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June 30, 2014

Monday: Post Draft, Pre Free Agency

The Draft Party at the Coliseum was fantastic. Got some good pictures of some non-Islanders jerseys for some Islanders players, including a Memorial Cup jersey for Casey Cizikas from the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, a throwback Oshawa Generals jersey and Team Orr CHL Prospects jersey for John Tavares and a Sochi 2014 Austria jersey for Michael Grabner. I toured the locker room and saw the Isles Hall of Fame. I purchased a small Billy Smith banner, for my favorite retired Islander. Also, apparently I look like Anders Lee. I look awful, mind you.

Afterwards I played ICE hockey (I normally play roller) for the first time in a year and scored a goal. Overall a good Friday, including our picks of Dal Colle and Ho-Sang. Plus my brother graduating high school Saturday and the US reaching the round of 16 to face Belgium tomorrow. Things are looking good except me in that pic. So you know what would make it better? Voting for Concept of the Week! We have no competitions this week, so concentrate your efforts on voting, due Friday at 11:59 pm. Email your votes to

COMING SOON: The HJC Open! The annual concept tournament here at HJC. This year, EVERYONE IS ELIGIBLE! And who knows, you may advance to Round 2, then 3, then the FINALS! So prepare some NEW concepts, and save the four best concepts for this tournament. If you submit a concept that has appeared here before, it will not be eligible, so get going! ON TO THE CONCEPTS WITHOUT INTERRU...

 Boston Bruins Concept by Andy R:

DISCLAIMER: Andy DID ID his concept, however sublimated it may be.

There's a few execution things I want to get out of the way first. There's no NHL logo in the collar inset, no tags on the inside of the jersey and the TV numbers are not displayed correctly, as they should have half of the number on one sleeve and the other half on the other. That stuff out of the way, an interesting throwback idea that needs refining as well as more items in the concept. Where's the back, and who's name is there? What do the socks look like? What do the pants and helmet look like? I need more information.

Final Score 45%

San Jose Sharks Concept by Coby S:

I have two major complaints of this jersey, the less obvious one is the lack of orange in the numbers on the black jersey. I only mention that because there's a double outline on the stripes of both jerseys and the numbers on the white jersey. The other thing is the shoulder patches which need to be rotated 90 degrees clockwise. Not only that, but I'm surprised that these patches are used as opposed to the current diamond fin patch. It makes the silver look out of place, especially since after the logo redesign the orange essentially replaced the silver.

Final Score 58%

Edmonton Oilers Concept by Coby S:

Same problem with the shoulder patches. I like the idea of a jersey with little white like this. It looks good, but the striping seems heavy on the white in comparison to the numbers and logo. Speaking of that striping, where have I seen it before? Also, we could ask which came first, the chicken or the egg? And the answer is the shark. As such, I'll give points for the idea only. The execution needs help and the striping is copied from another concept of yours.

Final Score: 35%

Nashville Predators Concept by Daniel L:

I am liking Daniel's "Get Niked" series so far. The grey looks good here, but I wish the stripes on the numbers on the dark jersey were a different color, as the white gets lost in the grey. This navy blue also looks unusually dar for Nashville. It actually looks pretty good. The color of the collar and yoke are identical on the dark as opposed to differing on the white jersey. Wouldn't mind a blue collar there, as well as a name outline on the white jersey, since the blue has that.

Final Score: 82%

Renfrew Creamery Kings Concept by Christian L:

Christian is well know here for making his own logos and this is no exception. This is a modern looking take on a classic style, curving the striping to measures that we haven't seen before, one that may look good if you brighten the red and slap a Devils logo on it. Execution is spot on. I'm surprised that this didn't win the team vote compared to what did win. Would like it if the name and number font was similar to the logo.

Final Score 93%

(Original) Winnipeg Jets Concept by Mike S:

A lot of red and white stripes on a blue jersey from a team from Canada. OK then...Anyway, I think the partial stripes ride way too far up on the sleeve considering the limits on the hem stripe you set. Maybe 5 stripes on each portion (sleeves, hem and sock) would be ideal. Helmet and pant logos would be preferred. TV numbers are rather high for this one. I like it but I don't think it would work.

