Ah, it is a good day to be a Blackhawks fan. No amount of anti-Chicago trash talk could save the Canucks from being eliminated and the Blackhawks advanced to the second round with only one speedbump. As if anyone really expected them to go a perfect 16-0 in the playoffs anyway. I'm happy to see them advance, obviously, and just as happy to know that my authentic Patrick Kane jersey will arrive mid-week next week. Much like Bart Scott, I CAN'T WAIT!
On to the concepts.
Hershey Bears (by Andrew)
Andrew’s concept throws out the Bears’ entire color scheme and changes them to something much simpler. Honestly, I don’t care much for the changed color scheme. It just doesn’t seem right for the Bears to not be wearing brown colors. After all, they were founded by the founder of the Hershey company and play in the chocolate capital of the United States. Problems with the colors aside, I do like the design. You can rarely go wrong with a simple design, and the fact that Andrew actually bothered to synchronize the stripes between the different parts of the uniform is nice. That’s always a good touch. Overall, I’ll give it a 7/10.
Denver Cutthroats (by Andy)
The first of Andy’s two concepts delves into the Central Hockey League’s newest member, the Denver Cutthroats. The color scheme is definitely unique, as you rarely see red, green and blue combined together. At best, you usually see two of the three together. However, here, as in real life, the color scheme definitely works and I love the design. I don’t know what the throwback is supposed to be, as the Cutthroats have no history before the 12-13 season (though they’re not the first minor league team in Denver) but it’s an interesting design. I don’t know if I would have gone with the all-vintage white jersey. Overall, I’ll give it a 7/10.
Pittsburgh Penguins (by Andy)
Andy’s second concept is a look that I doubt anyone would hate to see the Penguins adopt. Since Mario Lemieux is so opposed to bringing back the athletic gold (oh yeah, completely ignore the fact that it’s one of the city’s colors and is used as part of the other two Pittsburgh major league teams’ color scheme) we just have to make do with the Vegas gold. At least Andy has added a recolor of the home jersey in the proper shade of gold, and for that, I thank him. In fact, this design is very similar to the Pittsburgh design I’m doing for my Nike NHL series. Great minds think alike. Overall, I’ll give it an 8/10.
Chicago Terraplanes (by CPM)
Back in March, I judged CPM’s Chicago Terraplanes concept and found it to be a pretty good design for a non-existent team. I actually like this one better than the home and away in the original concept. The sparing use of the vintage white looks really good and it’s a classic design that really works. It would be wrong for a team in Chicago to have anything other than a classic design, after all. My only critique would be the pants. For simplicity’s sake, I would have used a single stripe like the Red Wings’ pants. Overall, I’ll give it an 8/10.
Hartford Wolf Pack (by Dylan)
Dylan’s entry in the Wolf Pack contest is here to be properly judged and I think it looks great. It’s not perfect, but it’s great nonetheless. There are clear cues in the design pointing to Hartford’s status as the Rangers’ farm team, but at the same time you can clearly see that it has its own identity. The only thing I don’t really like is how there is a mix of curved and straight stripes. I’d make them all straight to fit with the yoke stripes on the white jersey. Consistency would go a long way for this concept. It’s a really small critique, though. Overall, I’ll give it an 8/10.
Pittsburgh Penguins (by Dylan)
Dylan’s second concept of the day brings us an idea for a Pittsburgh third along the same lines that Andy did his third. An athletic gold third for Pittsburgh is the least they need to do if Lemieux isn’t going to bring it back full-time. This look is great because it’s a good mid-point between classic and modern, which is where I think Pittsburgh should be. The stripes are out there, but not too out there, and there are definitely some cues taken from past jerseys. It’s a really good look. Overall, I’ll give it an 8.5/10.
Vancouver/Ottawa Heritage Classic (by Kyle)
Ah, and here we have a battle between two Canadian teams: one still in the playoffs and one that was the only team to get swept out of the playoffs. HA HA! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Anyway, back on topic. With the news of the NHL expanding their outdoor games to an entire season-long series, it’s high time that there be more Heritage Classic series. At this point, since the Winter Classic is no longer US-exclusive, I wonder how long it will be before we see an American team head north of the border for an outdoor game. Until then, we should expect two Canadian teams. These two jerseys are fantastic. Vancouver’s is a direct throwback to their very first jersey, while Ottawa’s is a road version of their not-quite-throwback third jersey. Both designs are absolutely fantastic and I have no doubt that both team’s fanbases would be quite happy to see them on the ice. Overall, I’ll give it an 8.5/10.
Borussia Dortmund (by Stephen)
And so we close the day out with a non-hockey concept featuring Borussia Dortmund of the German Bundesliga. First of all, I have to start by saying that of all the Edge templates, this is the one I despise the most. It. Is. Terrible. There’s no way around that. It looked bad in real life and it looks bad when it’s used for concepts. That aside, the concept itself is not bad. It’s certainly an interesting take on a hockey jersey and we don’t get many soccer concepts around here. In fact, this is something you’d expect for Dortmund considering their real-life uniform manufacturer, Puma, isn’t exactly known for conservative designs. You can’t go wrong with this color scheme since they stand out so well, and I like the inclusion of the German and North Rhine-Westphalian flags as shoulder patches. Overall, I’ll give it a 7.5/10.