September 1, 2014

Monday: D-U-N Done.

We're leaving together, but still it's farewell, and maybe I'll come back, to write who can tell? I know there is no one to blame, for leaving now (leaving now), will things ever be the same again?

IT'S THE FINAL BLOG POST!

That's the last time you'll see me singing here. Good riddance. But anyway, I thought for my final post, I show you guys my collecion of jerseys with a list of said jerseys.


Mighty Ducks of Anaheim eggplant, Atlanta Thrashers original road, Bridgeport Sound Tigers self-constucted jersey (Isles edge 1.0 design, BST patches), Calgary Flames Horse Head, Chicago Blackhawks red road (tan logo outline), Dallas Stars white star, Drexel GAME USED blue and Roller home and away, Hartford Whalers last white, Los Angeles Kings Edge 2.0 black, New York Islanders navy Fisherman, Wave, navy and white pre-edge, navy and white Edge 1.0, royal blue edge 2.0, New York Rangers 1994-era road, Ottawa Senators white pre-edge, Philadelphia Flyers pre-edge Orange, San Jose Sharks pre-edge teal, St. Louis Blues pre-edge Blue and BLACK Starter jersey, Team USA white (1992-94), Vancouver Canucks Flying Skate black.

I think that's all of them. That done with, I think its time for the news


With the Griffins Competition now over, we want you to start redesigning the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Click on the above banner for information about it. I'll spill some info and say that I got a Red Bull Munchen concept coming for this.

You know the deal with COTW. They worked hard and produced greatness. show them some love and appreciation and vote!

Reminders:

COTW Aug 25-31 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
DEL ReDesign entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

OK one last time, HERE WE GO!

Carolina Hurricanes Concept by Andy R:



DISCLAIMER: Although tough to see, Andy did ID his concept in the lower right-hand corner of the jersey.

This is a Hurricanes jersey I would love to see. It's a nice adaptation of the classic Whalers look, and it actually looks good here. I do have a few problems though. Firstly, as much as I love that logo, there is ZERO reason to keep Pucky the Whale on the shoulders. Second, I'd add some red to the collar inset, plus swap the white and black on the collar itself. Third the logos are pixelated, which can be solved by filling the color of the jersey around the logo at original size, then downsizing it to fit the jersey. Fourth, the TV numbers look slanted, but I can't entirely tell if that's intentional or not because, fifth, Where's the back of the jersey? This concept is only half done! But it's headed in the right direction for sure. Keep up the work and you'll get nominated for COTW in no time.

Final Score: 68%


St. Louis Blues Concept by Leo D:

Leo sends in what I take as his guess as to what the new St. Louis Blues jerseys would look like. Now that they have been revealed, we can compare and contrast the two. First an execution note (no pun intended, or was it?), the numbers on the back should not have that much spacing between them. OK let's move on from that. The home jersey looks virtually identical, plus nave below the sock striping in order to better match the sweater, a good call IMO and one thing the blues should have done. I LOVE that pant striping, making what is currently a dull looking pair of pants much brighter. The road jersey is where I have problems. If I have a legacy here at HJC, it's about complaining about white on yellow striping. Here it isn't that bad, but what is more irritating is the awkwardness of the navy blue, being only included in the logo, number outline and yoke striping. Work the navy blue into the striping and then we'll talk.

Final Score: 77%


Team USA Concept by Mario A:


If this doesn't scream America, I don't know what will. That said, I think it also screams overboard. I'll start with the better of the set, the road jersey. First off, get rid of the box around the name on both of them. It serves no purpose. That font sticks out, big time and not in a good way, though it matches the logo well. The logo is a bit big for my liking though. The stars on the yoke are cool but in relation to the back they don't make the most sense. Now for the home jersey. I like that logo, but make it smaller. It overlaps onto the mesh portion of the jersey. Those logos on the sleeves need to go, as they would be sideways when worn. The USA hockey script is extremely pointless, especially considering the opportunity you had to continues the striping on the back around front. I do like your creativity, but maybe if you settle it down a bit then you'll find more success here.

Final Score: 43%


Carolina Hurricanes Soccer Concept by Matt M:


Because of course my last post includes soccer related things. Anyways, these are good looking jerseys that I would want on the pitch any day. That logo looks really good here, especially considering the early logos of MLS, though the hockey stick does make it a little awkward. Oh well, its a hockey team. No big deal. Probably my biggest stumbling block on my soccer series was the giant RBC logo, so taking PNC's logo, the current arena sponsor, and putting it here looks much nicer. The red and white jersey is a nice allusion to their current home jerseys, while the clash kit is a nice take on the alternate. I love that chest stripe so much. I would just put stripes on the socks though. Otherwise a better take than my series. well done.