Final Score: 73%

Bosnia & Herzegovina Concept by Stephen T:

I like the effect on the pants, carrying the cape effect from the jersey to the pant. This template works for Bosnia & Herzegovina because of the ampersand in the name. Two regions, one country. Two colors, one jersey. Socks are out there, but if you want to carry the effect on from top to bottom with the cape, you need to give me the side view of the sock and not the front. Numbers could use a white outline between the exterior blue outline and the main blue numbers, because otherwise the numbers look blurry. The star effects look neat because of the country flag. That logo looks sweet too. This may be the only case where this template looks good. One small note is the outdated Reebok logo on the tag. One larger note is that the numbers and name are WAY too high on the back, causing it to completely eliminate the Reebok wordmark on the back.

Final Score: 80%

Los Angeles Kings Alternate Concept by TG:

The fading effect from black to white is a great idea, but I wish it could be done slightly better. Possibly one more even lighter shade of grey. Otherwise this is a great third jersey option for Los Angeles. The logo choice is an interesting one, since it uses multiple shades of grey here. I have always had an affinity for this logo, since it portrays a medieval theme of the coat of arms. I would like to see how this looks with the current font the Kings use for the name and numbers. Good call on the crown logo on the shoulders.

Final Score: 83%

The winner of my Concept of the Week nomination is Christian L's Renfrew Creamery Kings Concept.

We started with Draft discussion, we end with free agency as it starts TOMORROW! Let's hope the Isles actually use that cap room and spend money for a change. So many rumors, so many free agents, so little time. Good luck keeping up with it all! If you have any rumors for free agents or trades, or if you want to complain and/or laugh about Garth Snow's interview from the draft or any picks your team made, then comment below. I'll be more than happy to join in with you. Don't forget to vote for Concept of the Week THIS week. When you send in concepts, send in your votes in the same email. DO IT! I DARE YOU!

June 29, 2014

Sunday: Lazy Jerseys

The winner of the COTW vote for June 16-22 was David K's Jokerit concept! 
Full Results
David K. - 4
S2dio - 3
Steven G. - 2
Kevin D. - 1


The winner of the NHA ReDesign final vote was Christian L!

Full Results


Christian's concept moves into the COTW vote for June 23-29. That vote is on now and you can see the nominees listed on the side of the page. Click that banner or go to the CONCEPT OF THE WEEK tab to see the concepts. Voting ends on Friday as always.


There will be NO COMPETITION from now until July 12. That's when the 2014 HJC Open begins. It is strongly recommended that you use this time to come up with your 4 best concepts, ever. That's what it's going to take to win the HJC Open this year.

Before July 12 we will have a simple vote such as favourite logo or jersey. In the meantime, get brainstorming!


Above you see a road Chicago Blackhawks jersey mock-up. If you can see what's wrong with it, congrats! If you think everything looks good then this is for you.

There are actually two things wrong with this mock-up. The major issue is that it's lazy. It's lazy to go to the jersey number images provided on the TEMPLATES page and just grab two numbers and a bunch of letters that are next to each other and slap them on a concept. The HJC readers will take you way more seriously if you put the EFFORT into actually placing a real name and number on your concepts.

The other thing wrong with this mock-up is the placement of the TV numbers. When you use a number between 10 and 19 the TV numbers won't appear centred in the same way that all other double digit TV numbers would appear. Because the 1 is thinner than other digits, the second number will be "cut" by the edge of the mock-up.

The mock-up below shows how TV numbers between 10 and 19 should be displayed on your concepts.


We nearly had a tie with last week's vote, so this week we REALLY need more people to vote. It's nice and simple. All you have to do is send in your vote when you send in a concept.

COTW June 23-29 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

June 28, 2014

Saturday: From Concept to Reality

Hello everyone and welcome to HJC's Saturday post! If you like your designs on the wilder side, you're going to be very happy with this post. Today's concepts do not lack for creativity. 

So, about that title. Recently, I had the privilege to send in a concept to the SPHL's Mississippi RiverKings for their 2014-2015 jersey set. I found out on Monday that they were using my set, and I thought I'd share the story with you all today.

Back in early April, I was in Memphis having coffee with a good friend of mine who works for the Mississippi RiverKings. We talked and caught up, and he mentioned the RiverKings were about to start on their jersey design for the 2014-2015 season. He knew I wrote for this blog and made concepts, and I volunteered to make a concept for the team.

He sent me their new logo that they will start using this year, which is slightly modified from the one they used previously. This logo has been cleaned up a bit by taking the burnt sienna outline off the Vegas gold lettering, a move that makes so much sense that you wonder why it was ever put on there to begin with. They also removed "Mississippi" from the logo. Here's the old logo for reference.

