May 28, 2016

Saturday: Shark (and Penguin) Infested Waters

The winner of the COTW vote for May 13-19 was Matt M's Falcons to Tucson entry!


Full Results

Another competition entry takes the COTW vote. Well done Matt! Not to say that Matt's concept isn't fantastic, but I personally feel that he sometimes gets more love for a beautiful presentation than some other artists. Ryan C. or Scott G. may have a bit more straight forward approach with their presentation, but Matt adds a level of realism which pushes his concepts over the edge when it comes to COTW and Competition votes. Agree or disagree?

 
We know that Jordan will win this week's COTW vote. He owned the week with 9 of 11 nominations total. The three concepts that were seconded are in the vote. If you're signed into a Google account, that poll appears on the side of the page. You can see Jordan's nominated concepts by clicking the link in the poll or by going to the CONCEPT OF THE WEEK tab. Voting ends on Friday at noon Eastern time. Good luck Jordan?

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The entry phase for the Atlanta Thrashers ReDesign has come to a close and now it's time to vote. Click the banner at the top of the page or go to the THRASHERS tab to do so. You can view the entries there and place your Top 5 vote. As a test, voting for the competition also appears on the side of the blog. You'll need a Google account to vote and voting ends on Friday at noon Eastern.

The next competition will be for HJC Open logos! Yes, it's getting close to that time of year again. Who's excited?!?!?!?!

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Last Saturday we ran a poll to see which of the final four teams in the playoffs had the best throwback jersey. The choices were limited to the jerseys pictured below.

And here are the results:

Obviously the Penguins hope for similar results in the Stanley Cup Final. My vote went to the Sharks' throwback. The teal still holds up to this day. I think the look of the jersey fits the team's name so well, as do the colours. Those elements also suit the warmer climate of the Bay area. Then it's all topped off with some classic and effective style stripes. Having said that, if I ever saw one of those Lightning jerseys on sale I would pick it up if I could.
PittsburghPenguins.com
What made you vote the way you did? Is it because the Penguins currently have the attention of the hockey world and they are wearing the throwbacks doing it? Is that Lightning jersey so bad that it's good? Is that old Blues logo better than the current incarnation? Comments...below...we need them.

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Our Thursday writer Bpoe96 (Brendan P.) has won this year's HJC Playoff Pool. There's no prize for winning the Playoff Pool, but he can certainly put it on his resume. His lead is such that no one is able to catch him. However the pool isn't done. You can still play for bragging rights. A lot of players like to compare how many points they got this year versus previous. If this is your first year here's your chance to set your benchmark. Picks are due once the puck drops for Game 1 on Monday at 8pm Eastern.

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COTW vote May 20-26 (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
ATL Thrashers Top 5 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)

May 27, 2016

Friday: Thrashers Ranked

The Stanley Cup Finals match-up is all set, the Pittsburgh Penguins will take on the San Joe Sharks in a battle of two aquatic animals.  Game one is set for Monday at 8pm Eastern, which means you'll have to get your Playoff Pool picks in before then.  The winner of the pool has already been determined, but you can still play for fun.

That's enough playoff talk for now though, instead let's talk about a team who never won a single playoff game, the Atlanta Thrashers.  No the Thrashers weren't a very good hockey team, but in my opinion they were a good looking team, there's only one Thrashers jersey I dislike.  So today, in honour of our ongoing Thrashers Redesign competition, I'm going to rank all six Atlanta Thrashers jerseys.

6)  2007-11 White Road Jersey
Image from SportsLogos.Net
My least favourite Thrashers jersey was their white Reebok Edge sweater.  There's not much to like here, it was a template shared with the Flyers and it had unnecessary piping on the front.  The only thing I liked about this jersey was that it kept the unique design in the collar.

5)  2008-11 Georgia Bronze Third Jersey
Image from SportsLogos.Net
The Thrashers last third jersey wasn't very popular, but I actually thought it was pretty good.  The design was very unique, not only the striping pattern but also other details like the oversized shoulder logos.  It's not my favourite Thrashers jersey, but it's probably their most underrated jersey.

4)  2003-07 Thrasher Ice Blue Third/Home Jersey
Image from SportsLogos.Net
Next up is the Thrashers original third jersey (which became their home jersey for one year).  I was a fan of the asymmetrical arm design, but I always thought the hem stripes looked out of place on this jersey.

3)  2007-11 Thrasher Ice Blue Home Jersey
Image from SportsLogos.Net
This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I thought this jersey improved when the side panels replaced the hem stripes.  The side panels just seemed to fit with the asymmetrical arm design better.