Final Score: 84%


Calgary Flames Soccer Concept by Matt M:


The primary kit here should be enough to say that this series was inspired by my series. Either way, the primary kit is BEAUTIFUL. I love the white flame on the shirt, as well as the white shorts. SPECTACULAR! However the clash kit could use some work. The logo should be the original version, as opposed to the recolored, black-less version on their now, because it makes the black look awkward, especially the shorts. What may be a good idea is to make the shorts red, but keep the socks white and add a yellow and black stripe at the top. Just my two cents worth.

Final Score: 81%


Dallas Stars Concept by Ricky M:


I love the idea, except for one thing: this is a common concept. Adapting the new look Stars to the old pre-edge design. It's been done before. Although this is done well, we need new ideas here. I do like the look of things here though, especially the alternate. The state of Texas alternate logo needs to be on the front of a jersey sooner rather than later. I'll give you points for the execution, but not for the idea of this.

Final Score: 63%


Amur Khabarovsk (KHL) Concept by TG:


Fittingly, we end my run with a concept from the men in blue and orange. Wait, no Islander concepts today? @#$%! Alright I guess this will have to do. Either way, Islanders or not, blue and orange are such a great color combination, primarily because they are opposite each other on the color wheel, the same way purple and yellow work together and red and green work together. The funny part is that the normal team colors involve black and not blue, so this is a nice move for this team, and I'm not biased about that. The striping is quite, um, bold. Very thick striping here. There are two glaring execution errors here though, and one of them maybe intentional, but it forces the other. If you look on the front of the jersey, the front striping continues past the end of the front of the jersey. Which could be OK if the striping on the back were reversed, but as it stands, either the stripes overflow or the back stripes don't match up properly. Considering the arm striping being the way it is, I'd say that the rear view stripes need to be flipped. Otherwise an interesting concept.

Final Score: 79%


The winner of my final Concept of the Week nomination as a writer is Matt M. and his Carolina Hurricanes Concept!

Well it was fun while it lasted. Cheers to Ryan and the rest of the staff here at HJC for this unique opportunity. As I go take advantage of this employment opportunity, I want to let you know that although you won't see me writing here anymore, you will still see some of my art here. I'll continue to send in concepts like the rest of you. This has been fun and I wish nothing but the best for HJC, especially for the next writer.

If you want to keep in touch with me, you can follow me @PhilBeckons or @DD60Studios on the Twitter, and I will be posting some of my concepts to @ddragon60studios on Instagram. Otherwise I'll always be here reading along with you.

See you guys next week! Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel, different Bat Writer. DBro next week, and next Tuesday we'll see the first post from the new writer. But until then,


August 31, 2014

Sunday: Expansion Explanation

The winner of the COTW vote for August 18-24 was TG with his Halifax Mooseheads concept!

Full Results
TG (HLF) - 3
Matt M. (WSH) - 2
David K. - 1
Matt M. (DYN) - 1
TG (ANA) - 1

The new Concept of the Week nominees (August 25-31) have been listed on the side of the page in the black banner. Click that banner to see the concepts or go to the CONCEPT OF THE WEEK tab. Get your votes in before Friday.

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The Grand Rapids Griffins Competition wraps up today and that frees up HJC to do one of our traditional ReDesign competitions. We're going to ease back into this by having a simple DEL ReDesign. You can redesign any team in the league! Click the banner at the top of the page or go to the DEL COMP tab to read the rules. They're really simple, so try to have a lot of fun with some teams you may never have heard of before. Entries are due at the end of Friday.

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Seven people wrote up a mock post this past week in an attempt to become the next HJC Writer. I have looked at all of them and will review them again this week. Expect an announcement to be made before the end of the week.

I think I know who I want to pick, but choosing a new writer is always a gamble. There's a certain level of writing and professionalism that I want to have here on HJC. Trusting people with my vision is a big deal for me, so I want to make sure that I absolutely choose the right person.

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The St. Louis Blues revealed new sweaters this week. Perhaps you have been wondering why HJC hasn't done an extensive article on the reveal? I have! There is an off-shoot HJC blog called the HJC Design Blog. There's a link for it on the side of the page or you can go to hjcdesignblog.blogspot.com to see it. That blog isn't updated nearly as often as HJC, but it's where you'll find writings on new sweaters and other opinions I may have. Be sure to place it in your favourites or bookmarks or whatever you kids are doing these days.

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Expansion has been the hot topic this past week. Where will the NHL go? Will it go anywhere? What's a good fit? I'm here to provide my perspective on the whole deal.

