April 17, 2014

Thursday: It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Nope, I'm not talking about Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, my birthday, or any other important day of the year. I'm talking about PLAYOFFS! Finally!

Now, don't get me wrong, Christmas is a great holiday. It means being a day away from the World Juniors, and everyone loves that.

But everyone and their dog gets excited for playoffs. The game gets 100% more intense, exciting, and fun to watch this time of year. I seriously escape from life for a while this time of year, as everything usually takes a backseat to whatever game is on at that particular time.

And by "whatever game is on", I mean all of them. I'm usually in the living room with the TV playing TSN games, and any available laptop streaming the CBC games, all at the same time. Why? Because its The Cup!

I could verbally-drool about the playoffs all day long, but I have a post to write, so lets get to it!

Oh, and by the way, voting is going good lately, but it could always be better, and we have a few big votes this week, so make sure you get your vote in! Also, you should check out the details of the HJC Meet Up, and send in your Oilers concepts if you haven't done so yet. Hey, I even got a concept in this time (its been almost 2 months since my last concept *sigh*) so you have no excuse. Anyways, to the post!

1st Quarter Vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW April 7-13 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Oilers Competition entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)


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Oiler Competition Entries:

Bastian:

Colin M.

Steven G.

Garrett F.

Mike S.

Matt M.

Jeff C.

Caleb F.



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New Jersey Devils Concept - Stuart R.


Yay: We start this post with a sequel for one of last week's concepts, from England's own Stuart R.  This jersey is very much toned down from that last concept, but considering he aimed for a Nike Swift jersey, that definitely worked out well for him. This definitely could pass as a Nike alternate, or possibly a Stadium Series uniform.

Nay: I just don't like the logo being that large on the front of the jersey. Whether it was intentional or not, it just looks sloppy. I really think you need something on the arms or the hem (or both). While it isn't bad, considering Nike would do something like this, to me it looks like a practice jersey with a yoke. A 3rd should be more exciting than that.

Overall: The funky jersey last week cleaned up nicely, but now it's almost too plain. Good Nike concept, but overall, it's just okay.  7.4/10



Vancouver Canucks Concept - Stephen T.


Yay: Stephen has been the receiver of much criticism from myself and others lately, based on the lack of originality on his concepts lately. So immediately I want to applaud him for going in the complete opposite direction with this concept. This uniform is a very interesting mix of different jerseys, logos and colours through the years, including the red 3rd which is pretty much forgotten about. I'm not sure where the one-sided cuff/arm style came from, but overall its a very solid, unique design.

Nay: I think the red jersey needs some white, possibly in the front striping, and in the secondary patch, replacing the red (its just to dark and unclear as is). I think I'd rather see straight, diagonal arms instead of the modern, curvy ones here, since the rest of the jersey has a 90's look to it. This concept would be awesome, but the solid black pants, socks, and lack of helmet decal or anything really spoil it.

Overall: You have the makings of a really awesome, original concept. Just a little more work and polish, and you'd be COTW-worthy for sure.  But right now, its a 7.6/10.



Phoenix Coyotes Concept - Stephen T.


Yay: Stephen comes for round two with a Phoenix Coyotes jersey, a team we'll see a lot of today.  He takes the 3rd jersey, removes the "desertscape" besides the sides and top of arms, and brings in the main logo from this era instead of the close up version. The black arms and sides, along with the scenery, look so much better than the original full-body scenery jersey with awkward green to black transition.

Nay: I'm not crazy about the number font. The text font is sleek, and matches the theme of the Coyotes well, while the '3' is just a big, round 3. Refer back to the jerseys of this era, and choose a similar font. Some number outlines would help as well. Good job with the socks, but I'd switch the brown and purple locations, and add some similar striping to the pants.

Overall: I wouldn't be embarrassed to wear this. I can't say the same about their actual 3rd of the era. Not perfect, but definitely a neat look. 7.5/10



Phoenix Coyotes Concept - Christian L.


Yay: Our second Coyotes concept comes from Christian. This refreshing new look throws in a lot more design elements that stand out, including a whole new stripe pattern, the body "Arizona flag" stripes, and a genius reworking of the captains patch. The logo wouldn't be my first choice, but I think it looks good enough for an alternate. This jersey has Phoenix/Arizona written all over it.

Nay: The body stripes are fine, but it looks weird how it just ends at the top. Maybe having a black or beige yoke could make for a better transition. Then the shoulder patches could be closer to the collar too, which would look nicer. Right now they look really low, and kind of uneven. Finally, why is the red darker on the back side? And the 'Reebok' text isn't really their patch, and its not the same shade of beige.

