(slow claps for myself)
A few weeks ago, I gave a hypothetical situation that if the Canucks lose some of their major pieces at the trade deadline, (which they lost some but not all), the Canucks could maybe benefit from a fresh new look, personnel-wise and jersey-wise.
Well what about the Penguins?
There are some rumblings in the news that the Penguins ownership isn't happy with coach Bylsma, GM Ray Shero, and possibly do a clean sweep of the entire front office and coaching staff. On the ice, most of the entire team is a free agent this summer, and Fleury is the topic of some trade discussion, so there is a good chance the roster will look significantly different next season, besides Crosby and Malkin.
So with all of this change, could we possibly see a new visual identity for the Penguins?
Probably not, considering Crosby and Malkin, the "poster boys" of this team, are still there. But it would still be very interesting (and for me, very welcomed) to see a new look for this team. Maybe we could see the return of the Lemieux-era colours.
Anyways, before I get to the concepts, I want to take a minute to ask, beg, and plead for you guys to get your tickets for the HJC Meet-Up this summer. The event is on the verge of being cancelled, and it will be soon unless more tickets are sold.
I like what I'm seeing from the Jokerit competition so far, so if you haven't done so already, send in your concepts!
COTY-April vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern time)
COTW May 5-11 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern time)
Jokerit Competition entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern time)
HV71 Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: Let's start today with a couple concepts from Stephen. Lately, we've been giving Stephen a lot of criticism for making "cookie cutter" concepts. This concept isn't exactly a design breakthrough, but it looks like a legit, original design for a team we don't see often on the blog. To my knowledge, HV71 is one of the more classic teams in Sweden, and this sort of traditional look fits perfectly.
Nay: Stephen recolours the logo to make it pop out better. It's a nice touch, and definitely an original thought of this team, but personally the inverted logo isn't an improvement. The yellow stripes on the white jersey bother me, as does the yellow outline. Some helmet and pants design would be nice too.
Overall: Decent concept, and appreciate the effort, but not quite perfect. 7.5/10
Team Italy Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: Next for Stephen is a concept for Team Italy. They've never impressed me with their jerseys, but I could live with them. This is definitely a flashier design, and I like most of it. The crest is a good change, the 'Italia' text in the hem stripes is great, the classic Italy arm stripes are still there, and the colour balance is about as good as it gets for an Italian jersey. Good work.
Nay: The biggest thing I notice is that the crest is way too large. It also doesn't help that the hem stripes seem to come up pretty high. The blue that outlines the stripes and logo on the white jersey is annoying; it's too thin to be relevant, but contrasts too much to ignore. Again, pants and helmet designs would help this concept a lot.
Overall: Good effort on this concept, but some execution flaws. 7.6/10
Brynas IF Concept - TG
Yay: Staying in Europe, TG brings us this Brynas IF concept from the SEL. This concept is very different than what they traditionally where, which has more red and has a yoke that really stands out. This is a more subtle design, without red, and uses the ornate designs on the arms and chest stripes. This is something that seems right out of the Brandon Wheat Kings design book, but it's like nothing they've worn before. Great design!
Nay: There is one thing that takes this concept from perfect to decent, and that is the number outlines. Numbers over chest stripes are always difficult to do properly, and really the large numbers don't look that bad, but the TV numbers look really bad with their outlines as is. Simplify, or get rid of, the outlines on the TV numbers, and you'll have something great here.
Overall: Almost great, almost. 8/10
London Knights Concept - Steven G.
Yay: Back to North America, in the home of the 2014 Memorial Cup. The Knights have one of the most unique identities in the OHL (and CHL), and because of that, it is always so difficult to drift away from their traditional look. But lately, they've gotten bland, using black instead of green, and simplifying their stripes. This is a perfect "blast from the past" set, that I'd love to see them use full-time.
Nay: Not totally set on the white collar. Personally, I'd go with yellow. I'm also not sure about the outlines on the numbers. Black isn't a very significant colour on the rest of the jersey, and the thick black outline seems out of place, like the numbers belong on a different jersey.
Overall: Not an excitingly good design, but a good design nonetheless. 8.2/10
Calgary Flames Concept - s2dio
Yay: I love s2dio's work and execution on all of his work, this included. I also love how s2dio can come up with some very interesting, original designs seemingly out of nothing. This is a very interesting design, one that I never thought I'd see, and is executed wonderfully.