Why I believe these reports are true
Part of the newest CBA was a joint pledge by both the NHL and NHLPA to increase league revenues from $3 billion to $5 or $6 billion. Four teams paying just over a billion dollars in expansion fees should help that

Las Vegas
The NHL seems convinced this will work. The testing of the waters came when they permanently moved the NHL Awards to Vegas. It was a test to see if people would travel to see the NHL. I guess they have? There's a 20,000 seat arena being built right now (MGM-AEG Arena). That's a BIG check in the pros column for Vegas. The league also thinks that a NHL team can be an attraction in the city. The belief is attendance will be built with a solid group of local season ticket holders and tourists travelling The Strip who stop in to see an NHL game as if it were Cirque du Soleil. The NHL believes that those tourists would then go home and tell their friends how awesome hockey is. Thus leading to a higher level of interest in the NHL, both across the continent and globally.

Quebec City
The city and province of Quebec are in full gear building an arena (Quebecor Arena) in hopes of attracting a NHL team. They also have an ownership group too! Just like Las Vegas, the arena is a big plus for them. The ownership group is another. A second team in the province of Quebec would do quite well, I believe. The only question mark is the idea that Gary Bettman does not feel that expanding further into Canada can generate more revenue than another American team would.

Seattle
If Quebec and Vegas have a good thing going for them by already building arenas, Seattle has a big negative going by not having any concrete plans in place to get going on construction. And the guy leading the charge for a new arena is interested in the NBA, not necessarily the NHL. I personally also worry about an NHL team being looked at as second rate. It seems the city really wants a NBA team and a hockey team just would be a nice throw in to help fill dates at the new arena. I believe there is a good fan base in the city, but I wonder if ownership would be committed enough to help the Seattle team bring in more revenue than any other city I have mentioned in this piece.

Toronto
Toronto is two steps behind Vegas and Quebec, as far as building a team goes. They are at least one step ahead of Seattle though. They have an ownership group in place, with deep pockets, licking their chops at the idea of a NHL team. At this point finances for a new arena can't be figured out though (tax money vs private invetsments). There is the theory that a 2nd Toronto team could share the ACC for a season or two. Of course their rent would be through the roof because the Leafs own the building and aren't very happy about the idea of a 2nd team.

And I'm wondering why most people outside of Toronto, it seems, are not convinced that another Toronto team is a good idea. The Leafs have a season ticket waiting list that is at least 15 years long (last I heard). The Leafs also get ratings for their regional broadcasts that rival (if not beat) some NBC national broadcasts. Are people really convinced that these people who can't even get a sniff of the ACC because of price wouldn't drop their allegiance to the Leafs and give it to this bright, new, cheaper option? I bleed Maple Leafs blue, but even I would attempt to get season tickets for a second Toronto team! I have room for a #1 and a #2 team. I don't understand why people can accept the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils all being in the NHL, but not a second Toronto team.

Kansas City, Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Canadian Maritimes
To NHL fans looking for teams in these cities, it's not going to happen. Kansas City failed once and current fans don't want to prove their interest by going to NHL preseason games there. Hamilton did what Quebec and Las Vegas are currently doing, which is build a stadium to attract a team. Unfortunately for Hamilton they built a stadium that quickly became out of date. Expansion fees plus building renovation fees would put any prospective owner well behind the 8-ball to begin with. Saskatchewan and the Maritimes would just require too many people to travel too far, too many times a season to gamble on placing a NHL team there.

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What says you to my thoughts on NHL expansion? Also take some time to send in your COTW vote. It takes 20-60 seconds, depending on how well you work your internet machine.

COTW Aug 25-31 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
DEL ReDesign entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

August 30, 2014

Saturday: Fantasy Hockey and Expansion

Hello everyone! In today's post we have several crossover concepts. Three involve soccer, one MLB, one XFL (yep, that XFL) and one Winter Classic concept. This post definitely doesn't lack for variety!

Earlier this week, a few sports websites started stirring the pot about possible expansion to Seattle Quebec City Toronto pt. II Kansas City Hamilton Las Vegas. Wait, Las Vegas?! Why? Putting a sports team in a city that doesn't have a collective attention span over 15 minutes seems like a poorly reasoned decision, especially when you could tap into a city that would have a more established market. This likely boils down to who has a good arena to play in, and ownership with deep pockets that can pay the expansion fees. Of course, there would likely have to be another city that would expand as well. You would think Quebec City and Toronto would be front-runners. I know a lot of people want to see a team in Seattle (I would prefer them to Vegas) and I believe that they could satisfy ownership concerns, but the lack of a suitable arena hurts their cause.