I was sent some specific instructions for how the team wanted the concept to look. They wanted it to incorporate more black in the uniform, because they use black equipment with both the home and away jerseys. The jerseys they used last year (which you can still see on their website) look pretty good by themselves, but the common complaint was that it didn't make sense that they used black equipment with minimal black on the jersey. They also wanted one-color numbers.

Two weeks later, I sent in this concept to the team. It was also in the April 28th post. I tried to incorporate black in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the green, contrasting it with the white and gold. The numbers I used in this case were are the Dallas Stars new font. I assumed the team would probably change whatever font I picked, but I wanted to use one that would look good in one color. I thought this would help them cut costs on jersey manufacturing. The shoulder patch is what they call the "Maddox patch," and I kept it to just one color. In the past, the patch had been burnt sienna with a white stroke, but I believe changing it to Vegas gold and removing the stroke makes it much cleaner. The winged "NC" patch on the back of the jersey is in remembrance of the owner's son. I regulated the darker gold color to just the logo.

About a month went by before I heard back about the design. They liked the design, except for the numbers. They decided to go with an italicized font with a contrasting outline. That was actually what I wanted to do to begin with, but I was trying to cut cost with the simple font. Oh well. Maybe my concept showed them that cheaper/simpler doesn't always mean better, or maybe the font didn't make much of a monetary difference. They also took one of the outlines off the yoke. I'm fine with that. From this image, it's hard to tell, but I think they might be using the a stroke on the "Maddox patch." If so, I wish they didn't, but at least they went with Vegas gold over that awful burnt sienna. On Monday, my friend sent me the image on the left saying that they would be debuting the jerseys via their Twitter and Facebook pages on Tuesday and Wednesday. I am enormously proud of these designs. It's feels very gratifying knowing that one of my designs is going to make it to the ice. You better believe I'm going to be adding these jerseys to my collection! I'll send in pictures when I get my hands on the real things.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the NHL Draft and surrounding trade deals yesterday so here are some of my early opinions on yesterday's events:
  • The biggest trade of the day was the James Neal deal. Hear me out on this. This trade signifies a paradigm shift for the Nashville Predators. Some in Nashville won't like his aggressive play, but I love Poile taking a risk on a player who could potentially be our best goal scorer since Paul Kariya. This could potentially help lure a free agent center as well. Poile has said the Preds have the cap room for a deal. Suddenly Stastny to Nashville doesn't seem so unreasonable. James Neal and a real top-line center suddenly makes Nashville a team that can play offense. Pair that with a solid, deep D-core and Pekka Rinne, and the Preds could be dangerous. (Full disclosure: I am an enormous Preds fan and hopelessly optimistic in the summer)
  • Is Spezza the new Heatley? Spezza vetoed a trade to Nashville, so obviously he is garbage and we didn't want him anyway. However, who will the Senators be able to trade with? The asking price was too much for Anaheim, and the team that was willing to pay that price, wasn't a team that Spezza wanted to go to. It seems to me that Spezza wants to go to a Stanley Cup contender that can't afford his salary. Good luck with that, Bryan Murray.
  • Anaheim keeps up with the Jones. The Kesler trade was huge, and will pay dividends down the stretch as the Kings and Ducks battle for Pacific division supremacy. Getslaf/Kesler make a very potent one-two punch at center.
  • My favorite pick was Nick Ritchie at #10. Grading draft picks right now is a crapshoot at best, but I thought the Ducks got lucky that Ritchie fell in their lap. I really wanted the Preds to draft him. He has good offensive skill, but the selling point is that he's already got the size to withstand the rigors of the NHL. He's a player you can probably use on the 3rd line right away. That's exactly what the Preds needed, so I was miffed to see him go just one spot before us. I'm pegging him as this year's Valeri Nichushkin.

Alright, enough from me. Let's get to the concepts!

Team Canada Concept - Stephen T.

Positives: Stephen's concepts have improved in the last few weeks. I do like the striping pattern here.

Negatives: There's a lot of black here for a Canada set. The away jersey is particularly dominated by black. The name and number are difficult to read on the red jersey. I think just making them white with a single black outline would work better and help lighten up the red jersey. 

Overall: Things are looking up for Stephen, but this set needs a little work. (7.5/10)

New Jersey Devils "De-Edge" concept - Justin S.

