Hello everyone! I hope you're all holding up okay during the All-Star hockey break without being able to see your teams play this week. Then again, if you're an Oilers or Maple Leafs fan, maybe this week has provided some much-needed relief. Today's post features concepts for major NHL teams like the Ducks and Kings, more obscure minor league teams like the Port Huron Border Cats, and a concept for the upcoming Super Bowl hopeful Seattle Seahawks!
The last few weeks have seen a lot of hockey news, and not just in terms of the All-Star game. Of course, you've likely already heard about the revival of the World Cup of Hockey, but there were more outdoor games announced this week as well. You may not want my opinion on the matter, but I'm here to give it anyway. Let's dive into it.
On last night's All-Star game Skills Competition:
Ryan Johansen really knows how to work a crowd. In the Breakaway Competition, which was decided via Twitter vote, he did his first run in an Ohio State jersey. Then, he did his second run carrying a little kid down then ice, and started an All-Star "Flying V" on his third run. Appealing to the local crowd, people who like children, and people who like the Mighty Ducks movies covers basically everyone. The man is a genius. There was some really great talent on display last night, including Jonathan Druin's skating speed, and Getslaf's precision passing. The Pred's contingent made some waves as well with Shea Weber coming sooo close to matching Zdeno Chara's slapshot speed record of 108.5, and Filip Forsberg deking Carey Price out of the tri-state area. Honestly, I believe the skills competition is the best part of the All-Star weekend, and this one didn't disappoint.
On the World Cup format:
I think reviving the World Cup is a positive development for the game. The World Cup wouldn't necessarily interfere with the Olympics, as the games be offset, with two years between both tournaments. A World Cup competition will help promote the sport, and give athletes an opportunity to compete for their countries more than just once a year.
However, I do have a few issues with it. I don't think that someone from Switzerland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lativa, Norway, and Germany should have to play on a conglomerate team that doesn't represent their national pride. Why should they not be given the same opportunities as someone born in Sweden or the United States? It is true that those countries would be less likely to be able to win the tournament, but why not at least give them the chance? Then there is the "Young Guns" team of North American players 23 and older. Why make young Americans and Canadians play together? In 2016, the Americans will be forced to play without Seth Jones and Jack Eichel, and the Canadians will have to play without Nathan Mackinnon or Aaron Ekblad, amongst others. It's just puzzling to me.
On the recently announced outdoor games:
The Winter Classic features one team that we have already seen in the Winter Classic with the Boston Bruins and one we haven't with the Montreal Canadiens. I'm not thrilled about seeing Boston in the game again, or having to look at Milan Lucic, but the Canadiens/Boston rivalry should make for an excellent game. I am thoroughly excited to see what the Canadiens wear for the game. I'm hoping for a revival of the 1911-1912 sash jersey or the 1945-1946 white jersey.
The other games, I'm not as excited about, but could still be interesting. The Wild will host Chicago at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus, and the Avalanche will play the Red Wings at Coors Field in Denver.
I'm over watching the Blackhawks, Red Wings, and Bruins in outdoor games. At least the NHL had the good sense to put the Avalanche and Wild in the games. I just hope the league can get past their obsession with putting "Original Six" teams outdoors. When are the Jets finally going to get to host the Heritage Classic? When will the Blues finally get in? If the Blackhawks have to be in yet another outdoor game, why not put them up against the team that is first in the Central division and trails the league leader by three points with two games in hand? Don't feel sorry for us Tennesseans, though. The "traditional markets" may get the outdoor games, but having home ice advantage in the playoffs will drive that from my mind quickly. See ya'll then.
Competition entries for today: (you have an additional week to get them in!)
Before we get into today's concepts, here are your voting and competition reminders!
COTY Semi-Final votes (end Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW Jan 18-24 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
World Cup entries (due February 6 @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Nashville Predators Concept - Jamie R.
Positives: The more concepts I see with the "NP" logo, the more I think it might have primary logo potential on an alternate jersey. Good template choice. I've been using this one lately, and I'm a big fan of how easy it is to work with it.
