. They're a smidgen too big and press the name bar up too close to the yoke. (8.25/10)

Ottawa Senators Concept (By: Garrett F.)

I would call this a combination of Sens eras, but it's so unique I'm hard pressed to do so. The side profile Sens update has always looked better, and the Sens should go chest stripe on a non-throwback jersey. The laurels are a nice touch, though I wouldn't have done it on both the arms and chest. The numbers and NOB are the only problems with this concept. The numbers are too large and the white numbers blend into the mostly white chest stripe, black numbers or gold numbers would be visible. The NOB is also too large, I understand it may be a design choice it's a hard one to pull off (8.5/10)

Team Canada Concept (By: Ryan H.)

Based on his piece in the HJC Design Blog, Ryan wasn't a huge fan of Hockey Canada's 100th Anniversary set. No problem though, this generic concept fixes most of the problems people had with the set, actually using a logo and no pointless black yoke. The simple 2010 Olympic Leaf looks fantastic, and since it is the logo Canada wore in one of its most memorable and exciting games of all time, it would make sense to take inspiration from it. The striping I think it based on the 60's jerseys mixed with some inspiration from the 67 Maple Leafs. Overall, this is how to do an anniversary jersey, nice and simple. (9.25/10)

New York Islanders Concept (By: Steven G.)

Ways to impress me with an Islanders concept. 1. Orange 2. New logo 3. Simple. Steven does all 3. The Isles will most likely go with their Stadium Series jersey as a full time alternate (best of the bunch) and retire their black jersey (Boo!). The striping is unique to the Islanders history, though very similar to what the Islanders have always worn. Execution is perfect, as we would expected from Steven, and the only think I would want to see is....and don't shoot.....a little gradient in the logo. (9.5/10) COTW Nom. from me!

Okay, I'll make this quick since I mentioned gradient in a positive light, but remember to vote for COTW and the HJC Open. Get your Grand Rapids Griffins entries ready and why is there a red dot on my head...oh look another one...

July 31, 2014

Thursday: Griff is the Word

Is your daily newspaper missing a certain ornithological piece, a headline regarding mass awareness of a certain mythological-avian jersey variety?

Well you're in luck!

In what is the biggest HJC news story since my arrival (I thought that would be big news), HJC has teamed up with the Grand Rapids Griffins for an alternate jersey design competition.  Click the banner above for all the details, but here is a brief summary:

1) YOU design and submit an alternate jersey design,
2) The GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS pick their favourite, and wear that design in one of their games,
3) YOU (the winner) get a personalized version of that jersey.

In case I haven't gotten your attention yet, the GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS, the 2012-13 CALDER CUP CHAMPIONS, ONE OF THE MOST DOMINATING GROUP OF PROSPECTS IN THE LEAGUE, could be wearing YOUR design.

It's very rare to get the opportunity to design a jersey that will be worn in-game, but here is your chance!

You have until August 31st to submit your entry, so there is lots of time to make sure your concept is perfect and ready to impress the Griffins. I expect competition to be extremely fierce, and everyone will be on their 'A' game if they want any chance of winning.

Alright, I'm sure I could go on for days about how cool this competition is, but I have a whole month to do that, and other writers probably want to get a word in too, so I'll stop jabbering for now. But just click on the banner at the top and check out all of the competition details.

COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals vote (due Saturday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

And now to our regularly scheduled programming:

Everett Silvertips Concept - Zach W.

Yay: First up today is a concept from Zach, for the WHL's Everett Silvertips. The 'Tips have some pretty cool, jerseys as is, but Zach goes for the straight-up classic approach, which never hurts.  It's hard for me to compare this to their current jerseys, because I'm a huge fan of those, but I will say this look is better than their 2012-13 jersey. Those we're hideous.

Nay:  This is a really nice template to use, because of it's 3D-like shading.  A very well executed design looks great with the template, but it takes a lot of work. This looks like a prime example on how NOT to use the Fill tool, as there are loose pixels, rough edges, and red colour on the collar from what I assume is a previous design. The colour on the collar doesn't match, the logo and number on the back seems really big, and there are no TV numbers.