One more thing about expansion: I don't want it at all. Personally, I believe that if the NHL expands further, we are going to see a dilution of on-ice product. On the other hand, I'm sure a lot of hockey purists said the same thing I just said when the league granted expansion teams to Nashville, Columbus, Minnesota, Florida, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, etc. Naturally, the league denied that any decisions were made concerning expansion. I don't think this is something that we'll have to worry about until at least 2016. It wouldn't surprise me to see the league expand, it's just not something I think necessarily needs to happen.  (I know the other writers have mentioned this, I just had to get it off my chest)

Also, I've started a fantasy hockey league! I thought I would set one up for any HJC readers who enjoy competing in fantasy hockey. It's called "Victory Stripes" (after the iconic Lightning design, naturally) and it's a head-to-head Yahoo league. I plan on taking a maximum of 12 teams, but I could potentially expand it if more want in. Click on this link to go to the league page and join in. The league draft is on September 28 at 8:30 pm, so sign up today!

Arsenal FC Concept (Barclays Premier League) - Ricky M.


Positive: The yoke stripes aren't that bad. The sock striping could work if the pants were plain black.

Negative: That pattern doesn't work, and it's made even worse by the bright yellow jersey. Its far too busy, as evidenced by how Ricky has to interrupt the pattern on the back for the name and number to make it legible. It makes it very difficult to see any detail in the jersey at all. The number doesn't seem to match the name font well. The number font almost looks like comic sans in this instance, and not something you'd find on a professional team jersey. It reminds me of a motocross jersey. With presentation, If you have a busy jersey, don't put it against a busy background. It creates an unpleasant clash.

Overall: Take this one back to square one. The socks are redeemable, but not much else is. (5/10)


Oakland Athletics Concept (MLB) - Ricky M.


Positive: Good choice of logo usage for the home/away and gold alternate. The green/gold helmet is reminiscent of their batting helmets. Shading effects work better here than the previous concept. The background is more muted.

Negative: The home/away have no striping, just a color-contrasting yoke. The black alternate doesn't even have that. The pants choice is puzzling in all regards. White pants don't look good on hockey jerseys, and grey pants on the green jersey seem random. I know the A's may use pants like that, but that's not something that should necessarily carry over onto a hockey jersey. The piping on the gold alternate...I understand the effect Ricky's going for, but it doesn't translate well to a hockey jersey. The black alternate lacks purpose. If you were to buy a replica of that jersey, all you'd get would be a couple logos on a black jersey. The other alternate consists of a gold jersey, white pants, and green socks, with a black helmet. That's too many competing colors on a set. 

Overall: The Athletics jerseys of the 1970s-early 1980s had striping. Those would translate better, and give you more to work with. Get rid of the black. (6/10)


Los Angeles Xtreme Concept (XFL) - Mario A.


Positive: The old Buffalo Sabres template does seem to capture some of the essence of the short-lived (and for good reason) XFL. 

Negative: Mario credits Stephen for the design, which makes it seem that all Mario did was recolor a concept of Stephen's, while changing the numbers, name, and logo. That's not very creative. It doesn't use the L.A. Xtreme's colors or uniforms for inspiration. The Xtreme actually had a fairly understated look, resembling the Dallas Cowboys in some respects. Pixelation makes the concept look rough. There should be more silver on the dark jersey.

Overall: The look could fit the XFL, but the concept doesn't take a lot of inspiration from the team itself. Much of it seems to be a recolor of Stephen T's work. (6/10)


Boston Bruins NHL Soccer Cross-Over Concept - Matt Mc.


Positives: Matt's NHL/soccer crossover series looks good so far. I like the striping on both jerseys seen here. Brown is an interesting choice, making a soccer jersey that is also somewhat of a throwback. The Spoked-B doesn't look out of place as it's used here. Presentation and execution are very good.

Negatives: The brown jersey isn't very exciting. I think more could have been done there. On the concept below, Matt shows what the back of one of the jerseys looks like. I would like to see the backs of all of them. I'm just one of those people who like to see jersey fonts.

Overall: The gold/brown striped kit is intriguing. (8/10)


Buffalo Sabres NHL Soccer Cross-Over Concept - Matt Mc.


Positives: It's so strange, but these Buffalo jerseys, inspired by two different Buffalo designs, work so much better for soccer than they did hockey. My favorite here is the gold jersey, and I can't believe I'm saying that, knowing my pure loathing of the jersey that inspired it. I would even own that. Matt shows us the back of this jersey as well, and I find myself wishing he had done that with all of them. The dark jersey, evoking images of the Buffaslug era, is improved on this soccer template as well.

