Well, after last night's thrilling double overtime game, the Stanley Cup Finals are set, with the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins facing off against the Nashville Predators. I'm gonna be honest, I was hoping to see the Sens pull out a win just so the finals would have two teams battling for their first cup win. On a more vindictive level, I wanted to see the Senators avenge Sidney Crosby's horrific slash on Marc Methot earlier this season. I'm currently enjoying a ride on the Predators bandwagon, I'm hoping that they can bring some respectability and excitement for hockey in the South. It's going to be a great series, as the Predators have been able to defy the odds and continue to thrive in spite of the loss of some key players to injury. I read a lot of articles that were ready to write off the Predators after losing so many top performers to injury, but they've managed to prove that they're a solid and deep team that's riding a wave of momentum. On the other side, the Penguins are the reigning champs and are looking to repeat. They've been shaky at points in this postseason, but have managed to show up at key moments to pull out a win. I think it's going to be a great series to watch and could honestly see it going either way. It all comes down to who shows up when it matters.
Now on to some big uniform news! It has been reported that in addition to the Vegas Golden Knights, twelve other teams will be getting a new uniform next year. Teams getting updates to their uniforms include Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, and Ottawa. Some of these come as no surprise, as many of these teams badly needed an updated uniform. The most surprising team to me is Florida, as their current sets were just released this year, but I imagine they will just be extending the chest stripe to the backs of the jerseys. Apparently there will be no change in the primary logos, which I think is a shame because I would have liked to see Columbus move to the cannon logo and Colorado switch to the logo on their third jerseys, which is reminiscent of the Rockies logo. We already know that Edmonton is moving to their orange jerseys for their home set, but it is also being said that they are eliminating the royal blue entirely, replacing it with a navy blue, making it an odd combination of their current sets and their navy period in the late 90s- early 00s. I have my fingers crossed that Ottawa adopts their current thirds as the home jersey and their 2014 Heritage Classic jerseys as a matching road set. Finally, I am praying that the Wild finally return to a green home jersey that matches their current away set. Right now they have three different jerseys with three different logos; it's absolute madness. And let's not forget that two of those have broken the First Commandment of jersey design: Thou Shalt Not Have a Phantom Yoke. The Wild have one of the most inventive logos in the league, if not all of sports, and they should be making it the centerpiece of all of their designs.
Keep an eye out later today for the COTW vote and keep in mind that our Open Logo Competition will be accepting entries until noon on June 2nd.
COTW May 19-25 vote (ends Friday @ noon ET)
Open Logo Competition Entries (due by Friday @ noon ET)
-------------------------------------------------Now on to today's concepts!
Adam G.- St. Louis Blues
Our first concept today is Adam G.'s design for the St. Louis Blues. At first glance, I thought the striping was a little busy, but it's grown on me. It's reminiscent of the striping striping on their uniforms from the mid 90s, but without the red and the slant leading to the horrific numbering on the back. The use of only two colors also keeps it from looking too busy. I also like the collars on this set, I think the use of two colors really helps it pop. I also like the inclusion of shoulder patches on a more traditional design like this, but I would have liked to have seen the arch logo from their old third uniforms instead of the more basic logo used here. It would also bring more navy into the design, helping the overall color balance. As for execution, your logos are very blurry and I would have liked to have seen the gear that accompanies this design. Right now, I'm picturing it with similar gear to their current uniforms, as that would help bring out more navy instead of having it only in the striping. Final verdict: a good design, but color balance and execution errors hold it back. 7/10
Anthony C.- Brampton Beast
Our next concept is the first of three for the day from Anthony C., this one for Montreal's ECHL affiliate, the Brampton Beast. Brampton's current uniforms are essentially the same as the Kings' uniforms, but with a contrasting extended yoke and the inclusion of red. As a traditionalist, I like the idea of taking them in a more classic looking direction. The striping pattern is pretty basic, and on the away jersey looks way too similar to a Blackhawks jersey. I'm also not a huge fan of the contrasting hem which also occurs on the socks. The way that the bottom line of the striping just bleeds into the hem just doesn't work for me, especially since I think the yoke does enough for the color balance. I've liked your squared yokes on designs in the past, and thought it was a design choice, but I now realize that the template use you only allows for squared yokes. While it works for some designs, a more basic one like this might work better with a more traditional rounded yoke. One thing I like about Brampton's current uniforms is the inclusion of red to break up the grey and white, and I think that that would really help this design. They keep it to a minimum, but I think it really helps the design. Final verdict: a step in the right direction, but needs a little more to it. 6.5/10