Overall: The classic stripe look might work for the Silvertips, but execution really drags this down. If you're still new to design, try using a different template.  5.4/10

Ottawa Fire vs Police Charity Game Concept - Gerard M.

Yay: This very clever concept is brought to us by Gerard. These charity games happen everywhere, yet we don't see many concepts for "FD vs PD" games, so it's exciting to see a concept pop up.  The colours and striping patterns really look nice on the jerseys, just flashy enough to stand out, and definitely not boring. The use of the three numbers is a nice touch.

Nay: I think the styled arms on the Fire Department jersey can be simplified to straight stripes. The hem is fine as is, but I think the arms just look too crooked and busy. On the Police Department jerseys, the only think I don't like is the single thin stripe on the pants.  Either go plain, or go with a white/blue/red combination. The single red just looks too boring.

Overall: Great concept overall.  I don't agree with all the design choices, but still love the look. 8.3/10

Hopefully the two teams like those jerseys, or else this could happen...

NHL All-Star Game Concept - Coby S.

Yay: Next up is Coby, who is making this concept based on the rumours of next year's game being played with this sort of colour scheme. I personally hate this idea. The colours are cool, but I miss when ASG jerseys were either related to the host's jersey, classic-looking, or all-around colourful. While the colour scheme is crazy, Coby keeps it cool with a basic striping pattern, which (as mentioned above) never hurts.

Nay: If the ASG jerseys are going to have these colours, then I'd expect a flashier design as well.  Basic stripes are not going to cut it.  I don't like the bright green and white put right beside each other either, especially as an outline on the numbers. I also have to mention the presentation: it's really hard to read the text, because of the font choice and the bright colour used on a white background.

Overall: Not a terrible look, but I hope the NHL goes with a flashier jersey, and less green. 7/10

Minnesota Wild Concept - Stephen T.

Yay: Next up is Stephen, who gives us a new Minnesota Wild set. This set would be closest to their current red home uniforms, but with a lot more striping, which I'm alright with.  The main logo is used instead of the circle one, which is also a plus.  The striping pattern is a little crazy but still pretty solid looking. Glad to see more originality in Stephen's work.

Nay: This set suffers from "Coyote Syndrome", using white on one jersey and beige on the other. The red jersey definitely could use some more white, and vice versa. The white jersey has some very thin beige striping, which is a) hard to see beside white, and b) not matching with the red jersey.  The contrasting shoulders isn't a good look for the Wild, and the yoke outline on the white jersey is unnecessary. The collars should be a contrasting colour.

Overall: Originality is good, but I'm not keen on the design. 7.2/10

Winnipeg Jets Concept - Christian L.

Yay: Christian tries to create a throwback for the Jets by combining the two different jerseys of the old-Jets era, and by doing so making a jersey that is similar in style to the current Jets' uniforms, which is really cool.  I definitely get the throwback vibe from this set, and it's very believable for a Jets' uniform in either era.

Nay: The hem stripe looks a little high up on the uniform, and I think it would look better if it was just a little lower. As well as the jersey has been designed, I feel like there is too much white and not enough blue.  Moving the hem stripes down a bit will make the blue stand out a little more, but I'm not sure how else to fix that without wrecking the design of the jersey.

Overall: Great work, I'd love to see the Jets in something similar to this. 8.5/10

Atlanta Thrashers Concept - Christian L.

Yay: Ironically, the next concept for Christian is for the Atlanta Thrashers, the team that relocated to Winnipeg. While hockey in Atlanta was a flop, their jerseys were pretty good interesting. The baby-blue 3rds (and eventual home jersey) were panned, but I thought they were unique and awesome, until Reebok simplified it and ruined it. This concept is colourful, has all the elements that made the Thrashers cool, and has an arm style that is simply awesome. No other team could pull this off besides the Thrashers.

Nay: Definitely should be some light blue on the pants, even just as a stripe.  I like the triangle pattern on the hem and collar, but it could probably stay off of the socks.  I never liked the logo used here, but I guess it makes more sense than their primary logo which lacks light-blue.