Negatives: The back of the dark jersey isn't shown. The Sabres traditional logo is so traditional that it tends to look out of place with modern jerseys. I would like to see a more modern logo on the jerseys, even if that means....(gulp)...using the Buffaslug. 

Overall: We tend to say that many designs look better on hockey jerseys than they do in other sports, but here we see a the exact opposite. Matt improves on failed Buffalo designs by translating them to soccer. Instant improvement. (8.5/10)


2015 Winter Classic Concept - TG


Positives: Man, those goalie templates look good. I especially love the time taken to design the goalie helmets in detail as well. That's some phenomenal work there. The Chicago jersey is really cool. I especially love the yoke. The old style goalie gear does fit a Winter Classic. The old Caps logo looks surprisingly good against chest striping. The font usage on both jerseys is great, both fit tremendously well. A few writers made a note of a lot of dead space in TG's concepts this week, but I think the goalie templates helped solve that.

Negatives: I'm not sold on the bronze color of the Washington jersey, but I don't dislike it as much as I did when I first opened the file from my email last weekend. It's growing on me. Brown pads probably don't help the bronze color. The bronze is still a little dark for a light jersey, though. It's not a big deal on an event jersey, but if it were to become an alternate, I'm not sure it would work as a light jersey.

Overall: Would not mind to see this become reality. The detailing on that goalie template alone sells me. (8.8/10) COTW nomination from me!


Will Rogers once said that he never met a man he didn't like, but Will Rogers never met someone who forgot to vote for COTW! If you, like a good, productive citizen, responsibly voted for COTW, then here is your coveted reward gif. However, if you, like a slothful bum, forgot to vote...here is your gif of shame.

Also, don't forget to send in your entries to the Grand Rapids Griffins competition! The deadline is tomorrow!

Come back tomorrow for Ryan's Sunday post to find out who won COTW. See you all later!

August 29, 2014

Friday: Minor Penalty for Vegas Hockey

Jets96 is unavailable after news L.V. was in the mix of NHL expansion caused a heart attack, however, he has left this post for your viewing pleasure

TGIF! What's cracking?

First off, in honour of J.S. Giguere retiring this past week, who was the last active Whaler in the NHL:here's a cool video of a custom NHL 12 game between the Montreal Canadiens and Hartford Whalers (underrated rivalry). Note the Brass Bonanza! This fan went through the effort of creating Whaler greats and near exact Whaler jerseys. The only problem is EA doesn't have the name in their database (even though they have the logo) and they are the Warriors, but enjoy!



Cutting right to the chase again, a few months ago, I promised to do a top 5 of my favourite designs in minor hockey. I forgot until I went through some old posts and realized I made that promise. Now of course, minor hockey has a lot more opportunities to come up with unique names. Local tradition, history ties and just general creativity shine through when overly stuffy professionalism isn't pushed to the forefront.

This list refers to the AHL, ECHL, CeHL, SPHL and other such leagues. NOT the OHL, USHL, NAHL, WHL or QMJHL/LMJHQ.

5. Kentucky Thoroughblades (AHL/:/ 1996-2001)

photo from goaliesarchive.com

The AHL affiliate to the Sharks, who raised Mikka Kiprusoff, Vesa Toskala, John (Evgeni) Nabokov, Johan Hedberg, Zdeno Chara and Dan Boyle. Kentucky isn't known for hockey, it's known for horse racing, and crossing over the horse racing history into the team helps bridge the gap in the new market. The only problem with the team is the less than appealing logo. With a solid logo and a darkening of the colour scheme, hockey returning to Kentucky would be a sight for all.

4. Rockford IceHogs (UHL/AHL/:/ 1999-2007/2007-present)

photo from Blackhawks.NHL.com

The Blackhawks are one of the best looking teams in the NHL, and their whole identity carrier over to their lower affiliate. There are plenty of teams in minor hockey history, especially in the 90's that were Ice animals, but Rockford got it right with a well designed logo. It's not tacky, or forced, there's clear effort, and not just a pig wearing skates. They also introduced the Pig But logo, they only time an ass on a jersey has ever looked good....well, that and Slap Shot.

3. Denver Cutthroats (CeHL/:/ 2012-2014?)

photo from examiner.com

Fish seem to be popular in minor league hockey, almost ever league has at least one team named after one species or another. I was debating either the Toldeo Walleye or the Cutthroats, picking Denver because the name is more original and the logos are the best in league history. The green, blue and red all looked good on the same jersey (not easy to do). I'm sure the concept community will miss the fishies, but here's to a return!

