Before I get to the concepts, I'll quickly give my inputs on the Sweden, Slovakia, and Finland Olympic jerseys released this week.
Sweden - Of all the teams in the Olympics, Sweden was the team that needed to stay classic, and they did just that. The faux laces and shoulder art are small enough changes that they can stay. Hopefully the blue jerseys, which haven't been seen yet, are the same style. 8/10
Slovakia - I don't like them because they look too similar to the Team USA jerseys. However, the lyrical pinstripes are way too cool to pass up. 8.5/10
Finland - The white jersey is alright, but I don't like the dark jersey too much. Dark blue on the yoke, and NOWHERE ELSE on the jersey? Meh. 6.5/10
So we have a couple of votes that I should remind you of. Don't forget to vote for COTW and for the COTY Logo Comp by Friday. It's only a few days away, so better get on that. I'd be happy with some extra votes for your favourite Thursday writer (but it's entirely optional).
COTW Oct28-Nov3 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTY Logo Top 3 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Alright, concepts time!
University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Concept - Caleb F.
Note - As the title for the post suggests, I'm happy to see some Lethbridge concepts show up, and especially one other than the Hurricanes (who are giving me everything but pride in Lethbridge hockey right now). I was a Pronghorn a few years ago, until some scholastic choices made me move over to Lethbridge College, where I'm currently studying. Fun fact: the Pronghorn's lone glory year was in 1994, when the continuously struggling 'Horns got a new coach who guided them to a national championship. That coach? A little known coach named Mike Babcock. Ever heard of him?
Yay - Anyways, the jersey looks really good. A relatively simple design, but it shows off the school colours just nicely. The font looks great, and the outlining for the number looks well done. I can't remember what their actual jerseys look like, but these look very believable for the 'Horns.
Nay - Again, it's a pretty simple design. I feel like more can be done with the arms, rather than just slapping on the Coyotes' arms and changing the colours around. And I don't like the yellow name font on the dark jerseys. The regular number is white, the TV numbers are white, there's no background difference, so why can't the name be white too? Just seems out of place.
Overall - It sounds like I have more negatives than positives, but the jersey itself looks great. Nothing that stands out really, but as a former Pronghorn, I can give this jersey two thumbs up. 8/10
Yay - For a team like the Swiss, the minimalist approach seems to work. These stay true to Swiss jersey styles, which are usually "keep the jersey as plain as possible, and add our symbol somewhere". The Swiss, like Sweden, need to stay away from fancy redesigns, and go with what they always do: a clean, classic, minimal look. That is perfectly shown here. As I'll discuss below, I'm not a fan of the overall designs, but with what Nike has been coming out with, these are certainly believable jerseys, and thats not a bad thing.
Nay - While I like the minimalist direction in these jerseys, I just feel like they cross the line from being "clean" to being "bare". The white jersey not as much, as it reminds me of Canada's jerseys from decades ago. But those still need some arm stripes or a yoke, or something other that white. The red jersey is cool how it is basically the country's flag, but it just looks too much like a plain practice jersey to be anything I'd want to wear or buy myself. I also don't get the point of the Olympic logos on the socks. They wouldn't show well in a game situation, and I'm sure the IOC wouldn't allow it to happen anyway.
Overall - Believable? Yes. Swiss? Very much so. Exciting? Meh, not really. But it's accurate, and thats better than most designers can go for. 7.2/10
The Bugle Podcast Hockey Concept - Ted N.
Yay - Now this is unique. Ted here gives us a jersey inspired by The Bugle, a comedy podcast featuring Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver (the latter from The Daily Show fame). Why they would need a hockey jersey? I'd have no idea, but it's wicked cool! I'm not sure how their official logo usually looks, but how it's used here is really cool! All of the secondary logos, and equipment detail, really makes this a legitimately awesome concept.
Nay - The striping pattern is kind of awkward. I see how the chest stripe and hem stripe together are supposed to match the arm stripes, but it just looks odd when executed here. For a full match, the hem stripe should continue to the bottom of the jersey. Also, like in the Swiss example above, the bugle logo on the socks probably wouldn't look so good while being used.
