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August 31, 2014

Sunday: Expansion Explanation

The winner of the COTW vote for August 18-24 was TG with his Halifax Mooseheads concept!

Full Results
TG (HLF) - 3
Matt M. (WSH) - 2
David K. - 1
Matt M. (DYN) - 1
TG (ANA) - 1

The new Concept of the Week nominees (August 25-31) have been listed on the side of the page in the black banner. Click that banner to see the concepts or go to the CONCEPT OF THE WEEK tab. Get your votes in before Friday.


The Grand Rapids Griffins Competition wraps up today and that frees up HJC to do one of our traditional ReDesign competitions. We're going to ease back into this by having a simple DEL ReDesign. You can redesign any team in the league! Click the banner at the top of the page or go to the DEL COMP tab to read the rules. They're really simple, so try to have a lot of fun with some teams you may never have heard of before. Entries are due at the end of Friday.


Seven people wrote up a mock post this past week in an attempt to become the next HJC Writer. I have looked at all of them and will review them again this week. Expect an announcement to be made before the end of the week.

I think I know who I want to pick, but choosing a new writer is always a gamble. There's a certain level of writing and professionalism that I want to have here on HJC. Trusting people with my vision is a big deal for me, so I want to make sure that I absolutely choose the right person.


The St. Louis Blues revealed new sweaters this week. Perhaps you have been wondering why HJC hasn't done an extensive article on the reveal? I have! There is an off-shoot HJC blog called the HJC Design Blog. There's a link for it on the side of the page or you can go to to see it. That blog isn't updated nearly as often as HJC, but it's where you'll find writings on new sweaters and other opinions I may have. Be sure to place it in your favourites or bookmarks or whatever you kids are doing these days.


Expansion has been the hot topic this past week. Where will the NHL go? Will it go anywhere? What's a good fit? I'm here to provide my perspective on the whole deal.

Why I believe these reports are true
Part of the newest CBA was a joint pledge by both the NHL and NHLPA to increase league revenues from $3 billion to $5 or $6 billion. Four teams paying just over a billion dollars in expansion fees should help that

Las Vegas
The NHL seems convinced this will work. The testing of the waters came when they permanently moved the NHL Awards to Vegas. It was a test to see if people would travel to see the NHL. I guess they have? There's a 20,000 seat arena being built right now (MGM-AEG Arena). That's a BIG check in the pros column for Vegas. The league also thinks that a NHL team can be an attraction in the city. The belief is attendance will be built with a solid group of local season ticket holders and tourists travelling The Strip who stop in to see an NHL game as if it were Cirque du Soleil. The NHL believes that those tourists would then go home and tell their friends how awesome hockey is. Thus leading to a higher level of interest in the NHL, both across the continent and globally.

Quebec City
The city and province of Quebec are in full gear building an arena (Quebecor Arena) in hopes of attracting a NHL team. They also have an ownership group too! Just like Las Vegas, the arena is a big plus for them. The ownership group is another. A second team in the province of Quebec would do quite well, I believe. The only question mark is the idea that Gary Bettman does not feel that expanding further into Canada can generate more revenue than another American team would.

If Quebec and Vegas have a good thing going for them by already building arenas, Seattle has a big negative going by not having any concrete plans in place to get going on construction. And the guy leading the charge for a new arena is interested in the NBA, not necessarily the NHL. I personally also worry about an NHL team being looked at as second rate. It seems the city really wants a NBA team and a hockey team just would be a nice throw in to help fill dates at the new arena. I believe there is a good fan base in the city, but I wonder if ownership would be committed enough to help the Seattle team bring in more revenue than any other city I have mentioned in this piece.

Toronto is two steps behind Vegas and Quebec, as far as building a team goes. They are at least one step ahead of Seattle though. They have an ownership group in place, with deep pockets, licking their chops at the idea of a NHL team. At this point finances for a new arena can't be figured out though (tax money vs private invetsments). There is the theory that a 2nd Toronto team could share the ACC for a season or two. Of course their rent would be through the roof because the Leafs own the building and aren't very happy about the idea of a 2nd team.

And I'm wondering why most people outside of Toronto, it seems, are not convinced that another Toronto team is a good idea. The Leafs have a season ticket waiting list that is at least 15 years long (last I heard). The Leafs also get ratings for their regional broadcasts that rival (if not beat) some NBC national broadcasts. Are people really convinced that these people who can't even get a sniff of the ACC because of price wouldn't drop their allegiance to the Leafs and give it to this bright, new, cheaper option? I bleed Maple Leafs blue, but even I would attempt to get season tickets for a second Toronto team! I have room for a #1 and a #2 team. I don't understand why people can accept the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils all being in the NHL, but not a second Toronto team.

Kansas City, Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Canadian Maritimes
To NHL fans looking for teams in these cities, it's not going to happen. Kansas City failed once and current fans don't want to prove their interest by going to NHL preseason games there. Hamilton did what Quebec and Las Vegas are currently doing, which is build a stadium to attract a team. Unfortunately for Hamilton they built a stadium that quickly became out of date. Expansion fees plus building renovation fees would put any prospective owner well behind the 8-ball to begin with. Saskatchewan and the Maritimes would just require too many people to travel too far, too many times a season to gamble on placing a NHL team there.


What says you to my thoughts on NHL expansion? Also take some time to send in your COTW vote. It takes 20-60 seconds, depending on how well you work your internet machine.

