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July 31, 2014

Thursday: Griff is the Word

Is your daily newspaper missing a certain ornithological piece, a headline regarding mass awareness of a certain mythological-avian jersey variety?

Well you're in luck!

In what is the biggest HJC news story since my arrival (I thought that would be big news), HJC has teamed up with the Grand Rapids Griffins for an alternate jersey design competition.  Click the banner above for all the details, but here is a brief summary:

1) YOU design and submit an alternate jersey design,
2) The GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS pick their favourite, and wear that design in one of their games,
3) YOU (the winner) get a personalized version of that jersey.

In case I haven't gotten your attention yet, the GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS, the 2012-13 CALDER CUP CHAMPIONS, ONE OF THE MOST DOMINATING GROUP OF PROSPECTS IN THE LEAGUE, could be wearing YOUR design.

It's very rare to get the opportunity to design a jersey that will be worn in-game, but here is your chance!

You have until August 31st to submit your entry, so there is lots of time to make sure your concept is perfect and ready to impress the Griffins. I expect competition to be extremely fierce, and everyone will be on their 'A' game if they want any chance of winning.

Alright, I'm sure I could go on for days about how cool this competition is, but I have a whole month to do that, and other writers probably want to get a word in too, so I'll stop jabbering for now. But just click on the banner at the top and check out all of the competition details.

COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals vote (due Saturday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

And now to our regularly scheduled programming:


Everett Silvertips Concept - Zach W.


Yay: First up today is a concept from Zach, for the WHL's Everett Silvertips. The 'Tips have some pretty cool, jerseys as is, but Zach goes for the straight-up classic approach, which never hurts.  It's hard for me to compare this to their current jerseys, because I'm a huge fan of those, but I will say this look is better than their 2012-13 jersey. Those we're hideous.

Nay:  This is a really nice template to use, because of it's 3D-like shading.  A very well executed design looks great with the template, but it takes a lot of work. This looks like a prime example on how NOT to use the Fill tool, as there are loose pixels, rough edges, and red colour on the collar from what I assume is a previous design. The colour on the collar doesn't match, the logo and number on the back seems really big, and there are no TV numbers.

Overall: The classic stripe look might work for the Silvertips, but execution really drags this down. If you're still new to design, try using a different template.  5.4/10



Ottawa Fire vs Police Charity Game Concept - Gerard M.


Yay: This very clever concept is brought to us by Gerard. These charity games happen everywhere, yet we don't see many concepts for "FD vs PD" games, so it's exciting to see a concept pop up.  The colours and striping patterns really look nice on the jerseys, just flashy enough to stand out, and definitely not boring. The use of the three numbers is a nice touch.

Nay: I think the styled arms on the Fire Department jersey can be simplified to straight stripes. The hem is fine as is, but I think the arms just look too crooked and busy. On the Police Department jerseys, the only think I don't like is the single thin stripe on the pants.  Either go plain, or go with a white/blue/red combination. The single red just looks too boring.

Overall: Great concept overall.  I don't agree with all the design choices, but still love the look. 8.3/10

Hopefully the two teams like those jerseys, or else this could happen...



NHL All-Star Game Concept - Coby S.


Yay: Next up is Coby, who is making this concept based on the rumours of next year's game being played with this sort of colour scheme. I personally hate this idea. The colours are cool, but I miss when ASG jerseys were either related to the host's jersey, classic-looking, or all-around colourful. While the colour scheme is crazy, Coby keeps it cool with a basic striping pattern, which (as mentioned above) never hurts.

Nay: If the ASG jerseys are going to have these colours, then I'd expect a flashier design as well.  Basic stripes are not going to cut it.  I don't like the bright green and white put right beside each other either, especially as an outline on the numbers. I also have to mention the presentation: it's really hard to read the text, because of the font choice and the bright colour used on a white background.

Overall: Not a terrible look, but I hope the NHL goes with a flashier jersey, and less green. 7/10



Minnesota Wild Concept - Stephen T.


Yay: Next up is Stephen, who gives us a new Minnesota Wild set. This set would be closest to their current red home uniforms, but with a lot more striping, which I'm alright with.  The main logo is used instead of the circle one, which is also a plus.  The striping pattern is a little crazy but still pretty solid looking. Glad to see more originality in Stephen's work.

Nay: This set suffers from "Coyote Syndrome", using white on one jersey and beige on the other. The red jersey definitely could use some more white, and vice versa. The white jersey has some very thin beige striping, which is a) hard to see beside white, and b) not matching with the red jersey.  The contrasting shoulders isn't a good look for the Wild, and the yoke outline on the white jersey is unnecessary. The collars should be a contrasting colour.

Overall: Originality is good, but I'm not keen on the design. 7.2/10



Winnipeg Jets Concept - Christian L.


Yay: Christian tries to create a throwback for the Jets by combining the two different jerseys of the old-Jets era, and by doing so making a jersey that is similar in style to the current Jets' uniforms, which is really cool.  I definitely get the throwback vibe from this set, and it's very believable for a Jets' uniform in either era.