Overall: While we probably won't be seeing the Thrashers any time soon, I'd be happy if these jerseys somehow came to life. Colourful, unique, original, and actually a decent looking uniform, something the Thrashers struggled to achieve later on. 9.2/10

Cleveland Kings Concept - s2dio

Yay: s2dio has been making us ask "What if...?" for a while now, and most of those questions were legitimate possibilities.  This is way out in left field.  Lebron buying the Kings and moving them to Cleveland would be crazy, but not as crazy as this colour scheme. It's related to their old purple/gold looks, but is much darker and less saturated. Out of all the things to say about this concept, the biggest one has to be "interesting". Truly original, but believably Kings.

Nay:  As I've said with s2dio's concepts before, the template is fantastic, but I really would like to see more of the jersey itself.  The current Kings logo with "CLE" instead just doesn't have the same flow to it, and looks weak.  The colours are really strange, even though they are close to what the Kings wore before. The "gold" is almost a brown now, and this concept has me thinking about PB/J sandwiches more than hockey right now.

*snack intermission*

Overall: And I'm back.  This is definitely one of s2dio's more crazy, interesting and unique concepts, but overall I'm having a tough time with the look of it.  7.8/10

Anaheim Ducks Concept - Ryan H.

Yay: Last up today is HJC's admin Ryan.  I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) he used this for his HJC Open entry, which was a hair away from making the Top 8.  I love the idea of the Ducks wearing different colours, especially this "jade" green colour.  The striping pattern is straight-up and pops out well against the subtle green jersey.  As usual for Ryan, execution is spot-on, and we have another great concept.

Nay: The orange and white contrast well against the green jersey.  The "bronze" colour does not. This makes the thin bronze stripe harder to notice, and it doesn't help the logo have as much of a "pop" as it should. The bronze stripe could be made thicker, or gotten rid of all together. If you intend on keeping the logo the same, I'd make the bronze stripe thicker. But maybe recolouring the logo wouldn't be a bad idea either, and then eliminating the bronze for good.

Overall: It's a colour scheme that shouldn't work, but almost does thanks to Ryan's epic skills. That bronze is standing in the way of a perfect score.  8.9/10

A bunch of really good, COTW worthy concepts today, but I'm giving my nomination to Christian L's Atlanta Thrashers concept.

Hope you guys are excited as I am for the Griffins competition.  This is shaping up to be a really epic month here at HJC.

Voting is open for the 3rd Round of the HJC Open. Four extremely well-done concepts are waiting for your vote to move on to the Final Round. Who makes it? That's for you to decide!

Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!

July 30, 2014

Wednesday: Time For A Re-Design

***** Edit by Ryan *****

If you're awake late tonight, be sure to come by HJC for a GRAND competition announcement. Trust me, this will be a good one!


My mind is stuck in baseball mode, so I don't have a whole lot of hockey news to blurb about. Today's concepts feature a whole lot of complete redesigns of uniforms, as well as a very anticipated concept. Before I dive in, remember to send in your votes for COTW this week. Just to make sure you can't miss the COTW concepts, click the banner to the right.
If you are one of the 4 semi-finalists in the HJC Open, make sure you send in your concepts TONIGHT!
COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals entries (due TONIGHT @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Let's jump into the concepts!

TG - Arizona Coyotes De-Edge Concept
Design: I don't think there is anyone who doesn't think that the Coyotes should redesign their uniforms when they change their name this off-season. TG introduces purple as a primary color. It could previously be found on team's original shoulder patches, and then as a detail on their alternate. However, that color hasn't been seen on a Coyotes jersey since 2003. I like that brown and sand are used, as it really compliments the purple well.
Score: 7.5/10 - I really like the new crest. The striping is very simple, something that the Coyotes have never really had. It's an interesting choice, however, to go with text as the shoulder patch.
TG - HK Nitra Concept
Design: Like many European teams, HK Nitra wears a very busy, sponsor filled jersey. TG cleans up their look, and creates a very cool concept. Sponsors are left solely to the shoulder patches, and a new striping pattern takes over for the paneling. The colors really do TG a favor, and they look great!
Score: 8/10 - This is a very good looking concept. This is how every overseas team should look!

