*** Edit by Ryan ***
I severely buggered up the COTW vote! Eight concepts were nominated and seconded last week. As you know, in those situations the concepts that have been thirded or more will be entered into the vote. I also placed one wrong concept into the vote.
So I started the vote all over again. If you have already voted you'll need to vote again. Everything has been reset.
Okay, back to William's post now
Welcome to the first official post of HJC in 2016!!
What does that mean? Well, the concepts that will be reviewed today are officially the first entrants in the 2016 COTY Competition. 2015 is officially over, and this week we'll be starting the last batch of 2015 votes. About a month from now, we'll be crowning our 2015 COTY Champion, but in the meantime, we're starting with 2016's entries. The concepts before you today could be the ones we're celebrating a year from now. If that doesn't get you excited, I don't know what will.
And with the new year brings some changes to the blog. We've had our two Dylans leaving the blog, which is a huge blow to our writing talent as they were really awesome members of our team. Good luck in the future and thank you for your work! So soon we'll be having some new writers, and maybe some more changes soon... stay tuned!
And now on to more... interesting matters: John Scott is an NHL All-Star Captain.
I honestly didn't know what to make of this at first. He's not an All-Star, and he's barely an NHL player. Many people are asking for him to step aside, which now doesn't seem to be happening.
But let's step back for a second, why was he voted in to begin with. I can think of two reasons, one being a lot more probable than the other.
1) The voters want to celebrate the endangered species of goons/enforcers by sending the most notable one in the league today; or
2) The voters are trolls and want to watch the world burn.
I really wish #1 was true. The ASG has never really embraced the enforcers in hockey, even when goonage was the cool thing to do. Scott Stevens is probably the closest thing to a goon the ASG has seen in the last 30 years. They really serve no place in the high-scoring entertaining exhibition, but I don't think the enforcers were ever fairly embraced by the entertainment-seekers of the hockey world. Why? Could you imagine the antics of Tie Domi or George Parros at some of these entertainment-heavy events? Instead you have No Fun Freddies that make things like the skills competition and ASG draft relatively boring. At least Ovechkin has a bit of fun with it. But for the most part, you have a bunch of vanilla hockey stars (with a few entertaining ones), going for a skills competition and a leisurely scrimmage, pretending that this is "serious hockey".
It's not, it never will be.
The All-Star Game will not be a serious event unless they make it mean something; and no, $1million to the winning team doesn't mean anything. Maybe to Scott, but not to the others. So the NHL has a choice, make it serious, or make it entertaining.
If you want entertainment, while showcasing the best players of the game, then John Scott being captain is probably the best thing the NHL could ask for. It makes the fans happy (or at least interested, considering how much this has been talked about), and it's good for a few laughs, as long as John Scott wants to play along. I just wish Bryzgalov was available for captaincy as well.
If you want serious, then humour me with this idea: a 3-on-3 knockout tournament involving all 30 (hopefully 32) teams, with the winning team getting hosting rights to a later All-Star Game.
Think NHL Hitz, but less fighting for obvious reasons. Each NHL team will send 3 skaters and a goalie, and will play in a double elimination tournament. Each game will be 5-10 minutes and early-tournament games will be grouped by region and played at different minor hockey arenas in town. Then once the tournament is down to the last few teams, the games will be played at the main NHL arena, probably on the 3rd and final day of the ASG Weekend (opening games will be on 1st day, skills competition on the 2nd). The winning team will get hosting rights for the ASG two years in advance (because awarding it 1 year in advance would be a scheduling difficulty). Each team can bring a substitute or two in case of injury, and while 30 teams are in the league, extra teams of NHL legends or AHL top players or a "fan-voted" team could fill the last 2 spots. Where does that leave us? Well each team could have new All-Star jerseys, maybe 2 sets so there is no colour clashing. That means potentially 64 new pieces of merchandise for the NHL to sell, and for us to design.
Are we having fun yet? Let me know if you like that idea at all, or what you don't like. It's really crazy, and more hockey than the players may want to play, but it could be some awesome mid-season hockey that is meaningful and fun.
