The game itself was great, but the best thing about the Super Bowl is that now there's one less sport going on to take the spotlight away from hockey.
Which is about time! I nearly forgot that there was a Stadium Series game later this month, between San Jose and Los Angeles. If last year's playoffs are any indication, this could be the single-biggest game of the year.
Staying with the Stadium Series games, I'm extremely happy that Minnesota and Colorado get outdoor games next year, although I wish one of them was a Winter Classic, and Chicago wasn't one of the teams participating. It's good for NHL revenue I guess, but haven't we seen enough of Chicago? They make a little more sense this time around because of the Central Division rivalry, but St. Louis, Winnipeg and even Dallas would be better choices.
Coming back to the blog, you may not have noticed but we've been having the term CONCEPT OF THE YEAR thrown around a lot. It's kind of a big deal.
Seriously though, the biggest event in the HJC calendar is the naming of the yearly Concept of the Year, and this just so happens to be the week when we finally decide who's concept is worthy enough for such a prestigious title. After a huge semi-final vote with a great turnout, two concept heavyweights and HJC writers Dylan A and Christian L are battling it out for the big prize, and we need your votes to decide.
Both concepts are fantastic in their own way, and have had a grueling road to get this far. Both concepts had to go through the weekly nomination process, the COTW vote, the monthly COTY vote, the quarterly COTY vote, and a 1-on-1 semi-final vote to make it to this point. I just want to congratulate both artists (as well as Jake88, the other semi-finalist) on their great work, and with Dylan and Christian the best of luck this week.
Now for the voting reminders, as if you need reminding after that awesome build-up I just gave:
COTY 2014 Final Vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
World Cup entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
*****************************************************World Cup of Hockey Jersey Entries:
Rapid City Rush - Brooks F.
Yay: We start today with a Rapid City Rush concept from Brooks F. I like the look of the Rush currently, but this bold design is really impressive. The "half-diagonal" pattern is unique but looks good on a hockey jersey, and the same can be said about the arm design. Everything fits the identity of the team really nicely.
Nay: The gold isn't a main colour on the logo, so it should be scaled back a bit on the jersey. Making all of the gold stripes half of the size would be more suited for the logo, and create a nice highlight to complement the white and red rather than stand out on it's own. You also need to give the name text a little more space, in case a player like RNH played for the team. The rest of the design is good, but the concept itself is really low-res and pixelated, which doesn't look as professional as a top-notch concept should.
Overall: Love the design, but not quite COTW worthy yet. 7.7/10
Team Canada - Connor J.
Yay: Next up is Connor's concept for new Team Canada uniforms. These jerseys don't deviate from Canada's classic look, which is a good thing, and have an interesting, new stripe pattern to work with. The colours are balanced well, and the overall design is pretty believable for Team Canada.
Nay: The stripe pattern isn't doing it for me. The thin outside and middle stripes make the arms look too busy without making it stand out in a positive way. The hem stripes seem too far up the jersey, the name font and back number should be bigger, and the "Canada" wordmark should be spaced out a little better.
Overall: Canada has been a little too boring with their jerseys as of late, and this set wouldn't be an improvement. 6.7/10
Vancouver Canucks - Dylan G.
Yay: Up next is Dylan G's Canucks mash-up, giving the skate-era jerseys their vintage/current colours. That's an idea that I'd love to see the Canucks pull off, and this concept of it is a good starting point to how that idea would look. The sizes for the text look correct and the colours are fairly well balanced.
Nay: The errors are small, but plentiful. The biggest one is that the TV numbers are all upside-down. The arm stripes and the hem stripes are inverted, so I'd switch the blue and white on either the arms or the hem. The yoke outline isn't really necessary unless you add a different coloured yoke. For this look, I'd consider using a slightly brighter shade of green, to give more contrast to the blue and black.
Overall: It's a good start, but a long way to go. 6/10
2016 Winter Classic (Montreal vs Boston) - Kerouac D.
Yay: With Boston and Montreal set to play in next year's Winter Classic, there are two routes that the designers can go with for the game: 1) Traditional and accurate, or 2) Something completely new to "renew" the old rivalry. Kerouac goes for the latter route, giving these two almost untouchable franchises a totally unique jersey. Montreal's jersey keeps the colours the same but puts more emphasis on blue, while updating the stripe pattern. Boston's jersey is close to their pre-50's look, but with thicker and simplified stripes. Going with the old-school 'B' is the best choice for the Bruins.
Nay: Montreal's jersey looks similar in concept to Washington's WC jersey for this year's game. The chest stripe doesn't work with the arm stripes well, and the arms look like they belong on a different jersey altogether. Boston's is simple but effective. The only thing I'd change for the Bruins' jersey is making all of the stripes thinner, especially the hem stripes.
Overall: I like the Boston jersey, and the unique approach for the Canadiens, but I'm not quite sold on either. 7.4/10
Montreal Canadiens - Mike S.
Yay: Mike also tackles the untouchable Montreal Canadiens jersey, but this time stays much closer to their roots. The red jersey is extremely close to the current and ageless red Montreal uniform. The white jersey is similar in principle to the 1944/2008 white jersey, but the subtle changes in the stripes makes this look much sharper, cleaner, and simply better than before.
Nay: This is a great upgrade piece, executed to perfection. The trouble with giving this a good score is that there isn't a ton of new or creative things to judge, other than to say it looks as good (and better for the white jersey) than the original. Having said that, the name and the logo look a little too small, and I'm really not a fan of how the TV numbers look on the white jersey.
Overall: It looks really sharp, but there's not much to judge on it. 8/10
Minnesota Wild - Taylor R.
Yay: Last up for today is Taylor's Minnesota Wild concept. The big glaring difference between this and other Wild jerseys is the inclusion of yellow, which is a great move! No longer are they the Christmas mascots of the NHL, or old-school Devils wannabes. The jersey is simple, sharp, well balanced and well executed.
Nay: With how busy and colourful the striping is, the green yoke on the white jersey looks plain and out of place. Something to add some colour, like an outline, would help a bunch.
Overall: I loved the old school "Minnesota" uniforms, but since we can't have those, I'd take this set over their current set any day of the week. 9/10
So today I'll give Taylor R's Minnesota Wild concept my COTW nominee!
I'll leave you with two simple requests for today: 1) Finish and submit your World Cup of Hockey concepts, and 2) Vote for the Concept of the Year!!!
And that does it for another post. Thanks for reading, have a good weekend, and good luck to Dylan A. and Christian L. for COTY!