Overall - From a design sense, it's a good, not quite great concept. But the concept itself is really original, and it's so weird on a hockey jersey, yet surprisingly works. Impressive. 7.8/10
Dallas Stars Concept - Jordan R.
Yay - The first of Jordan's concepts today, we get to see a Nike version of the Dallas Stars. Other than the Nike faux-laces and swoosh, there isn't much changed with the original set, and the design of it on this template is executed well. The 3rd jersey looks really cool, fitting in with a) Dallas' old 3rd style, and b) what a faithful Nike jersey for Dallas would probably look like.
Nay - Nike. Seriously though, the concept looks really good, but on the dark jersey, I don't get why under the arm stripes there's just white. I'd like to see the design all around the jersey, just for clarification, unless you meant to have a vertical white stripe down the arm (in which case... why??). And with Nike's design, they usually make those faux-laces subtly fit with the jersey, not stand out completely. It's hard to show on a template of course, but they'd probably make the laces black.
Overall - It's a good design. Not much done with the main set that isn't already used, but the 3rd is cool. 7.5/10
Pittsburgh Penguins Concept - Stephen T.
Yay - Stephen brings us his Penguins concept. I do have quite a few issues with it, but first, I have to say the striping pattern itself is really cool, and the thought of having a gold 3rd for Pittsburgh is a really cool idea.
Nay - Unfortunately, there is quite a lot to fix up before you'd see this on NHL.com's jersey store. The logo looks really big on the jersey. The striping pattern is nicely spaced out on the arm, but squished and not so nice on the hem, and the sock pattern doesn't match. The black part of the arm striping is missing on the left side of the back of the jersey. I do like the gold look for the 3rd, but it blends in with the logo too much, so either use a different logo (maybe without the triangle), or get some chest striping to make the logo stand out more. And the while the stripes on the pants look decent, I don't get the awkward white section on the top front of the pants.
Overall - Alright, I had my rant. There are quite a few things to fix here, but a gold 3rd for the Pens is a good idea, and this concept could work with a few fix-ups. But for now, its a 6/10. Oh, and one more thing: ALWAYS have your name or some ID on your work!
Soo Eagles Concept - TG
Yay - Our next concept is for the Soo Eagles of the NAHL. I always thought the Eagle in their logo looked more surprised than intimidating. This is the makings of a good, traditional set. The striping pattern is nice, and matching (for the most part) throughout the concept, which is great. The font used for the name and numbers is a nice, simple choice, and the colours are well balanced between the two jerseys.
Nay - I don't exactly like the font used for the front of the jerseys. It should look like a sports block-like font, where this is just a bold and italic version of a pretty standard font. For a jersey that has tradition going for it, the crest really kills it. Also, just to have the stripes perfectly matching, and to give just a bit better colour balance between both jerseys, I'd have yellow at the end of the arm stripes on the white jersey, and at the hem too. That's just an open suggestion on my part, not a critique.
Overall - Again, the crest is a little bit of a downer. But the rest of the jersey looks like a nice college-style set, which I'm more than okay with. 7.4/10
Detroit Red Wings Concept - Jordan R.
Yay - Jordan brings his 2nd concept today, in the form of a Nike-ized Detroit set. Of course, the only changes done to the main set is the Nike swoosh and faux-laces, Detroit wouldn't have it any other way. The real work here was done with the 3rd jersey. Vintage white looks great on this jersey, which includes the original Red Wings logo. It's a simple look that is everything a classic Detroit jersey should look like.
Nay - It's painful to see a retro jersey with Nike's modern faux-laces. I get that that is the whole point of the concept, but still...yuck. Anyways, the set looks nice, but aside from throwing Nike's look onto it, the main set has nothing new to it. Of course, that is accurate to what Detroit would want, but the point of designing these concepts is to experiment, at least a little bit. The 3rd jersey is fantastic, but I'll admit that it looks a little bare, even for Detroit.
