With our Atlanta Thrashers redesign going on, I decided to take a look into the history of the NHL in Atlanta.
While the term "HOTlanta" did not come from hockey, the theme of the first franchise in Georgia could've fooled you: the Atlanta Flames. They joined the New York Islanders in the expansion class of 1972, since the WHA's expansion interests played a role in the Islanders' birth. Since the NHL wanted to keep an even number of teams, they decided on Atlanta because why not? Tom Collins, who owned the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, was awarded the team at the price of $6 million dollars. The Flames ended up playing their first game against the aforementioned Islanders, winning 3-2 at Nassau Coliseum. Their first home game at Omni Coliseum was a 1-1 tie against Buffalo, with a sellout crowd of just under 15,000 to see it.
Soon attendance plummeted. The Flames couldn't secure a TV deal to keep the team afloat due to low viewership. The Omni Coliseum had no luxury boxes to generate money. Jim Craig was signed during the tail end of the 1979-80 season to try and attract fans. While he did save the United States National Team, he couldn't save the Flames from relocation and the team was sold to an investor group in Calgary for $16 million, then an NHL record.
The next attempt at hockey in the city began in 1999, when the Atlanta Thrashers were born alongside the Nashville Predators. Time Warner would be the owners and in a fan poll to name the team, Thrashers was selected. It did not technically win the poll, but the poll winner was a name already in use, despite efforts to pay homage to Atlanta hockey history. That nickname? Flames.
Dany Heatley prepares for action to resume as a member of the Thrashers (via TSN)
The team's first game was a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The team would be only slightly more successful than the Flames. They won the Southeast division in 2007, then immediately got sent packing from their only playoff appearance in 4 games at the hands of the New York Rangers. Later on, Atlanta Spirit LLC, the new ownership group, fell apart as claims of breach of contract forced a court battle to determine who would be bought out and at what cost. In the end, the ownership group sold the entire team to True North Sports and Entertainment, after finding no suitable buyers in Atlanta. Thus the team landed in the True North, Strong and Free: Canada. Winnipeg to be exact. Atlanta's two teams now reside in Canada successfully.
But for two weeks only, we resurrect NHL hockey in Atlanta! The Thrashers are back and need a new look, because while unique, that home jersey (and even moreso the alternate) were not good. So it's up to you to do it! Make sure your submissions are sent in by Friday at noon. Also at the same time is the end of the COTW vote so get that done, or else you will get sent to Atlanta for 8 years then relocated to a different Canadian city. I choose Quebec City. I'll see what Ryan says.
He says I can't kidnap you for not voting.
But who said I would be the one doing that? VOTE!
Full reminders in technicolor:
COTW May 13-19 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
Thrashers entries due (Friday @ noon Eastern)
Today's Thrashers Entries:
ON TO THE CONCEPTS!
Seems like the trend at HJC of late is contrasting upper shoulders. This does something the current Ducks set does: identical jersey patterns only changing the main color of the jersey, and instead of black, Andrew goes orange. I just feel like without more white on the sleeves, the jersey feels cluttered. One thing that would help the jersey beyond that is the updated number font, which is a bit taller than the one seen here, first used on the newly rebranded jerseys, which the Ducks won their Cup in.
Cluttered Ducks: 77%
Jordan R: Los Angeles Kings Concept
Jordan updates the look for the Kings with enough minor tweaks everywhere to set this apart, minus the heritage jersey, an exact replica of the original Kings jerseys, yellow pants and all. Jordan moves the numbers in the sleeve striping (could be a little smaller). He relegates the current logo to a shoulder patch, while bringing to us a new Chevy-style logo, with the modern Kings logo font, and a black background similar to the Ontario Reign. Hem stripe is badly needed on the current black and he fixes that here. A mirrored third jersey is in grey, which is a much desired look for those who saw the 2014 Stadium Series, without the piping of the main jerseys and it looks great. My only complaint is that those hem stripes are, in LA terms, hella thick.
All hail the King: 93%
Jordan R: Ottawa Senators Concept
Old look with the best Senators logo in use (extent of actual use is TBD) today. Numbers do look squished though, both on the back and in the striping. I have always thought the Peace Tower logo is underrated so I like its inclusion here. Slight changes, though fewer than your previous concept. I do like the look of the alternate much better. The fourth jersey is interesting, so if you can't read the description, which I can't without zooming in, I'll write it here:
"The fourth is a fauxback to their 1895 uniforms as the Ottawa Hockey Club (nicknamed the Generals). I added stripes because a plain white sweater is boring in 2016! I also darkened the red to a maroon because it looked darker in photos."
Good call with the stripes, good call with only hem trim and not striping because an Ottawa team with a jersey resembling the Leafs is cause for trouble, just on the standpoint of rivalry.
Classic look with an update: 90%
Josiah B: Anaheim Ducks Concept
A similar design to what we've seen from the ducks, but the sleeves are inverted, with the stripes coming together to a point under the arm instead of over it. But is that the biggest takeaway here? Nope. Is it the primary logo replacing the script logo? Nope. GREEN! A while ago we did a competition to redesign the ducks in green, orange and gold, the original scheme planned before black, gold and orange replaced the famous eggplant and jade. But please show me pants, You already have the helmets (needing logos, mind you), there is room for the pants, even just one set which is all you really need unless you have different designs for home and road. Your next concept will prove why.
It's not easy being green: 77%
Josiah B: Montreal Canadiens Concept
See how the blue helmet looks out of place? While I like the inversion of the normal chest stripe, and a matching road shirt, the blue helmet looks awkward without pants. Sock stripes seem a little thick. Not a totally new look but one that is appreciated with the matching road.
Slight adjustment and a match: 80%
Lucas D: Los Angeles Kings Concept
I think this is an underrated look. One I tried for the CHL redesign contest series. I like how Lucas eliminates black. It's definitely a quality move here. This color scheme works both with it and without it. I would like to see how the equipment works here.
I see a purple jersey, and have no problem with it not painted black: 89%
Lucas D: Ottawa Senators Concept
The white jersey is clearly the best of these two concepts. Clean looks, but I love the laurel pattern as a yoke trim. Very classy look. Again with the equipment though. Would it be red? Black? Gold??? I want to see the whole look.
Classing it up: 89%
Vaughn R: Tuscon Wolves (AHL) concept
Vaughn Goes traditional, looking at the Coyotes old look to inspire the new team. I like the recolored coyote, since wolves are in the same family as coyotes, as both are types of dogs. However there's a team in Chicago that would not be happy with that name. regardless, that alternate needs a LOT of work. Template lines need to disappear with striping like that. Arms are crowded while the rest of the jersey seems barren. At least add some sort of shoulder patch. Speaking of which, the AZ patch on the front of the jersey is not a good look with barren shoulders. That Under Armour logo is HUGE. I also don't know why there's number outlines on one jersey only. Maroon numbers do not work on that black jersey without an outline at a minimum, if at all. The shades of black are also inconsistent.
A bit of a howler: 60%
The winner of my COTW nomination is:
LOS ANGELES KINGS CONCEPT
So here's to another week of me staying out of jail from soccer rivalries! See you next week!