Positives: First off, according to Justin's concept he has finished his "De-Edge" series and congratulations are in order! It takes dedication to finish a series. Personally, I've never even attempted one. Moving on, Justin changes the Devils' home jersey to black, which I'm not necessarily in favor of, but surprisingly ok with...if that makes sense. I like the striping pattern on the arms.

Negatives: The trademarks were left on the logos. Those should be taken off. My favorite part of New Jersey's sets are the squared-off yokes, so I miss that aspect. I don't think the jersey needs striping to match the arms, but I think this is an instance where hem trim would be welcome, especially on the white jersey.

Overall: Kudos for finishing a series. (7.8/10)

Anaheim Ducks alternate concept - Christian L.

Positives: This is definitely nothing I've ever seen before. The striping is very eye-catching. I like the pattern itself. I'm not sold on the use of side panel striping, but It's not terrible.

Negatives: I really don't like the gold color for this alternate. It doesn't match the gold used on the logos, either. Two gold colors just don't work here. The orange doesn't have enough contrast against the light gold to be easily legible for the name/numbers. There are several areas where the striping and logos bleed off the template. The sleeve numbers also overlap onto the yoke. Execution definitely needs work here.

Overall: This is a creative idea, but the color, along with execution mistakes, drag this down. (6.5/10)

Louisville Bats concept - Jeff C.

Positives: There's some wild stuff going on here. That collar/yoke design is...bold. The arm striping isn't bad. Execution is pretty good.

Negatives: The collar/yoke design is just a little too out there for me. I think the name would be more easily readable in white. 

Overall: This is a fun concept. Would I want one? No, but I appreciate the creativity. (7/10)

Pittsburgh Penguins concept - Scott B.

Positives: This seems to be a mash-up of design elements from different decades. Scott uses the original color scheme, with striping reminiscent of the "robo-penguin" third from the mid-90s. There's even some gradient thrown into the logo for good measure.

Negatives: The shoulder patch is an arched Penguins wordmark. If you zoom in, there appears to be a blue gradient on it as well; not a fan of it. Stitching overlaps the white chest stripes. The letters representing the name on back are too close together.

Overall: Some creative elements here, but I would change some minor things. (7/10)

Arizona Coyotes concept - Coby S.

Positives: A wheat-colored alternate is a very intriguing notion for the new "Arizona" Cardinals. It's a notion I've only just started coming around to. 

Negatives: I don't like the striping. The colors do not work well together, in my opinion. There's just something about it that plays with my eyes in an uncomfortable way. I would prefer if this concept used the current color scheme, and used a Southwestern Native American tribal pattern in the striping, even if it was just subliminated.

Overall: I like the idea of a wheat alternate, I just think the striping colors need to be changed. (7.3/10)

2015 All-Star Game Concept - Mario A.

Positives: The All-Star Game uniforms from 1994-1997 were some of the most distinctive and memorable designs in the game's history. I think that this concept does improve in one way: the star design continues on the back instead of stopping at the yoke.

Negatives: This set doesn't need shoulder yokes. The yokes interfere with the star effect. Also, for a 2015 All-Star Game concept, you should use a Reebok Edge template. This would be pre-Edge, so they wouldn't use it. Also, the Reebok logo used on the back of the jersey is outdated.

Overall: I would like to see the old star jerseys back. If this were placed on Reebok Edge template, without the yokes, it could be a real winner. (7.5/10)

That's all for today's concepts. If you have something to add to my assessments, or disagree with my opinions, let us know your thoughts. Today is the deadline for voting on the finalists in the NHA Redesign Competition, so get yours in now. Of course, don't forget to vote for COTW nominees next week. If you didn't vote this week, I'm embarrassed for you. Do better!

 Hope you enjoyed the post. See you all back here tomorrow at the same time!

June 27, 2014

Friday: Draft Day!!!

Welcome to this very special Friday post!

Obviously, as most if not all know, today is the NHL Entry Draft for 2014. The day when we get a look at next year's Calder hopefuls and stars of tomorrow.

This year, there is no specific Number One player, which some may say is the sign a of  a week draft, but I say it's the opposite. Every team in the first and second round is looking for an impact player that can fill a roster need this coming season or the next. There are solid dmen and scorers up for pick and it will be interesting to see what happens.

As a Jets fan, I may as well just give my thoughts in two words: TRADE UP!

