In 1993, when I was five years old, we took the wood stove out of the house after a large flue fire could have burned their house down. We replaced it with an electric system and my old-school, one-legged, WWII veteran grandfather hated it.
It was a harbinger of serious change.
We had moved in 1992, into a larger house. Suddenly, I had my own bathroom. The next year we bought a computer. I got on the internet for the first time. I still remember hearing the loud dial tone and staring like a child who has seen his first rocket launch. That same year, dad got a cell phone. It was huge, but the microphone flipped over the buttons, and I thought that was just space-age.
The 1990s was a decade of unparalleled growth in America. The technology boom brought about great prosperity. It was an age of cassette tapes, VHS players, CDs, Nintendos, Gameboys, and more. America wasn't even at war. We had no idea how lucky we were to say that. The rise in the global economy brought about an opportunity for the NHL to cash in on the marketing momentum of its partnership with Disney and the enormous fame of superstar Wayne Gretzky.
The NHL now had an opportunity to tap into previously unreached markets, expanding their viewership and overall visibility in the collective conscious of North America. By the year 2000, the league added teams in San Jose, Tampa Bay, Ottawa, Anaheim, Sunrise (FLA), Nashville, Atlanta, Minnesota, and Columbus. Of those nine teams, only two could be considered a traditional market.
The economic boom of the 90s allowed the NHL to reach these areas, reaping the benefits of expansion fees and finding new fans.
In turn, this same economic boom allowed new fans the increased disposable income to try a new form of entertainment: hockey.
In the early 1990s, the only teams you had to cheer on in Tennessee that played in meaningful, competitive games were collegiate teams. Vols football and Lady Vols basketball were the champions of the state. By 2002, Memphis would have an NBA team, Jackson (near my hometown) would have a minor league baseball team, and Nashville would have both an NFL team and a NHL team.
A stable, bullish economy allowed arenas to be built using local taxes and subsidies in areas that were not previously considered viable, and nine new teams were the result. As the popular southern phrase goes, they made hay while the sun shined.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my three-part NHL 90s Expansion articles. I hope you enjoyed them.
Moving on, voting for our Buffalo Sabres Third jersey competition has started! Vote for your top five entries, as well as our usual Concept of the Week vote! Also, our Pairs Competition is continuing on through March 25. Get your entries in!
COTW March 6-12 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm EST)
Buffalo Sabres 3rd Jersey Top 5 vote (ends Friday @ 10:59pm EST)
Pairs Competition (ends March 25th)
Toronto Raptors concept - Jay S.
Positives: The Raptors rebrand has been, from what I can tell, very successful. Combining their look with the Toronto Maple Leafs is an interesting concept. I would say that this is more Raptors than Maple Leafs. Colors are balanced well on the dark jersey. Execution is pretty good.
Negatives: The white jersey needs more black to balance the colors out. There is black in the logo, but nowhere else. There are three different striping patterns on this jersey (arms, hem/socks, and pants). Some continuity would improve the overall look. A Raptors wordmark on a Leafs logo is jarring and makes no sense at all out of context. I 'm just not sure I see this so much as a "Mash-up," but rather more of a Raptors concept using hockey jerseys.
Overall: An interesting concept, but with a mash-up, I would expect to see more of both aesthetics. Here, it seems the concept has too much Raptors, and not enough Maple Leafs. (7/10)
Minnesota Gophers concept - Taylor R.
Positives: Color balance is perfect here. Minnesota's colors and logo work so well together. This is a very classic look. You can't really find much fault here. Execution and presentation are very professional and clean.
Negatives: I'm on the fence about the shoulder patch. It's a little cartoonish, but I know it's their mascot and that's really the point. It's not groundbreaking, but that's not what you need here.
Overall: As solid as it gets. Honestly, you could use this for 50 years and never need to change anything. (9/10) COTW nomination from me!
BCHL All-Star Tournament logo concept - Vaughn R.
Positives: I confess that my knowledge of the BCHL and their All-Star tournament is far from complete. This is an interesting set up for a unifying cross-brand effort.
Negatives: The flip side of the star idea here is that some of these logos don't really fit well into a star; the Capitals logo especially.
Overall: Not a bad idea, but some of the logos don't conform well. (6/10)
Seattle Metropolitans 1920 NHL Expansion logo concept - Lucas D.
Positives: I think this is Lucas's best result so far in creating a logo. It's cleaner than some of his previous work. The colors are used well.
Negatives: I assumed the team name was going to be "Mariners" or something to that effect before I saw the title of the concept, because I associate the compass aesthetic used here with being at sea, or in the wilderness. A compass says "adventure." Metropolitan doesn't really communicate "adventure." In creating a logo for a team named the Metropolitans in the 1920s, I would go with something more art deco.
Overall: The logo itself is fine, but I question whether or not it effectively represents the name of the team. (7/10)
Seattle Metropolitans 1920 NHL Expansion concept - Lucas D.
Positives: The amount of striping and the minimalist nature of the numbers are very reminiscent of 1920s era hockey design. There is no name or sleeve numbers, but that fits the era. I appreciate resisting the usage of vintage white
Negatives: It's not the most creative design. I would go with smaller stripes; that would fit the aesthetic of the time better. The logo is too large, especially for the time. Logos were smaller then.
Overall: Creating a concept for 1920 is a cool idea, but I think the jersey could fit the era better with a few small changes. (7/10)
Toronto Maple Leafs concept - Zeke G.
Positives: I like the yoke and arm stripe combo here. The old white third jersey the Leafs used awhile back is on my list. Colors are balanced well, and execution is good.
Negatives: The logo is too large. I would like to see something on the hem, maybe not striping that matches the arms, but maybe just a blue contrasting hem at the bottom.
Positives: This concept does help emphasize the true flexibility of Toronto's new logo. It looks just as much at home here as it would on a fauxback concept. (8/10)
Tron concept - Jared L.
Positives: It has the black/neon blue colors Tron is known for. There are sleeve numbers, and other things you expect to see on a hockey jersey.
Negatives: This file is so blurry I can hardly tell what it is. Detail is completely lost here. The bad thing is, there is so much wasted white space on this image file. Only about have the canvas size of the file is used. Colors aren't balanced well. There's too much of the neon blue. In Tron, the neon blue and orange colors were just used as trim and line objects, and this jersey takes it a little too far.
Also, I get uncomfortable with designers crediting Ryan's "Drag and Drop" template with his signature. Personally, I wouldn't want anyone using my signature on a concept. I can't speak for Ryan but if it was me, I would ask the designer to never do that again. I understand why Jared is crediting Ryan for the template, but I don't think it's necessary to use his signature.
Overall: Tron has an iconic futuristic aesthetic. I see where Jared is trying to capture that look, but I feel that keeping the neon blue to strictly just a trim/outline would capture that look better. (5/10)
That's all for today's post. Don't forget to use our handy voting polls to send in your votes!
See you all next week.