The end of the NHL regular season hasn't come yet, but already there are some national league champions elsewhere in the world, and I think it would be cool to recognize those teams and look at their uniforms. So without further ado:
Latvia: Prizma Riga
For a European team, these jerseys look pretty...regular. Its hard to tell, but there are some fancy yoke and arm styles going on, but still a very clean, modern set. What really stands out are the orange gloves, and the cool stripe patterns on the socks.
Estonia: Viiking Sport Tallinn
Japan: Nippon Paper Cranes
And finally, we get the Nippon Paper Cranes out of the Asia Hockey League. The win came as a bit of an upset, considering the other finalist Oji Eagles lost only 3 of their 42 league games. These jerseys are pretty basic, but again another nice looking set, with a cool colour scheme.
However, I'm a big fan of their previous jerseys, as worn here by former NHLer Jaime McLennan:
COTW Mar 24-30 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Roadrunners Top 5 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Manchester United Concept - David P.
Yay: David starts us off with a "hockey-fied" concept of Manchester United. The way they're playing this year, maybe switching to hockey would work better for them. This set wouldn't work as a light/dark NHL set, but considering what they use in the EPL, these are pretty accurate. Both uniforms capture the colours of the team well, and look very much like Nike-designed hockey uniforms.
Nay: There seems to be some loose, rough white pixels everywhere around the jersey, especially around the numbers. And using black stripes on a very dark blue jersey, without any sort of white outline, is a bad move. I'm happy you ditched the plaid for a more traditional stripe set, but you need to make it more visual. This goes for the jersey as well as the equipment.
Overall: Its a neat transition, but the blue jersey and execution is holding it back. 7.3/10
Team Latvia Concept - Jake88
Yay: For the sake of capturing Latvia's identity on a uniform, this has done the job perfectly. Introducing a chest stripe and putting it behind the crest looks great, and the simplistic yet nationalistic striping patterns on the arm, sock and chest are perfect. The Nike influence shows up strong and proud on here, and I'd be more than happy to see these hit the ice in Belarus next month.
Nay: Other than maybe colouring the collar the opposite colour, I'd leave the jerseys alone. What I would change is some of the equipment. Yes, they traditionally have donned black equipment, but they also use to have more black on their jerseys. Now that they're sticking with a mainly duo-colour look sans black, I'd love to see some of their equipment follow suit, creating a unique look that stands out in the international community.
Overall: The rant about black equipment is nothing against the concept itself. Love it! 8.2/10
Dallas Stars Concept(1) - Dylan W.
Yay: It's Dylan's turn now, with a very interesting 3rd for the Dallas Stars. I definitely agree that Dallas should roll out a black 3rd jersey, and the striping pattern here is a neat harmony between traditional striping and funky arm designs. The end result is a nice, original look that works well with the Stars' identity.
Nay: The problem with the arm design is that I've never been a fan of "half-arm" designs, when the jersey colour is the same on both halves. It just has a look of incompleteness to it. But that is just personal preference, the design still looks sharp and interesting as is. Other than that, I'd like to have the green outline on the number just a little thicker.
Overall: Its a great concept, that doesn't stand out a great deal, but looks sharp and could be a respectable part of the Stars' set. 8.3/10
Dallas Stars Concept(2) - Dylan W.
Yay: Now we're talking. Dylan goes for the rebound with another Stars 3rd, but bringing in the old "star" striping design. As far as nostalgia goes, I'm sure many fans would love to see this design. The design stands out much more than the previous jersey, and looks great in the current Stars colours. I hated the Stars in this era (thanks to Hull and his skate in the crease), but I always love this sort of design.
Nay: I love the general design much more than the previous jersey, but there are a few more issues with it. Other than the number outline mentioned earlier, I think the number should be made smaller so it doesn't go over the stripes. And it looks weird in the front with a centred star design, and an angled logo crest. Half of the front is cramped, half isn't. A secondary logo could be used to fix that problem.
Overall: Love the design, but needs some final polish. 8.1/10
Detroit Cougars Concept - Joey F.
Yay: Next is Joey with a "modern" Detroit Cougars concept. Personally, I think this is about as modern as the Bee Gees. However, the fact that it looks old is the charm that this jersey has, and should flaunt. The jersey looks like a 60/70's WHA jersey, with the ever-rare white yoke and solid hem and cuff pattern.
