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Friday: A Fond Farewell to a Fan Favorite

It seems that the day has finally come.  After 24 seasons spread across 27 years, we may have seen the last of Jaromir Jagr in the NHL.  On Wednesday it was announced that Jagr, who hasn't played in a game since December 31st, had cleared waivers and was being released from from the Flames to be assigned to his hometown team, HC Kladno of the WSM Liga.  As the sun finally sets on one of the greatest careers in the history of the NHL, many writers have come forward to attempt to encapsulate his career in articles written shortly after the move was announced. 

But how does one define a career as impressive and almost otherworldly as Jagr's?  In terms of longevity, Jagr is certainly impressive merely for the fact that he remained productive well into his forties, almost three decades after his NHL debut.  Perhaps the most telling testament to this fact is that Jagr has found himself on the ice with the sons of some of the players that he faced and played with during the early years of his career.  Beyond just the span of his career, there are the achievements that he managed to attain during his playing years.  A two time Stanley Cup winner, five time Art Ross winner, three time Ted Lindsay winner (then known as the Lester B. Pearson Award), five time finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy.  Jagr is second all time in points scoring, trailing only the Great One, which is even more impressive when one considers the three year gap in stats during Jagr's stint in the KHL from 2008-2011.  He is also a member of the Czech Ice Hockey Hall of Fame, and one of only 27 members of the Triple Gold Club.

All of the accolades and records above look impressive, and they are, but to me they are not what define Jagr's career.  To me, it goes way beyond stats, it's what Jagr means to the NHL.  In my 24 years on this earth, Jagr has been the one constant for me as a hockey fan.  No matter how many of my favorite players came and went, Jags was always there for me to cheer on.  His ability to adapt from his speedy youth to his tough and gruff later years and still remain productive was transcendent.  He was an anomaly in the NHL, the "Ageless Wonder" who was still holding his own against players half his age.  And that's why this move is a true travesty, a black mark on the NHL.  Jagr didn't deserve to end his career on the IR list, waiting to clear waivers until he was released.  He deserved to go out with his boots on, choosing to end his career by retiring when he wanted.  For a man who has given so much to the NHL, and to the sport of hockey in general, he deserved at least that.  

In voting news, we have the regular COTW vote for January 26- February 1, as well as The Season Week One Vote, both of which end Friday at noon EST.  

 COTW Jan 26-Feb 1 vote (ends Fri @ noon EST) 
 The Season Week One vote (ends Fri @ noon EST) 

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Now on to today's concepts!

Ben S.- Colorado Avalanche

Our first concept of the day is Ben S.'s latest entry in his NHL Thirds series, this one for the Colorado Avalanche.  I really like the use of the Rockies-esque logo from their last alternate uniform, it's a nice logo that pays tribute to Colorado's hockey history.  I really like the contrasting upper arm and simple striping pattern, it's similar to their last third design, but definitely an improvement.  I wish you'd matched the hem striping to the arm striping, it would tie the look together better.  I also wish that you'd done something with the breezers, maybe add this logo with a matching shoulder patch to tie it together.  Additionally, I'm not a fan of the white socks with a dark jersey, I'd just flip the pattern on them.  Final verdict: a good looking set, but some small tweaks would make it infinitely better.  8.5/ 10

FC Macbeth- Korea

Next up is FC Macbeth with a design for Team Korea for the upcoming Olympic Games.  I really like the logo on the home jersey, it works great for a chest stripe.  I wish you'd carried it over to the away jersey, as the inconsistent logos bother me, as well as the fact that the away jersey has the same logo as a main crest and a shoulder patch.  I'm also not a fan of the inconsistent striping across the set, between the two jerseys and the gear, there's three different striping patterns.  The chest stripe not continuing on the back is frustrating, but I can see how it would make numbering difficult.  I'm not sure what the writing in the striping on the home says, some info on that would help presentation and explain your design choice.  As for execution, the logo on the helmet should be slightly tilted to match the skewed base of the helmet.  Final verdict: some decent ideas, but there's a lot going on here that just doesn't work.  5/10

Jeff T.- New England Patriots
Our next concept is Jeff T.'s design for the New England Patriots.  I'm a huge fan of crossover concepts when they're done creatively, but this one just doesn't do it for me.  It's a direct copy of the Pats' current home uniforms, but with the TV numbers and shoulder patch swapped to make it more like a hockey jersey.  The only thing new about this set when compared to the actual Pats uniforms are the socks, so I'll give you credit for that.  Final verdict: impeccable presentation, but a nice template doesn't make up for a lack of creativity.  3/10

Phil B.- Colorado Avalanche

Our final concept of the day is yet another design for the Avs contributed by a writer, this time from Phil B.  Right off the bat, I love the elimination of black from the uniforms, it's the one thing that has always bugged me about the Avs' identity, as it always seemed shoehorned in.  I really like the modern striping on this one, it's a nice modern look that works well with that yoke style to create a futuristic design.  The only thing I have a problem is is the silver on white on the home set, but there's no way to solve it without throwing off the color balance, so I think you made the right move.  Final verdict: while I love the Av's mountain range set, I like these as well, and wouldn't be too broken up if they were worked into the uniform system in Colorado.  9/10 and my COTW NOMINEE!!!!!

That's all for me this week, see y'all next Friday!
Friday: A Fond Farewell to a Fan Favorite Reviewed by TC Moore on February 02, 2018 Rating: 5

3 comments:

Nolan Kadinger said...

Looks like Phil forgot to name his concept.

winnipegjets96 said...

Ben's Avs concept for COTW

Taylor Roy said...

I'll 2nd Ben

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