2)  1999-2007 White Home/Road Jersey
Image from SportsLogos.Net
In my opinion the Thrashers were a team who got it right with their original jerseys.  I loved the the pattern on the hem stripes and the design on the arms.

1)  1999-2006 Atlanta Midnight Blue Road/Home Jersey
Image from SportsLogos.Net
The original midnight blue jersey beats out their white jersey because it's able to use more maroon and yellow.  The white jersey just wasn't as colourful.

Which Thrashers jersey was your favourite (or least favourite)?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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The COTW May 13-19 vote ended today at noon Eastern.  The new May 20-26 poll hasn't been posted quite yet, but it should be up sometime later today.

COTW May 20-26 vote (ends Friday, May 27 @ noon Eastern)

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Here are the last of the Thrashers Redesign entries...

by Alan H:

by Andrew W:

by Jay S:

by JJ:

by Josiah B:

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St. Louis Blues, by Ben M:
Ben starts us off with a Blues concept without any yellow (besides the alternate).  While I do like their current colours, this colour scheme looks good too and you might as well try something new for a concept.  However, I think this shade of bright blue is a bit too intense, I'd recommend choosing a colour from ColorWerx (like this one here).  I like the chest and arm stripes, but I'm not a fan of having both the yoke and contrasting upper arms.  The alternate jersey's striping pattern looks great though.
Rating: 7/10

Kitchener Rangers, by Tyler K:
Next up Tyler fixes the Kitchener Rangers by giving their own look (instead of New York Rangers copies).  It baffles me why they don't use this logo full-time, it's much better than their current logo.  This striping pattern also looks good, I particularly like the stripes on the side of the yokes.  My only suggestion is to use white numbers on the red jersey, I think they'd be easier to read.
Rating: 8/10

Columbus Blue Jackets, by Josiah B:
Josiah continues his NHL17 series with two concepts today, starting with a very vintage set for the Blue Jackets.  I think these would be great as vintage alternate jerseys, but if these were primary jerseys I'd prefer they use true white and one less stripe to make them a bit less retro.  I do like the single colour numbers though.  Lastly, I'm wondering if the pants would be red or blue?
Rating: 8/10

Minnesota Wild, by Josiah B:
For his second concept Josiah gives the Wild a set of jerseys that actually match.  I think these arm and hem stripes are perfect for the Wild.  Although personally I'd prefer to keep the road yoke, and use wheat in the logo and the home jersey's striping.  However those are just my own preferences, there's nothing wrong with how this concept is now.
Rating: 8/10

Minnesota Wild, by Jordan R:
Jordan also sent in a Wild concept as part of his NHL series, and he choose to base their look off of the North Stars.  To be honest I'm not a fan of that decision, but I happen to really like the Wild's current identity.  Also, while the wordmark looks okay on the home jersey, it's hard to read on the road jersey.  I love the third jersey though, the double green looks great and so does the striping pattern.  The fourth jersey is a cool idea to honour the state of hockey.
Rating: 8/10

New York Rangers, by Jordan R:
For the Rangers Jordan wisely kept the primary jerseys essentially the same, only switching the wordmark on the road jersey to New York, which is a small change that I'm a big fan of.  The third jersey, with true white and an actual logo, is a much better version of their current third.  I think the Yankee inspired fourth jersey is a unique idea for a concept, but I wouldn't like it in real life.  The execution is great for the most part, however on the road jersey the name could be lowered so it doesn't overlap with the yoke and the stitching of the rounded part of the yokes should be deleted.
Rating: 8/10

New York Rangers, by Lucas D:
We also have a Rangers concept from Lucas today.  I think the white jersey looks great, the small changes made help modernize the jersey to fit with the lady liberty logo.  Speaking of the logo, I don't think it looks quite as good in this colour scheme, I like it better with navy blue and silver.  The blue jersey looks fairly good, however the red kind of disappears into the blue, I'd try to separate them with white.
Rating: 8/10

Arizona Coyotes, by Lucas D:
I've actually reviewed half this concept before, as Lucas previously sent in the maroon jersey on it's own.  I loved the pattern on the stripes back then and I still love it now, and the matching road jersey looks good too.  Comparing this concept to the original, it's clear Lucas' execution and presentation continue to improve, that's great to see.  The original concept earned my COTW nomination and this one will as well.
Rating: 9/10 and my COTW nomination!

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I'll be back next week, probably with a review of the Panthers new uniforms since they're scheduled to be released next Thursday.  Goodbye!