Stephen T. - Team Slovakia Concept
Design: Slovakia's Olympic jersey was part of the Nike cookie cutter template, but Stephen revives hope for a good looking uniforms with this concept. He looks to have executed something similar to what Russia had done. Rather than have a crest, the image is sublimated on the jersey where a crest should be. I don't think it works so well here, and the fact that the pattern continues onto the pants is a bit funny looking in my opinion.
Score: 5.5/10 - The best part of this concept is the chevrons that are made from the stripes on the Slovakia flag. A jersey based around that design would be very cool.

Gerard M. - Ottawa Redblacks Concept
Design: The Ottawa Redblacks recently redesigned their football uniforms. Now, Gerard has redesigned them into a hockey team. My first observation is that the plaid striping is genius! It fits perfectly into the team's identity. It's a bit hard to see, but notice that the white stripes match the "saw" pattern in the crest. There are a lot of really cool design elements in this concept.
Score: 7/10 - My biggest problem with this concept is that the color scheme is disrupted by the green sponsor patches. I think that this concept could do without. Also, the collar on the black jersey and the numbers is a different red than the rest of the concept.

Gerard M. - Dallas Stars Concept
Design: Gerard's second concept redesigns the Stars uniforms. I was disappointed when the Stars ripped off the Blackhawks striping, but Gerard has fixed that problem by giving the Stars an original striping pattern to go with their original green. The crest has also changed a bit, as the "D" is overlaid on the star.
Score: 8/10 - All of the design elements in this jersey are spot on. This is really what the team should be wearing.

Christian L. - Winnipeg Jets Alternate Concept
Design: The Winnipeg Jets will be playing in the 2016 Heritage Classic, and will most likely be looking for a new jersey to wear in that event. Given that the line of history of the new Jets is different than the original Jets, I believe that a fauxback is the way to go. This concept screams old fashioned with its over sized stripes. The crest is great as it still breathes a bit of fresh air in reference to the team's new identity.
Score: 7.5/10 - My only complaint is that the silver is very hard to see. Otherwise, this is a really cool concept.

Nark24 - Arizona Coyotes Concept
Design: Nark24 brings back that crazy desert pattern that they used back in the 90's. Sand and dark red is here to stay, but the crest is upgraded to the crest that appeared on the team's black alternate. Overall, this concept has all of the design elements that the fans loved. That is why I think this would be a great uniforms set for the Coyotes.
Score: 7/10 - I think that the red jersey could use a tough more white, and the numbers definitely need an outline. I know that Arizona doesn't currently use an outline, but that has always bothered me with those uniforms.

S2dio - Seattle Stormers
Design: It's the moment that you have all been waiting for... S2dio has ended his "What If?" Series with a much anticipated Goalie template. My biggest beef with this series was that some of the templates didn't allow for many details to be seen clearly. This template is a good middle ground in my opinion, and S2dio has killed it with this jersey! It looks to me like this jersey belongs in the 90's along with the Wildwing, Fish Sticks, and Robo-Penguin jerseys. It looks really cool, and would make for a good alternate for a Seattle team. I really like the off-colored helmet. I think it is especially cool when goalies deviate away from team colors in favor of their own personal design.
Score: 9/10 - Great job with this series! It was a lot of fun looking at all of the cool templates. Why don't I cap it off with a COTW nomination!
That's all for me in July! I'll see you all in August!

July 29, 2014

Tuesday: Jumping on the Bandwagon

Howdy folks. Hope your Tuesday is well. Mine sure is, I've been preparing a nice post for you today and when I'm done with that and it's all posted I'll be headed to Wrigley Field, one of my favorite places to enjoy a game from the left field bleachers, the best way to take in a baseball game at Wrigley. But back to your post, Everyone's been doing top 5 lists covering various topics and for the most part I've been avoiding it, I may have done one way back but I don't remember... But more on that in a second....

Let's take a break real quick and rap about voting..... [beat enters]

"Ungh.... uh... yeah.. My name is Dylan and I'm here to say, that you should flippin' vote today"

Alright kids, that was fun. Hopefully my flow and sick rhymes didn't break your heads...
COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

So back to my list, I decided to do a Top 5 list and wanted to cover something I love...hats... One of my biggest weaknesses is a nice hat. I buy way too many hats, last time I counted I had near 80 hats and I know for a fact I've added 20 to the collection since then, so whoo.... I think....