Overall: It's a nice, new look, that has Arizona pride all over it, but needs a bit of polish. 7.3/10



Arizona Coyotes Concept - Scott M.


Yay: It's Scott's turn to show us his Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes concept. He takes the best of both eras of Coyotes jerseys, keeping the colours and traditional straight striping, but changing the middle stripe to look like a modern re-do of their original stripes. The result? Fantastic! It's not too busy, not too plain, and definitely has the Coyotes brand all over it.

Nay: I love the font used on the numbers, but the letters are a bit of a let down. Kudos for rolling your own with a new font, but it looks to modern and "techy" to really match the Coyotes theme. I'd also change the beige outline on the white jersey, or add a thin black outline to it. Beige on white is near impossible to see without getting right up close.

Overall: Very solid concept! I'd love to see both eras mix like this if they ever change their look. 8.5/10



NHL All-Star Game Concept - Thomas H.


Yay: Now for some more non-Coyote concepts. This one is from Thomas H., who redoes the All-Star Game uniforms with orange and brown. Very interesting colours, but I think it relates back to the 80's ASG uniforms, with brown subbing in for black. I personally love the colour combinations, and miss the days when the NHL didn't stick exclusively with red and blue. This would be a great "blast from the past", while still looking like a modern uniform.

Nay: The problem is, all of the past ASG jerseys have been different colours almost completely. The light and dark jerseys contrasted well with each other. This time, not so much. With the same pants, same stripe style, and same colours in different locations, this would be complicated to watch, like when Slovakia and USA played at the Olympics. Instead, use different colours on each uniform, or a different striping pattern, or even just thinner stripes, anything to create more contrast.

Overall: It is a very fantastic jersey set, but not a great logistical choice. Since this isn't a logistics blog, your score won't sink much. 8.2/10



Houston Aeros Concept - s2dio


Yay: s2dio returns with his "Back In The Game" series, this time with the Houston Aeros. I was really surprised when they left the AHL this season, being one of the most iconic non-NHL hockey teams in history. I'd definitely love a return to blue and grey, and to not look like Minnesota Wild knockoffs. Not much I can say, these jerseys are just extremely solid, classic, and capture the identity of the Aeros.

Nay: The stripes on the white jersey definitely look busier than on the dark jerseys. The thin grey stripes against white really don't show up, they just make the white look thicker. That's my theory anyways. I like how it looks on the green jersey, so I don't know how to fix the white jersey stripes without changing too much. I think blue pants with the green jersey would look better than an all-green uniform too.

Overall: The concept is fantastic, and makes me miss the Aeros even more. 8.5/10



Carolina Hurricanes Concept - Colin M.


Yay: Colin is up next with a grey Hurricanes jersey. Why grey? I'm not sure. But good job for doing something different. The stripe pattern is simple, but colourful enough to ensure the jersey doesn't look too plain. The yoke/upper arms with the warning flags look cool, and definitely make this uniform set believable for the Hurricanes.

Nay: Since white only appears on the logo, it looks out of place. Maybe having the stripe between the black and red stripes turn white instead would help. The black font with red outline look really dark and unprofessional, can't explain why, just looks MS Paint-like. The red cuffs seem unnecessary and out of place. Either tone them down or add a red hem.

Overall: It's a neat idea, but I don't see the need for the Hurricanes to go grey, and this concept didn't sway me at all. 7.5/10



New York Islanders Concept - Colin M.


Yay: Colin made a bit of a misstep in his last concept, but this Islanders concept makes it all up. The Islanders in orange is simply just a great look. I never got the "barber pole" orange and white stripes the Islanders use (I think it represents Cup wins), but it actually makes the arms and pants look perfect for this uniform. This looks like a jersey they've always had, but in reality they've had nothing like this ever, which makes this concept fantastic in believability and execution.

Nay: The white outline on the text makes it look a little distorted and messy. White clashes with orange when such a thin outline is used. The number with its thick outline is fine, but the name's outline is not. I get what the socks are trying to go for, but it just doesn't look as good. I think a simple orange sock with thin white/thick blue/thin white pattern would work just as good.

Overall: Much better. This is the 3rd jersey to end all 3rd jerseys for the Islanders. 8.3/10



New York Islanders Concept - Bastian


Yay: Now we'll go to Bastian and his version of an Islanders concept. Front the logo and yoke, you can see that this would be a good Stadium Series uniform. I'd definitely rather this, with orange jersey and full arm stripes, than their actual SS uniform. It looks classic, like anything Islanders should look, but with a yoke and logo that still speaks "Islanders", but makes the jersey unique. Execution is flawless.