Nay: The hem stripe looks a little high up on the uniform, and I think it would look better if it was just a little lower. As well as the jersey has been designed, I feel like there is too much white and not enough blue.  Moving the hem stripes down a bit will make the blue stand out a little more, but I'm not sure how else to fix that without wrecking the design of the jersey.

Overall: Great work, I'd love to see the Jets in something similar to this. 8.5/10



Atlanta Thrashers Concept - Christian L.


Yay: Ironically, the next concept for Christian is for the Atlanta Thrashers, the team that relocated to Winnipeg. While hockey in Atlanta was a flop, their jerseys were pretty good interesting. The baby-blue 3rds (and eventual home jersey) were panned, but I thought they were unique and awesome, until Reebok simplified it and ruined it. This concept is colourful, has all the elements that made the Thrashers cool, and has an arm style that is simply awesome. No other team could pull this off besides the Thrashers.

Nay: Definitely should be some light blue on the pants, even just as a stripe.  I like the triangle pattern on the hem and collar, but it could probably stay off of the socks.  I never liked the logo used here, but I guess it makes more sense than their primary logo which lacks light-blue.

Overall: While we probably won't be seeing the Thrashers any time soon, I'd be happy if these jerseys somehow came to life. Colourful, unique, original, and actually a decent looking uniform, something the Thrashers struggled to achieve later on. 9.2/10



Cleveland Kings Concept - s2dio


Yay: s2dio has been making us ask "What if...?" for a while now, and most of those questions were legitimate possibilities.  This is way out in left field.  Lebron buying the Kings and moving them to Cleveland would be crazy, but not as crazy as this colour scheme. It's related to their old purple/gold looks, but is much darker and less saturated. Out of all the things to say about this concept, the biggest one has to be "interesting". Truly original, but believably Kings.

Nay:  As I've said with s2dio's concepts before, the template is fantastic, but I really would like to see more of the jersey itself.  The current Kings logo with "CLE" instead just doesn't have the same flow to it, and looks weak.  The colours are really strange, even though they are close to what the Kings wore before. The "gold" is almost a brown now, and this concept has me thinking about PB/J sandwiches more than hockey right now.

*snack intermission*

Overall: And I'm back.  This is definitely one of s2dio's more crazy, interesting and unique concepts, but overall I'm having a tough time with the look of it.  7.8/10



Anaheim Ducks Concept - Ryan H.


Yay: Last up today is HJC's admin Ryan.  I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) he used this for his HJC Open entry, which was a hair away from making the Top 8.  I love the idea of the Ducks wearing different colours, especially this "jade" green colour.  The striping pattern is straight-up and pops out well against the subtle green jersey.  As usual for Ryan, execution is spot-on, and we have another great concept.

Nay: The orange and white contrast well against the green jersey.  The "bronze" colour does not. This makes the thin bronze stripe harder to notice, and it doesn't help the logo have as much of a "pop" as it should. The bronze stripe could be made thicker, or gotten rid of all together. If you intend on keeping the logo the same, I'd make the bronze stripe thicker. But maybe recolouring the logo wouldn't be a bad idea either, and then eliminating the bronze for good.

Overall: It's a colour scheme that shouldn't work, but almost does thanks to Ryan's epic skills. That bronze is standing in the way of a perfect score.  8.9/10



A bunch of really good, COTW worthy concepts today, but I'm giving my nomination to Christian L's Atlanta Thrashers concept.

Hope you guys are excited as I am for the Griffins competition.  This is shaping up to be a really epic month here at HJC.

Voting is open for the 3rd Round of the HJC Open. Four extremely well-done concepts are waiting for your vote to move on to the Final Round. Who makes it? That's for you to decide!

Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!

July 30, 2014

Wednesday: Time For A Re-Design

***** Edit by Ryan *****

If you're awake late tonight, be sure to come by HJC for a GRAND competition announcement. Trust me, this will be a good one!

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My mind is stuck in baseball mode, so I don't have a whole lot of hockey news to blurb about. Today's concepts feature a whole lot of complete redesigns of uniforms, as well as a very anticipated concept. Before I dive in, remember to send in your votes for COTW this week. Just to make sure you can't miss the COTW concepts, click the banner to the right.
http://getfoundstayfound.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/gfsf_click_here_arrow.jpg
If you are one of the 4 semi-finalists in the HJC Open, make sure you send in your concepts TONIGHT!
   
COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals entries (due TONIGHT @ 11:59pm Eastern)
   
Let's jump into the concepts!

TG - Arizona Coyotes De-Edge Concept
Design: I don't think there is anyone who doesn't think that the Coyotes should redesign their uniforms when they change their name this off-season. TG introduces purple as a primary color. It could previously be found on team's original shoulder patches, and then as a detail on their alternate. However, that color hasn't been seen on a Coyotes jersey since 2003. I like that brown and sand are used, as it really compliments the purple well.
 
Score: 7.5/10 - I really like the new crest. The striping is very simple, something that the Coyotes have never really had. It's an interesting choice, however, to go with text as the shoulder patch.
 