Negatives: A Preds jersey with Blackhawks-esque striping? The Blackhawks and Predators are division rivals. That would not be received well by either party. You can't have a Preds jersey without the Pred Head logo. Without it, the entire Predators brand is lost. The guitar pick and "NP" monogram are good alternate logos, but the Pred Head is the capstone of the brand. Also, Seth Jones is not an alternate captain. Our alternate captains are Mike Fisher and James Neal. There is no cuff stitching on the jersey. With this template, you have to add that detail.
Overall: In a vacuum, with no knowledge of the history of the team and it's rivals, this is a pretty solid jersey. With that knowledge, it just doesn't work for me. (7/10)
Port Huron Border Cats Concept - Ryan C.
Positives: The striping isn't bad. I prefer the light jersey over the dark. I have a thing about yellow and red touching, and that jersey keeps them separated, satiating my pet peeves.
Negatives: Ryan's jerseys as a whole are feeling stagnant. There's not a great deal of difference between the teams, all with horizontal striping, and almost the exact same fonts. This is why I would advise anyone making jerseys to not make them all at once, then send them in. Send them in maybe two at a time, get critique, and make the series better as you progress. Try using a different template. Use different software. I use Paint.net for my jerseys, and it's always served me well. I think it's a very easy program to use.
Overall: I'm ready to see Ryan take his next step. Let's see something new. (6.75/10)
Windsor Spitfires Concept (OHL) - David P.
Positives: That font is slick. Thin fonts are underutilized in sports, and I think that's going to be a growing trend in the coming years. Thin fonts have been the trend in design for some years now, and it's only a matter of time before that trend spreads its way to athletics. The striping looks great, and is a nice tribute to the tail striping on a WWII Spitfire. Execution and presentation is good. Windsor really could have one of the best identities in major junior if they used something like this.
Negatives: It's so solid, but if it lacks anything, it's a some detail that takes it to the next level. The jerseys look great, but it's a simple design. I would like to see some sort of detail, maybe some sublimation; an additional reference to the Spitfire, something. This is a really good design, but it's those small details that separate a really good design from COTY candidate.
Overall: Make it happen, Windsor. (8.75/10) COTW nomination from me!
Anaheim Ducks Concept - Taylor R.
Positives: The colors are balance perfectly here. Striping pattern looks good. I like Anaheim's colors better when there is more separation between the orange and gold, which Taylor has done. I have no complaints with execution or presentation. I'm almost always on board with bringing back Anaheim's old logos.
Negatives: Saying that this is based on the Wild Wing jersey at all is a huge stretch. If Taylor hadn't put that on his concept, I don't think many people would have made that connection. I know I wouldn't have. That's like saying the design of a washing machine is based on a dishwasher. Yes, the both rinse cycles and use soap, but that's as far as it goes.
Overall: I like the design. It would make a great alternate. Were this to get made, it would be the only Anaheim jersey I would care to own in the last decade. (8.75/10)
Los Angeles Kings Stadium Series Concept - John E.
Positives: I like the striping pattern. I wouldn't have thought to pair the "Burger King" logo with this kind of striping, but it actually doesn't look that bad.
Negatives: Recoloring the BK logo is a murky business. The purple beard never made sense, but a white crown doesn't make sense, either. Rocks, hard places, etc. I hate the brown equipment. That was a mistake. The Stadium Series is meant for more progressive designs, but this doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. It has modern logos (because LA is a modern-era team), but the jersey is very traditional and the pants/gloves are even more antiquated.
Overall: There is some good stuff here, but it doesn't fit the Stadium Series. Those pants... (6/10)
Seattle Seahawks Concept (NFL) - Josiah B.
Positives: I really like the chest striping/logo. That's a clever design that looks great on a hockey jersey.
Negatives: Where's the green? That shade of green is what sets the Seahawks apart in the NFL, and the white and navy jersey need more of it. The striping effect isn't as successful on the navy blue jersey. The jerseys are very top-heavy, with chest striping and yokes, but not much at the hem. I'm not a fan of the "vintage white" third. Using gray there would have been more successful, especially since it played a more prominent role in their old jerseys.
Overall: There are some good ideas here. It just needs more refinement. (6.75/10)
That's all for today! Let us know your thoughts on the NHL's recent announcements, and especially today's artwork in the comments section! See you all later.