COTW Aug 25-31 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
DEL ReDesign entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

August 30, 2014

Saturday: Fantasy Hockey and Expansion

Hello everyone! In today's post we have several crossover concepts. Three involve soccer, one MLB, one XFL (yep, that XFL) and one Winter Classic concept. This post definitely doesn't lack for variety!

Earlier this week, a few sports websites started stirring the pot about possible expansion to Seattle Quebec City Toronto pt. II Kansas City Hamilton Las Vegas. Wait, Las Vegas?! Why? Putting a sports team in a city that doesn't have a collective attention span over 15 minutes seems like a poorly reasoned decision, especially when you could tap into a city that would have a more established market. This likely boils down to who has a good arena to play in, and ownership with deep pockets that can pay the expansion fees. Of course, there would likely have to be another city that would expand as well. You would think Quebec City and Toronto would be front-runners. I know a lot of people want to see a team in Seattle (I would prefer them to Vegas) and I believe that they could satisfy ownership concerns, but the lack of a suitable arena hurts their cause.

One more thing about expansion: I don't want it at all. Personally, I believe that if the NHL expands further, we are going to see a dilution of on-ice product. On the other hand, I'm sure a lot of hockey purists said the same thing I just said when the league granted expansion teams to Nashville, Columbus, Minnesota, Florida, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, etc. Naturally, the league denied that any decisions were made concerning expansion. I don't think this is something that we'll have to worry about until at least 2016. It wouldn't surprise me to see the league expand, it's just not something I think necessarily needs to happen.  (I know the other writers have mentioned this, I just had to get it off my chest)

Also, I've started a fantasy hockey league! I thought I would set one up for any HJC readers who enjoy competing in fantasy hockey. It's called "Victory Stripes" (after the iconic Lightning design, naturally) and it's a head-to-head Yahoo league. I plan on taking a maximum of 12 teams, but I could potentially expand it if more want in. Click on this link to go to the league page and join in. The league draft is on September 28 at 8:30 pm, so sign up today!

Arsenal FC Concept (Barclays Premier League) - Ricky M.

Positive: The yoke stripes aren't that bad. The sock striping could work if the pants were plain black.

Negative: That pattern doesn't work, and it's made even worse by the bright yellow jersey. Its far too busy, as evidenced by how Ricky has to interrupt the pattern on the back for the name and number to make it legible. It makes it very difficult to see any detail in the jersey at all. The number doesn't seem to match the name font well. The number font almost looks like comic sans in this instance, and not something you'd find on a professional team jersey. It reminds me of a motocross jersey. With presentation, If you have a busy jersey, don't put it against a busy background. It creates an unpleasant clash.

Overall: Take this one back to square one. The socks are redeemable, but not much else is. (5/10)

Oakland Athletics Concept (MLB) - Ricky M.

Positive: Good choice of logo usage for the home/away and gold alternate. The green/gold helmet is reminiscent of their batting helmets. Shading effects work better here than the previous concept. The background is more muted.

Negative: The home/away have no striping, just a color-contrasting yoke. The black alternate doesn't even have that. The pants choice is puzzling in all regards. White pants don't look good on hockey jerseys, and grey pants on the green jersey seem random. I know the A's may use pants like that, but that's not something that should necessarily carry over onto a hockey jersey. The piping on the gold alternate...I understand the effect Ricky's going for, but it doesn't translate well to a hockey jersey. The black alternate lacks purpose. If you were to buy a replica of that jersey, all you'd get would be a couple logos on a black jersey. The other alternate consists of a gold jersey, white pants, and green socks, with a black helmet. That's too many competing colors on a set. 

Overall: The Athletics jerseys of the 1970s-early 1980s had striping. Those would translate better, and give you more to work with. Get rid of the black. (6/10)

Los Angeles Xtreme Concept (XFL) - Mario A.

Positive: The old Buffalo Sabres template does seem to capture some of the essence of the short-lived (and for good reason) XFL. 

Negative: Mario credits Stephen for the design, which makes it seem that all Mario did was recolor a concept of Stephen's, while changing the numbers, name, and logo. That's not very creative. It doesn't use the L.A. Xtreme's colors or uniforms for inspiration. The Xtreme actually had a fairly understated look, resembling the Dallas Cowboys in some respects. Pixelation makes the concept look rough. There should be more silver on the dark jersey.

Overall: The look could fit the XFL, but the concept doesn't take a lot of inspiration from the team itself. Much of it seems to be a recolor of Stephen T's work. (6/10)

Boston Bruins NHL Soccer Cross-Over Concept - Matt Mc.

Positives: Matt's NHL/soccer crossover series looks good so far. I like the striping on both jerseys seen here. Brown is an interesting choice, making a soccer jersey that is also somewhat of a throwback. The Spoked-B doesn't look out of place as it's used here. Presentation and execution are very good.

Negatives: The brown jersey isn't very exciting. I think more could have been done there. On the concept below, Matt shows what the back of one of the jerseys looks like. I would like to see the backs of all of them. I'm just one of those people who like to see jersey fonts.

Overall: The gold/brown striped kit is intriguing. (8/10)

Buffalo Sabres NHL Soccer Cross-Over Concept - Matt Mc.

Positives: It's so strange, but these Buffalo jerseys, inspired by two different Buffalo designs, work so much better for soccer than they did hockey. My favorite here is the gold jersey, and I can't believe I'm saying that, knowing my pure loathing of the jersey that inspired it. I would even own that. Matt shows us the back of this jersey as well, and I find myself wishing he had done that with all of them. The dark jersey, evoking images of the Buffaslug era, is improved on this soccer template as well.