 
TG - HK Nitra Concept
Design: Like many European teams, HK Nitra wears a very busy, sponsor filled jersey. TG cleans up their look, and creates a very cool concept. Sponsors are left solely to the shoulder patches, and a new striping pattern takes over for the paneling. The colors really do TG a favor, and they look great!
 
Score: 8/10 - This is a very good looking concept. This is how every overseas team should look!


Stephen T. - Team Slovakia Concept
Design: Slovakia's Olympic jersey was part of the Nike cookie cutter template, but Stephen revives hope for a good looking uniforms with this concept. He looks to have executed something similar to what Russia had done. Rather than have a crest, the image is sublimated on the jersey where a crest should be. I don't think it works so well here, and the fact that the pattern continues onto the pants is a bit funny looking in my opinion.
 
Score: 5.5/10 - The best part of this concept is the chevrons that are made from the stripes on the Slovakia flag. A jersey based around that design would be very cool.


Gerard M. - Ottawa Redblacks Concept
Design: The Ottawa Redblacks recently redesigned their football uniforms. Now, Gerard has redesigned them into a hockey team. My first observation is that the plaid striping is genius! It fits perfectly into the team's identity. It's a bit hard to see, but notice that the white stripes match the "saw" pattern in the crest. There are a lot of really cool design elements in this concept.
 
Score: 7/10 - My biggest problem with this concept is that the color scheme is disrupted by the green sponsor patches. I think that this concept could do without. Also, the collar on the black jersey and the numbers is a different red than the rest of the concept.


Gerard M. - Dallas Stars Concept
Design: Gerard's second concept redesigns the Stars uniforms. I was disappointed when the Stars ripped off the Blackhawks striping, but Gerard has fixed that problem by giving the Stars an original striping pattern to go with their original green. The crest has also changed a bit, as the "D" is overlaid on the star.
 
Score: 8/10 - All of the design elements in this jersey are spot on. This is really what the team should be wearing.


Christian L. - Winnipeg Jets Alternate Concept
Design: The Winnipeg Jets will be playing in the 2016 Heritage Classic, and will most likely be looking for a new jersey to wear in that event. Given that the line of history of the new Jets is different than the original Jets, I believe that a fauxback is the way to go. This concept screams old fashioned with its over sized stripes. The crest is great as it still breathes a bit of fresh air in reference to the team's new identity.
 
Score: 7.5/10 - My only complaint is that the silver is very hard to see. Otherwise, this is a really cool concept.


Nark24 - Arizona Coyotes Concept
Design: Nark24 brings back that crazy desert pattern that they used back in the 90's. Sand and dark red is here to stay, but the crest is upgraded to the crest that appeared on the team's black alternate. Overall, this concept has all of the design elements that the fans loved. That is why I think this would be a great uniforms set for the Coyotes.
 
Score: 7/10 - I think that the red jersey could use a tough more white, and the numbers definitely need an outline. I know that Arizona doesn't currently use an outline, but that has always bothered me with those uniforms.


S2dio - Seattle Stormers
Design: It's the moment that you have all been waiting for... S2dio has ended his "What If?" Series with a much anticipated Goalie template. My biggest beef with this series was that some of the templates didn't allow for many details to be seen clearly. This template is a good middle ground in my opinion, and S2dio has killed it with this jersey! It looks to me like this jersey belongs in the 90's along with the Wildwing, Fish Sticks, and Robo-Penguin jerseys. It looks really cool, and would make for a good alternate for a Seattle team. I really like the off-colored helmet. I think it is especially cool when goalies deviate away from team colors in favor of their own personal design.
 
Score: 9/10 - Great job with this series! It was a lot of fun looking at all of the cool templates. Why don't I cap it off with a COTW nomination!
 
 
That's all for me in July! I'll see you all in August!

July 29, 2014

Tuesday: Jumping on the Bandwagon

Howdy folks. Hope your Tuesday is well. Mine sure is, I've been preparing a nice post for you today and when I'm done with that and it's all posted I'll be headed to Wrigley Field, one of my favorite places to enjoy a game from the left field bleachers, the best way to take in a baseball game at Wrigley. But back to your post, Everyone's been doing top 5 lists covering various topics and for the most part I've been avoiding it, I may have done one way back but I don't remember... But more on that in a second....

Let's take a break real quick and rap about voting..... [beat enters]

"Ungh.... uh... yeah.. My name is Dylan and I'm here to say, that you should flippin' vote today"

Alright kids, that was fun. Hopefully my flow and sick rhymes didn't break your heads...
COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

So back to my list, I decided to do a Top 5 list and wanted to cover something I love...hats... One of my biggest weaknesses is a nice hat. I buy way too many hats, last time I counted I had near 80 hats and I know for a fact I've added 20 to the collection since then, so whoo.... I think....

So picking a top 5 was difficult so I raised the bar to 10!.... I'll do 10-6 this week and the top 5 next week... So that way my awesome hats don't overshadow the concepts today... So let's get to it...