Nay: Maybe some stripes on the pants would be nice, just to get some more colour in. But that's really all I have to complain about.

Overall: Perfect blend of new and old, and since its universally agreed upon that NYI should avoid anything "new", this is perfect. I think I'd take their current main set over this, but as a 3rd or special game jersey, I'd take over their other jerseys any day. 9/10



Buffalo Sabres Concept - Bastian



Yay: We end today with another Bastian concept, this time for the Buffalo Sabres. This is basically their old colours, with a more complicated striping pattern similar to their current set. I personally like the lighter blue colour of old here. Nothing to flashy about these jerseys, but it is very retro, and very Buffalo. Like the Islanders, the Sabres have a difficult time looking flashy, so its best to avoid it and stick with what they do best, which this concept does.

Nay: The striping pattern on these jerseys bring this concept down a lot. It just looks messy and poorly executed when arm stripes and hem stripes are different, especially when the style is the same, but the colours aren't. In both jerseys, the arm and hem stripes basically invert the yellow/white or yellow/blue, and make the main middle stripe different in the process. There's no scientific way to explain my dislike for it, I just don't.

Overall: Besides the stripes, this concept is really good. It captures everything a good retro Sabres jersey should. 7.8/10

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It was close, but then I got to Bastian's New York Islanders concept, and it ran away with my COTW nomination. Great stuff.

I've been nagging people a lot lately about the lack of originality in their work. Today was a huge improvement, glad to see designers taking more risks, and stretch the current looks to the point of making something new with them. Awesome work, hopefully it keeps up.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the playoffs!

April 16, 2014

Wednesday: Finally

The playoffs are finally here! We've talked about them for weeks, but it is finally time for our favorite teams to chase the cup.
  
It also has been rumored that the Coyotes will wear their original uniform next season as a throwback. I feel like I am the only person that actually liked that uniform, but I am excited anyway. Also teams have been wearing their Stadium Series jerseys a second time at their home arena. I personally think this takes away from the novelty of the special edition jerseys, but I want to know what the HJC community thinks. Comment away!
  
There are also a pair of voting deadlines and a contest going on. Here's what you'll need to know, and I can't wait to see the rest of the entries. Also, make sure to check out the details of the HJC Meet Up this summer! It looks like it should be a lot of fun.
  
1st Quarter Vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW April 7-13 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Oilers Competition entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
   
Here are today's entries:
   
Alan H.
    
Christian L.
    
    
Jeff H.
     
Ryan H.
  
S2dio




     
Stuart R.
   
William B.
   
Wings98
Time for today's concepts:





    
  
Tom V. - Carolina Hurricanes Concept

Design: The recent redesign of the Hurricanes didn't satisfy Tom, and his concept starts from the drawing board. He even redesigns the logo! Although it takes some getting used to, I think the logo is very sharp. I also like that black prominently returns to the home and away uniforms. The black jerseys reminds me of the 'Canes current alternate, and I think that it is the best jersey in the set. I like the flag on the pants, and I really like the flag on the front of the socks. I think that would be a really unique look in the NHL.
     
Score: 8/10 - The gray trim adds a lot to this concept. What a creative idea to start today's post.
      
   
Tyler F. - Harvard Concept
Design: I certainly do not go to Harvard, but I do wear a Harvard hockey T-shirt to every exam I take. I pretend it gives me good luck, but I'm not so sure it doesn't do the opposite. Tyler's concept isn't too different from the jerseys the Harvard currently wears, however, the crest is used in favor of the arched text.
   
Score: 6/10 - Many of the stripes are not straight, which detracts from the design. Also, the collars aren't colored. I think this concept has potential, but as Ryan says, make sure to triple check your design,
 
 
Christian L. - Dallas Stars Throwback Alternate Concept
Design: Christian puts a little bit of everything into this concept. I love when concepts mix elements from different eras, and that is what this concept does. The colors come from the North Stars era, the striping comes from the miserable Reebok Edge era, and the logo is very similar to the logo that came following the team's name change. The only thing I don't like about this concept is how much "Dallas" sticks out in the logo. It looks like too many things are stacked and it looks cluttered.
   
Score: 7/10 - Very creative concept! I love digging to find a concept's inspiration.
  
  
Bastian - Finland Concept
Design: I have seen a lot of Finland concepts recently, and I think that it is very hard to make a jersey look good with so many shades of blue. Bastian gets creative with the striping, which is my favorite feature of this concept. I don't like square yokes, but It looks good on this concept with how "blocky" the striping is.
   