2. Orlando Solar Bears (IHL/ECHL/:/ 1994-2001/2012-present)

photo from orlandosolarbearshockey.com

No matter how much you try to dislike the idea, the name, the logo or the whole idea of a team in Orlando, the Solar Bears are now a staple of minor hockey. Sure, it's a bad pun, but it's all in good fun . What's the last thing you think of in Orlando? Aside from hockey? Polar Bears! Obviously, the original team had a pretty tacky logo and jersey, it was the update that put this team where it is. The updated logo set was designed perfectly. Colourful, warm and modern.

as for number one...come back next week!

Just kidding!

1. Manitoba Moose (IHL/AHL/:/1996-2001/2001-2011)

photo from: Winnipegsun.com

Too obvious?  Well, think about it, what was the only possible other name of Winnipeg's NHL team in 2011, was the Moose. It's hard to think of any name that could take in the Jets, but in the excitement, people held on to the Moose name. The colours match the logo and theme perfectly, and despite haven basic jerseys, the Moose had unique numbers and a sick striping pattern. The logo is the best part of the team, even going back to the days when they wore purple in the IHL. I miss this look, despite how rock solid the Jets have it, maybe this wouldn't have been the best alternative.

Talk about it in the comments!

The news of Vegas hockey has sprung and, opinions are split. This of course has re-opened the debate of Southern hockey and why Bettman would want to put a team in a market which has never had a professional sports team in any of the four major sports leagues. To those people, hold your horses! Tampa, Nashville, Atlanta Flames, Dallas, the 3 California teams were/are all relatively successful and have a fan base. Hockey in areas with little to no snow, can/will work! Plus, where are the NHL awards held every year? Plus, news that Seattle expansion has hit a roadblock with regards to a new arena due to ownership rights and such. Plus Quebec City won't be ready for 2017 and Markham is a huge stretch at the moment.

And while we're on the subject of potential hockey markets!

Hartford- Having trouble with the Hartford Wolfpack's arena means little chance for now

Kansas City- It's a mystery? The Sprint Centre is ready for both NBA and NHL use, but will there be fans?

Voting ends tonight!!! COTW is uber important so, have at it.

Also, this Sunday marks the end of the Grand Rapids Griffins competition entry phase. Obviously everyone has been working hard on their designs, however, time to kick things into MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE.

Finally, Monday writer Phil B. is leaving the HJC crew, which is sad, however, he has an awesome opportunity coming up and I wish him all the best. Tuesday becomes open as another writer moves in to fill in the Monday spot. If you have any interest in writing from HJC, now is the time to jump on!
Write your post and read the guidelines

COTW Aug 18-24 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Writer applications (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Grand Rapids Griffins Competition (ends August 31st)

On to the concepts

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New York Islanders Concepts (By: TG)


Consider this concept a mix between the Islanders first and current edge jerseys, and, despite looking like the Pens, it's a sweet concept. The colours are balanced quite well, more so on the white jersey, but both jerseys look good, simple and classy. The blue jersey, at least as I see it, the orange and white should be switched in the striping, not only to match the numbers, but more so to keep orange as the secondary colour over white, and to darken the jersey. Execution is fantastic, as we would expect from TG, though presentation white, the bottom half of the concept is wasted space, and shrinking the name space down to 1/3rd of what is now, will keep the focus on the concept. (8.5/10)

St. Louis Blues Concepts (By: Ricky M.)


Oh come on, the Blues just changed their jerseys, do we really need to bring back red? I agree with Ricky that, yes, Because the Ducks have now switched out of this template, it's up for grabs. The home and road are okay, but they suffer from the same problem the Ducks current set, the colours aren't balanced well. The blue jersey has no white on it. aside from the logo, and the white jersey has too much red and yellow in the striping. The yellow jersey is better, however, I would switch the red and blue in the striping. The roundel logo makes a better shoulder patch than a primary logo.(6.75/10)

Anaheim Ducks Concepts (By: Matt Mc.)


With Phil's soccer series done, we move onto another crossover series, done by Matt Mc. Having two completely different, non-matching home and roads is normal in soccer, so I'll consider the black jersey the main kit and the Mighty Ducks the clash kit. The how is an excellent crossover, having all the elements of the current Ducks jersey, with a few soccer touched. Nice gradient curves! The clash kit is even better because...it's the Mighty Ducks. A perfect cross over all around, and a well executed soccer concept. (9/10)

Edmonton Oilers Concept (By: Patrik G.)


How many concepts do we see using the WHA logo? Not many, but Patrik steps up. I'm not sure if this is a Nike jersey or not, but the yoke reminds of the Olympic USA/Slovakia jersey. It has a very simple design, which works mostly, but in some areas it could use some more details. The helmet/pants are bare, and the orange gloves don't work for the jersey, but look more like the logo on the glove (if that makes sense). The tv numbers are way too small, and while it works on vintage jerseys/throwbacks, there should be a name on the back. (6/10)

Las Vegas Outlaws XFL Concepts (By: Mario A.)


