Ryan asked us writers to name our favourite Stanley Cup series, based on looks alone.
I know, shallow, right?
Joking aside, this is a huge question with plenty of worthy candidates to name. And the answer will be different depending on whether you're a nostalgic, traditionalist, modernist, hardcore or casual fan.
I tried to be open to all jersey matchups from the beginning and onward to present day, but one series always come to mind when I think of this question, and admittedly its a very nostalgic series for me.
But then I thought: As memorable of a series this was jersey-wise, I can't mention it without the series directly after it, and the one after that. So my favourite series' asthetics-wise: 1999-2001.
This was the first year (besides 1996, which was an equally great matchup but ahead of its time) that the neither of the finalists were a traditional powerhouse or classic team. Buffalo is an old team in NHL terms, but largely unmemorable. This version of the Sabres, with their new look, was edgy and had a bold, new identity that looked fantastic in contrast to most of the traditional jerseys seen in Stanley Cups past. Dallas, meanwhile, has a new look of their own, which is easily their best jersey in their history. This jersey matchup is a real changing of the guard for the Stanley Cup, from traditionalists to the bold late-90s modern style, and definitely my favourite jersey matchup.
But the very next year, we have this gem (which also starts a cool trend of repeat finalists). Dallas is still wearing those stellar jerseys from the previous year, and New Jersey is wearing their black and red jersey. Yes, those came out nearly 10 years prior, but they're almost the perfect blend of edgy, classic, and modern, and one of the few jerseys that look fantastic in any era. The colours of these two teams looked fantastic together. These two finals also spawned two of the best goalie mask matchups in history, with Hasek, Belfour and Brodeur and their iconic lids.
I guess we can add a 3rd historic goaltending duel to this list. These last 3 finals had arguably the best 4 goalies of all time (Belfour might be a stretch), and also the 4 most iconic and easily identifiable goalies of the era and probably all time. Not only that, but we see the beautiful and ahead-of-its-time Avalanche jerseys really shine in a series that is well played out and doesn't feel gimmicky. The Avs had one of the best uniforms in the league during this time, and this series really put that in the forefront. Also, seeing Ray Bourque win the cup in an Avs jersey looked so surreal that I couldn't possibly pass this series up.
These 3 series' are a changing of the guard when it comes to hockey powerhouses as well as jersey designs in general. I also really liked the goalie mask battles, as well as the champion vs challenger dynamic these years brought.
So in other news, thanks to my suggestion last week, we have a New York Golden Blades competition going on this week. I'm really excited for this competition, as they had an ugly design that had a bunch of potential to be cool. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with, and I have some great ideas that I hopefully have time to design and send in this week.
We also have a very crowded COTW vote this week. 8 concepts, that's more concepts than days, so that's a big testament to the quality of concepts last week, so good job everyone!
COTW Sept 20-26 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
NY Golden Blades entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Alright, I think its time for some concepts!
Randy Orton (WWE) - Chris W.
We start today off with an RKO out of nowhere! Chris shows us his jersey design for WWE superstar Randy Orton.
The logo looks perfect for a hockey jersey.
Love the RKO patches on the shoulder and pant.
The "V" stripe on the hem and arms is unique but could definitely work on a hockey jersey.
Good choice of font.
The Hot Rod Memorial patch is a really nice touch.
Not sure if I like the charcoal grey colour on the dark jersey.
The logo on the dark jersey could use a white inside instead of being transparent.
Overall: This jersey definitely suits the Apex Predator. 8.4/10
Colorado Avalanche vs Detroit Red Wings - Justin C.
Next up is a Stadium Series concept for next season's Colorado vs Detroit match.
For how bad the new Colorado alternate and revealed Stadium Series jerseys are, this would be a huge improvement.
I like the idea of a red vs blue matchup rather than a white vs dark.
The diagonal sash on Detroit's jersey is an idea I'm really warming up to.
They've been trying new design ideas on Stadium Series jerseys, but these are a great mix of modern design and things that we generally like to see on jerseys.
I'm not a fan of chest stripes that don't extend all the way around the back. Detroit's sash is alright, but Colorado's back just looks too bare compared to its front.
Colorado's hem doesn't match well with the arms.
Overall: I can live with this design, especially compared to how bad the real thing for Colorado is. Detroit's design is really well done. 8.1/10
Calgary Flames - Lucas D.
I'm really getting a 90's vibe from these jerseys, without the funky arm style.
The 2000's colours (aka more black) lends themselves well this this 90's design.
Good choice of font.
This concept is heavily pixelated.
The numbers need a thicker outline, and they should match the outline of the logo.
This is better without the funky 90's striping, but there feels like something is missing that is holding this concept back.
Overall: Cool, but uninspiring. 7/10
Colorado Avalanche - Lucas D.
Lucas tries again with his second concept of the day, this time for the Colorado Avalanche.
I like that blue is more of a prominent colour.
The simpler arm striping helps to make the mountain hem style stand out more.
The mountains need to make a comeback.
Arched text... ick!
The name has too much outline, the numbers have not enough.
The number is too small, which is why arched text doesn't work for this design.
Overall: The nostalgia is there, some good design choices are there, but the execution isn't. 6.8/10
Buffalo Sabres - Taylor R.
This definitely feels fauxbacky enough to be a Sabres jersey.
Nice to see white striping on the Sabres dark jersey.
The double arm stripes are new (besides the 2010 alternate), but fit in nicely.
Execution looks really sharp, and the colours are well balanced.
Like the 2010 alternate, I think the hem stripe looks better as a double stripe as well as the arms.
Overall: Really solid. Not a mind-blowing change, but realistic and not a downgrade at all. 8.6/10
A couple of good concepts today, but my COTW nominee is Taylor R.'s Buffalo Sabres concept.
Don't forget to send in your New York Golden Blades concepts, as well as vote for our big COTW vote this week!
That's it for me, thanks for reading and see you next week!