This may be the first draft in a long time were we don't know which team will pick in the top 5. Sure Buffalo is going to keep their pick. But Florida needs help now! Edmonton has way too much talent and high draft picks that haven't panned out into playoff appearances that they need to trade for a defence core IF Aaron Ekblad isn't available (which is likely). The Leafs also need help now, this whole not making the playoffs is getting a little old. Perhaps the Leafs will trade up to get Ekblad OR trade their pick altogether.

Draft day is also the MOST exciting day for trades! This year, there are so many rumours. We've already seen Nikita Nikitin get traded to the Oilers from the Jackets, bolstering the Oil's defence. Future Hall of Famer Joe Thornton is on the trading block and the question is where will he end up? The Sharks need some more youth and the Jets, Oilers, Flames, Leafs and other team can meet this need. Jason Spezza is out in Ottawa, and the Sens are probably one solid player and a healthy Craig Anderson/mature Robin Lehner from making the playoffs once again, so this trade is very important.
Ryan Kesler already has his list of teams so that situation will go as it does. Dave Bolland was supposed to be the piece that pushed the Leafs into the 2nd and even 3rd round of the playoffs this season, based on how we all predicted the Leafs would do this year. However, he had an injury plagued season and is more than likely going to be heavily sought after, however, the Leafs would need a steal of a deal to give him up.

With my Jets, no player is safe. Pavelec is on thin ice after a disappointing season, Al Montoya is one of the better UFA goalies on the market. Evander Kane, Zack Bogosian haven't panned out as some would expect, though the Jets want to at least get something for these two, unlike Alex Burmistrov. Andrew Ladd, Jacob Trouba, Micheal Hutchinson, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele and Mark Stuart are mostly safe, but everyone else is available. I won't even mention Dustin Buff...he's already gone to a team with solid defence, but needs power offence (Nashville may just be a solid fit)

Those are my draft thoughts. I'm sure yours are different. Destroy me in the comments if you don't agree and stuff I may have missed. I'm 99.9% sure something will happen today that no one predicted at all, so let's enjoy the mystery, hope our teams done the best they can to get better and dethrone the Kings!

Oh yeah, there's some voting that needs to be take care of.

COTW June 16-22 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
NHA Re-design Final Vote (Ends Saturday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

On to the concepts __________________________________________________

Dallas Stars Concept (By: Coby S.)

Coby has returned to HJC and hones new skills which certainly show off in this Stars concept, which I will say is Coby's best executed concept to date. I like the striping pattern used, the black really pops out, and the large amount of green really captures what most want in a black Dallas alternate. I'm not sold on the yoke, I don't think the concept needs it, and would look better without it. The hem stripes aren't the same thickness as the arm stripes, and look squished. The TV numbers are way too small, don't be afraid to make them larger. Finally, just to put a bow on the concept, the Dallas primary would look great as a shoulder patch. (7/10)

Dallas Stars Concept (By: Jake88) 

Jake88 has a similar idea as Coby, though this one borrows from Tampa's Bolts jersey slightly. For sure, the best part of this concept without a doubt is the green cuffs. The green pops right off the arms and hem, and thanks to the silver and white, brighten up a very dark jersey. No issues with this concept, Dallas would look incredible in this next year or the year after. (9.5/10) COTW NOM. from me.

Dallas Stars De-edge Concepts (By: Justin S.)

Our 3rd and final Stars concept today is from Justin S. as he continues to De-edge the NHL. The jerseys are based on the Stars original jerseys, and they look pretty solid in green. Obviously the striping isn't exact, which is done, but the white is too thin when compared to the black. It's barely visible on the hem. They jerseys are both very bare, there's no shoulder patch/es. Not every jersey needs a shoulder patch, but this jersey is too bare without it. The numbers not he back also look too plain. I'd either go with their current font, or the font the Northstars used in their final years. Overall, it has potential, but as is, it lacks character. (6/10)

Los Angeles Kings Concepts (By: Steven G.)

This Kings concept is one of the simplest I've seen in a  while, and Steven has me thinking it's time for the Kings to be simple.  The striping pattern is really simple, but there's not other pattern like this in the NHL right now. The white jersey is my favourite of the two, just like with the Kings' current set, I love how the black and silver pop off the white. The execution is amazing, as per Steven's usual, it's a concept with very little complaints. The numbers could use a thin outline, I get why Steven made them monochromatic, but just like the Stars, an outline couldn't hurt. (9/10)

Team Germany Concepts (By: Stephen T.)