I was unsure why both Brian B. and Mario's design tags were on this concept, but I realize now that Mario is just giving credit to Brian! Good job for doing that.  The XFL didn't last for many reasons, but the logos were decent enough that they have made appearances on HJC before, and, fitting the expansion rumours, Vegas gets featured today. The jerseys are a variation on the Caps current set, and they look okay, but the issue of colour balancing remains the same. Both jerseys on their own could hold up, however, there is far too much tan on the white jersey. Adding black to the top of the white jersey's arms and getting rid of the side panels would fix that issue. The numbers are not a style that works for hockey, or any sport aside from maybe NASCAR, though I appreciate the creativity in this concept! (6.5/10)

Arizona Coyotes Crossover Concepts (By: Matt Mc.)


And we end today's post with another soccer concept, this time, not in a soccer market, Glendale. Once again, there is no white kit, but a home and clash kit, the home being a modern mix of the desert theme, and the other a soccer version of the previous alternate. The home is exactly what the Coyote would wear if they were to blend eras in footie, and the paw print patch would make an excellent crest. The clash was a present surprise! I'm not huge on the alternate, but it works better in soccer form than hockey. Overall, excellent! (9.5/10) COTW Nom. from Me! 


That's the post everyone. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it! As you HOPEFULLY read on twitter and Facebook, only 2 more days before the deadline to get your Grand Rapids Griffins entries in. Super important, competition is tough, and don't just glance over this because everyday on HJC you've been reminded this! AND DON"T FORGET TO TAKE OUT THE TRASH!

Have a great weekend! Come back tomorrow for Caz's post! 

August 28, 2014

Thursday: HNILV?

Hey everyone!

Hockey Night In Las Vegas, anyone?

I'm sure you've heard the numerous rumours and reports surrounding NHL expansion over the last few days, first with expansion to Las Vegas being a "done deal", then with the notion that the NHL would also expand to Quebec City, Seattle, and Toronto.  None of these reports surprised me whatsoever, including the NHL's subsequent denial.

As I mentioned on my personal blog a while back (which should be revived from it's long hibernation soon), I wouldn't be surprised if Las Vegas is the next expansion destination.  Most don't consider it a hockey market, which is fair, but it is still a large market that is totally deprived of top-level professional sports.  It would be a gamble (pun intended) to put a team there, but I think it would be worth the risk, and would be surprisingly successful.

The other expansion candidates aren't surprising either.  Seattle is an obvious choice, same with Quebec City.  A second Toronto team is a bit of a stretch, but there has been efforts to bring another NHL team there in the past, so it's not a new idea.  As bad as it would be to oversaturate the hockey market in Ontario, all 3 teams (Ottawa included) would still do better than most other teams in the league in terms of revenue and attendance.

And as I expected, the NHL denied these reports today.  I'm not surprised by this because most of those reports had no evidence or details to back them up.  Las Vegas has one arena being constructed and 2 being proposed, but nothing will be ready by 2016. Seattle was one city council vote away from having the Phoenix Coyotes, but they don't have a fully-suitable arena yet, and neither does Quebec.  Both could temporarily play at smaller venues, but would need to build a new facility in order to keep up with the league.

At any rate, the NHL won't be expanding any time soon, but I'd be shocked if we don't see a new team (or two) in the next couple of years.

What does that mean for us? Some motivation for concepts based on these "expansion cities" perhaps?

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In other news, Phil is leaving HJC.  This sucks, but he has a pretty awesome opportunity ahead for him, and I wish him all the best, and I'm sure we'll see Phil on the blog from time to time.  But this means it's time to get your game on and apply for our open writer position.  It's a really awesome opportunity, and good luck to all those who apply!  Click on the link above for more info.

Alright, that's enough rambling for me, it's time for concepts!

COTW Aug 18-24 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Writer applications (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Grand Rapids Griffins Competition (ends August 31st)


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2015 NHL All-Star Game Concept - Mario A.


Yay: First up is Mario with his NHL All-Star Game concept.  It's looking more and more like we're going all chrome and neon green with this year's game, which is a shame, because I miss when the ASG jerseys actually looked great, like this.  Of course, this jersey has been used before, but not with these colours, which look much nicer than those teal and purple ones. Mario is getting a lot better with sizing the numbers, names and logos on his concepts, so good work!