Negatives: The back of the dark jersey isn't shown. The Sabres traditional logo is so traditional that it tends to look out of place with modern jerseys. I would like to see a more modern logo on the jerseys, even if that means....(gulp)...using the Buffaslug. 

Overall: We tend to say that many designs look better on hockey jerseys than they do in other sports, but here we see a the exact opposite. Matt improves on failed Buffalo designs by translating them to soccer. Instant improvement. (8.5/10)

2015 Winter Classic Concept - TG

Positives: Man, those goalie templates look good. I especially love the time taken to design the goalie helmets in detail as well. That's some phenomenal work there. The Chicago jersey is really cool. I especially love the yoke. The old style goalie gear does fit a Winter Classic. The old Caps logo looks surprisingly good against chest striping. The font usage on both jerseys is great, both fit tremendously well. A few writers made a note of a lot of dead space in TG's concepts this week, but I think the goalie templates helped solve that.

Negatives: I'm not sold on the bronze color of the Washington jersey, but I don't dislike it as much as I did when I first opened the file from my email last weekend. It's growing on me. Brown pads probably don't help the bronze color. The bronze is still a little dark for a light jersey, though. It's not a big deal on an event jersey, but if it were to become an alternate, I'm not sure it would work as a light jersey.

Overall: Would not mind to see this become reality. The detailing on that goalie template alone sells me. (8.8/10) COTW nomination from me!

Will Rogers once said that he never met a man he didn't like, but Will Rogers never met someone who forgot to vote for COTW! If you, like a good, productive citizen, responsibly voted for COTW, then here is your coveted reward gif. However, if you, like a slothful bum, forgot to is your gif of shame.

Also, don't forget to send in your entries to the Grand Rapids Griffins competition! The deadline is tomorrow!

Come back tomorrow for Ryan's Sunday post to find out who won COTW. See you all later!

August 29, 2014

Friday: Minor Penalty for Vegas Hockey

Jets96 is unavailable after news L.V. was in the mix of NHL expansion caused a heart attack, however, he has left this post for your viewing pleasure

TGIF! What's cracking?

First off, in honour of J.S. Giguere retiring this past week, who was the last active Whaler in the NHL:here's a cool video of a custom NHL 12 game between the Montreal Canadiens and Hartford Whalers (underrated rivalry). Note the Brass Bonanza! This fan went through the effort of creating Whaler greats and near exact Whaler jerseys. The only problem is EA doesn't have the name in their database (even though they have the logo) and they are the Warriors, but enjoy!

Cutting right to the chase again, a few months ago, I promised to do a top 5 of my favourite designs in minor hockey. I forgot until I went through some old posts and realized I made that promise. Now of course, minor hockey has a lot more opportunities to come up with unique names. Local tradition, history ties and just general creativity shine through when overly stuffy professionalism isn't pushed to the forefront.

This list refers to the AHL, ECHL, CeHL, SPHL and other such leagues. NOT the OHL, USHL, NAHL, WHL or QMJHL/LMJHQ.

5. Kentucky Thoroughblades (AHL/:/ 1996-2001)

photo from

The AHL affiliate to the Sharks, who raised Mikka Kiprusoff, Vesa Toskala, John (Evgeni) Nabokov, Johan Hedberg, Zdeno Chara and Dan Boyle. Kentucky isn't known for hockey, it's known for horse racing, and crossing over the horse racing history into the team helps bridge the gap in the new market. The only problem with the team is the less than appealing logo. With a solid logo and a darkening of the colour scheme, hockey returning to Kentucky would be a sight for all.

4. Rockford IceHogs (UHL/AHL/:/ 1999-2007/2007-present)

photo from

The Blackhawks are one of the best looking teams in the NHL, and their whole identity carrier over to their lower affiliate. There are plenty of teams in minor hockey history, especially in the 90's that were Ice animals, but Rockford got it right with a well designed logo. It's not tacky, or forced, there's clear effort, and not just a pig wearing skates. They also introduced the Pig But logo, they only time an ass on a jersey has ever looked good....well, that and Slap Shot.

3. Denver Cutthroats (CeHL/:/ 2012-2014?)

photo from

Fish seem to be popular in minor league hockey, almost ever league has at least one team named after one species or another. I was debating either the Toldeo Walleye or the Cutthroats, picking Denver because the name is more original and the logos are the best in league history. The green, blue and red all looked good on the same jersey (not easy to do). I'm sure the concept community will miss the fishies, but here's to a return!

2. Orlando Solar Bears (IHL/ECHL/:/ 1994-2001/2012-present)

photo from

No matter how much you try to dislike the idea, the name, the logo or the whole idea of a team in Orlando, the Solar Bears are now a staple of minor hockey. Sure, it's a bad pun, but it's all in good fun . What's the last thing you think of in Orlando? Aside from hockey? Polar Bears! Obviously, the original team had a pretty tacky logo and jersey, it was the update that put this team where it is. The updated logo set was designed perfectly. Colourful, warm and modern.

as for number one...come back next week!

Just kidding!