10. Hartford Whalers New Era Snapback
I love the tri-color scheme like this on hats. I own quite a few similar to this but rounding out my top ten is the Whalers throwback featuring good ol' Pucky the Whale. #LongLivePucky

9. Atlanta Thrashers Practice Hat
I love these practice hats. I have a Blackhawks one as well and would like to snag a few others teams as well. I found this bad boy on eBay about a year or so ago and had to get it. I love(d) the Thrashers and their logo and I'd never had any Thrashers gear. Better grab it now before it's too hard to come by.

8. Chicago Blackhawks Fashion Hat
It would have been very easy to have the top 5 be strictly Blackhawks hats but I'm trying to avoid looking like a total homer so I tried to base the list off of how often the hats are worn...And as much as I love this hat I don't wear it a ton. I love it though because I don't think I've ever seen anyone wearing this hat or anything similar. I have another patterned hat similar to this with a neat plaid pattern but it didn't quite crack the Top 10.

7. LA Kings 2009 Draft Hat
2009, in my opinion, was the best looking year for draft hats. I love the Kings crown logo and I bought this right before the 2011-12 season as I was starting to be a big Quick fan and what do you know, they won the cup that year. You know how often I got accused of being a Kings' bandwagon fan just because of a hat? Especially frustrating since I bought the hat before that season. The Blackhawks version of this hat has managed to elude my grasp but I have managed to get the Thrashers hat from this draft.

6. Sarnia Sting 2012 Draft Hat
I'm not sure if the OHL has their players wear them as draft hats or just team hats for the players, but this hat is in the style of the NHL draft hats from 2012. I love this draft hat as well and have the Hawks version but this one is more special to me. I got it while at a Sarnia Sting game where I was recognized as the designer of their third jersey in the 2012-13 season. I love wearing this hat out to rinks or even the occasional IceHogs' game just to see the looks I get when people don't recognize the team.

Well that's enough about me for today, let's get to our designers and their concepts!


Vancouver Millionaires Jersey Concept - Scott B.
Pretty straight forward concept here. The colors are now that of a Canucks jersey as opposed to Millionaires and there's some very thing stripes added to the existing bold barberpole down the arms. Not a bad jersey but not anything really new either. It'd be nice to see equipment or TV Numbers, although the Nucks' Millionaires jerseys didn't have them so I guess not a huge deal here.

Rating: 6/10


Team Canada IIHF Concept - Jacob S.
New Canada set inspired by their newly unveiled jerseys featuring black yokes. The added black in this set makes the black yokes fit better but I still feel like there is no need for all that black on a Canada jersey. It should stick to trim. I've never been a fan of a wordmark in the hem striping. It's only ever really visible when hung up or laid out, not while being worn and playing hockey. The lack of arm striping makes the arms look very bare but with how busy the rest of the jersey is that's not a bad thing here.

Rating: 7/10


2015 Winter Classic Concept - Blackhawks vs. Capitals - Alex O.
My problem with this jersey matchup, as well as the majority of other WC2015 concepts coming out is the Blackhawks were black/white from 1926-34 while the Capitals didn't come to be until 1974. That's not really a huge deal to most, but some of us are anal about that stuff. I'd like to see a 70's throwback from the Hawks if the Caps go that route, but looking at this how it is, it's alright.

The Capitals fuse together all of their eras into one jersey, that's fine but I don't like the mish-mashing of logos. There's a reason they're separate but it doesn't look bad here like it normally would.

The Blackhawks are now devoid of any color which is part of team history but not one I'm hoping to see brought back. I need that red. I crave it. My biggest gripe about the jersey, and it's not Alex's fault is the inconsistency between stripe thickness on the shoulders and arms/hem.

Rating: 7/10


Cold War Game Concept - USA vs. USSR - Stephen T.
Interesting jersey matchup. I like the red vs. blue matchup. The Winter Classic last year showed us color vs. color can work. I'll start with the USA because patriotism.

USA - Classy set. I actually really dig the wordmark font. Only gripe here is the stripe on the cuff and the hem. I don't think they need to be there, especially the hem. On the front of the jersey it doesn't follow the bottom of the hem but instead looks like it's part of the hem striping itself. This probably has the least amount of stars out of any USA jersey I've ever seen with a whopping ZERO. Looks fine without them though.

USSR - Not a huge fan of the striping/stitching template but it's passable. Wouldn't mind seeing more yellow as trim but again, it's decent as it is. I don't care for the big stars on the arms, I'd either find somewhere else for them or ditch them completely.

Rating: 7/10


2015 NHL All Star Game Concept - Taylor R.
I never mentioned it on the blog here but I'm really interested in seeing how this color scheme works out for the ASG jerseys. I actually really dig the bright green. The jerseys here are pretty conservative which works well paired with the "out-there" color scheme. I don't care for the phantom yokes though. The numbers on the socks are a bit much. I wouldn't mind seeing the design be a tad bit more experimental.