So picking a top 5 was difficult so I raised the bar to 10!.... I'll do 10-6 this week and the top 5 next week... So that way my awesome hats don't overshadow the concepts today... So let's get to it...

10. Hartford Whalers New Era Snapback
I love the tri-color scheme like this on hats. I own quite a few similar to this but rounding out my top ten is the Whalers throwback featuring good ol' Pucky the Whale. #LongLivePucky

9. Atlanta Thrashers Practice Hat
I love these practice hats. I have a Blackhawks one as well and would like to snag a few others teams as well. I found this bad boy on eBay about a year or so ago and had to get it. I love(d) the Thrashers and their logo and I'd never had any Thrashers gear. Better grab it now before it's too hard to come by.

8. Chicago Blackhawks Fashion Hat
It would have been very easy to have the top 5 be strictly Blackhawks hats but I'm trying to avoid looking like a total homer so I tried to base the list off of how often the hats are worn...And as much as I love this hat I don't wear it a ton. I love it though because I don't think I've ever seen anyone wearing this hat or anything similar. I have another patterned hat similar to this with a neat plaid pattern but it didn't quite crack the Top 10.

7. LA Kings 2009 Draft Hat
2009, in my opinion, was the best looking year for draft hats. I love the Kings crown logo and I bought this right before the 2011-12 season as I was starting to be a big Quick fan and what do you know, they won the cup that year. You know how often I got accused of being a Kings' bandwagon fan just because of a hat? Especially frustrating since I bought the hat before that season. The Blackhawks version of this hat has managed to elude my grasp but I have managed to get the Thrashers hat from this draft.

6. Sarnia Sting 2012 Draft Hat
I'm not sure if the OHL has their players wear them as draft hats or just team hats for the players, but this hat is in the style of the NHL draft hats from 2012. I love this draft hat as well and have the Hawks version but this one is more special to me. I got it while at a Sarnia Sting game where I was recognized as the designer of their third jersey in the 2012-13 season. I love wearing this hat out to rinks or even the occasional IceHogs' game just to see the looks I get when people don't recognize the team.

Well that's enough about me for today, let's get to our designers and their concepts!

Vancouver Millionaires Jersey Concept - Scott B.
Pretty straight forward concept here. The colors are now that of a Canucks jersey as opposed to Millionaires and there's some very thing stripes added to the existing bold barberpole down the arms. Not a bad jersey but not anything really new either. It'd be nice to see equipment or TV Numbers, although the Nucks' Millionaires jerseys didn't have them so I guess not a huge deal here.

Rating: 6/10

Team Canada IIHF Concept - Jacob S.
New Canada set inspired by their newly unveiled jerseys featuring black yokes. The added black in this set makes the black yokes fit better but I still feel like there is no need for all that black on a Canada jersey. It should stick to trim. I've never been a fan of a wordmark in the hem striping. It's only ever really visible when hung up or laid out, not while being worn and playing hockey. The lack of arm striping makes the arms look very bare but with how busy the rest of the jersey is that's not a bad thing here.

Rating: 7/10

2015 Winter Classic Concept - Blackhawks vs. Capitals - Alex O.
My problem with this jersey matchup, as well as the majority of other WC2015 concepts coming out is the Blackhawks were black/white from 1926-34 while the Capitals didn't come to be until 1974. That's not really a huge deal to most, but some of us are anal about that stuff. I'd like to see a 70's throwback from the Hawks if the Caps go that route, but looking at this how it is, it's alright.

The Capitals fuse together all of their eras into one jersey, that's fine but I don't like the mish-mashing of logos. There's a reason they're separate but it doesn't look bad here like it normally would.

The Blackhawks are now devoid of any color which is part of team history but not one I'm hoping to see brought back. I need that red. I crave it. My biggest gripe about the jersey, and it's not Alex's fault is the inconsistency between stripe thickness on the shoulders and arms/hem.

Rating: 7/10

Cold War Game Concept - USA vs. USSR - Stephen T.
Interesting jersey matchup. I like the red vs. blue matchup. The Winter Classic last year showed us color vs. color can work. I'll start with the USA because patriotism.