Overall - Again, design wise: meh, except for the 3rd jersey which is fantastic. But execution and accuracy are the biggest point-getters here. Well done. 8.1/10
Yay - I always seem to get an Ottawa 3rd jersey in my reviews, and I'm always a fan. The barber pole look can never be done by any team and make it look as good as the Senators do. This is another attempt at it, and it pretty much has everything you'd expect it to have. The design is great.
Nay - However, I'm not getting the retro vibes from it like I should. Why? Maybe the logo that is used should be changed to their original (1992) logo, or the "O" logo as seen on their current 3rds. The barber poles seem to just stop awkwardly in places, without going fully around on the arms. And the number font does need an outline, because it's against white text, but the black outline just looks too thick, especially on the TV numbers.
Overall - It's easy to make a good Ottawa 3rd, because the barber pole design is almost always a win. But it's hard to make a great concept, because their current 3rd set the bar so high. This isn't quite there, but it looks great nonetheless. 7.6/10
Yay - Here is the first of 2 international jerseys from Jets96, the first being from the land of Jagr's and Hasek's. After seeing Nike's take on the Czech jerseys, it will be hard not to impress me with any other Czech design. The arm stripes here are really cool. Different, but nothing too wacky. The rest of the jersey looks like a classic, believable Czech uniform, and the arms are just subtle enough to fit in.
Nay - My one really big problem with the uniform is the font, and mostly just the outline of it. On every TV number and name font, the outline makes the number/name really hard to read. This is especially true with the white outline on the name font on both jerseys. And the jerseys are so busy on the arms, that I feel there needs to be something on the hem, just to make the jerseys interesting to look at from top to bottom, and not just on the arms.
Overall - Aside from the text outline, everything here belongs on a modern-style Czech jersey. Nothing crazy, nothing boring, its just right to be believable. 7.8/10
Team Italy Concept - Jets96
Yay - Riddle me this, Batman: Why does Italy use blue as their main colour? There's probably a reason, I just never understood this. Anyways, Jets96's second concept today is Team Italy. I'm alright with blue on the jersey, because that seems to be Italy's thing, but I'm happy that green, white, and red are used as the arm striping here, as well as the pants design.
Nay - While I get the lighter blue shade on here, I feel the dark blue that is used on the arms and font is unnecessary. Same with the gold on the arms and numbers. Canada has gold on it's jersey because winning gold is a legitimate goal and expectation for them. If Italy strives for Division-1 gold year after year, then I guess this makes sense. It just looks odd. Again, the white outline on the font for the dark jersey doesn't do the jersey any favours.
Overall - While I'm pretty concerned with the colours used on the jersey, the design itself (especially the arms) is really well done. Just don't expect to see a gold medal along with these jerseys any time soon. 7.3/10
Yay - Last but not least, we get another s2dio concept, an Olympic set for Team Austria. The design on the white jersey looks traditional and really classy, and it's a good look for Austria. As for the dark jersey, I'm never really a fan for diagonal "sashes" on jerseys, but it looks like a cool 70's throwback jersey for Austria, so I'll let it stay. After all of today's concept, and Nike's designs, it's refreshing to see a traditional jersey with both arm stripes and hem stripes. The name effect on the back of the hem stripe is a nice, subtle touch.
Nay - It's all pretty good, besides one thing: what is with the dark red colour? As far as I've researched, Austria has always gone with a basic red that matches their flag. Yes, most countries share that colour too, and it's nice to see something different. But it looks almost more like a Latvia jersey than an Austrian one. If there is any significance to the different colour, or something I missed about it, please let me know.
Overall - I don't get the colour, but maybe I'm missing something here. The design otherwise looks really good, even with the 70's throwback "sash" design, that we'll likely never see in hockey again. 7.7/10
After my mini rant last week about having so many NHL concepts, I'm really happy to see lots of different concepts this week, with lots of international concepts, one based on a podcast, and one that is close to the heart for me. All of the concepts this week were great, and I couldn't really pick out a COTW nominee, so I hope you guys reading this can pick one for me.
Thanks for reading, have a great weekend, and don't forget to vote for
me your favourite COTY logo designs by Friday.