1. Manitoba Moose (IHL/AHL/:/1996-2001/2001-2011)

photo from:

Too obvious?  Well, think about it, what was the only possible other name of Winnipeg's NHL team in 2011, was the Moose. It's hard to think of any name that could take in the Jets, but in the excitement, people held on to the Moose name. The colours match the logo and theme perfectly, and despite haven basic jerseys, the Moose had unique numbers and a sick striping pattern. The logo is the best part of the team, even going back to the days when they wore purple in the IHL. I miss this look, despite how rock solid the Jets have it, maybe this wouldn't have been the best alternative.

Talk about it in the comments!

The news of Vegas hockey has sprung and, opinions are split. This of course has re-opened the debate of Southern hockey and why Bettman would want to put a team in a market which has never had a professional sports team in any of the four major sports leagues. To those people, hold your horses! Tampa, Nashville, Atlanta Flames, Dallas, the 3 California teams were/are all relatively successful and have a fan base. Hockey in areas with little to no snow, can/will work! Plus, where are the NHL awards held every year? Plus, news that Seattle expansion has hit a roadblock with regards to a new arena due to ownership rights and such. Plus Quebec City won't be ready for 2017 and Markham is a huge stretch at the moment.

And while we're on the subject of potential hockey markets!

Hartford- Having trouble with the Hartford Wolfpack's arena means little chance for now

Kansas City- It's a mystery? The Sprint Centre is ready for both NBA and NHL use, but will there be fans?

Voting ends tonight!!! COTW is uber important so, have at it.

Also, this Sunday marks the end of the Grand Rapids Griffins competition entry phase. Obviously everyone has been working hard on their designs, however, time to kick things into MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE.

Finally, Monday writer Phil B. is leaving the HJC crew, which is sad, however, he has an awesome opportunity coming up and I wish him all the best. Tuesday becomes open as another writer moves in to fill in the Monday spot. If you have any interest in writing from HJC, now is the time to jump on!
Write your post and read the guidelines

COTW Aug 18-24 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Writer applications (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Grand Rapids Griffins Competition (ends August 31st)

On to the concepts


New York Islanders Concepts (By: TG)

Consider this concept a mix between the Islanders first and current edge jerseys, and, despite looking like the Pens, it's a sweet concept. The colours are balanced quite well, more so on the white jersey, but both jerseys look good, simple and classy. The blue jersey, at least as I see it, the orange and white should be switched in the striping, not only to match the numbers, but more so to keep orange as the secondary colour over white, and to darken the jersey. Execution is fantastic, as we would expect from TG, though presentation white, the bottom half of the concept is wasted space, and shrinking the name space down to 1/3rd of what is now, will keep the focus on the concept. (8.5/10)

St. Louis Blues Concepts (By: Ricky M.)

Oh come on, the Blues just changed their jerseys, do we really need to bring back red? I agree with Ricky that, yes, Because the Ducks have now switched out of this template, it's up for grabs. The home and road are okay, but they suffer from the same problem the Ducks current set, the colours aren't balanced well. The blue jersey has no white on it. aside from the logo, and the white jersey has too much red and yellow in the striping. The yellow jersey is better, however, I would switch the red and blue in the striping. The roundel logo makes a better shoulder patch than a primary logo.(6.75/10)

Anaheim Ducks Concepts (By: Matt Mc.)

With Phil's soccer series done, we move onto another crossover series, done by Matt Mc. Having two completely different, non-matching home and roads is normal in soccer, so I'll consider the black jersey the main kit and the Mighty Ducks the clash kit. The how is an excellent crossover, having all the elements of the current Ducks jersey, with a few soccer touched. Nice gradient curves! The clash kit is even better's the Mighty Ducks. A perfect cross over all around, and a well executed soccer concept. (9/10)

Edmonton Oilers Concept (By: Patrik G.)

How many concepts do we see using the WHA logo? Not many, but Patrik steps up. I'm not sure if this is a Nike jersey or not, but the yoke reminds of the Olympic USA/Slovakia jersey. It has a very simple design, which works mostly, but in some areas it could use some more details. The helmet/pants are bare, and the orange gloves don't work for the jersey, but look more like the logo on the glove (if that makes sense). The tv numbers are way too small, and while it works on vintage jerseys/throwbacks, there should be a name on the back. (6/10)

Las Vegas Outlaws XFL Concepts (By: Mario A.)

I was unsure why both Brian B. and Mario's design tags were on this concept, but I realize now that Mario is just giving credit to Brian! Good job for doing that.  The XFL didn't last for many reasons, but the logos were decent enough that they have made appearances on HJC before, and, fitting the expansion rumours, Vegas gets featured today. The jerseys are a variation on the Caps current set, and they look okay, but the issue of colour balancing remains the same. Both jerseys on their own could hold up, however, there is far too much tan on the white jersey. Adding black to the top of the white jersey's arms and getting rid of the side panels would fix that issue. The numbers are not a style that works for hockey, or any sport aside from maybe NASCAR, though I appreciate the creativity in this concept! (6.5/10)

Arizona Coyotes Crossover Concepts (By: Matt Mc.)

And we end today's post with another soccer concept, this time, not in a soccer market, Glendale. Once again, there is no white kit, but a home and clash kit, the home being a modern mix of the desert theme, and the other a soccer version of the previous alternate. The home is exactly what the Coyote would wear if they were to blend eras in footie, and the paw print patch would make an excellent crest. The clash was a present surprise! I'm not huge on the alternate, but it works better in soccer form than hockey. Overall, excellent! (9.5/10) COTW Nom. from Me! 