May 26, 2016

Thursday: An NHL Exclusive

Hello everyone, welcome back on the last day of the Conference Finals. Big game for the Pens tonight, really hoping they pull it out.

Since the playoffs are almost done, and only one matchup is left to be set, let's take a look at my top three jersey matchups through the playoffs.

3: Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers
Yeah, this may be a bit biased with the Pens, but I think it's a nice matchup nonetheless, at least in Pittsburgh. The Pens away jersey isn't all that great of a fit for the Pens, and doesn't match up too well with the Rangers' classic set. In Pittsburgh though, two nice, classic, colorful jerseys go up against each other to make a pretty good matchup.

2: St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks
This is the first of two appearances for the Blues on this list, and for good reason. Both of them, though, have a lot to do with the color matchup. This one, the classic red vs blue. Doesn't hurt that all of these are some great jerseys too.

1: St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars
This is a pretty similar matchup to the last one, both with some nice designs. So maybe it's just my bias that puts this one on top. Or maybe it's that green is almost completely unique in the NHL, at least as a primary jersey color, and Dallas' shade is completely unique in the NHL. But like I said, maybe it's just my bias.

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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This week, we have the COTW vote like always, and the Atlanta Thrashers resurrection contest. The voting ends tomorrow at noon, so if you haven't been here in a while take note of the new time.
COTW May 13-19 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
Thrashers entries due (Friday @ noon Eastern)

Entries:

Andrew A.
Bradley D.

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Andrew W. - St. Louis Blues
+I think one of the Blues' biggest problems with their current set has to do with color balance, and not enough of their light blue color on the road jersey. This fixes the road jersey perfectly.
+I definitely like the prominence of yellow on the home jersey...
-...but I think there's too much of it. It throws off the balance with not enough yellow on the road jersey. 
-The stripes are too thin, they'd be barely visible from a distance.
+Great choice bringing back the trumpet logo though.
Overall: 8/10



Connor L. - Dallas Stars
+A Stars jersey without black works pretty well.
+The addition of gray/silver also fits with their scheme really well, and makes the design a bit more interesting than just two colors.
+Simple yet good looking design overall
-With how thick the arm stripes are, I'd just fill in the arms completely. Either that, or thin down all the stripes a bit.
-While it could work, I don't think the diagonal Dallas on the front really works.
-The TV numbers should be split down the middle and be shown on the front and back. The back numbers look a bit small too.
~The Adidas logo on the collar is either an execution error, or an interesting idea. Not sure which, so not sure where to categorize this.



Jordan R. - Chicago Blackhawks
+It's been said a few times, but I love your presentation for the concepts, especially the home/road/third/fourth style. If you didn't know, I'm the one who asked you about using it, that's how much I like it.
~For a set that's aiming to be more of an "Ideal NHL" type of idea as opposed to a concept to change things up, I'll let the lack of creativity slide. Only time I find that acceptable really. 
+One thing I definitely can't say that about is the fourth jersey. I love the idea of having a jersey in a completely different design, color scheme, etc; yet still relates to their identity. And for this one, I really like what you did.
-I understand why you did it, but the back numbers are way too small on that one and should not be confined to the chest stripe like that.
-The TV numbers look a tad big on all the jerseys.
Overall: 9/10


Josiah B. - Chicago Blackhawks
+This one on the other hand is shaking things up a bit, something harder to do for the Hawks.
+This design has more consistency than the Hawks' current jerseys, on just one of the jerseys and between the set, so that's a plus.
+I like the shoulder patch being moved down to the arm striping.
+Taking their home jersey design and playing off of that was probably the best way to go about this.
-I like the idea with the shoulder yokes, but they gotta go. They make this design way too busy, and it was already relatively busy with the amount of stripes on the jersey beforehand.
-The name looks just a tad small.
Overall: 8/10



Josiah B. - St. Louis Blues
+Sticking close to their current design isn't a bad idea by any means. 
-The first thing that popped out at me though is something I mentioned on the previous Blues concept, and it's the color balance. There's way too much navy blue on the road jersey. Switch around the two blue colors on that jersey and you're golden. Well, blue not gold, the gold is only an accent color. But you get the point.
~The squared off yoke is a lateral move in my opinion, neither this one or what they have now look bad.
+Removing the tiny spaces in between the stripes is definitely for the better here, simplifies the look.
Overall: 7.5/10



