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September 8, 2017

Friday: Winter Classic Preview

Hey y'all, welcome to another Friday post!  Today we have some big news relating to the Winter Classic, but I'd like to start off on a more somber note.  As a resident of Georgia, and with family in the greater Houston area, this hurricane season has been beyond comparison in terms of catastrophe.  I'd like to take a moment to wish all of those, both within and without the hockey community, in the areas affected by the inclement weather the best and hope for their well-being going forward.  This is truly a tragedy, and we all need to come together as a community to help in any way that we can.  Find a local donation point and give what you can.

Now on to the Winter Classic news!  Today the Buffalo Sabres tweeted a picture of a few players checking out Citi Field, the site of the Winter Classic.

While it's a cool to see the players at the venue, the real hot tip here is what's on the scoreboard.  The jumbotron shows the official logo for the WC, as well as possible logos for the teams.  The NHL followed this up by tweeting teaser images to their snapchat story.



Of course when these hit, our writers' groupchat began to blow up with ideas on what the possibilities could be for the uniforms this year.  After discussing it with my coworkers, I believe that we will see Buffalo in a yellow jersey (yellow text), most likely with the standalone buffalo, while New York will be in blue with the white version of the logo seen above.  Personally, I really like the fauxback logo for the Rangers, and while I prefer the blue version, as the red almost borders on pink with the white background, it wouldn't work on a blue jersey.  I'm also a fan of the stand alone buffalo logo, although they may have to swap the coloring for it to work on a yellow jersey.  All in all, this preview does exactly what it's supposed to, because it's given me just enough information to get excited for a contest that won't happen until January.  

In voting news, we have the regular COTW voting for September 1-7 as well as the COTW August vote, both of which end Friday at noon EST.  It is also my pleasure to announce our latest contest: the Stadium Logo Competition.  You may design a new logo for an existing stadium, a past stadium, or a fictional stadium.  You can even rename an existing venue, all we're looking for is unique new designs for a stadium logo.  Entries are due September 22 at noon EST.  

COTW vote Sept 1-7 (ends Friday @ noon EST)
COTW August vote (ends Friday @ noon EST)
 Stadium Logo Competition (due Sept 22 @ noon EST)

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Now on to today's concepts!

Adam G.- Quebec Nordiques

Our first concept of the day is Adam G.'s design for the Quebec Nordiques.  This design seems to be inspired by the flag of Quebec, and it does a decent job of staying true to that design.  I love the fleur-de-lis as a shoulder patch, it does a good job of bringing the Quebec identity further into the design.  While a big white cross on the back makes it difficult to use white numbers, the blue outline does a decent job of making sure it doesn't blend too much.  The repetition of the logo on the front, while true to the design of the flag, just doesn't look good.  Also, I miss the powder blue that was distinctly the Nordiques', the plain blue and white just lumps them in with the Leafs and Lightning.  Final verdict: a little too plain in some places, a little too busy in others.  6.5/10

Anthony C.- Charlottetown Islanders

Next up is Anthony C.'s design for the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL.  This is a definite improvement over their current set, which is essentially an Edge template cookie cutter jersey.  I like the gold as the base color for the jersey, it's a sharp look.  The anniversary patch looks great, and I like the TV numbers in the striping pattern.  The striping pattern looks good, and the smaller hem stripe works well with the chest stripe.  I'm not a huge fan of the striping on the breezers, I probably would have just gone with plain black.  Looking at the white collar, it dawned on me that this jersey looks just like a rugby shirt, and that kind of kills it for me.  Final verdict: a good design, but it just looks too much like a rugby shirt.  8/10

Brooks F.- Hartford Whalers

Brooks comes to us with his latest design in his 90s series, this one for the Whalers.  Wow.  This is gloriously 90s.  The wavy striping gives a great ocean feel, much better execution than the Islanders' Fisherman jerseys.  The collars look great, and the comic sans-esque font could work only in the 90s.  While I do like the idea of Pucky popping up out ow the water, it's a tad too big.  Spilling onto the side panels would look odd and affect the players' maneuverability.  Final verdict: a good looking 90s set, with one whale of a problem.  8.5/10

Dylan T.- Grateful Dead

Dylan T. brings us a Grateful Dead concept today, and I have to say it's way better than the K-Wings design that Jets wrote about yesterday.  I'm personally not the biggest fan of the dead, but I love this jersey.  The skull logo looks great as a main crest, and the dancing bear makes a fantastic shoulder patch.  The use of the lightning bolt as the arm stripe breaking up the red yoke from the blue arms is a fantastic design choice.  The basic hem stripe was a good choice, and the hanger effect of the dancing bears is perfect.  My only fault with this concept is that it's only the front view and doesn't have any gear included.  But then again, every silver lining has a touch of grey.  Final verdict: a fantastic looking design for Deadheads everywhere.  9.5/10 and my COTW NOMINEE!!!!!

Ryan H.- Ottawa Senators

Next up is our very own Ryan H. with a design for the Sens.  Already a huge improvement on the Sens' Adizero debut, this design actually uses striping instead of just blocks of colors.  I really like the striping pattern, it brings in a subtle gold, and the black line breaking up the red and gold looks great and ties it in to the black forearms.  Shoulder patch looks great, but I still hate that main logo.  I only wish you included gear and an away jersey to get a feel for the overall look.  Final verdict: a great improvement for the Sens, but leaves me wanting more.  9/10

Tuomas R.- Wild/Golden Knights/Finland/Karelia

Alright, this concept seems to have three different designs in it, so I'll take them one at a time.

Wild: The light set is just their debut light set with tan instead of white and red cuffs, so nothing new there.  The dark set is just the debut darks with red instead of green as the main color.  I've never been a fan of the Wild in red, so that's a downgrade for me.  Also, the tie down and the inside of the zero are still green, that's just sloppy execution.  Only real change is the socks, and they're another downgrade.  Final verdict: Almost no originality involved, and the ones that are original are a downgrade.  1.5/10

Golden Knights: Just their current set with the red replaced and ugly socks.  Final verdict: no originality.  1/10

Finland/Karelia: At least this one is original.  I like the main crest, it's a good representation of the crests of both entities.  Not a huge fan of the contrasting piping, it makes it look a little too amateur for me.  Shoulder and arm patches are good choices, but don't double them up like that.  Set them up on the edge and cut them off (see our tutorial if you don't know how to do it.  Not a huge fan of the white text with the white drop shadow, it just looks odd to me.  As for further execution, the inside of the jersey needs to be colored, collar needs to be filled in (even if it's just white), the back below the collar should be filled in, and NHL logos should be removed.  Final verdict: an ambitious design, but execution kills it.  3/10

Don't get discouraged, Tuomas.  In providing the images of the actual team sets, I realized that for the first two you just recolored the pictures from nhluniforms.com.  It's obvious you're just starting out, and no one's first designs are all that great.  Instead of just recoloring existing uniforms, use one of our templates and start from the ground up with your own design.  Using that and our tutorial, you'll soon be making original and creative designs, and you get more points for that.  

That's all for me today, see y'all next week!

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