That's the post everyone. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it! As you HOPEFULLY read on twitter and Facebook, only 2 more days before the deadline to get your Grand Rapids Griffins entries in. Super important, competition is tough, and don't just glance over this because everyday on HJC you've been reminded this! AND DON"T FORGET TO TAKE OUT THE TRASH!

Have a great weekend! Come back tomorrow for Caz's post! 

August 28, 2014

Thursday: HNILV?

Hey everyone!

Hockey Night In Las Vegas, anyone?

I'm sure you've heard the numerous rumours and reports surrounding NHL expansion over the last few days, first with expansion to Las Vegas being a "done deal", then with the notion that the NHL would also expand to Quebec City, Seattle, and Toronto.  None of these reports surprised me whatsoever, including the NHL's subsequent denial.

As I mentioned on my personal blog a while back (which should be revived from it's long hibernation soon), I wouldn't be surprised if Las Vegas is the next expansion destination.  Most don't consider it a hockey market, which is fair, but it is still a large market that is totally deprived of top-level professional sports.  It would be a gamble (pun intended) to put a team there, but I think it would be worth the risk, and would be surprisingly successful.

The other expansion candidates aren't surprising either.  Seattle is an obvious choice, same with Quebec City.  A second Toronto team is a bit of a stretch, but there has been efforts to bring another NHL team there in the past, so it's not a new idea.  As bad as it would be to oversaturate the hockey market in Ontario, all 3 teams (Ottawa included) would still do better than most other teams in the league in terms of revenue and attendance.

And as I expected, the NHL denied these reports today.  I'm not surprised by this because most of those reports had no evidence or details to back them up.  Las Vegas has one arena being constructed and 2 being proposed, but nothing will be ready by 2016. Seattle was one city council vote away from having the Phoenix Coyotes, but they don't have a fully-suitable arena yet, and neither does Quebec.  Both could temporarily play at smaller venues, but would need to build a new facility in order to keep up with the league.

At any rate, the NHL won't be expanding any time soon, but I'd be shocked if we don't see a new team (or two) in the next couple of years.

What does that mean for us? Some motivation for concepts based on these "expansion cities" perhaps?


In other news, Phil is leaving HJC.  This sucks, but he has a pretty awesome opportunity ahead for him, and I wish him all the best, and I'm sure we'll see Phil on the blog from time to time.  But this means it's time to get your game on and apply for our open writer position.  It's a really awesome opportunity, and good luck to all those who apply!  Click on the link above for more info.

Alright, that's enough rambling for me, it's time for concepts!

COTW Aug 18-24 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Writer applications (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Grand Rapids Griffins Competition (ends August 31st)


2015 NHL All-Star Game Concept - Mario A.

Yay: First up is Mario with his NHL All-Star Game concept.  It's looking more and more like we're going all chrome and neon green with this year's game, which is a shame, because I miss when the ASG jerseys actually looked great, like this.  Of course, this jersey has been used before, but not with these colours, which look much nicer than those teal and purple ones. Mario is getting a lot better with sizing the numbers, names and logos on his concepts, so good work!

Nay: As far as sizing goes, I think the TV numbers just need to be a little bigger.  I see a few loose pixels and rough edges, which leads me to believe this was a simple recolouring job.  I also don't think the retro orange ASG symbol is needed on the shoulders.  Something more 90's, or perhaps the flags of the player's nationality, would be better suited for this look.

Overall:  I like the look of these more than the previous teal and purple ASG-Star uniforms, but this concept doesn't bring anything else new.  7.3/10

Calgary Flames Concept - Ricky M.

Yay:  Ricky has an interesting idea with this concept: get rid of the iconic "C" logo, make the alternate logo as their main logo, and revive the Flaming Horse logo.  For nostalgia sake (and only for that reason), I like the idea of reviving the Horse.  I'm personally not a fan of this new logo, but if we're going ahead and changing the identity of the team, the logo and uniforms works beautifully.  The main set is way different but still classic in a way, perfect for the Flames.

Nay:  The only complaint I have about the main set is the black numbers on the red jersey.  It works, but I think it's a tad too dark, and I'd switch to white numbers, or possibly yellow if outlined properly.  On the 3rd jersey, as unique and modern as it is, those stripes are way too ridiculous to take seriously. It doesn't relate to anything "Flames", and it's neither classic, timeless, modern, or interesting; it's just a mess.

Overall: As a Flames fan, I hate it.  But as a designer, I'm really digging the main set. That 3rd needs serious work though. 7.6/10

Kelowna Rockets Concept - Zack W.

Yay: Next up is Zack, showing us his Kelowna Rockets concept.  I'm noticing a lot more creative risk-taking from Zack lately, which is great to see.  This concept is a bit more mellow, but subtle things like the chevron stripes and the equipment design really showcase Zack's improvement.  I love the stripes, on the arms especially. This concept is original, identifiable, simple, and timeless, which are all key points a design should cover.

Nay: The back number is way too big, as is the logo in the front.  The name is good for size, but being a little bolder or thicker could help.  As far as the stripes go, I don't like how they're rounded, and are all bending at a slightly different angle.

Overall: Good effort, but not quite great yet.  7/10

HC Sibir Novosibirsk Concept - TG

Yay:  Our last 3 concepts today are all from TG.  First is for the newly-rebranded HC Sibir Novosibirsk, known as the Siberians.  Their change from the tacky "H" logo to this classic snowflake look is amazing, and TG gives them some classic uniforms to go with it.  The stripes are simple and classic, but in really original patterns that definitely belong in European hockey.