Anthony C.- Toronto Marlies
Anthony's second design of the day is for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. Right off the bat, I love the inclusion of yellow in this design, it gives the team a distinct identity from their parent club, the Maple Leafs, a vast improvement on their past uniforms which were merely copies of the Buds' uniforms. I like the striping pattern, but I might have made the thin stripes a tad larger, they almost get lost between the middle and outer stripes. While the contrasting hem didn't work on your last design, I think it does here, probably due to the use of colors rather than grey, white, and black. I would have liked to have seen the new updated logo instead of their secondary here, especially since the Leafs have reverted back to a more realistic looking leaf. Finally, I don't know if this was just an oversight on your part, but I don't like the use of a white helmet with the blue jersey. Just make it blue. Final verdict: a solid design that I think would work well for the Marlies. 7.5/10
Anthony C.- Toronto Metropolitans
Anthony's final concept for the day is for the fictional Toronto Metropolitans. First off, the logo designs are fantastic. The use of the CN Tower in the primary logo is a great idea, and gives it a true Toronto identity. While I don't know the inspiration for the secondary logo, it has a great design as well. As for the overall look of the uniform, I like the striping pattern and the use of a chest stripe. This logo lends itself really well to a chest stripe, and manages to work with the striping on both the home and away. My only gripe with this uniform is that I think the contrasting hem is unnecessary, especially with the chest stripe. Final verdict: a great design and I love the initiative with creating an entirely new identity. 9/10
Noah B.- Boston Celtics
First things first, I love the idea of this series, Noah. A very cool idea for a project, and I think you've done really well with it. I like the basic striping on this set, it mirrors the Celtics' actual striping pattern and the yoke stripe is similar to the Bruins, but different enough to give these their own identity. The arched lettering over the shamrock logo is reminiscent of a more college-level team, but I think it's the right move, as it's hard to work Boston's primary logo into a hockey uniform. I think the decision to use green cuffs on the white jersey was smart, it really helps with the color balance. As for negatives, I would have liked to have seen the shoulder patch recolored to match the coloring of the rest of the uniform, and I think you missed a great opportunity to mirror the Celtics' real shorts. I think that their striping pattern could work really well on breezers, and the Rangers have shown that horizontal stripes on breezers can work. Final verdict: a great concept and a few tweaks could make it fantastic. 8.5/10
Noah B.- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Once again we have a city mashup design from Noah, this time for the city of Anaheim. I have a soft spot for the Angels, even though they have the most ridiculous name in sports (it roughly translates to "The The Angels Angels of Anaheim". From a design standpoint, they have one of the best logo histories in sports, especially for a team that has switched up their designs so frequently. I love the recolored logo on the dark jersey, I think it works really well and I've never seen it done like that before. The striping pattern is great, it is reminiscent of the A in the logo, and is close enough to the Ducks' striping while still retaining an identity of its own. I love the font on the numbering, it matches the logo perfectly, and I think the block lettering for the name was the right choice. Trying to match the font for the name would have been hard to read and a little busy. Once again, I would have liked to have seen the shoulder patch recolored to match the uniform. My only real gripe design wise other than that is maybe be a little more adventurous with the gloves. As for execution, the Iceborn logo on the pants of the away still has red inside the letters on the away uniforms and is nonexistent on the home set. Final verdict: a great uniform on its own, and the best concept I've seen in a great series. 9.5/10 and my COTW NOMINEE!!!!!!!!
Vaughan R.- St. Louis Blues
Our final concept of the day is Vaughan R.'s St. Louis Blues entry into the random competition. I'm gonna be honest, when I saw this on the list I thought "there is no way I'm touching this", so I commend on taking on a challenging design. Red and Orange always clash, they're just way too close on the color wheel. I do think that you did a good job of incorporating them into the design, but it's still just not aesthetically pleasing. The striping pattern works well, and is somewhat reminiscent of their striping pattern from the mid-to-late 90s. I like the use of a yoke on the white jersey. At first I didn't like the idea of the blue helmet, but after thinking about it I realized that it does work with all of the jerseys and fits with the rest of the gear. My biggest problem on this concept is the font choice. Not only is it the Ducks' font, so the Blues would never be able to use it, but more importantly it just doesn't fit with the Blues' identity. I also think that the breezers and gloves should incorporate orange into the design for a better color balance. Final verdict: a good attempt at a difficult challenge, but I ultimately can't get on board. 7/10
Wow. A lot of really great concepts today, it made it hard to pick only one COTW nominee. Keep up the good work, guys. Our job is only as fun as y'all make it, and today was a blast for me. See y'all next week!