USA - Classy set. I actually really dig the wordmark font. Only gripe here is the stripe on the cuff and the hem. I don't think they need to be there, especially the hem. On the front of the jersey it doesn't follow the bottom of the hem but instead looks like it's part of the hem striping itself. This probably has the least amount of stars out of any USA jersey I've ever seen with a whopping ZERO. Looks fine without them though.

USSR - Not a huge fan of the striping/stitching template but it's passable. Wouldn't mind seeing more yellow as trim but again, it's decent as it is. I don't care for the big stars on the arms, I'd either find somewhere else for them or ditch them completely.

Rating: 7/10

2015 NHL All Star Game Concept - Taylor R.
I never mentioned it on the blog here but I'm really interested in seeing how this color scheme works out for the ASG jerseys. I actually really dig the bright green. The jerseys here are pretty conservative which works well paired with the "out-there" color scheme. I don't care for the phantom yokes though. The numbers on the socks are a bit much. I wouldn't mind seeing the design be a tad bit more experimental.

Rating: 8/10

Minnesota Fighting Saints Concept - What If Series - s2dio
Another new concept from the man of the month right now, s2dio. This guy's presentation is way good. Only thing I'm noticing about his concepts lately are the lack of a second jersey. I'd like to see the light jersey in this set. But what we've got here is good. I prefer the blue/yellow color scheme over this as this is very close to 80's Flames. Swap to a red helmet and boom, you're golden as far as this concept is concerned. I also really dig the pant stripes/squares.

Rating: 8/10

Washington Capitals Winter Classic Uniform Concept - Christian L.
Honestly, I'm hoping the Capitals actually use something like this from their 90's era. They already did their red/white/blue throwbacks a few years back, let's see something new. Maybe if they use a 90's throwback the Blackhawks can use their 90's throwback alternate, which itself was an alternate. I like the "fauxback" route here as it's not just a clone of their 90's jersey but it definitely looks like it could be. I like how the diagonal hem stripe bleeds off the hem. I do think there could be more space between the tv numbers and the arm striping. The socks are confusing to me though... Good set overall

Rating: 8/10

Columbus Blue Jackets Concept - Gerard M.
Right off the bat I know this is something I want to see the Blue Jackets wear. For the most part I'm ok with the stripes not going all the way around the arms/hem. I like the striping and colored cuffs (white jersey) The sublimated Ohio is neat but not really necessary. The logo is now flat as the bevels in the star are gone. I think they should come back. The one other thing I can't get over is the arm striping. Is it supposed to come to a point and form a chevron on the arms or are they supposed to curl up the arm like the Stadium Series jerseys? Gerard perhaps you can point that out.

Rating: 8.5/10

Ottawa Senators Football Club Concept (Soccer) - Gerard M.
Here's something I don't think has been done around these parts. An NHL Team rebranded as a "fĂștbol" club. It fits their brand very well, especially by tying in the vintage barberpole, which works on a soccer jersey way better than a hockey jersey. Perhaps keeping the striping off of the backs is a good call as it won't interfere with the numbers but it still looks off to me. Not bad though. The striping on the shorts is neat too how it still matches with the jersey striping as opposed to being just one colored stripe that's just kind of there. And the sublimated laurel leaves on the white kit is genius.

Rating: 9/10 If this is allowed I'd like to nominate this for COTW

July 28, 2014

Monday: "Phil-ing" In

You're likely expecting our normal Monday writer Phil today. Phil is fishing, or skiing, or washing his hair. He's doing something that's keeping him away from writing this post. So your friendly blog admin Ryan is here to take you through this one.

I suspect that there are people who don't read the introductions and thus will view this post assuming that Phil wrote it. Maybe I should just do all negative reviews and then let him deal with it.

Have you ever left your house and then had a nagging feeling that you forgot to do something? That something that you forgot to do was vote for COTW. Luckily we live in a fantastic era where communicating with the world is portable and at our fingertips 24/7. So really there is no excuse to stop what you are doing right now and email in your vote.

COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)


New York Rangers (by Mike M.)
How is this a concept, it just looks like a regular...oh sweet Jesus! There are Twitter handles everywhere. Okay, this is a fun idea, but does anyone remember the XFL? There's a good chance most of you don't because they only lasted one season. The XFL was the type of league that would have allowed Twitter handles everywhere. This is a really fun idea, but if this kind of thing ever happens in the NHL hopefully I'll be old and bitter about everything by that time anyways. I like that even the NHL shield gets in on the act here. This is a fun concept with nice detail and execution, but please never let this happen...ever!
Rating: 7/10

TSN (by Ryan G.)
Sure TSN didn't have their NHL national broadcast rights renewed, but it appears that they are going to present all of their regional broadcasts in the same style as their national ones. Anyways, the striping pattern used here is my favourite. I'm not too hot on the piping, but it is a jersey for a TV network and there aren't really any expectations with that. The numbers aren't legible enough. For the concept to be properly executed, the stitching (grey lines of the template) needs to end when it reaches the hem stripes.
Rating: 6/10

Montreal Shamrocks (by Alan H.)
If I remember correctly this was submitted for our NHA ReDesign Competition a while back. I like the "M" added to the main logo and the font used for "SHAMROCKS" running down the arm. The rest just doesn't work for me. We have a logo that is nearly 100 years old being used on very modern jersey designs. Those jersey designs are also mostly Reebok Edge cookie cutter templates, which in my opinion have been very unsuccessful. I would liked to have seen the fonts used for the player number and NOB be the same, or related to the font used on the sleeve of the green jersey.
Rating: 6/10

Montreal Shamrocks (by Michael G.)
Another concept returning from out NHA ReDesign! I think the assembly of the logo here is really smart and carries this concept quite far. I think that the primary logo is so strong that shoulder patches aren't needed on either jersey. I like the sash design on the white jersey, but I would have personally stopped it on the back at the edge of the yoke. Also I think that there are enough stripes on the jerseys and socks that the pants could have been left plain. Perhaps that would be a good location for the secondary logos?
Rating: 8/10

Alabama Crimson Tide (by David P.)
Looking at the current sweaters of Alabama's hockey team it appears that the may not be on the same level as the football program there. Ok, that was a pretty obvious statement, but there isn't enough money in that system to not use Reebok Gamewear blank Coyotes jerseys? So David switches them to Nike and gives them their own classic look. I think this would work well for the team. I like the curvy arm stripes as they work well with the "Tide" in the name. In a previous review I said that the jersey stitching should end at the hem stripes, but that's not the way Nike displays their digital images of jerseys. They do it the way David has done it here.
Rating: 8/10

Winnipeg Jets (by Scott B.)
This is a nice use of the Jets' colour palette and a small but nice adjustment to the old logo. And then the gradients show up. I don't know if this is meant to be seen as silver, but it's screaming right in all of our faces. I'm sorry, but I don't like this concept and it's all the gradients' fault. Very well executed except for the stitching/hem stripe issue that has been mentioned previously in this post.
Rating: 6/10

Adirondack Flames (by Gerard M.)
Hem stripes and template stitching, blah-blah-blah. See the above reviews. I like the idea of the flaming yokes or half arm stripes. I would shorten them up to clearly use them as yokes though. I'd also like to see thicker gold and black stripes used on the arms and yokes. Similar, maybe even thicker, to what is used on the hem and socks. I would also stop those stripes on the yokes at the outer stitching (the stitching closest to the wrists). Overall this is a nice looking jersey that's unique, but still ties into the parent NHL club.
Rating: 7.5/10

Winter Classic MIN vs PHI (by Alex O.)
Wednesday's HJC writer gives us this great Winter Classic concept. I'm a sucker for classic jerseys so these work for me. Some slight tweaks can make them great, in my opinion. For the Flyers jersey I would make the numbers black with an orange outline. I also would not have re-coloured the shoulder patches. For the Wild jersey I would have gone with no shoulder patches. Otherwise what Alex has done with his Wild concept fits in with what the team has done traditionally with their jersey designs.
Rating: 8/10


That's the post today. My COTW nomination will go to Alex's Winter Classic concept! I know you readers will have something to say about that. I suspect there will be some love for Gerard's concept and Michael's concept did decently in the NHA competition. Leave some comments and some nominations, but also try to let these artists know why you did not like their concept. It will really help them improve.

Once Phil is done doing whatever it is he's doing, he will return to his normal spot next Monday.