Alright, let's get to the first concepts of the 2016 COTY Season!
COTW Dec 27 - Jan 2 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Gatineau Olympiques Top 3 vote (ends Friday @ 10:59pm Eastern)
Boston Latin School - Jack S.
Cool to cover a team/school that we've never done before.
Pink and purple are colours that should be used more often.
Logo looks kind of big.
No TV numbers.
White hem stripe should be centered, and black should continue to bottom of jersey to match arms.
Number should have thicker outline.
Name should be bigger, lower, and white.
Overall: I can't say much of the background for this jersey. It's a good start to a design, but it has a ways to go yet. 5.5/10
Boston Latin Academy - Jack S.
I've had more luck researching this school's hockey team, and this is definitely a newer and bolder design for them.
I like the arms and side panels and how they work together.
This isn't a flashy jersey, but it still works well.
The yellow outline on white text is awful on the eyes.
No TV numbers.
Overall: A much better design than the previous concept, but now I'm interested how a white jersey could work here. 6.5/10
Team Qatar - Brooks F.
Surprisingly, Qatar has played at the international level, but only for a single tournament with Gulf Coast teams. I can't find their jersey, but this would definitely stand out in any division.
The arms and socks are well designed to match the flag.
Everything is executed really well on this set.
I'm not a fan of the contrasting shoulders, but it works really well here.
The only thing I don't like is the piping, there's no real need for it and it doesn't help the theme at all.
Overall: This is a Top Division-quality set! 9/10
Seattle Metropolitans - Bradley D.
I love the primary logo. It's a proud mark for the city, and it keeps with the historic letter-logo theme from the Metropolitans era.
Speaking off, the alternate is a bold new take on the old look, with a sharp new logo and bold colours.
This has throwback and city-sports elements, and it would boldly stand out against any jersey set in the NHL.
Believable, realistic, and very well designed.
I don't like how blinding the numbers look on the alternate. Being a fauxback of sorts, having a plain white number with no outline would be okay I think.
The primary logo is fantastic, but does it pop out enough to be the primary mark of the team? It seems better suited as a secondary mark.
The secondary mark on the alternate is blue (which is good), but on the main set and the side of the concept, it's black. The black version is out of place on the black-less main jerseys, so stick with blue.
Overall: This is as bold as it can get, and while I don't agree with a few design choices, this is an awesome set! 8.8/10
Arizona Coyotes - Artem S.
The jerseys look fantastic. Their old design with new colours are a fantastic mix.
Colours are very well balanced in the whole set.
The primary logo is an interesting mix between old and new, same as the alternate logos.
The jersey designs are executed perfectly.
The primary logo is great in principal, but from a distance it is too busy and hard to make out what is going on. I like the coyote head better on its own, or together as a secondary logo.
The alternate is just a recolouring of the main set, which bugs me. The main set's alternate logo would be a good choice as the logo on the alternate, and there's room to do something different with the design.
Overall: The main set is fantastic, or the alternate is fantastic, but not both together as a whole set. And in each concept, the logos are holding it back a little. Main - 8.1/10, Alternate - 7.8/10
Barrie Colts - Alan H.
I'm getting a cool 90's Jr B vibe from this set, which isn't a bad thing. I like the throwback feel to this set.
Colours are well balanced.
The shoulder and helmet logos are pretty cool.
Stripe patterns look sharp.
The number outlines are a little busy for my liking.
If the goal of the Colts Competition was to make them look updated, then this doesn't work. The logo is still a little too cartoony.
Overall: I'm a little surprised that this only got 1 vote in the competition, as this is a really sharp set. 8.3/10
The first official nomination for COTW in 2016 goes to Brooks F's Team Qatar concept!
Don't forget to vote for COTW and for the Gatineau Olympiques competition.
Give me your thoughts on John Scott's inclusion in the ASG, and whether my crazy 3-on-3 tournament could ever work.
Thanks for reading, and see you next week! Happy 2016!