Rating: 8/10


Minnesota Fighting Saints Concept - What If Series - s2dio
Another new concept from the man of the month right now, s2dio. This guy's presentation is way good. Only thing I'm noticing about his concepts lately are the lack of a second jersey. I'd like to see the light jersey in this set. But what we've got here is good. I prefer the blue/yellow color scheme over this as this is very close to 80's Flames. Swap to a red helmet and boom, you're golden as far as this concept is concerned. I also really dig the pant stripes/squares.

Rating: 8/10


Washington Capitals Winter Classic Uniform Concept - Christian L.
Honestly, I'm hoping the Capitals actually use something like this from their 90's era. They already did their red/white/blue throwbacks a few years back, let's see something new. Maybe if they use a 90's throwback the Blackhawks can use their 90's throwback alternate, which itself was an alternate. I like the "fauxback" route here as it's not just a clone of their 90's jersey but it definitely looks like it could be. I like how the diagonal hem stripe bleeds off the hem. I do think there could be more space between the tv numbers and the arm striping. The socks are confusing to me though... Good set overall

Rating: 8/10


Columbus Blue Jackets Concept - Gerard M.
Right off the bat I know this is something I want to see the Blue Jackets wear. For the most part I'm ok with the stripes not going all the way around the arms/hem. I like the striping and colored cuffs (white jersey) The sublimated Ohio is neat but not really necessary. The logo is now flat as the bevels in the star are gone. I think they should come back. The one other thing I can't get over is the arm striping. Is it supposed to come to a point and form a chevron on the arms or are they supposed to curl up the arm like the Stadium Series jerseys? Gerard perhaps you can point that out.

Rating: 8.5/10


Ottawa Senators Football Club Concept (Soccer) - Gerard M.
Here's something I don't think has been done around these parts. An NHL Team rebranded as a "fĂștbol" club. It fits their brand very well, especially by tying in the vintage barberpole, which works on a soccer jersey way better than a hockey jersey. Perhaps keeping the striping off of the backs is a good call as it won't interfere with the numbers but it still looks off to me. Not bad though. The striping on the shorts is neat too how it still matches with the jersey striping as opposed to being just one colored stripe that's just kind of there. And the sublimated laurel leaves on the white kit is genius.

Rating: 9/10 If this is allowed I'd like to nominate this for COTW

July 28, 2014

Monday: "Phil-ing" In

You're likely expecting our normal Monday writer Phil today. Phil is fishing, or skiing, or washing his hair. He's doing something that's keeping him away from writing this post. So your friendly blog admin Ryan is here to take you through this one.

I suspect that there are people who don't read the introductions and thus will view this post assuming that Phil wrote it. Maybe I should just do all negative reviews and then let him deal with it.

Have you ever left your house and then had a nagging feeling that you forgot to do something? That something that you forgot to do was vote for COTW. Luckily we live in a fantastic era where communicating with the world is portable and at our fingertips 24/7. So really there is no excuse to stop what you are doing right now and email in your vote.

COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

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New York Rangers (by Mike M.)
How is this a concept, it just looks like a regular...oh sweet Jesus! There are Twitter handles everywhere. Okay, this is a fun idea, but does anyone remember the XFL? There's a good chance most of you don't because they only lasted one season. The XFL was the type of league that would have allowed Twitter handles everywhere. This is a really fun idea, but if this kind of thing ever happens in the NHL hopefully I'll be old and bitter about everything by that time anyways. I like that even the NHL shield gets in on the act here. This is a fun concept with nice detail and execution, but please never let this happen...ever!
Rating: 7/10

TSN (by Ryan G.)
Sure TSN didn't have their NHL national broadcast rights renewed, but it appears that they are going to present all of their regional broadcasts in the same style as their national ones. Anyways, the striping pattern used here is my favourite. I'm not too hot on the piping, but it is a jersey for a TV network and there aren't really any expectations with that. The numbers aren't legible enough. For the concept to be properly executed, the stitching (grey lines of the template) needs to end when it reaches the hem stripes.
Rating: 6/10

Montreal Shamrocks (by Alan H.)
If I remember correctly this was submitted for our NHA ReDesign Competition a while back. I like the "M" added to the main logo and the font used for "SHAMROCKS" running down the arm. The rest just doesn't work for me. We have a logo that is nearly 100 years old being used on very modern jersey designs. Those jersey designs are also mostly Reebok Edge cookie cutter templates, which in my opinion have been very unsuccessful. I would liked to have seen the fonts used for the player number and NOB be the same, or related to the font used on the sleeve of the green jersey.
Rating: 6/10

Montreal Shamrocks (by Michael G.)
Another concept returning from out NHA ReDesign! I think the assembly of the logo here is really smart and carries this concept quite far. I think that the primary logo is so strong that shoulder patches aren't needed on either jersey. I like the sash design on the white jersey, but I would have personally stopped it on the back at the edge of the yoke. Also I think that there are enough stripes on the jerseys and socks that the pants could have been left plain. Perhaps that would be a good location for the secondary logos?
Rating: 8/10