Nay: The main set is beautiful as is, so no complaints for me.  The diagonal style on the 3rd is interesting, but it makes the back look extremely bare.  I also don't like how the stripes just kind of stop on the front of the jersey.  I guess they have to stop somewhere, but the ends become focal points, which isn't a good thing.

Overall: Not overly sold on the 3rd, but loving everything else.  8.2/10

Vancouver Canucks Concept - TG

Yay:  Next up is a Canucks concept with...uh oh...double blue.  My bias is kicking in already.  I have to say that this colour scheme is absolutely perfect for the Canucks. Blue and green is more original, but this just looks awesome.  The word mark is gone, the stripes are simple yet original, and this is definitely a believable look for the Canucks.

Nay:  Maybe it's just me, but the back number looks really close to the name.  Moving it down just a few pixels would create more breathing space and look nicer.  On the dark jersey, the logo could use a tiny bit more outline to stand out more.

Overall:  Would buy, twice.  8.7/10

Vancouver Canucks Concept - TG

Yay: Our last concept today is another Canucks concept from TG.  This time, he takes the Canucks logo recently designed by Christian L, and uses it in the old Canucks colours.  The end result is a very simplified version of the "skate" uniforms.  The front and shoulder logos look awesome in their new colours.

Nay:  As well designed and adapted as this concept is, I can't help but think that this is a Flames concept with the wrong logo.  This looks very similar to the early 2000's Flames jerseys.  Another problem I have is the lack of white on the uniform.  The logo looks a little out of place since, besides the numbers, there is no other white are on the uniform.  Adding white stripes somewhere would be a very simple fix, even if you're sitting drunk on a wagon to Mexico.

Overall:  I love the adaptation and the effort, and the execution is pretty good, but the concept suffers from an identity crisis.  7.8/10

I'm giving my COTW nomination to TG's "Double Blue" Canucks concept.  I'm a sucker for anything double-blue, but that set just looks fantastic.  Everything today was good, or unique in some way, and I love seeing some of the newer designers improve.  Soon Zack and Mario could be competing for COTW on a weekly basis, who knows.

I'm not going to go into any details, but something really cool is going to be added to HJC in the near future, and we're going to need lots of reader participation for it to happen, so keep your eyes open for details coming in the near future.

That's it for me, thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!

August 27, 2014

Wednesday: Only One Remains

As many of you might have seen, the St. Louis Blues unveiled their new home & away uniforms yesterday. This means that only Avalanche continues to use the Reebok Edge's signature vertical piping on their uniforms. This is a big stop in the right direction as far as hockey jerseys, and I'd like to see Colorado follow suit.
I'll dive right in and remind everyone that the COTW votes must be placed by the normal time on Friday, but the Grand Rapid Griffins contest entries are due by Sunday! Get to work, or your concept may never get off paper and onto the ice.
Finally, have you ever wanted to become one of the writers for HJC? Well, a very rare opening has come up so this is your chance! Phil seems to have gotten a pretty cool job opportunity and I wish him the best, so get writing. If you've applied before and weren't selected, don't be discouraged! I wasn't picked on my first application, so you never know what might happen this time around.
COTW Aug 18-24 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Writer applications (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Grand Rapids Griffins Competition (ends August 31st)
Here are the concepts for today!
Alan H. - Renfrew Creamery Kings Concept
Design: HJC has been taken over by NHA concepts every since the competition that we hosted, and I have really enjoyed mixing things up beyond NHL concepts in the everyday batches. Alan gives the Creamery Kings a complete face lift with a new logo and all. The crest is sharp and the jerseys look tough. For whatever reason on this specific concept, I really like the red yoke on the black jersey. I fell that a lot of the times yokes are left off black uniforms, or simply outlined. (i.e. Anaheim Ducks)
Score: 7.5/10 - Even the gloves match the striping pattern!
Christian L. - Minnesota Fighting Saints Logo Concept
Design: There isn't a whole lot in Chtistian's concept that is different from the old Fighting Saints logo. This version is mostly a cleaned up version of the original, as the clothes hanger halo is replaced by a real halo. In addition, the untied skates of the old logo are tied in Christian's concept. Being a skating instructor, I agree with this call as it is hard to skate with untied skates... Trust me I've seen beginners try.
Score: 8/10 - Overall, this is a very good logo. I like that nothing has drastically changed, but the cleaned up look gives the team a more fierce identity.
Zach W. - Gatineau Olympiques Concept
Design: Zach's Olympiques concept uses the same color scheme of the defending Stanley Cup champions, which makes quite a bit of sense given that Gatineau has pretty much ripped off the Kings uniforms. Unfortunately, I think that there are way too many different striping patterns in this concept. My favorite is the one on the socks, but nothing seems to go together.
Score: 5/10 - Like they say, less is more.
Ricky M. - Carolina Hurricanes Concept
Design: Ricky's take on the Hurricanes uniforms is one that we have seen many times before on HJC. I think that Carolina's uniforms would look great with the warning flag as a primary crest. The wordmark under the crest on the red jersey also looks very good. The side paneling is very catchy, but I haven't even mentioned my favorite part... The warning flags are back in the striping!
Score: 7/10 - Wow, that flag logo looks great on a white uniform!
Dallas O. - Arizona Coyotes Concept
Design: Dallas gets the creativity award today, as he has incorporated an "A" into the existing Coyotes crest for their move to Arizona. The jersey itself is one of the more unique jerseys, and would fit perfectly into the Coyotes uniforms of the past. As for the logo, I wish there was a way that the "A" wasn't so dominant, as it distracts from the fact that there is a coyote behind it.
Score: 6/10 - This crazy looking concept is brought down by the numbers and crest being a little bit too big. If Dallas shrunk those by 20-30%, this concept could be spot on!
TG - Kansas City Scouts Concept
Design: Speaking of unique concepts, TG has created a jersey that looks like something that the Orlando Solar Bears could wear. However, Florida is probably going to want that team given that TG has moved the Panthers to Kansas City to revive the Cheifs. I really liked the old Cheifs' logo, but per the trend in professional sports, TG gives the organization a new logo as part of their rebranding. Whether it was intentional or not, I see a little bit of the Panthers' alternate jersey in the striping, but that isn't nearly as cool as the fact that the sun's rays from the crest are included in the striping. To top all of this off, the custom number font fits the team's identity perfectly.
Score: 9.5/10 - My only issue with this concept is that I think that too much space is wasted. I think that the space at the bottom of the image could have been allocated better. Nonetheless, this is my COTW nomination for the week! The concept above the dead space was more than enough to earn my vote.