Score: 7.5/10 - Niemi left the Blackhawks after winning the cup in 2010. That hurt! I would change the name on the jerseys that's all.
  
   
Bastian - Czech Republic Concpet
Design: Whatever is going on in the Czech's Olympics jersey is all forgotten here. The crest that the team uses opens up a window to be overly creative. Think about Maryland's football uniforms. Bastian incorporates the checked pattern that can be seen in the crest, and it really brings the uniform together.
   
Score: 7.5/10 - My only concern is that the checkers will get lost on the ice. The Predators tried a similar pattern, and it looked almost like solid striping. I like the idea nonetheless.
   
   
Phil B. - Tampa Bay Lightning Alternate Concept
Design: What would the world be like without Tampa Bay's "Bolts" jersey? Probably a better looking place. Phil nails this alternate jersey. Black is mixed with the new logo for the first time, and the under arms also become black. I like This jersey over the Lightning's home jersey, and I would like to see this a primary concept instead. The shoulder patches reflect the old logo, something that Tampa updated on their alternate just last year.
    
Score: 8/10 - Does anyone know why the Lightning used the hatching on the armpit? I feel as if that would always be hidden...
   
  
Ryan H. - Spokane Chiefs Alternate Concept
Design: The Chiefs essentially rip off the Canadiens' jerseys for their home & away uniforms. However, Ryan brings us a uniform that could give the team a very unique identity. The striping pattern reminds me of the Coyotes original striping pattern. Although the details are small, I think it looks great on the concept. I also really like the number font. It is just different enough from standard block numbers that it greatly improves the design.
   
Score: 8.5/10 - This is a great looking concept! This would also make a good looking home uniform.
  
  
Stephen T. - Eisbären Berlin Concept
Design: It's hard to go wrong when you have a logo like this! Stephen has created a simple jersey that fits the team's identity perfectly. The large white stripes put the polar in bear and I like the red trim to complement the tongue of the bear.
   
Score: 7/10 - Clean + Simple = Awesome concept. It is a touch hard to see the "Berlin" on the blue jersey. I think it would look good in white.
   
   
Stephen T. - Switzerland Concept
Design: The NHL tried the offset crest look in the 2000 & 2001 All Star Games, and they should never try it again. That feature does, however, look good on this concept. I think that Switzerland could have used some more detail on their Olympics jerseys, and this would have been a perfect fix.
   
Score: 7.5/10 - I was skeptical about the black number outline at first, but it has grown on me and I like what Stephen has here.
  
  
S2dio - Las Vegas Wranglers Concept
Design: S2dio's concept hits the jackpot! The crest is awesome and fits the team's identity perfectly. The colors look great, and the two different colored pants are awesome and unique. The shoulder patches only add to the list of cool features.
   
Score: 8/10 - Do the Wranglers really have to wait until 2018 to use these uniforms?
   
    
Jake88 - Winnipeg Jets Concept
Design: The Jets already wear some good looking uniforms, but Jake revamps their look with this outstanding concept. Red is brought back into the equation, reminding us of the original Jets franchise. Jake also uses the current striping as a basis for his design. I really like the larger striping that goes up the arm. The way that the striping is cut out of the body of the jerseys also gives an illusion that reminds me of airplane wings. The slight change in the logo looks like the exhaust we see in the sky, and the sublimated maple leaf behind the number looks awesome!
   
Score: 9/10 - COTW Nomination! Great work Jake!
  
  
That's all for this week! Get your contest entries in, and as always, don't forget to vote!

April 15, 2014

Tuesday: Happy Playoffs Eve

Happy Playoffs Eve everyone!!! Tomorrow is the start of the best time of year, the Stanley Cup Playoffs! Don't forget to go the the left of the page before the start of the games to fill out your Playoff picks for the first round.

But also don't forget to vote for the first COTY quarter vote. I don't want to pressure you Americans, but there's a USA concept designed by a handsome young fellow. I'm not saying your country will shun you if you don't vote for it...but your country might shun you...

There's also the regular COTW vote as well as the deadline for Oilers entries...

1st Quarter Vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW April 7-13 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Oilers Competition entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

Speaking of Oilers entries...

David P.

Jeff H.

Leo D.

Scott M.

Stephen T.

Tom V.

And now onto the daily concepts!

St. Louis Blues Concept - Phil B.
Phil apparently likes when the Blues wear yellow. The Blue jersey doesn't look bad. Less yellow would be better though. The red trim is back too which, I didn't miss but I don't mind seeing back. The white jersey has way too much yellow and not enough blue for a team named the "Blues". Ditch the yoke on both jerseys and that would be a much better amount of yellow. All the yellow should be blue on the white jersey though.