Alabama Crimson Tide (by David P.)
Looking at the current sweaters of Alabama's hockey team it appears that the may not be on the same level as the football program there. Ok, that was a pretty obvious statement, but there isn't enough money in that system to not use Reebok Gamewear blank Coyotes jerseys? So David switches them to Nike and gives them their own classic look. I think this would work well for the team. I like the curvy arm stripes as they work well with the "Tide" in the name. In a previous review I said that the jersey stitching should end at the hem stripes, but that's not the way Nike displays their digital images of jerseys. They do it the way David has done it here.
Rating: 8/10

Winnipeg Jets (by Scott B.)
This is a nice use of the Jets' colour palette and a small but nice adjustment to the old logo. And then the gradients show up. I don't know if this is meant to be seen as silver, but it's screaming right in all of our faces. I'm sorry, but I don't like this concept and it's all the gradients' fault. Very well executed except for the stitching/hem stripe issue that has been mentioned previously in this post.
Rating: 6/10

Adirondack Flames (by Gerard M.)
Hem stripes and template stitching, blah-blah-blah. See the above reviews. I like the idea of the flaming yokes or half arm stripes. I would shorten them up to clearly use them as yokes though. I'd also like to see thicker gold and black stripes used on the arms and yokes. Similar, maybe even thicker, to what is used on the hem and socks. I would also stop those stripes on the yokes at the outer stitching (the stitching closest to the wrists). Overall this is a nice looking jersey that's unique, but still ties into the parent NHL club.
Rating: 7.5/10

Winter Classic MIN vs PHI (by Alex O.)
Wednesday's HJC writer gives us this great Winter Classic concept. I'm a sucker for classic jerseys so these work for me. Some slight tweaks can make them great, in my opinion. For the Flyers jersey I would make the numbers black with an orange outline. I also would not have re-coloured the shoulder patches. For the Wild jersey I would have gone with no shoulder patches. Otherwise what Alex has done with his Wild concept fits in with what the team has done traditionally with their jersey designs.
Rating: 8/10

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That's the post today. My COTW nomination will go to Alex's Winter Classic concept! I know you readers will have something to say about that. I suspect there will be some love for Gerard's concept and Michael's concept did decently in the NHA competition. Leave some comments and some nominations, but also try to let these artists know why you did not like their concept. It will really help them improve.

Once Phil is done doing whatever it is he's doing, he will return to his normal spot next Monday.

July 27, 2014

Sunday: Elaborate on Tuesday

The winner of the COTW vote for July 14-20 was HJC's Monday writer, Phil B.
Full Results
Phil B. - 4
Tristan M. (COL) - 2
Tristan M. (FLA) - 2
S2dio - 1
Christian L. - 0

The new COTW nominees for the July 21-27 vote have been listed on the side of the page. To see the concepts click on that banner or go to the CONCEPT OF THE WEEK tab. Voting ends on Friday, so beat the lines and vote now!

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The HJC Open is rolling right along as we are now into the Semi-Finals. Defending champion, Justin C, will go up against J3. In the other bracket, Matt M. will face Dylan W. These are 4 extremely talented artists going against each other. I expect the voting to be very close from this point on.
Right now it's the entry phase, but on Thursday you'll be able to see those entries and begin leaving your votes. The winners will go on to the Final and battle for the grand prize. A mini 2014 HJC Open championship banner and their name "engraved" on to the Concept Cup!

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On Wednesday's post Alex made a Top 5 list of his most memorable hockey moments. A lot of people left some really cool and unique hockey moments. I wanted to comment, but then I saved them for today's post.

I was very fortunate as my Grandpa had Maple Leafs season tickets and I often went with him. From 1989 to 1999 I estimate that I was able to attend at least 50 games at Maple Leaf Gardens, which is in my Top 3 favourite places in the world! I have so many great memories of that place. I can still remember the seats my Grandpa had.

Section: Grey94 -- Row: E -- Seats: 19 & 20


January 8, 1993 (San Jose @ Toronto)
I was 9 years old and my uncle took me to see the Sharks play the Leafs. This was a bit different for me as usually I would go to Saturday games (because of school). However, this was a rare Friday night home game for the Leafs. My uncle took me down to just outside the Leafs' dressing room where we waited for at least an hour for players to emerge. That night I got Grant Fuhr's, Dave Ellett's, & Wendel Clark's autographs in my program. They even let me go into the bus garage to search for Felix Potvin and ask for an autograph, but I was a shy kid and I didn't take more than 5 steps inside.

January 30, 1999 (Washington @ Toronto)
This was the last game I ever attended at Maple Leaf Gardens and I knew it. I remember the Leafs won and I spent a lot of the game making fun of Curtis Joseph with the guy who was sitting beside me. I was still bitter about Cujo taking Felix Potvin's job. We went down as early as possible and soaked it all in. After the game was over we stayed in our seats for at least 40 minutes until an usher told us we had to leave. I remember being very satisfied with how I took in everything that night.

