This past week saw the unfortunate passing of sports legends Muhammed Ali and Gordie Howe. Both men helped shape their sport and set the bar for what passes for excellence in each sport.
He was before my time, but Gordie Howe was the full package. He was the remarkable combination of someone with offensive ability, defensive acumen, and physically imposing when he needed to be.
I think heroism and athletics will always be connected. It's almost natural for a kid to have figures to look up to in athletics. When I was a kid growing up in Tennessee, those were members of the University of Tennessee football team. We had no professional teams at the time, but everyone was a fan of Volunteers. The whole state united behind them. Guys like Al Wilson, Peerless Price, James Stewart, Peyton Manning, Jeff Hall, Chad Clifton; those were my Gordie Howes and Bobby Orrs.
Athletes get old, retire, pass away. They gain a sense of immortality in your fandom, though. They may be gone, but they are not replaced, and their legend never dies.
Juventus HC (Lega Italiana) - Emin Z.
Positives: Seeing a LIHG concept on this site is rare. The black/gold/white color scheme looks good.
I can only assume the pink jersey is a "Pink-in-the-Rink" event jersey. I can't think of another reason for that to be here. The soccer jersey-esque aesthetic is fitting for the demographic.
Negatives: The black jersey could use more white, and the white jersey could use a little more gold. Would the pink jersey still use the black pants? Presentation is a little messy. I wouldn't recommend such a busy background.
Overall: It's good to see something new on the site. Color balance could be better. Pink jersey leaves questions. (7/10)
Allen Americans Concept - Ryan C.
Positives: Ryan goes the extra mile and includes goalie equipment. The pads look great. Colors are balanced well. The logo fits the chest stripe well. It's fittingly patriotic. The pants stripe helps even out the red. Ryan branched out with font usage this week, which I appreciate. No execution errors, and Ryan has further improved his presentation.
Negatives: The numbers on the white jersey could get lost at a distance.
Overall: Very solid set. Goalie equipment helps take it to further level. (9/10)
Fort Wayne Komets - Ryan C.
Positives: Really good detail here. Ryan's helmets show logos and helmet numbers. That's professional realism. Striping looks good. Execution is flawless.
Negatives: I'm not really feeling the wordmark/number combination. The orange jersey could use some more black. I think a black helmet would do it.
Overall: Fort Wayne has better logo options. It's still a good set, though. (8.5/10)
Utah Grizzlies Concept - Ryan C.
Positives: Again, it's rare to see goalie equipment. Color balance is good. Typeface is more organic, which relates to the logo well. Numbers and name are easily legible. Execution is good.
Negatives: The shoulder logos aren't really needed. The yoke is crowded, and the same mark is used on the helmet. I'm torn on the goalie equipment. Part of me likes that it reflects the organic design of the logo, and the other part thinks it looks like a Rorschach test.
Overall: A solidly executed set. A few minor tweaks could improve it, though. (8.5/10)
Vancouver Canucks Concept - Josiah B.
Positives: It doesn't lack for ambition. The modified color scheme looks great. The sublimated pattern is very interesting. I think it could look good if the rest of the jersey was more restrained.
Negatives: Either the V-shaped chest pattern, or the orca logo have to go. There's not enough room on this jersey for both, considering all the other details on this jersey. The dot pattern on the collar only appears on the back and inside. The pattern ends abruptly before it reaches the front.
Overall: It's just too busy. More restraint is needed to make the sublimated pattern work. (7/10)
Carolina Hurricanes Concept - Avi S.
Positives: Bringing back the hurricane warning flag pattern is the right direction to take. The flag logo is underrated, in my opinion. The side panel detail is interesting. The numbers are larger than usual, but I don't mind it. Execution is flawless, and presentation is very professional. Avi's an old hand by HJC standards, and the experience shows.
Negatives: The red jersey could use some silver. the white jersey and pants use silver for trim, but the red jersey doesn't. Using more silver on that jersey would improve continuity.
Overall: A little more silver trim could make this an ideal Carolina set. (8.75/10)
Calgary Flames Concept - Avi S.
Positives: The flag logos are gone, which is good. Colors are balanced perfectly. The angular stripes are the perfect compliment for the shoulder yoke and typeface. The collar ends in a point as well. Again, execution and presentation are professional-level.
Negatives: The horse logo on the helmets feels random.
Overall: Change that horse logo, and this is my perfect Flames set. (9/10) COTW nomination from me!
Chicago Blackhawks Concept - Avi S.
Positives: Taking on a classic jersey set isn't easy. There isn't much that anyone would change, but that Avi manages to improve it is impressive. The arm stripes finally match the hem stripes on the red jersey. The thinner typeface, which I assume is inspired by the 2016 Winter Classic, looks really good, and is my favorite change made here. Execution and presentation is professional-level.
Negatives: I don't see the point in recoloring the shoulder patch for the away jersey.
Overall: Small changes improve an already classic set. (9/10)
We have three votes this week. Our usual COTW vote, a monthly vote for May to determine who moves on to our eventual Concept of the Year vote, and a vote to determine this year's HJC Open logo!
COTW-May vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
COTW June 3-9 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
HJC Open Logo Top 4 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)