August 26, 2014

Tuesday: Mascot Sighting

Howdy all! Hope you're all enjoying your week so far. I know I am.

I'm sure a lot of you saw but the St. Louis Blues unveiled their new jerseys yesterday and they returned to a classic pre-edge look, finally ditching the piping that a lot of people have been against for years.
St. Louis Blues Twitter
It's a pretty simple look and nothing new, as the team has worn something very similar to this before, but it looks good. I think there's a few tweaks that could be made to make it look better but almost anything beats what they had been wearing. That's for sure.

Also, a few weeks back we saw everyone's second favorite Dylan win the HJC Open. Mr. Wonka was supposed to receive a mini banner with his name and the HJC Open logo printed on it but because of costs and availability Mr. Wonka managed to get himself a bigger banner! Let's take a look at the 3'x1.5' beauty!

Personally, I hope that there will be a video of the banner raising at the Wonka household. I think it'd be a fun time had by all. 

Speaking of competitions... We still have a big one going on here, as well as our usual COTW Vote AND we're accepting writer applications for Tuesdays as I'll be taking over for Phil on Mondays.

COTW Aug 18-24 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Writer applications (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Grand Rapids Griffins Competition (ends August 31st)

So get on that!

I've decided no hat this week but I'll show one off next week, let's just get straight to the conecpts!

IFK Helsingfors (SM-Liiga) Alternate Jersey Concept - Pajo94
We saw the home and road set for this alternate jersey yesterday. I think this fits into a set with those two jerseys decently but I wouldn't want to see this more than an alternate as is currently. There's a lot going on. I don't care for the little stars on the hem AND a diagonal script logo. There's a lot going on there, especially when paired with the tons of little thin stripes on the arm. I think either stick with the stars theme, or thin stripes theme. They're mix-n-match'd throughout the whole uniform and it just doesn't work for me.

Rating: 6/10

Adirondack Flames Alternate Jersey Concept - Zach W.
I'm assuming this is an alternate jersey concept as there's only one jersey. This looks like an attempt to blend two different jersey styles together. Ultra modern and classic. The top half of the jersey looks to replicate a classic Flames jersey with the diagonal arm striping while the bottom is... I don't know. It looks like it's two black side panels that link up across the hem. I'm not a fan of the look. I guess I just don't really get what Zach was going for. I don't think it works with the arm striping, but if the arm striping matched the stripes in these side panels I might jump on board. As I'm typing this the hem turns into a big black hem with hem striping that goes across and up at the sides. Still not a huge fan of it, but it's something new I'll give Zach that.

Rating: 6.999/10

Arizona Coyotes Alternate Jersey Concept - Scott B.
Scott creates a fauxback for the new Coyotes. Uses the team's original striping well. I'd like to see some of the green and purple sprinkled in there somewhere but that's me. As is, it fits the current brand perfectly. Not so sure about the round yoke on the jersey though. Maybe go for a square one of one that's got flat corners like Dallas'.

Rating: 7.5/10

Los Angeles Kings Concept - TG
TG gives the 2 out of 3 champions a new set of jerseys. All I'm seeing is black and white Wild sweater. I'm not a huge fan of this jersey style. I think it looks alright sometimes. I don't think it looks bad in this color scheme. I think it's being pulled off here better than in Minnesota. It's still not my favorite though. I'd like to see the pants, helmet, and gloves somewhere on the image. There's a lot of negative space down low that could be used for that stuff.

Rating: 7.5/10

Dallas Stars Mascot Concept - Christian L.
This is great, I'd love to see more of this around here. I was disappointed to see the head was taken from a stock photo site but I looked it up and saw some decent changes were made so that was a relief. I can't tell if the hands are supposed to be boxing gloves or just big fuzzy hands. The bull being gold is neat as it's a way to keep the gold around in the brand somehow as I remember there being quite a few people who weren't happy to see it leave. I think the way it is now, this looks like a mockup for a mascot. I'd want to see a full out illustrated version that looks like he should have his own cartoon! Thick black outlines and a fun happy pose to complete the cartoon look!