We've seen A LOT of German concepts from Stephen, not that there's anything wrong with it, it's just his favourite team to work with. I think this is supposed to be a German Stadium Series set, or just a very modern jersey. Like ALL of Stephen's Stadium Series concept, it's based around the actual template. That's fine, but, concepts aren't about being grounded in the realism of templates. Sure, the German flag striping looks nice, but it's still a stadium series jersey with German colours. I think there was more potential for this concept. There's also a lack of helmet logo or pant anything. I do like the font on the back though, build something around that rather than sticking within the Stadium Series guidelines. (5.5/10)

Lancaster Jethawks Concept (By: Jeff C.)

Minor League Baseball doesn't have a franchise in Canada since the Ottawa Lynx left many years ago. However, like Minor hockey, the names are awesome and downright strange. This design would not fly in the NHL but it matches the logo. That being said, the lack of bronze brings this concept down for sure. There's no blend between the blue, grey and red. White and bronze would fix that. Also, the yoke would look better though with both red and grey on both sides. (7.25/10)

Toronto Blueshirts Concepts (By: Joey F.)

This was Joey's entry to the NHA Returns contest, and it did pretty well. The striping screams Winter Classic, but not as many stripe. I can't say too many negative about this concepts, it's hard to make a bad Toronto concept, but it's hard to make a great one. I'd put this is the good category, since nothing screams Blueshirts, just Toronto. This would have been a good time to use 4 or 5 stripes on the arms. (8/10)

That's the post folks. Enjoy the blog, Go Jets Go! Remember to Vote! 

June 26, 2014

Thursday: Draft Eve

Hello everyone!

So it's that awesome time of year where NHL careers begin, big names get traded around, and work productivity among hockey fans reaches an all-time low. The 2014 NHL Entry Draft begins tomorrow, and we're bound to see some shakeups, future stars, and quite possibly some new jerseys being debuted. We already know that the "Arizona" in Arizona Coyotes comes into effect starting tomorrow, and there's some word out there that some teams will be debuting new jerseys tomorrow as well. We'll all have to wait and see.

A few days ago, a friend asked me to "mock draft" the first 10 picks of the draft. So I did, and I'd like to share my picks with you guys. If you agree, disagree, or have your own draft-day thoughts, I'd love to hear them.  Anyways, my mock draft:

1. Florida - Aaron Ekblad (D)

Campbell wants out, Jovo is getting old, and their remaining d-depth is weak at best. I know they said they'd be open to trading the 1st pick, but they'd be crazy to pass up on Ekblad.

2. Buffalo - Leon Draisaitl (C/LW)

Buffalo has a solid young core to work with, but they're missing grit and size, even more now that Ott isn't playing for them. If they do keep this pick, they should pick for size, and he'll be the best bet for them.

3. Edmonton - Sam Reinhart (C)

Edmonton needs defence more than another skilled forward, but I wouldn't be shocked if some of their star forwards get moved around at the draft, either to get Ekblad, veteran forwards or solid defencemen. But if they keep this pick and Ekblad isn't available, Reinhart is the best player to pick.

4. Calgary - Sam Bennett (C/LW)

Fits Brian Burke's "Truculence" label the best in this draft. Either Reinhart or Bennett could make a huge impact on their roster right from Day 1.

5. NY Islanders - William Nylander (LW)

The best pure Left Winger in the draft can instantly make a difference to New York's shallow LW pool. But they could be busy with free agents and pre-draft trading, so its difficult to say how things will work out.

6. Vancouver - Michael DalColle (C/LW)

He fits the power forward role that most people seem to agree Vancouver will be transitioning into in the next couple of years. Assuming they do trade Kesler, they'll have a big whole at C. DalColle won't be an impact player right away, but would be a good future pick. However, I'd be more shocked if it was Vancouver taking this pick. I see them either trying to trade up for Ekblad/Reinhart or trade down and get some established players or a journeyman goalie.

7. Carolina - Kasperi Kapanen (LW)

Carolina has lots of low-end prospects, but no one ready to make the leap into an impact role on their NHL roster. Kapanen has the best chance of the remaining players to crack an NHL roster early on, and best fits Carolina's speedy style of play.

8. Toronto - Nick Ritchie (RW)

Solid player for nearby Peterborough Pete's. He's a big, physical player that, when developed, could act as the protector of players like Lupul, Kessel, Kadri, etc. He's a solid offensive force as well, and could provide the secondary scoring Toronto desperately needs.