Nay: The problem is, the design is (in Shaq's words) horri-awful. I see no reason to have a black and white "old school prisoner" jersey, with their old red and yellow colours. The Hitmen did something somewhat similar, but since black is a main piece of their logo, it worked more. This just seems...strange. Not to mention that the name and numbers are hard to read, with the outline not helping at all.
Overall: Its not that the concept is bad, its just that it confuses me, a lot. 7.4/10
Philadelphia Flyers Concept - Phil B.
Yay: Next we have Phil bringing us his Flyers concept. At first glance, this set isn't really that different from what they normally wear. But the arm style is a little bit straighter, the stripe by the cuff is added, the name on the white jersey is now orange (and without a name bar, thank goodness), and the hem has a few more stripes to it. All of those changes help this concept keep the Flyers identity, but develop something just different enough to be original.
Nay: The stripe on the arm seems really irrelevant. I know it somewhat emulates the 90's jerseys, but it just doesn't work as well with a half-arm. I think the top black stripe on the hem is irrelevant, simple is always better with Flyers jerseys, and I think just a little too much has been done to it.
Overall: Great execution, but the design isn't all that original, and the changes aren't exactly for the better. 7.7/10
Colorado Avalanche Concept - Patrick E.
Yay: Next is a concept from Patrick, showing us a black 3rd for Colorado. I'm not all for a black 3rd for Colorado instead of blue, but it still has potential. Basically, this is a black version of what Colorado already has, but with hem stripes added. Again, not my preference, but it's a solid look.
Nay: The hem stripe doesn't really match the arms or socks at all, and looks out of place. The name and numbers look a little small, and the outlines for those are barely visible. I think a different colour of pants would help, and some white on the gloves would help too.
Overall: I see a blue 3rd and I want to paint it black... Execution brings this down, but its a good start. 6.8/10
Edmonton Oilers Concept - Alan H.
Yay: I'm almost tired of seeing these "Edmonton Oil Drops" concepts, but sharp designs like this are always great to see. The striping pattern is a derivative of something classic Edmonton would surely wear, but is modern and sharp enough to look great, new, and totally different from what they have. Great looking concept!
Nay: The only thing that bugs me about this concept is, again, the number outlines. The outline pattern makes sense as is, but when it gets shrunk (like on the name), the grey and white clash and the blue is barely noticeable, so the end result looks messy.
Overall: Huge improvement from the actual Oilers 3rd, but those number/name outlines are an issue. 8/10
Milwaukee Admirals Concept - Jeff C.
Yay: Right away, I can appreciate the fun involved with making this concept. This is definitely a wild 3rd jersey, and I could believe Milwaukee would wear something like this for a special event. I'm not sure what the yoke is supposed to symbolize, but I definitely see the "ghost pirate" theme all over this concept. That "peg-leg" sock is absolutely brilliant.
Nay: The bones for the font is a bit of a stretch, and is a little hard to read. I don't really get the point of the double-grey colour scheme. I don't think it adds anything to the pirate theme, and it makes the jersey look kind of ugly. As much as I love the "peg-leg" sock, a brown sock with some scribbles hardly looks professional. I'm sure you could find some wood textures or designs that could make that look a little better.
Overall: Design wise, this isn't that great. But I had a lot of fun looking at this concept, which is a difficult thing to accomplish. Awesome idea, just needs more polish. 7.8/10
Toronto vs Montreal Heritage Classic Concept - Joey F.
Yay: Finally, we get a concept for the 2016 Heritage Classic between Montreal and Toronto, of course. That would be THE Heritage Classic. This is the type of event that gets hockey historians and traditionalists going, and I have a feeling they would hate these jerseys. But maybe that's not a bad thing, as we see some different looks on some teams that have looked the same for way too long, so it is nice to see some change.
Nay: Unfortunately, I'm a traditionalist, and the thought of seeing these two in anything besides their current or classic uniforms just irks me. But lets say this was a Stadium Series or even a Winter Classic, then maybe these have hope. The Toronto jersey looks like a Walmart rip-off with way too many stripes, and the Montreal Canadiens jersey looks slightly less like a Walmart rip-off, but all of the stripes either clash or are too thin and difficult to see. I don't think I'll be seeing these on the ice anytime soon.
Overall: I applaud the originality of this concept, and it is something I lean very heavily on when I rate concepts. However, these jerseys just don't work for my traditionalist eyes. 6.6/10
I'm going to give Steven G's London Knights concept my COTW nom today. Very solid design for a team we might see hoisting the Memorial Cup very soon.
Don't forget to get your tickets for the HJC meet-up, and vote for your favourite COTW and COTY candidates!
Thanks for reading, and happy conference finals!