Rating: 6/10


Colorado Rockies Modernized Concept - Christian L.
Christian modernizes the Colorado Rockies by getting rid of the yellow and giving the team the Avalanche's color scheme. So I'm not sure if this is meant to take over or the Avalanche or not. I think the new main crest is creative, but could use some refining to bring out the "C". The shoulder patches are a nice touch. I'm not sold on the hem stripe on the black jersey. It looks amateurish when it bleeds off the bottom and is so close to the edge of the hem. Just my opinion though.

Rating: 7/10


Team Canada Concept - Stephen T.
Simple fix to the Canadian jerseys from this year. Stripes on both arms and black trim. I think this works as a set better than the actual jerseys did. Add some black trim to the socks to complete the look

Rating: 7.5/10


Team USA Concept - Stephen T.
I think chest stripes would have looked good with the shield. I think there needs to be more space between the shield and the chest stripes to avoid losing the shield in the stripes. Not sold on the white stripes on the pants either. There needs to either be some red on there or no stripe at all.

Rating: 7.5/10


Team Canada Concept - Bastian
Bastian puts together a pretty good set of Canada jerseys. I like the gold trim a lot better than the black that they try to use. I normally like square yokes but they're not my favorite here. I don't think any yoke would be necessary here. On the red jersey at least, I'd get rid of the yoke, I feel like there's too much white. I'd still enjoy seeing the Canadian team taking the ice in something like these.

Rating: 8/10


Team Switzerland Concept - Bastian
I like this yoke/colored arm combo. Its a good idea to make the top of the jersey busy and interesting while the main crest is small and off to the side. I really think a "soccer style" crest could work, on at least international concepts. Outside of the crest and yoke/arms everything here is pretty basic, which isn't a bad thing in this case. It balances things out.

Rating: 8/10


Buffalo Sabres Alternate Jersey Concept - Dylan W.
Dylan proves to everyone, like almost EVERYONE has, that the Sabres new yellow alternate could have worked but they messed it up. By keeping the back yellow and the blue to the arms it keeps the jersey more traditional but with the silver cuffs and sabre-like stripes going down the arms giving it the modern touch the team clearly wanted. I personally would like to see the blue go under the collar still.  I think I had seen Dylan put this concept up somewhere and told him I didn't care for the yellow stripe on the pants, but since it's still here I'll tell him again. Hey Dylan I don't care for the yellow on the pants.

Rating: 8/10


San Jose Sharks Concept - Matt M
I'm I'm not mistaken this concept showed up on Icethetics on a Freak Out Friday. I think this could totally, absolutely work as a set IF Anaheim didn't already wear this. Even if Anaheim ditched their swoop it wouldn't look right if the Sharks "swooped" in and took it. It looks good though.

Rating: 8/10


Chicago Wolves Concept - Chris W.
Ahh the Wolves, I'm familiar with this team. Growing up about an hour from their home rink I never actually got into the AHL until my hometown Rockford Icehogs made the jump into the league. Now I see these Wolves quite a bit and a rivalry has emerged between the two teams. I'll try not to let that get in the way of my critiquing! It looks like these are alternate jersey concepts but it'd be nice to see a dark jersey to go along with these, as I'm seeing a sick white jersey and a light alternate.

I think the color balance in these jerseys is great. It's also a really nice color scheme so it's hard to mess it up. I think their current light jersey is great but I think I like this white one better. The paw print shoulder patches are nice. Straight up, nice jerseys, again, I'd like to see a dark version though, this would make a sick set.

Rating: 8.5/10

now as for the logos...
Its nice to see the stupid stick and puck gone, it ruins what could be one of the best logos in the league. Now picking these apart, Font wise, take the 1994 from 7 and put it on 6... 8 Makes a good St Pattys day alternate. I'm not sold on the font in 9 and 10. But I like the yellow roundel. On a regular set like I'm suggesting being made, maroon roundel on a white jersey, and yellow on a maroon jersey would look nice.

Rating: 8/10


Quebec Nordiques Concept - s2dio
Gotta say I'm a fan of the striping here. Especially on the blue jersey. I actually prefer this set to the fleur de lis full set of the past. And the socks go with the jerseys very well! The only thing I'd like to see differently here is the striping going all the way around the jersey. Both the hem and arms have the striping stop. At the very least the hem stripes should go all the way around. Even with that being said, I realllly like the blue jersey's striping.

Rating: 8.5 - COTW Nom - also raise the arm striping a little bit and it'd be even better...