Nay: The font is really dragging the concept down. It's definitely not modern, but it's not retro. It does feel like a 60/70's font, but not for a hockey uniform. If you want to give it the "modern-ish" 70's look, traditional block numbers and letters would be fine. As I said, I do like the hem stripes, but it could take up less space on the front of the jersey, and look better.
Overall: When I first saw this concept, I really didn't like it. I'm warming up to it now, and can see the "not-so-modern" potential to it, but it still needs work. 7/10
Los Angeles Kings Concept - Christian L.
Yay: Christian has been on a roll with some cool concepts lately, all that would be fantastic for a Stadium Series game. This is no exception. A grey Kings jersey was a must for their SS game, but I thought it looked terribly bland. This has a little more spice to it with the old-school logo really popping out nicely, and the stripes looking...well...
Nay: So the stripes look great as is, but I'm not sure if I like the pattern of it. I'd rather it go black-white-grey-black(middle)-grey-white-black, or that and swap the grey and white. It's just preference, but I like the symmetry(?) of that style better. Other than that, I'd pick a different logo as the shoulder patch, or colour it so it doesn't blend in with the grey jersey so much. Something with more black.
Overall: This looks great, and when I finally invent a time-machine, I'll show these to the Kings so they could wear these beauties instead of the ones they wore. 8/10
Carolina Hurricanes Concept - Christian L.
Yay: Christian comes right back with another grey jersey, this time for the Carolina Hurricanes. I'm not terribly fond of the logo, but the fact that he created it himself is always something I like to see on a concept. I have a hard time picturing Carolina in grey, but this jersey looks sharp, especially with the stripes on the arms.
Nay: I like the arm striping, but the hem needs work. I'd like to see the colours inverted on the "flag" design, so the big square is red and the small inner square is black. Then put a white stripe below that stripe, and end the jersey with black on the bottom. Just my idea anyway.
Overall: I think it's an interesting concept, but not as sharp as the Kings grey jersey. 7.6/10
Los Angeles Kings Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: And speaking of grey Kings jerseys, here we have a full LA set from Stephen, featuring a grey road jersey. The concept is essentially their current home jersey with a grey road version of that, with the jersey text from their previous jerseys. Since they don't have a hem stripe on their current jerseys (on the home jersey at least), I think bringing back the text at the bottom would be a cool idea.
Nay: The text on the bottom of the grey jersey really needs work. The white outline makes the text look really skinny, choppy, and just plain bad. Why not
Overall: I like the idea, but it looks sloppy as is. 6.8/10
Anaheim Ducks Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: Can Stephen turn it around with another concept? Sure he can! This Ducks concept looks spectacular. Flashy, bright, yet not totally outrageous. The jerseys are based on their current 3rd, but with the side stripes being more curvy, and interesting; while having a completely suitable orange version.
Nay: I don't like how the Ducks have the yoke outline and no contrasting yoke, on their own jerseys, and keeping that style is a misstep for this concept. I like the "OC" patches on the shoulders, but it looks like there are some pixelation issues when them. Finally, having a thin orange outline between the number and the black outline just doesn't look too nice in my eyes.
Overall: Not perfect, but definitely solid. Good work. 7.6/10
Colorado Avalanche Concept - S2dio
Yay: We end today with this set from s2dio, for the Colorado Avalanche. First off, I absolutely love the look of this template. For the jersey itself, its a nice, modern looking jersey that doesn't drift too far from the classic Avalanche style. The arm stripes look great, and the side design on the white jersey looks good too. I'm glad they were kept off of the dark jersey; usually I prefer matching designs, but they look better on the whites only I think.
Nay: Everyone by now has mentioned how the socks should be different colours. I agree with them, but the socks do look nice in this concept. The "Reebok" text should be white, as it is a little hard to read as is. I love how the template shadow affects the design, but it looks like you missed a part of the shadow on the back number.
Overall: Considering most of my "nays" were actually partly positive, how bad can this concept be? Excellent work! 8.6/10
*********************************************With the walk-off home-run, I'll give s2dio's Avalanche concept my COTW nomination for today. There are a bunch of good concepts today, and I'm sure we'll have lots of discussion on today's post in the comments.
Before you run off, take a minute of your time to give us your COTW and Roadrunner votes. We'd love to see voting rise back up to the numbers we seen near December and during the Pairs Competition.
Alright, that is it for me. Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!