We are now another week closer to the beginning of the 2013-14 NHL season and another week closer to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Players have been invited to their respective team camps and the NHL is well-represented. My Blackhawks have had plenty of players invited and should have a lot of representation at the Olympics. Here's hoping that Nick Leddy, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad can take one more step towards joining the Triple Gold Club, and since he's coaching the US and not the Penguins, hopefully Dan Bylsma does too.
As a reminder, the HJC Open Semifinal voting runs until 6PM Eastern time tomorrow. Get your votes in!
Buffalo Sabres (by Ben)
While I'm certainly disappointed that my hopes for a straight gold recolor of the Sabres' current jersey have been dashed, I'm hopeful about their new jersey. After seeing the crap that the Hurricanes put out, I really am crossing my fingers and hoping that the new third jersey for Buffalo doesn't suck. This one would definitely be somewhat acceptable. If you got rid of the vertical piping on the sleeves and the random white stripe on the hem, it'd be a great design. Overall, I'll give it a 7.5/10.
Calgary Flames (by Felix)
Felix has two concepts today. The first is for a new Flames jersey and this one is definitely interesting. It's a design that would definitely be at home in the 1990s with the flame stripe design, while the side panels suggest a mid-2000s design. It needs improvement, though. Adding some gold would definitely help to brighten the design, and I'd ditch the side panels. Overall, I'll give it a 7/10.
Phoenix Coyotes (by Felix)
Felix's second design takes the Coyotes in a direction they desperately need. Getting rid of the hem stripes on their jerseys was a huge mistake when they made the Edge switch. However, while I don't care much for their current name and number font, these aren't an improvement. A standard block font would have been better. In addition, the sleeve numbers are way too small. Overall, I'll give it a 7.5/10.
Raleigh Riggers (by Joey)
Ah, fantasy hockey. I always love judging these concepts because there's no baseline to go off of. With other concepts, I feel obligated to consider real-life designs if it's for a real team and what the team really wears colors my opinion. With fantasy hockey, I'm free from such concerns. This design has a lot of promise, but I'm really just not feeling it. First of all, the Bettman Apron is not a good design choice. Ditch it and send it to the history books where it belongs, never to be seen again. Second, the "tan" color doesn't stand out well against the white. I'd darken it. Also, I'm not sure if the logos are quite so hockey-ish, but considering some NHL logos, that's not that big of a deal. All of that aside, though: I really like the quality of the concept and the initiative you took to create a team from whole cloth. Overall, I'll give it an 8/10.
Mississauga Steelheads (by Kyle)
And so for the second time in as many weeks, I have a Steelheads concept to judge and this one is just as good as the last. The color scheme and the logo work together so well and the design of the concept leaves nothing to be desired. The design is good and the execution is good. Well done. Overall, I'll give it an 8.5/10.
Atlanta Thrashers (by Phil)
As you're all aware, the Thrashers had a history of somewhat gaudy uniforms and this one is no exception, except unlike the Thrashers' real-life uniforms, this one actually attempts to be somewhat conservative. It's basically a fusion of the more modern elements of the Thrashers' designs with what a hockey jersey should look like in a really flashy color scheme. It wouldn't look out of place in Atlanta. I don't like the logo, though, because while it was an official team logo, it's really just a piece of their primary logo. The whole logo looks much better than the part. I would have used that logo instead. Overall, I'll give it an 8/10.
Ottawa Senators (by Stephen)
I don't care what anyone says - the 3D centurion logo is better than the original. I won't change my mind. It's just a better logo overall and the Senators look better in a darker shade of gold like the one used here. Stephen's concept cleans up the Senators (something they (and the Penguins) desperately need) and brings them back to their roots. It's a clean and classy look. However, I think the design could use some gold instead of having it solely in the logo. Overall, I'll give it an 8/10.
Columbus Blue Jackets (by Steven)
Steven continues his de-Edge series with Columbus this week and this is one of my favorites of the bunch. I really like the sleeve design and the overall simplicity of the design is a refreshing change. Then again, the Blue Jackets' current jerseys aren't exactly overly-complicated anyway. Still, this would be an improvement over what they currently wear. I'd add a more substantial hem stripe to the design, though, because the three-stripe design would look really good as one. Also, while it may seem like I'm repeating myself from an earlier concept, a simple block font would look better here. I've never liked Columbus' name/number font. Overall, I'll give it an 8.5/10.