On July 29, I got a push notification on my phone that Taylor Hall had been traded to the Devils for Adam Larsson. Immediately I got on Twitter for schadenfreude and reactions. The first tweet in my newsfeed was about a hockey trade, but not Hall-for-Larsson. It said Shea Weber had been traded to the Montreal Canadiens for PK Subban. I could only assume this "insider" was hacked or had been fed bad information. Poile wouldn't trade the only captain the Preds have had since I became a fan after my first game in 2009.
But it was right. Shea Weber, his defensive reliability, massive hits, timely fights, award-winning leadership qualities, famously fearsome slapshot, and the Flyers-masterminded albatross contract were gone. In return, we received a dynamic defenseman in his career prime.
In the press conference following PK Subban's trade, David Poile called him the "modern hockey player."
That got me wondering what players really fit that description. What players could fit that moniker?
I believe that the league is trending towards smaller, faster players. I look at players like Tyler Johnson, Johnny Gaudreau, and Viktor Arvidsson and see the future of the league. You can look at players like Martin "Legs of Zeus" St. Louis and Pavel Datsyuk and see when the trail for these players was blazed. Honestly, if Pavel Datsyuk pulled a puck from a behind a goalie's ear and then scored a goal it wouldn't surprise me. They are fun to watch. This isn't just a trend towards more speed and puck handling, this is a trend towards a more exciting game. We have a lot to look forward to.
Quebec Nordiques Concept - Justin B.
Positives: It's different. I've never thought about the Nordiques with red as a dominant color rather than a trim color.
Negatives: Honestly, it's probably a good thing this logo was never used. It hasn't aged well. I could expect this logo for a junior league team, but not in the NHL. If it had been used, and the Nords were still around, I think we would be talking about this logo like we do the Fishsticks logo or the Mooterus; a creative but ultimately ill-conceived design. Nordiques shouldn't be red. Leave red to the Canadiens. Nordiques makes you think cold, and cold makes you think of bright, lighter blues. Actually, you think of the color scheme they used. Numbers are a bit too small. The typeface and logo communicate aggression, but the rest of the jersey doesn't.
Overall: A toe is dipped into the pool of progressive aesthetic aggression, and it's ultimately not enough. If you're going to go with the wolf logo, really go for it. Give me some teal and some asymmetry. (6.5/10)
Schwenniger Wild Wings Concept - Jay S.
Positives: When I talk about "going for it," I'm talking about jerseys like the alternate here. The logo used is abstract, wild, organic, aggressive. Jay doesn't fight it, but designs around it. Lean into the inherit aesthetic; own it. Striping pattern looks good. Outlining the yoke on the dark jersey, but not the light jersey was a good choice. Execution is good, especially in the details.
Negatives: The alternate jersey could use a different typeface from the home and away jerseys.
Overall: The home and away are solid traditional designs, and the alternate provides something radically different and fresh. As it should. (8.5/10)
Quebec Nordiques Concept - Fernando M.
Positives: There's some really good creativity here. I like the fleur-de-lis on the upper arms instead of the shoulders. There's just enough red trim. The collars are perfect. The subtle stripe is great. Execution and presentation is perfect. The alternate is wonderfully understated.
Negatives: The logo is a little too big. As far as the logo itself is concerned, I am torn. I like the prominent Q, and the red N that is a nod to the old Nordiques logo. Where my misgivings begin is the lower half of the logo. As stated above, the top half is a red N. That makes sense. The lower half, though, is a blue U. That part confuses me.
Overall: Should the Nordiques ever make a return to the league, this would be a good set. The logo is my only trepidation. (8.5/10) Concept of the Week nomination from me!
Albany Choppers Concept - Jordan R.
Positives: The striping pattern is great. Colors are balanced well. The stars on the shoulders is very Americana. making the name a different color on the white jersey was a good choice. It brings something different to the jersey. Typeface is clean. Execution is good. Throwback jersey is cool.
Negatives: Some of the details get with this logo from just a moderate distance. I would like to see something more than just a color flip for an alternate jersey.
Overall: Nice, clean jersey design. A more refined primary logo would make it near perfect. (8.0)
San Antonio Dragons - Jordan R.
Positives: It's curious that I was just toying with the prospect of purchasing a San Antonio Dragons jersey I found on eBay recently. There are a lot of jerseys in this set. I appreciate the work involved here. Striping pattern looks good on the home/away. The typeface used is interesting. Using the Alamo is a good decision. The throwback is my favorite here, though. I love the asymmetry and colors.
Negatives: The home is too dark. Honestly, I'd rather that jersey be eliminated from the set, and use the third as the home jersey. You've already got two black jerseys in this concept anyway.
Overall: There may be too much here. I would suggest using the third as the home jersey and not doing an alternate. The throwback is irresistible, though. I appreciate the work and detail here. (8.5/10)
Toledo Goaldiggers Concept - Jordan R.
Positives: I am in love with this team name. It's brilliant. The third and throwback are my favorites here. I like the typeface, even though it's used for the Albany concept above. Execution is very good.
Negatives: The primary logo doesn't look good against a chest stripe. You lose the details. Subtle hem striping would be better. I'll be honest though, I'd be happy with the third as the road jersey, and a color-swapped gold jersey for the road, a la Sweden.
Overall: Just get me that third now. How have I never heard of this team? The name alone makes me love this. (8.5/10)
Portland Millionaires AHL Relocation Concept - William B
Positives: Johnny Canuck actually works really well for Portland. He already looks a bit like a hipster. Portland makes so much sense as a Vancouver affiliate.
Negatives: It's Portland, man. Go full weird. The primary logo is a good start, but I'd like to see it taken to its fullest extent. The set could use more color. I feel that Portland is a town where you could go nearly avant garde with the alternate and they would embrace it. Keep Portland Weird.
Overall: Some good ideas here, but doesn't achieve its full potential. (7.5/10)
That's all for this week! The HJC Open is really getting exciting as we get closer to the final. Don't forget to vote this week!
Also, I want to echo Ryan's challenge from yesterday's post. We don't see enough KHL jerseys on this site. I'd love to see some of the creative directions you all could take it. Get on it!
HJC Open Quarter Final entries (due Tuesday @ noon Eastern)
COTW June vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
COTW July 1-7 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)