Kind of hard to rate this as a jersey concept but I really like it so I'll give it something!
8/10 T Shirt Cannons

Hartford Whalers Alternate Jersey Concept - Steven G.
A gray alternate would have looked good with the Whaler's last set of jerseys before they moved. If the team was still around I bet gray would make a great Stadium Series jersey for the team. I love the Pucky on the shoulders, especially as he's facing the front of the jersey on both shoulders. The striping is neat and I don't usually care for the wavy stripes. Normally I hate to see wavy arm and straight hem stripes but here it works. I don't know exactly why I feel that way...maybe it's the team, maybe it's the colors... I don't know, but it looks good here.

Rating: 8.5/10 - I'd still rather see some straight stripes...just a personal preference...

Well there it is folks. Tuesday. Done. Might as well go to bed. Nothing you do from now until the end of the night is going to beat reading your daily HJC post. Good night everyone!

August 25, 2014

Monday: Public Service Announcement

So the news is out. If you live under a rock and missed the news yesterday, you probably will miss it today too. If not, I am sad to announce that I will be leaving the writing team here at HJC to pursue an employment opportunity that I have been presented with. As such I also will not discuss said opportunity at the request of the employer. That said, I will still contribute concepts to the blog every now and then. I have some cool ones coming up as well as some IIHF redesigns, so stay tuned.

In other news, the Islanders released their logo for the final season at Nassau Coliseum.

(image courtesy of

Dare I say a bit too much blue? Yes I dare say that. This thing will be virtually invisible on the home jerseys, which is what their fans will (or apparently will not) see on the shoulders. The 40th Anniversary logo, for the sake of comparison, had much more white and a thick outline, so that it stood out on both jerseys. there better be a thick enough outline of white to see these. Personally, I would have made the outer ring white with blue lettering.

Ok, time for some HJC news. Here are your brief reminders:

COTW Aug 18-24 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Writer applications (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Grand Rapids Griffins Competition (ends August 31st)
Well done by Tom V. on the Tecumsehs concept to win COTW. Vote for this week's concepts, and let the karma carry over to your best pieces so you can eventually vote for yourself up there.

Did I mention I was leaving yet? Yes? OK just making sure. I NEED A REPLACEMENT! Help me by helping Ryan so you can help your concept skills and writing skills. Helping your sense of humor is not guaranteed, as proven by my tenure. 

I am fine tuning my entry into the Griffins Comp, as you should too if you have yet to send it in. Some good entries in there and some headscratchers (no offense to the artists who made said headscratchers), so make sure you make a good one and send it in by THIS SUNDAY!!!!!

Review time!

Buffalo Sabres Concept by Connor J:

This is a good idea, and not a bad start to bringing that idea to life. The front number fits well under the script there, similar to many baseball jerseys and some college hockey jerseys. I like the idea of the striping too. I have several problems with this, though. First of all, phantom yokes don't really work. I haven't really seen a good one ever. There are loose pixels around all of the 57s. The stripes do prevent this from paint bucket syndrome, and although the arm stripes are done relatively well, the chest stripes are quite low, and as such, bring the number on the back too low. I'm not feeling the font choice here either, or the purple background, as it takes away from the blue stripes. Lots to work with, but lots to work on.

Final Score: 43%

Washington Capitals Concept by Jake88:

Here's an idea that looks similar to something I tried: a chest stripe with the Capitals wordmark (a logo I personally despise) inside it. This is done MUCH better. The only complaints I have are how squished the logo looks between the stripes, and the inconsistency between the stars in the logo and the stars on the sleeve. Maybe the caps should either put a fourth star on the logo, or not have ANY stars since they have yet to win a championship, a la soccer teams. Mine scored an 8.5/10 from William B, our Thursday writer, so I will score this as....

Final Score: 89%

Tampa Bay Lightning Concept by James J:

When you have a two color system like Tampa Bay does, its hard to work a chest stripe into the jersey without outlining the logo, which James fails to do here, or without keeping the logo entirely in the stripe, like Detroit did for their first Winter Classic and for their alumni game against Leafs alumni at Comerica Park, also not the case here. The black seems pointless, as do the phantom yoke and the colored nameplate. Those numbers on the back are also massive. The biggest takeaway from this is that you should outline your logos.

Final Score: 53%

IFK Helsingfors (Champions League) Concept by Pajo94 (I'm grouping these two together as a home and road concept):

I like seeing international concepts here. But let me get two execution notes out of the way: On the road, the Reebok stitching should be one color, preferably red to match the name and numbers. Also I like the LFK crest in the collar inset, but get the NHL logo off the inside tag, it's not an NHL concept. Striping is clean on both jerseys, but I LOVE the pattern on the road, that being two thick stripes of different colors, then two thin stripes within them of opposite colors. The phantom yoke though needs to go, and the logo on the home red is rather boring when they have a nice shield logo to use. Maybe reserve that star for the shoulders.

Final Score: 78%

Colorado Avalanche Alternate Concept by TG:

We wrap it up with an unusual Avs concept. I don't think I've ever seen a black Avalanche concept that has been executed so well. The logo looks pretty good and the number font follows suit. My question however, is why a black jersey if there's no black in this logo? Blue or burgundy jersey I'd go for, bot not black. That yoke is so good though. Side note, it's weird not seeing Iginla in red yellow and black anymore. Yes I know he was traded a season and a half ago. It's still weird.

Final Score: 84%

The winner of my Concept of the Week nomination is Jake88 and his Washington Capitals Concept!

Well there's only one more week to go for me here. Stay tuned for my final post next week!