May 15, 1993 (Game 7 - Round 2 - St. Louis @ Toronto)
My first ever playoff game. I remember actually cheering for the Blues in Game 6 so that I could go to this Game 7. It was the first chance I got to see Felix Potvin live. As you can tell by now he was my favourite player. The Leafs owned the Blues that night and won 6-0! The guy sitting beside me made the trip from St. Louis, overpaid for a ticket on the street, and spent most of the game with his face in his palms. I've yet to hear a crowd as loud as when the final horn sounded and the Leafs won.

December 27, 1989 (Detroit @ Toronto)
This was the first ever game I went to and I was 6 years old at the time. Before doing the research for this post I had always thought that my first game was a pre-season game. Turns out I was wrong. I correctly remembered it was against the Red Wings and I always remembered that the game ended in a 7-7 tie (ah the 80's). I also remember that Leafs' captain, Rob Ramage, got cut and wanted to fight the Red Wings bench. I was absolutely floored when bumbling around YouTube last year I came across a clip of that game! Funny note, I was actually supposed to go to a Leafs-Wings game the season prior as my first ever game, but I got so excited about it that I made myself sick and I threw up. So my first ever game was postponed to the next season.

I have lots of great memories of games at the Air Canada Centre as well, but only one of them comes close to the memories I have of the games at Maple Leaf Gardens (2004, Game 7 vs Ottawa). I went to the Winter Classic this past January in Ann Arbor, which was ridiculously cool. I've taken many road trips to see the Leafs in other buildings (Montreal, Buffalo, Boston, Ottawa). So many great memories! There's still at least one more memory to be had though. That will be the day I take my kids to their first Leafs game.

Continue to share your game memories in the comments!

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If you're a Leafs fan and/or in the Toronto area in September, the Leafs are holding a really cool Fan Fest. This is the first time they are doing it and it's about time! Anyways, I'm not here to promote the event, but I will be attending on the Saturday, September 6. If you're there as well send me an email and perhaps we can arrange a quick meet-up.

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Some of you may be tired of my Leafs talk now. You can cleanse yourself by emailing in your COTW vote. There are no Leafs concepts nominated, which is great for all you Leafs-haters.

COTW July 21-27 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Semi-Finals entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

July 26, 2014

Saturday: Capital City

Hello everyone! Today we have some great concepts for all of you, including a few alternates, three concepts featuring the Washington Capitals, a Texas Stars jersey inspired by the Astros, and a goalie template from S2udio!

I don't have a list or anything like that this week, but I do have a few things and various thoughts that I would like to share and discuss with all of you.

First, is it ok to wear the jersey of a play that is younger than you? I'm at the age where this has just started to become a potential problem. I am currently older than 10 players on the Predators roster, and I'm only 25. For example, is it ok for a 40-year-old to buy a Nathan MacKinnon jersey, or should they just stick with their Joe Sakic? To some of our older readers, do you find that awkward?

Also, I went ice skating for the first time this week.Yes, the first time ever. I grew up in a rural area of West Tennessee, so I never had an opportunity as a kid. I was in Springfield, MO at a convention for Missouri teachers, and decided to try ice skating with my wife at Mediacom Ice Park, which was next to the expo center I was at, and where the former Springfield Spirit/future Springfield Express of the WSHL play. It is so much harder than I thought it would be! It really gave me a new-found respect for hockey players. I have no idea how they speed down the ice, carrying the puck, or hitting people and staying on their skates. I couldn't hardly go three strides without having to grab the wall like my life depended on it. My wife, on the other hand, was surprisingly decent. She at least didn't fall. Me on the other hand, my knees have seen better days. Looks like I'll be sticking to hockey video games.

Let's move on to today's artwork!

Nashville Predators Third Jersey Concept - Justin F.


Positives: The Predators' checkerboard third from 2009-2011 was very popular with the fan base in Nashville. In fact, I'm currently wearing one of those jerseys right now (total coincidence - I'm in a "if I wear winter clothes, winter/hockey will be here sooner" mood). Would this be as popular, though? Justin does a pretty good job with the details here. Execution is fine.

Negatives: This reminds me of the Florida Panthers third from a few years ago. It includes a second shade of blue, while throwing out the team's primary color. Also, if the Predators did this, they would risk associating themselves with the train wreck that is the post-Jeff Fisher Tennessee Titans (who have a two-tone blue color scheme). The old Preds number font was something better suited for NASCAR, so I wish it wasn't used here. A block font would complement the striping.

Overall: You can debate if alternates, like a good original movie, should have a sequel, but the color scheme is problematic for me. Execution is good, though. (7/10)


Dallas Stars Concept - Ben A.


Positives: The Dallas Stars' 1999-2006 set was well-liked by fans and jersey enthusiasts. This set differs with the arm striping.

Negatives: The white jersey still has the star effect the old jerseys had, but that's not the case with the dark jersey. The star effect with that jersey is interrupted by the large white arm stripe and white yoke, ruining the aesthetic. The inside of the jersey near the collar should be white on the dark jersey and green on the white jersey. The pants use a different shade of black that what is used on the jerseys and the rest of the equipment. These jerseys use laced collars, but the laces are were colored over when the jersey template was filled in (and in this case, the design more modern than traditional, making laces look out of place).

