So how crazy did it get this year? Well...
More than $500 Million was spend on free agents in the first day, a new record.
Washington decided that it was a good idea to sign Orpik for a ton of money,
Spezza has done the impossible: make Dallas a contender,
Iginla ALMOST signed with Vancouver,
The already-dominant Western Conference has become even more scary,
Everyone seemed to be flocking to Buffalo, for some strange reason,
and Claude Giroux... well, I'd like to talk about Giroux, butt I shouldn't.
Anyways, the first day of Free Agency Frenzy was more crazy than anyone could have predicted. Thankfully, I had the day off, so I was able to spend all day on Twitter and watching TV, keeping track of all of the signings and trades.
What I SHOULD have done, however, was prepare for the biggest competition here at HJC. The HJC Open begins on July 12, which is coming up fast. The competition is going to be extreme, so be prepared to show your best, PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN ON HJC concepts.
But before you do that, take a minute to vote for the COTW. Last week was pretty bad for voter turnout, but hopefully you guys fix that for this week.
Alright, enough stalling, it's time for concepts!
COTW June 23-29 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Oregon Ducks Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: Lets start today with Stephen, who I haven't had a chance to review in the last few weeks. He takes a quack (ahhh) at a concept for the Oregon Ducks. Their actual jerseys are pretty lame, but this is extremely creative and colourful. Considering how often we've told Stephen to do more with his concepts, I'm really happy with what I'm seeing.
Nay: I didn't know Oregon had grey in their colours, or orange for that matter. While the orange is pretty interesting, the grey is much worse than just using white. The grey and orange combination (as seen on the dark jersey's yoke and hem) is just awful to look at. The thin orange outline on the numbers doesn't do the job either. No pants design, and the top part of the pants is a different colour on each pant (white on the dark uniform, grey on the light uniform).
Overall: Bring back white, and if you must keep orange, use a darker shade. Then you might be on to something. 7.2/10
Calgary Flames Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: Next up is another concept from Stephen, from a request on our LEAVE AN IDEA page. The objectives of that request were to make a Flames concept with a vintage look and a modern twist. The white jersey looks pretty vintage, and the red jersey ALMOST looks vintage. The stripes are well done, and I think the white jersey is great as is.
Nay: My problem is with the red jersey. The vintage Flames are best identified with the white logo and stripes, while the modern Flames are identified with the black logo and stripes. Stephen picks one of each: white stripes and a black logo. The problem is that the jersey just looks strange when the main stripe colour doesn't match the logo. Two parts of very different looks coming together usually doesn't work, which is the case here. The lettering outline on the red jersey is really hard to look at too.
Overall: Love the white jersey, but the red jersey is lacking. 7.3/10
Team Sweden Concept - Viktor B.
Yay: Next is an interesting concept from Viktor, making a Swedish jersey set that would perfectly match the type of jerseys Nike made for the Sochi Olympics. The yellow jersey is classic and untouchable, and I'm happy to see it left alone for the most part. The blue jersey is the huge change here, and it's a neat way of seeing the flag used on the jersey, as we seen with Finland and the Czechs.
Nay: Trouble is, the blue jersey is just way too plain. The arms have nothing on them at all besides the small cuff. I also don't like the sublimated crowns on the side of the jersey. Why not make them part of the arm design, killing two birds with one stone? I'd also give the yellow jersey some blue cuffs, just so it matches the hem. Finally, TV numbers are missing, which would also help the arms look less plain.
Overall: The design itself is pretty believable, but it's too plain and it's missing too many details to be a great concept. 7/10
Bello Concept - Viktor B.
Yay: Viktor's sequel concept today is for a team called Bello, who I have honestly never heard of, nor could find much info about them during my research. The jerseys look pretty classy, nothing too extreme but still nice-looking classic designs. Usually not a fan of word marks and front numbers, but I actually kinda like how it looks on the white jersey here. Maybe it's the font.
Nay: The back of the jersey doesn't show the name, or the TV numbers. We see the TV numbers on the front, but it's better to see them on both sides. The TV numbers on the white jersey shouldn't be blue, because they would be on a blue background and thus hard to read, even with an outline. The cuffs and hems don't match on either jersey, and I really think the contrasting shoulders are unnecessary on the white jersey. The stripes on the socks are a little too high up.
Overall: I'd really like to know where this concept comes from, because it is a pretty interesting design. However, it's far from perfect. 6.7/10
Saskatoon Blades Concept - Scott B.
Yay: Next is an old throwback for the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL, done by Scott. I always thought this logo was difficult to make cool, however it's not Saskatoon's worst (the angry thresher logo is far worse). The jersey design is pretty simple, but works for a throwback like this.
Nay: Bright yellow + white = BAD. Trying to look at the thin white stripe against the bright yellow jersey is a contrast nightmare. Making a thick white stripe, with blue stripes on either side, would work much better. There needs to be TV numbers, the main number could be bigger, the name could be bigger, and the design in the collar should say WHL instead of NHL. A darker shade of yellow might be better for everyones' eyes too.
Overall: Yikes. 5.8/10
The Be Sharps Concept - Christian L.
Yay: Alright, this is probably one of the coolest concept ideas I've seen in a long time. Christian creates a hockey jersey for the Be Sharps, Homer Simpson's barbershop quartet. Easily my favourite Simpson's episode of all time. It's hard to really convert their performing outfits into hockey jerseys, but this is a very respectable try, with a very classic looking uniform.
Nay: The red stripes on the arm aren't really necessary to match their outfit, but it would look too plain without them. Maybe one less red stripe, so the black stripe (nice touch by the way) can be moved lower to not interfere with the TV number. A thin white outline on the hat in the logo would probably make it easier to see.
Overall: The uniform itself isn't too fancy, but a great tribute to an awesome Simpsons episode. 8.1/10
Columbus Blue Jackets Concept - Christian L.
Yay: The last concept for the day is another concept from Christian, who goes much more serious and styling with this colourful Columbus Blue Jackets alternate. The colours look great on this uniform, which looks like it belongs in the 1920's. It's hard to make a vintage-looking 3rd as good as the Jackets already have, but this is a great attempt. The font choice is much better than their actual 3rd.
Nay: Way too many stripes, in a pattern that looks just crazy, unorganized, and busy. The thin red stripes could be a solid look, but instead it just looks confusing. The mass of stripes on the bottom of the jersey make the shoulders and upper arms look really bare (besides the yoke stripes, which also look messy). If there is a set pattern that the stripes are supposed to be in, then I'd like to know. The off-white colour of the back number looks brighter and more saturated than the off-white stripes.
Overall: The parts of this concept are greater than the whole. There's enough going for it that a classic can be made of it, but the pieces don't quite fit together yet. 7.5/10
Well that ends my post for today. I think I'll skip my COTW nomination for today, but hopefully you guys can pick a concept you like and nominate it yourself, to continue the Glorious Thursday Master Race's dominance. 4 of the last 5 COTW winners came from Thursday. Make that 5 for 6 if you guys vote for Alan in this week's poll. Tough vote this week though, all of the concepts are pretty solid.
Anyways, that's enough out of me. Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!