A very happy Saturday to the hockey jersey design world, and an even happier Saturday to my fellow Blackhawks fans, who watched our boys in red take a 2-0 series lead over the Wild on the same night that the Canucks fell behind 0-2 in their series. Now both teams have to go on the road under very different circumstances, and I can't wait to see the games. Meanwhile, across the continent, despite Sidney Crosby scoring two goals in his return from injury, the Islanders pulled off a stunning comeback and beat the Penguins 4-3, meaning the series heads to New York all tied up. It's anyone's ball game at this point.
No more Wolf Pack entries, so on to the concepts.
New York Rangers (by Dylan)
Dylan’s entry into the Rangers Untouchable contest actually takes some cues from the Rangers’ real life jerseys and modifies them to his new design. I like the use of the darker blue (it’s no secret that I’m a sucker for the Lady Liberty alts) and the light touch of gray works really well as an accent. The logo is an interesting choice. I’m not quite sure where I stand on it. I don’t care for the drop shadow numbers, though. Since the NOBs aren’t drop shadowed, I would have removed the drop shadow from the numbers and gone with white on the blue jersey and blue on the white jersey. Overall, I’ll give it an 8/10.
Connecticut Huskies (by Kevin)
The University of Connecticut recently rebranded with the logo and scripts seen on this concept, and it’s a gorgeous use of those new marks. The color scheme works for the same reason it does for the Rangers: the two colors stand out well against each other and really complement each other. I probably would have gone with the husky head as the chest logo without a shoulder patch, but the wordmark on the chest is really common in college hockey so I can’t criticize Kevin for going with that style. My biggest critique is in the template used. When I see a Nike logo slapped on what is obviously a Reebok template, it sets off the OCD detail hound in me. There are several Nike templates available. I suggest using them. Overall, I’ll give it an 8/10.
Anaheim Ducks/Los Angeles Kings (by Mike)
Mike’s concept for the upcoming Doyer (sorry, I loathe that team from Los Angeles and refuse to call them by their real name) Stadium outdoor game between the Ducks and Kings combines two not-quite-throwbacks to create a great look. You’ll notice that while both jerseys do reference each team’s inaugural jerseys, they’re not quite the same as the original looks. I don’t know if that would necessarily work, though. You’re so close to the original looks – why not just use them? After all, if the Kings wore gold, there’d be no reason for the Ducks not to wear purple (or eggplant, rather). Either way, it’d be a great-looking game. Other than that, I’ve got no problems with this one. Overall, I’ll give it an 8/10.
New York Rangers (by Scott)
Scott’s NYR Untouchables entry combines features from both of the Rangers’ current jerseys, changes the colors and does something that the Rangers did for only two years full-time: the primary logo on the front of the jersey. It’s a bold and simple look that would definitely work for the Rangers. Hell, I’d even go so far as to say the blue jersey would be a great replacement for the Rangers’ current alternate, which I honestly can’t stand. This one gets no critiques from me. Overall, I’ll give it an 8.5/10.
New York Rangers (by Stephen)
Stephen’s Untouchables entry takes some cues from the Blue Jackets and also does something the Rangers did for only a short period of time: the “New York” script on one jersey. I’ve always liked the tradition in baseball for teams to have the nickname on their home jersey and location name on their road jersey. From 1978-1987, the Rangers did the same thing with “New York” on their road blue jerseys, a change which they brought back in 2001, along with Buffalo adding a similar script to their home whites (which they wore on the road) for a game against the Rangers after the September 11th attacks. It’s a really good choice and if I had to change one thing about the Rangers’ real jerseys, I’d change the road script to “New York.” As for the concept itself, I just don’t know if I can get behind this one. I’ve never been a fan of the vertical piping look, and the lack of hem striping on the blue jersey throws me off a bit. Also, the red on the jersey does not match the red on the pants. Overall, I’ll give it a 7/10.
Houston Astros (by Will)
I do believe this one is a first for HJC. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we’ve never had an actual physical concept created. I know Icethetics has had actual jerseys made for their fantasy teams but we’ve never had one here. The idea is absolutely fantastic. The Astros’ “Tequila Sunrise” or “Rainbow Guts” jerseys (the reasoning behind the nicknames should be obvious) are one of the most distinctive jerseys in MLB history and I like Will’s dedication to bringing that look into the hockey world for real. In fact, I’m going to give this a 10/10 and a COTW nomination just because he’s actually gone ahead and made the concept. Sorry to everyone else, but this is a step above just drawing a jersey. Well done, Will.
Winnipeg Jets (by WinnipegJets96)
I was honestly wondering when this day would come. I admit that Jets may have already submitted a Jets concept on another day without me noticing, but I’m pleasantly surprised to finally see one of his concepts for the team from which he takes his name. In this concept, Jets has removed the lighter blue from the Jets’ color scheme and stuck the gray and dark blue on a white jersey. For the Jets, it definitely works. The gray and blue combination is a really stark color contrast that stands out well, and on the white background it looks really good. I especially like the UCLA-style shoulder stripes. You almost never see that on a hockey jersey and here it looks great. I can’t help but like it. However, I don’t like that the maple leaf is still in the logo. It’s a common critique of the Jets’ jerseys (I’ve heard the same argument about the Blackhawks) that the logo features colors not featured in the jerseys at all, and here, if you’d removed the maple leaf to complement the simplified color scheme, it’d have worked really well. Overall, I’ll give it an 8.5/10.