Overall: I really don't think there is a way to improve upon the old Dallas designs without doing a straight recolor & logo swap. Cleaner execution is needed to pull it off. (6/10)


Washington Capitals Concept - Gerard M.


Positives: The Capitals still wear the Reebok template that gives almost no recognition to their brand history. Gerard offers this up as a good alternative, without coming off as too much of a re-hash. The striping pattern/yoke is far from revolutionary, but looks good. Gerard executes his sleeve numbers and helmet logo/number perfectly. Newer artists should take note of this, because those details make a huge difference.

Negatives: I like the sublimated stars on the pants, but not the arms. The effect makes the arms of the jersey crowded, as it competes for your attention with the striping and sleeve numbers. I think it would be better used on the side panels of the jersey. It wouldn't be as easily seen, and would be an interesting detail, encouraging you to take a closer look at the jersey.

Overall: Gerard's execution is something to emulate. It's not a perfect set, but it would be an improvement for the Capitals in my opinion. (8.3/10)


Washington Capitals Alternate Concept - Gerard M.


Positives: That primary logo looks fantastic in red, white, and blue. It makes me wonder why in the world Washington decided to change their colors in the mid-nineties. (Oh wait, because it was the mid-nineties. That's why.) The piping and color co-dominance is interesting. Logo choice is perfect here. The "Weagle" on the shoulders would have been eagle overkill, so Gerard decided to place it on the helmet, and thus no logo is used more than once. Again, newer artists need to take note of Gerard's execution. I like that Gerard includes where his inspiration came from on his concept. 

Negatives: I'd like to see something a little more unconventional with the arm and hem striping. I assume it would go with the set above. The striping just isn't different enough from the (assumed) home/away.

Overall: There are some great elements here (that logo!) but I'm left wanting something more wild. (8/10)


2015 Winter Classic Concept - Jamie R.


Positives: Jamie executes his sleeve numbers well here, especially on the Chicago jersey. Care has been taken to try to duplicate both Chicago and Washington's debut jerseys with a Reebok template.

Negatives: (*Opinion-based rant ahead*) I have an issue with throwback concepts for the 2015 Winter Classic. The main issue is this: with this concept for example, you have the 1920s playing the 1970s. There are 50 years between these two jerseys. It's just hard to suspend that knowledge in my mind, which is why I believe that the 2015 Winter Classic needs to get off the throwback train and give us all something more interesting and fresh. (*end rant*) With the Chicago jersey, the yoke striping isn't uniform. Some stripes are longer than others. There is a lot of pixelation on the Washington jersey. Saving your concepts as png files instead of jpeg files could help keep your concepts sharper.

Overall: It's hard for me to reconcile 1920s vs. 1970s in my mind. Let's see something new. (6.5/10)


Texas Stars "Baseball Night" Concept - Kevin D.


Positives: Inspired by the Houston Astros' "Rainbow Jersey," this could be a huge hit with fans of the Texas Stars. That jersey has a cult following and hits that "so terrible it's awesome" sweet spot (think LA's "Burger King" jersey, or the "Wild Wing"). Kevin has done a good job translating the look to a hockey jersey.

Negatives: Is it ugly? Yes, but it's supposed to be. That's the point. 

Overall: This is a perfect minor league event jersey. (8/10)


Team Quebec 2018 PyeongChang Olympics Concept - S2udio


Positives: I think I can speak for everyone on the site when I say that I have thoroughly enjoyed S2dio's concepts as of late. These new templates he has been designing for these concepts are phenomenal. S2udio is on the cutting edge of concept presentation right now. It's been fun to witness. With this concept, the long-debated topic of the Quebecois Separatist Movement is brought to a conclusion in time for Quebec to have it's own hockey team in 2018. That alone makes this concept very intriguing. It would have a huge impact in the hockey tournament. The jersey here looks great. S2udio does a great job translating the flag of Quebec to a hockey jersey. I even like the goalie equipment, especially that helmet.

Negatives: As has been said with some of S2udio's other concepts, it's hard to to discern some of the details of the set with a game-action template. In this case, it's unclear what the socks would look like, and if they would have a stripe on them like the arms do, or if they would be plain due to the pants having a similar stripe on them.

Overall: I love this concept and S2udio's technical expertise is on full display here. With presentation, he really is the man to top right now. (9.5/10) COTW nomination from me! (highest rating I've ever given)


So, did you like some of today's designs? Let us know your thoughts on their work! There's still time to vote for concepts in the second round of the HJC Open! Votes are due today at 11:59 pm. You can go to the voting page by clicking the banner at the top of the page, or this convenient link. If you sent in your votes for Concept of the Week, here's your reward gif. For you losers who didn't...just take this. Hope you all enjoyed today's post! Be sure to catch Ryan's Sunday post tomorrow, and I'll see you all back here next week!