Last week I gave you my World Juniors quarter-final and medal predictions. On the plus side, I got 2 QFs out of 4 right, and I successfully called Canada winning the gold medal. But I failed to pick Russia beating the USA, and subsequently making it to the finals, and I also failed to pick Slovakia as the bronze medal winner. In my defense, raise your hand if you thought Slovakia would get the bronze? If your hand is raised, put it down because you're lying.
In all seriousness, its always an exciting tournament to watch and this year definitely didn't disappoint.
Now onto something completely different, but potentially relevant and exciting for us jersey fanatics. There is lots of talk about the AHL (NHL's farm league) relocating a bunch of their teams out west to better suit the western NHL clubs. The Norfolk Admirals are already rumored to be moved out west, and surely other teams will follow. Oklahoma City is confirmed to cease operations at the end of the season.
So where will the new teams come from? A good guess would be western ECHL teams will make the transition to the AHL. Bakersfield (owned by the Oilers), gets better attendance than the OKC Oil Barons, so the Oilers minor system would already be ahead attendance-wise. But while the ECHL is a viable option, this still opens the door to new cities coming into the mix. Kansas City, Las Vegas, San Fransisco, Seattle, Portland, Saskatoon, Houston, Greater Vancouver, etc. Anywhere that can draw crowds over 4000 would work.
That's where we come in. In the next year or two, you can bet that there will be many new teams and identities in the AHL and possibly ECHL, which means there is plenty of room to speculate and conceptualize about these future teams.
Where would be a good place for an AHL team? Give me your thoughts in the comment section.
Back to the blog, I'd just like to remind you about the logo phase of our World Cup competition. Entries are due on Friday, so hurry up and send those logos!
COTW Dec 28-Jan 3 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
World Cup logo entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Here is today's only WCoH Logo entry, brought to you by MJFWerks
Carolina Hurricanes - Ben M.
Yay: We start today with Ben's Carolina concept. These are like their old logos, but the arm striping is improved to match the hem, and the alternate logo is used as the main logo. I'm not a fan of either logo, but using this logo gives the jersey a fresh new look.
Nay: The problem with the logo is that it's very disproportional, so it will either look too wide on the jersey, or it would be shrunk until it's too small height wise. It might not look too bad if it was centered better and was made a bit smaller. I also don't like how high the stripes are on the sock, how big the numbers are on the back. and the square logo being used on the helmet (I'd use their main logo instead).
Overall: It's not there yet, but this concept has tons of potential. 7.5/10
Johnstown Tomahawks - Ben M.
Yay: At first I was confused. I said to myself, "This is a Charlestown Chiefs jersey, not a Johnstown Jets jersey". But upon further research, the Jets did wear these uniforms during the 70's. As far as I can tell, this is pretty accurate to the original.
Nay: I hate reviewing proper throwback concepts, because the design work was done years ago, and the only work being done is digitalizing it and adding minor details. And if you are going to do a throwback, I'd rather see one with their older logo and jersey style. The number is still a little big, and the spacing between the stripes is inconsistent.
Overall: A good recreation with a new logo, but nothing more. 6.6/10
Carolina Hurricanes - Caz W.
Yay: True to the title of the concept, this Carolina Hurricanes concept is completely different. The arm style is really original, and it's roundedness works really well with the logo. The colours look great, even though I've never pictured the Hurricanes in grey. I really like the look of the letters and numbers as well. I really like the solid execution and the clean presentation of the concept.
Nay: I just don't like how the arm stripes basically come out of nowhere on the front and back of the jersey. It would be hard for me to make a complete judgement on the arms until I saw a 3D or real-life mock up of it. Until then, it's interesting but I'm not sure if I'm completely buying it yet.
Overall: I'm not sure about it yet, but based on originality, pizazz, and how interested I am in it, I think it deserves a good score. 8.4/10
Buffalo Sabres - Dylan N.
Yay: I loved the Sabres as a kid, right around their "goat-head" era. When their red 3rds came around, I was disappointing in how different they were compared to the main set. This looks closer to the original, but "redder", and the stripes are straightened out. I'd love for Buffalo to revisit this era, and this alternate would be way better of their current one.
Nay: Not really liking the yoke style. It somewhat matches the arms but it just looks a little out of place. Not a fault of this concept, but if they were to revisit this era for a new alternate, I like the look of white/black primary and red secondary more.
Overall: Another solid game-ready concept from Dylan. 8.6/10
Ottawa Senators - Grant G.
Yay: Next up is this very unique Winter Classic jersey from Grant. The originality of this concept is impressive, and I really like the custom-made main logo which essentially represents the two different histories of the Senators.
Nay: The arm stripes and chest "bib" stripes are way too busy, and the bib design really doesn't look good anyway. The number font is definitely unusable, and should be replaced with a classic block font. The circle around the number looks really tacky and should be removed. The concept text on the black background is really hard to read and looks very unprofessional.
Overall: The logo is the diamond in a very rough concept. 5.9/10
Bemidji State Beavers - Taylor R.
Yay: Last week featured a very pro-ready Beavers set, and we'll revisit the team this week with another set that looks made for the pros. I really like the logo/wordmark combination, and the simple yet stellar stripe pattern that makes the Beavers look the part of a college hockey powerhouse.
Nay: ...aaaaaaand I got nothing.
Overall: Might not be the most exciting jersey in hockey, but it's classic, timeless, unique, identifiable, and true to the team that owns it. 9.7/10
The Flash - Tristan M.
Yay: Last for today is the next Justice League concept of Tristan's collection, for The Flash. It's a simple but easily recognizable design that converts well into a hockey jersey. Why more teams don't use these "lightning bolt" stripes is beyond me. Execution on this concept is flawless.
Nay: Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and Aquaman had interesting and colourful suits to wear. Flash's is true to his heroic nature and identity, but it's just not that exciting to look at. The top is way too bare. If one strayed away from the accurate-approach and added a yellow and/or white collar, it would be a huge improvement for jersey-purposes.
Overall: The accuracy and the presentation is flawless. It's just not as cool as the others. (Aquaman wins again). 8.4/10
On any given week, three of today's other concepts could have walked away with my COTW nominee. But not this week, as Taylor R's Bemidji State Beavers concept earns my nomination.
That's it for me this week. Remember to vote for COTW, and submit your entries of the World Cup of Hockey Logo competition!
Thanks for reading and have a good weekend!