Nay: As far as sizing goes, I think the TV numbers just need to be a little bigger.  I see a few loose pixels and rough edges, which leads me to believe this was a simple recolouring job.  I also don't think the retro orange ASG symbol is needed on the shoulders.  Something more 90's, or perhaps the flags of the player's nationality, would be better suited for this look.

Overall:  I like the look of these more than the previous teal and purple ASG-Star uniforms, but this concept doesn't bring anything else new.  7.3/10



Calgary Flames Concept - Ricky M.


Yay:  Ricky has an interesting idea with this concept: get rid of the iconic "C" logo, make the alternate logo as their main logo, and revive the Flaming Horse logo.  For nostalgia sake (and only for that reason), I like the idea of reviving the Horse.  I'm personally not a fan of this new logo, but if we're going ahead and changing the identity of the team, the logo and uniforms works beautifully.  The main set is way different but still classic in a way, perfect for the Flames.

Nay:  The only complaint I have about the main set is the black numbers on the red jersey.  It works, but I think it's a tad too dark, and I'd switch to white numbers, or possibly yellow if outlined properly.  On the 3rd jersey, as unique and modern as it is, those stripes are way too ridiculous to take seriously. It doesn't relate to anything "Flames", and it's neither classic, timeless, modern, or interesting; it's just a mess.

Overall: As a Flames fan, I hate it.  But as a designer, I'm really digging the main set. That 3rd needs serious work though. 7.6/10



Kelowna Rockets Concept - Zack W.


Yay: Next up is Zack, showing us his Kelowna Rockets concept.  I'm noticing a lot more creative risk-taking from Zack lately, which is great to see.  This concept is a bit more mellow, but subtle things like the chevron stripes and the equipment design really showcase Zack's improvement.  I love the stripes, on the arms especially. This concept is original, identifiable, simple, and timeless, which are all key points a design should cover.

Nay: The back number is way too big, as is the logo in the front.  The name is good for size, but being a little bolder or thicker could help.  As far as the stripes go, I don't like how they're rounded, and are all bending at a slightly different angle.

Overall: Good effort, but not quite great yet.  7/10



HC Sibir Novosibirsk Concept - TG

 
Yay:  Our last 3 concepts today are all from TG.  First is for the newly-rebranded HC Sibir Novosibirsk, known as the Siberians.  Their change from the tacky "H" logo to this classic snowflake look is amazing, and TG gives them some classic uniforms to go with it.  The stripes are simple and classic, but in really original patterns that definitely belong in European hockey.

Nay: The main set is beautiful as is, so no complaints for me.  The diagonal style on the 3rd is interesting, but it makes the back look extremely bare.  I also don't like how the stripes just kind of stop on the front of the jersey.  I guess they have to stop somewhere, but the ends become focal points, which isn't a good thing.

Overall: Not overly sold on the 3rd, but loving everything else.  8.2/10



Vancouver Canucks Concept - TG

 
Yay:  Next up is a Canucks concept with...uh oh...double blue.  My bias is kicking in already.  I have to say that this colour scheme is absolutely perfect for the Canucks. Blue and green is more original, but this just looks awesome.  The word mark is gone, the stripes are simple yet original, and this is definitely a believable look for the Canucks.

Nay:  Maybe it's just me, but the back number looks really close to the name.  Moving it down just a few pixels would create more breathing space and look nicer.  On the dark jersey, the logo could use a tiny bit more outline to stand out more.

Overall:  Would buy, twice.  8.7/10



Vancouver Canucks Concept - TG


Yay: Our last concept today is another Canucks concept from TG.  This time, he takes the Canucks logo recently designed by Christian L, and uses it in the old Canucks colours.  The end result is a very simplified version of the "skate" uniforms.  The front and shoulder logos look awesome in their new colours.

Nay:  As well designed and adapted as this concept is, I can't help but think that this is a Flames concept with the wrong logo.  This looks very similar to the early 2000's Flames jerseys.  Another problem I have is the lack of white on the uniform.  The logo looks a little out of place since, besides the numbers, there is no other white are on the uniform.  Adding white stripes somewhere would be a very simple fix, even if you're sitting drunk on a wagon to Mexico.

Overall:  I love the adaptation and the effort, and the execution is pretty good, but the concept suffers from an identity crisis.  7.8/10




I'm giving my COTW nomination to TG's "Double Blue" Canucks concept.  I'm a sucker for anything double-blue, but that set just looks fantastic.  Everything today was good, or unique in some way, and I love seeing some of the newer designers improve.  Soon Zack and Mario could be competing for COTW on a weekly basis, who knows.

I'm not going to go into any details, but something really cool is going to be added to HJC in the near future, and we're going to need lots of reader participation for it to happen, so keep your eyes open for details coming in the near future.

That's it for me, thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!