Josiah B. - Washington Capitals
+Playing off of the Winter Classic design is definitely a nice idea.
+I think using 4 stripes is an improvement, and keeps the design consistent.
+Good choice leaving them off of the arms as well, that most likely would have made it too busy.
+Solid, one color numbers definitely fits the vintage look well.
-Not the most creative concept overall, but a nice improvement on their Winter Classic jerseys.
Overall: 8.5/10 


Lucas D. - Detroit Red Wings
+Not the easiest to redesign the Wings and have it still look enough in their brand for it to work, good job with that here.
+I like the use of the Stadium Series logo, I think it opened up more opportunities to do what I mentioned above.
+Don't know if it was intentional or not, but the design gives me a bit of a Cougars vibe, while keeping with the Wings' identity.
-I think this works just fine as it is, but I'd like to see what it looks like with full arm coloring and stripes instead.
Overall: 9/10


Lucas D. - Washington Capitals
+Weagle. That is all.
+Always I nice touch when the stripes are exactly the same on both jerseys, down to the color.
-I think it looks a bit awkward on the home jersey though. If you gave the arms on the home jersey the same treatment as the hems, that would make it much better in my opinion.
+Considering that this jersey is a mix of modern and traditional, the font really fits.
Overall: 9/10 and my COTW Nomination

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That's a wrap for today. I hope you enjoyed the post, thanks for reading, and I'll see you all again next week.

May 25, 2016

Wednesday: HOTlanta

Hi guys! Glad to be back another week, especially since I avoided most of the fighting around Yankee Stadium on the day of the New York City FC - New York Red Bulls match. Fun match to attend, but better when you successfully lead people away to safety from the nonsense. Therefore I am alive and not in prison so that's a plus.

With our Atlanta Thrashers redesign going on, I decided to take a look into the history of the NHL in Atlanta.

While the term "HOTlanta" did not come from hockey, the theme of the first franchise in Georgia could've fooled you: the Atlanta Flames. They joined the New York Islanders in the expansion class of 1972, since the WHA's expansion interests played a role in the Islanders' birth. Since the NHL wanted to keep an even number of teams, they decided on Atlanta because why not? Tom Collins, who owned the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, was awarded the team at the price of $6 million dollars. The Flames ended up playing their first game against the aforementioned Islanders, winning 3-2 at Nassau Coliseum. Their first home game at Omni Coliseum was a 1-1 tie against Buffalo, with a sellout crowd of just under 15,000 to see it.

Atlanta Flames road jersey, modeled by Garry Unger (via thehockeywriters.net and classicauctions.net)

Soon attendance plummeted. The Flames couldn't secure a TV deal to keep the team afloat due to low viewership. The Omni Coliseum had no luxury boxes to generate money. Jim Craig was signed during the tail end of the 1979-80 season to try and attract fans. While he did save the United States National Team, he couldn't save the Flames from relocation and the team was sold to an investor group in Calgary for $16 million, then an NHL record.

The next attempt at hockey in the city began in 1999, when the Atlanta Thrashers were born alongside the Nashville Predators. Time Warner would be the owners and in a fan poll to name the team, Thrashers was selected. It did not technically win the poll, but the poll winner was a name already in use, despite efforts to pay homage to Atlanta hockey history. That nickname? Flames.


Dany Heatley prepares for action to resume as a member of the Thrashers (via TSN)

The team's first game was a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The team would be only slightly more successful than the Flames. They won the Southeast division in 2007, then immediately got sent packing from their only playoff appearance in 4 games at the hands of the New York Rangers. Later on, Atlanta Spirit LLC, the new ownership group, fell apart as claims of breach of contract forced a court battle to determine who would be bought out and at what cost. In the end, the ownership group sold the entire team to True North Sports and Entertainment, after finding no suitable buyers in Atlanta. Thus the team landed in the True North, Strong and Free: Canada. Winnipeg to be exact. Atlanta's two teams now reside in Canada successfully.

But for two weeks only, we resurrect NHL hockey in Atlanta! The Thrashers are back and need a new look, because while unique, that home jersey (and even moreso the alternate) were not good. So it's up to you to do it! Make sure your submissions are sent in by Friday at noon. Also at the same time is the end of the COTW vote so get that done, or else you will get sent to Atlanta for 8 years then relocated to a different Canadian city. I choose Quebec City. I'll see what Ryan says.

He says I can't kidnap you for not voting.

But who said I would be the one doing that? VOTE!

Full reminders in technicolor:

COTW May 13-19 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
Thrashers entries due (Friday @ noon Eastern)

Today's Thrashers Entries:

Ben S:

Brooks F:


CPM:


KJ L:


Lucas D


Phil B:


Tyler M:



ON TO THE CONCEPTS!


