Hat Comp

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 goaliesarchive.com

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 Blackhawks.NHL.com

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 examiner.com

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 orlandosolarbearshockey.com

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: Winnipegsun.com

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

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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 because...it'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! 

3 comments:

SportsUniformConcepts said...

TG's NY Islanders concept for COTW.

Kurt said...

Wait... these are your favorite jerseys in minor leagues? I got confused when you listed the Thoroughblades for a couple reason. For one, it's one most ridiculous and unattractive logos I've seen in all of sports. Second, you refer to the logo as "less than appealing." You're right there. There are dozens of logos that have made their way through the minors that are better looking than that trash. IceHogs? Cutthroats? I know this is an opinion piece, but holy smokes, you like some ugly stuff.

winnipegjets96 said...

Thanks Kurt, I will admit I do have an eye for ugly. The reason why I liked the Thoroughblades is because it COULD work. It;s not that ridiculous considering the 2005 WHA, some of the UHL. and the early CeHL. I at least find an appeal for 90's cheesiness. The names may not be pretty for the Ice Hogs or Cutthroats, but none the less, the jerseys and logos look good.

I can say this though, you have inspired my next top 5. WORST minor league teams