In part three of my season predictions, I'm projecting the standings at the end of the regular season, who wins the Stanley Cup, and the 2015 NHL awards.
In today's NHL news, the Islanders made some great trades to improve their porous defense by acquiring Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk. Now, Leddy and Boychuk aren't necessarily all-world blueliners, but this is a very significant improvement for them. They only gave up one roster player young journeyman defenseman T.J. Brennan. That's huge. Brennan had a cup of coffee with the Preds a couple years ago, and if you can't realize your potential on defense with the Preds, then you won't make in the NHL. I say the same about Michael Del Zotto, AKA "Del-Zaster." The Metro division is weak in defense, so this could be a windfall for the Islanders, who have taken advantage of the Blackhawks and Bruins salary cap issues. You can read more about the deals at Lighthouse Hockey, who wrote a couple good articles about them.
1. Boston Bruins (Y)
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (X)
3. Montreal Canadiens (X)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Ottawa Senators
7. Florida Panthers
8. Buffalo Sabres
1. Pittsburgh Penguins (P)
2. Washington Captials (X)
3. New York Rangers (X)
4. New York Islanders (X) - Edited to reflect today's trades for Leddy and Boychuk
5. Columbus Blue Jackets (X) - assuming Ryan Johansen signs
6. Philadelphia Flyers
7. Carolina Hurricanes
8. New Jersey Devils
1. Chicago Blackhawks (Y)
2. St. Louis Blues (X)
3. Dallas Stars (X)
4. Colorado Avalanche (X)
5. Nashville Predators (X)
6. Minnesota Wild
7. Winnipeg Jets
1. Los Angeles Kings (Z)
2. Anaheim Ducks (X)
3. San Jose Sharks (X)
4. Arizona Coyotes
5. Vancouver Canucks
6. Calgary Flames
7. Edmonton Oilers
Stanley Cup Prediction: Washington over Los Angeles in 7.
2015 NHL Awards Predictions:
Hart: Steven Stamkos (TBL)
Lady Byng: Pavel Datsyuk (DET)
Vezina: Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)
Calder: John Gibson (ANA)
Art Ross: Sidney Crosby (PIT)
Norris: Shea Weber (NSH)
Conn Smythe: Niklas Backstrom (WSH)
Bill Masterton: Manny Malhotra (MON)
Ted Lindsay: Sidney Crosby (PIT)
Jack Adams: Barry Trotz (WSH)
Selke: Anze Kopitar (LAK)
William Jennings: Jake Allen/Brian Elliot (STL)
Maurice "Rocket" Richard: Steven Stamkos (TBL)
It's almost time! The 2014-2015 NHL season begins in just a few more days! This Wednesday, action will start with several great matchups, including Toronto vs. Montreal, LA vs. San Jose, and Boston vs. Philadelphia, so we'll start off the year with some good rivalries. I'm looking forward to a great season, and being able to watch my team (the Predators) potentially play some offensive hockey!
Tampa Bay Lightning Alternate Jersey Concept - Phil B.
Positives: It's not Tampa's new third jersey, which is already amongst my least favorite hockey jerseys of all time. The lightning bolts down the arms is dramatic at least.
Negatives: The lightning bolts make the numbers very hard to read.
Overall: It's not the most visually pleasing jersey, but it has character, and is executed well. (7/10)
Disney Competition Entry - Ricky M.
Positives: This is from the Disney competition a few weeks ago, but I will admit I have no idea what this is from. Marrying a template dominated by more organic shapes with a traditional Bruins-style yoke is an interesting choice, but doesn't look out of place.
Negatives: It's a mess. These are basically recolored template hodgepodges. The green jersey is especially apparent in that regard, because the template pieces don't fit together well. I know it's a Disney competition, but these look cartoonish, and not in a good way. The blue/purple lettering is not easily readable, and "Ridgewood" is almost too long for a diagonal wordmark. Why include pants but no socks?
Overall: Ill fitting template combinations and color choices bring this down. (6/10)
Edmonton Oilers Redesign Concept - Michael G.
Positives: I think the Oilers could get away with a chest stripe similar to this.
Negatives: Take off the yokes. It clashes with the chest stripe, and make the uniform unbalanced and top-heavy. The shoulder patches are a bit too large as well.
Overall: I wouldn't want this to replace what Edmonton already has, but I think that something similar to this, without the shoulder yokes, could make a good alternate jersey. (7.25/10)
Los Angeles Kings Concept - Michael G.
Positives: The Kings have a drab set right now, so I wouldn't mind seeing them bring back the purple, which would give them a more unique identity.
Negatives: The shoulder patch here isn't well suited. It's just too big to be sized down like this; it loses the details. The crown logo used here looks dated. It's really over-detailed and convoluted. I know the Kings don't have the best logos, but this is, in my opinion, their worst. The black name is not easily readable against the purple jersey, and neither are the numbers.
Overall: I support bringing back the purple, but not with these. (7/10)
Buffalo Sabres Baseball Crossover Concept - Christian L.
Positives: I have very much enjoyed Christian's NHL/baseball crossover. I think it really shows some of the versatility of some NHL teams' identities, and some ways in which the MLB could incorporate more color and character in their jerseys. The striping looks great on the sleeves, pants, and socks. Baseball (like we saw in soccer with Matt Mc's series) enables you to do some different things with the light and dark jerseys, instead of having them directly match like an NHL jersey (in most cases). Christian makes good use of a great word mark on the dark jersey, and emphasizes Buffalo's best logo on the other. A subtle shadow effect helps the concept pop off the screen. Presentation and execution are very good. Christian's presentation style is understated, but attractive. That's exactly what I like to see.
Negatives: I don't care for the numbers used here. This set has a very traditional feel to it, and the number font is too modern to mesh well with it. A more traditional block font would have been a more cohesive fit.
Overall: Christian's series has been successful so far, and i'm very interested to see him complete it. (8.75/10)
Colorado Avalanche Concept - Justin S.
Positives: I really like the sleeve striping. The side-view template really helps show how great that looks. The jersey itself is executed very well. I don't mind the arched lettering, either.
Negatives: The sublimated flag of Colorado flag design encroaches upon the numbers and primary logo. That foot logo...I hate it. It's a foot. Why do you want a foot on your jersey?
Overall: There's some real potential here, especially with that arm striping. (8/10)
If you follow the HJC Twitter account (and why wouldn't you?) then you have likely heard the big news from Ryan, but if you haven't, he has had his second child, a girl! Here's to the next Shannon Szabados!
So, what does that mean for HJC? Well, concept posts will take a break. Still check back at the usual time for posts, though. We still have some good stuff planned.
Send in your entries into the Quad City Mallard competition! The Mallards have a great identity to work with, so you we should see some really good entries into this one. Entries are due on October 31st, and be sure to check the banner above for details and rules.
So, you sent a vote in for Concept of the Week, eh? Congratulations, responsible adult. You used 20 seconds of your time wisely. Here is your reward.
Do you send in concepts, get top-notch, eloquent, constructive criticism that helps you get better as an artist, but failed to contribute to the website by using 20 seconds of your time to send in a simple vote? I'm not even giving you a gif this week. Be more responsible.
That's all for today! See you all next week!