Welcome to another HJC Saturday post! We've several concepts from all over the world this week, and some from countries you wouldn't normally expect.
In hockey news, the Panthers fired head coach Kevin Dineen yesterday, replacing him with former Predators assistant coach Peter Horachek after a brief stint with the AHL San Antonio Rampage. Horachek always emphasized a very physical, gritty, and defensive game when he was with the Predators. I'm expecting his goal will be to make the Panthers a team that is tough and hard to play against. If this is the philosophy change Dave Tallon was looking for, I'm sure he find it in Horachek, but I for one believe they would benefit more from some stability behind the bench.
It's being reported that Ilya Bryzgalov will sign a one-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers, and that Ladislav Smid has been traded to the Flames to clear cap space for him. This is basically early an early Christmas for snarky hockey bloggers. I hope he finds success and gets the media off his back in Edmonton, but that's as likely as me winning the Rocket Richard. (I've never skated, by the way.)
Enough with the talk, let's get to the good part! To the concepts!
Toronto Maple Leafs De-Edge concept - Justin S.
This is an interesting concept. Most artists tend to do the same things with the leafs, and I like the creativity. To me, this makes me think of a mix between the Leafs, the old Team Canada jerseys, and the Nordiques. I don't believe this would be an improvement over their current look, but it would have made a great 90s-era third jersey. I think it would look better if the large leaf on the front was moved down a bit and the 'Toronto' wordmark was placed above the leaf. Right now, the jersey draws your eye awkwardly low, if you catch my meaning. I think arm stripes would work better than the leafs on the cuffs, because they would likely get lost in the players gloves, anyway. Also, there are a few loose gray pixels around the left cuff and name bar on the white jersey. (6.8/10)
Calgary Flames 3rd jersey concept - David P.
The most interesting thing about this concept is that it shows that the new Flames shoulder patch can work as a crest. I would have liked to see it as the crest on their new alternate, rather than the script/Flaming C. Also, yellow and red do not touch on this jersey, so it doesn't encroach on one of my aesthetic pet peeves. On an execution note, part of the hem striping is transparent. The crest is a bit off-center to the left, and the TV numbers are really pixelated. I also like to see the back of a jersey on concepts. David's work is visibly improving, though. Keep it up. (6.2/10)
Nashville Predators concept - Justin S.
Justin's second concept is a redesign of the Predators home jersey. Gold is a tricky color to work with. Its very bright, so to make a dark jersey out of it, you have to balance it out with navy. On the actual sweater, the bottom have of the sleeves and the majority of the hem are navy for this reason. Although, I am in favor of taking out the apron strings, the bottom half of the jersey needs more navy to balance the color palate here. Also, I would take out the triangle behind the logo. The new Pred head doesn't need it. You should also take out the trademark symbol when making a concept, and when using a team captain, you should add the captain 'C.' Also, the logo and the striping are not the same shade of blue. (6.9/10)
Los Angeles Kings Nike Swift Redesign concept - Jordan R.
Jordan continues his Nike Swift NHL redesign with the LA Kings. I'm glad to see the crown logo and purple being used. No one wears purple in the NHL, and the Kings could take proverbial ownership of it as the Preds have with gold or Dallas with kelly green. Unfortunately, the purple is paired with an electric yellow that I really don't like. It's just too bright for me. I like the font usage, but I wish I could see how those numbers would look on the back. I'm not a fan of the highlighted faux tie-downs. Overall this is a forward-thinking look that I could see Nike doing, but would ultimately be a step backward. (6.8/10)
Minnesota Wild Nike Swift Redesign concept - Jordan R.
Jordan's next concept is for the Minnesota Wild. I like the prominent use of green, and the notches on the numbers are really cool. I wish I could see what they would look like when they are larger on the back of the jersey. Minnesota currently uses three different crests, and Jordan has done away with my favorite of the three (the lone bear head). None of the three are bad, though. Including the number underneath the wordmark is interesting, and doesn't look unnatural, despite Minnesota having never done it. I do wish there was some red in the jerseys, especially since there is red in the logos. The striping isn't bad, but the third perhaps doesn't deviate enough from the home/road, just adding more stripes and a different logo. I think if you changed up the striping on the alternate, this could be a pretty good set. (8/10)
Team South Africa IIHF concept - Josh L.
Here's a country we don't see very often. I like using the South African flag for the striping pattern, and using green for the dark jersey. When making a concept for an IIHF team, it's best to use a Nike Swift template, as Nike makes the jerseys for most IIHF teams. If you need a Nike template, you can find several on the TEMPLATES page. I think the numbers on the back need to be larger. I would take off the laces as well. (6/10)
Team Argentina IIHF concept - Taylor R.
The next IIHF concept is for Argentina. The colors fit Argentina well. I feel like the crest is a bit too large, but it draws your eye well. The jersey needs TV numbers. I would like to see something a little more daring for a country like Argentina. The country is a very non-traditional hockey market, and it should be an opportunity to think outside the box with your design. That being said, this is a definite improvement over their last set. (7.5/10)
Team Ukraine IIHF concept - Taylor R.
Taylor's second IIHF concept is for the Ukraine. The shade of yellow is a little too bright for me, but I know Taylor got the colors from the flag. I still would prefer a darker shade. Right now the color is hard to see on white. I like the font choice for the name and numbers, but the set needs TV numbers. Overall, the design is good, and would be an improvement over the current look. (7.9/10)
Team USA Olympic concept - WinnipegJets96
The next national concept is brought to us by our Monday HJC writer, Jets96. The set is more interesting than what Nike came out with for the USA this year. I think the logo on the dark jersey needs a thicker white outline to make it more visible. Execution is pretty good. It's a solid look. (8/10)
Team Canada Olympic concept - WinnipegJets96
Jets96's second concept is for Canada. Once again, this is better than what Nike came out with. The red/white/gold color combination looks good. The outlines on the numbers really bring them out well. I really like the pattern on the leaf logo. The set is maybe too similar to the USA jersey above. This is another solid look. Too bad Nike focuses too much on making statements with their jerseys, rather than just making a county look good. (8/10)
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Stadium Series concepts - Stephen T.
Stephen's Stadium Series concept doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, but it doesn't really need to. The double black stripes look good on Chicago's jersey. I like that they match the hem. I'm glad Stephen refrained from using vintage white, or a lace-up collar on the Penguins jersey, since the original didn't use them, either. I fell like the logo on the Penguins jersey is too large. Also, the '8' on the left arm of the front of the Penguins jersey is off-white instead of true white. (8/10)
Syracuse University concept - Mike S.
Mike's concept is for the Syracuse Orangemen. I don't know much about Syracuse hockey, but I do remember watching the Volunteers playing their football team during the Donovan McNabb days. From my research, I would say this look would be better for their dark jersey. Execution is solid. I like the striping. It's simple, but looks like something the university could have been wearing for ages, and would still look good. (8.5/10) COTW nomination from me.
So, how did I do? Do you agree/disagree with my assessments? Have a concept you'd like to nominate? Then head down to the comments.
Also, remember to vote for next weeks concepts or Craig MacTavish will trade Bryzgalov to your favorite team in exchange for you favorite player!