Andrew W:


Seems like the trend at HJC of late is contrasting upper shoulders. This does something the current Ducks set does: identical jersey patterns only changing the main color of the jersey, and instead of black, Andrew goes orange. I just feel like without more white on the sleeves, the jersey feels cluttered. One thing that would help the jersey beyond that is the updated number font, which is a bit taller than the one seen here, first used on the newly rebranded jerseys, which the Ducks won their Cup in.

Cluttered Ducks: 77%


Jordan R: Los Angeles Kings Concept


Jordan updates the look for the Kings with enough minor tweaks everywhere to set this apart, minus the heritage jersey, an exact replica of the original Kings jerseys, yellow pants and all. Jordan moves the numbers in the sleeve striping (could be a little smaller). He relegates the current logo to a shoulder patch, while bringing to us a new Chevy-style logo, with the modern Kings logo font, and a black background similar to the Ontario Reign. Hem stripe is badly needed on the current black and he fixes that here. A mirrored third jersey is in grey, which is a much desired look for those who saw the 2014 Stadium Series, without the piping of the main jerseys and it looks great. My only complaint is that those hem stripes are, in LA terms, hella thick.

All hail the King: 93%


Jordan R: Ottawa Senators Concept

Old look with the best Senators logo in use (extent of actual use is TBD) today. Numbers do look squished though, both on the back and in the striping. I have always thought the Peace Tower logo is underrated so I like its inclusion here. Slight changes, though fewer than your previous concept. I do like the look of the alternate much better. The fourth jersey is interesting, so if you can't read the description, which I can't without zooming in, I'll write it here:

"The fourth is a fauxback to their 1895 uniforms as the Ottawa Hockey Club (nicknamed the Generals). I added stripes because a plain white sweater is boring in 2016! I also darkened the red to a maroon because it looked darker in photos."

Good call with the stripes, good call with only hem trim and not striping because an Ottawa team with a jersey resembling the Leafs is cause for trouble, just on the standpoint of rivalry.

Classic look with an update: 90%


Josiah B: Anaheim Ducks Concept


A similar design to what we've seen from the ducks, but the sleeves are inverted, with the stripes coming together to a point under the arm instead of over it. But is that the biggest takeaway here? Nope. Is it the primary logo replacing the script logo? Nope. GREEN! A while ago we did a competition to redesign the ducks in green, orange and gold, the original scheme planned before black, gold and orange replaced the famous eggplant and jade. But please show me pants, You already have the helmets (needing logos, mind you), there is room for the pants, even just one set which is all you really need unless you have different designs for home and road. Your next concept will prove why.

It's not easy being green: 77%


Josiah B: Montreal Canadiens Concept


See how the blue helmet looks out of place? While I like the inversion of the normal chest stripe, and a matching road shirt, the blue helmet looks awkward without pants. Sock stripes seem a little thick. Not a totally new look but one that is appreciated with the matching road.

Slight adjustment and a match: 80%


Lucas D: Los Angeles Kings Concept


I think this is an underrated look. One I tried for the CHL redesign contest series. I like how Lucas eliminates black. It's definitely a quality move here. This color scheme works both with it and without it. I would like to see how the equipment works here.

I see a purple jersey, and have no problem with it not painted black: 89%


Lucas D: Ottawa Senators Concept


The white jersey is clearly the best of these two concepts. Clean looks, but I love the laurel pattern as a yoke trim. Very classy look. Again with the equipment though. Would it be red? Black? Gold??? I want to see the whole look.

Classing it up: 89%


Vaughn R: Tuscon Wolves (AHL) concept


Vaughn Goes traditional, looking at the Coyotes old look to inspire the new team. I like the recolored coyote, since wolves are in the same family as coyotes, as both are types of dogs. However there's a team in Chicago that would not be happy with that name. regardless, that alternate needs a LOT of work. Template lines need to disappear with striping like that. Arms are crowded while the rest of the jersey seems barren. At least add some sort of shoulder patch. Speaking of which, the AZ patch on the front of the jersey is not a good look with barren shoulders. That Under Armour logo is HUGE. I also don't know why there's number outlines on one jersey only. Maroon numbers do not work on that black jersey without an outline at a minimum, if at all. The shades of black are also inconsistent.

A bit of a howler: 60%


The winner of my COTW nomination is:

 JORDAN R 

and his

 LOS ANGELES KINGS CONCEPT 

So here's to another week of me staying out of jail from soccer rivalries! See you next week!