9. Winnipeg - Brendan Perlini (LW)

This is a bit of a wildcard pick. Right now, Winnipeg is pretty evenly spread out positionally, but if the rumours of Kane being traded prove to be true, Klingberg will get his chance with the big club, and the Jets will be low on LW depth. It would be between Perlini or Nikolaj Ehlers, but I'll pick Perlini based on size and physical play.

10. Ottawa (via Anaheim) - Kevin Fiala (RW)

I'm picking Ottawa to trade this pick with Anaheim for Jason Spezza. There will be more to the trade, like a prospect going to Anaheim and a journeyman and a low pick coming back, but Spezza for 10th Overall will be the big part of the trade. Ottawa will fill their talent gap at RW with Kevin Fiala, who has tons of experience in Sweden's top-teir, and was almost a point-per-game last season.

And there you have it. I'd be happy with 50% right, because the draft is so unpredictable. One year ago, how many people thought Cory Schneider would be traded? Keep your hand up if you thought it would be for Bo Horvat. Thats what I thought.

But now, for the reason we are all here, it's jersey time!

COTW June 16-22 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
NHA Redesign Final vote (ends Saturday @ 11:59pm Eastern)


Carolina Lightning - Nick L.

Yay: We start off this post with a really cool concept by Nick L.  Apparently, this was his youth team jersey. It's hard to criticize the jersey that is based on a real and relatively unknown jersey, especially without a picture or something, but this is still a cool concept to look at. Pretty basic stripe pattern, common with most youth jerseys, and the execution in general is pretty good.

Nay: Again, it's hard to criticize a concept like this without something to base it from. I'm assuming the jersey was black, where an "off-black" shade is used here. The logo could be a bit bigger, and the captain patch looks a little smaller than it should be. For total accuracy sake, having the NHL tag in the collar is presumably incorrect.

Overall: I don't think I can give this concept a score, since it's hard to judge how good of a recreation it is from the original without the original. Very cool to share this concept with us though.  Remember to put your name or ID on the concept though, and give credit to where you got the logo artwork if you took it from another source.

Renfrew Creamery Kings Concept - Joey F.

Yay: Our next concept is for one of the teams featured in our NHA redesign competition. This concept has the perfect classic touch to it, and between that, the execution, and the awesome template being used, this concept looks very sharp.  Sometimes simplicity is the way to go, and this is a perfect example of that.

Nay: On the main jersey, it bugs me that there is a yoke outline and no yoke. I'm not a fan of that feature on any jersey. A white yoke would kill the alternate's individuality, so going without the yoke and outline altogether would probably work best. I'd also like to see an alternate logo on the alternate, or at least something that makes it look like an actual alternate, and not just the home jersey with white arms.

Overall: Where simplicity makes the main set work, the lack in creativity hurts the alternate. Good concept though.  7.8/10

Aberdeen Ironbirds Concept - Jeff C.

Yay: Next we have this concept for the Aberdeen Ironbirds of the New York - Penn Baseball League, a class 'A' minor league that has some of the coolest names and logos in baseball.  The colour scheme here, taken from the logo, is really cool. I love the font on the numbers, and even the duo-toned effect it has. The stripe pattern is fairly simple but still has a nice modern look that suits the team well.

Nay: I'm not sure whit is the way to go with the yoke. The white-grey combo lacks the pop that this colour scheme could otherwise offer. I'm also surprised that there is no orange in the jersey to match the word mark of the logo. You can see some pixelation around the logo, and I think a thin outline would look nice with it. The font used for the name on the back isn't that great. Something bolder and blockier would be better.

Overall: Neat idea, nice colours, but not a home run. 7.5/10

Team Japan (Olympics) Concept - Alan H.

Aside: Now we have a pair of concepts from Alan for Team Japan, one for the Olympics and one for the World Championships. We seen the Japanese women's team in Sochi, and the men's team missed out on qualifying for the top tier World Championships next year based on goal differential with Austria. In a few years, they could be a team we see often in international hockey.

Yay: This first concept is Olympic-themed, and has the look that Nike would pull off.  I love the names on the arms, something I'm surprised we didn't see in Sochi from any team.  The logo is cool, the jersey style is subtle and perfect for Japan's identity, and the use of colour is spot on. Why would Japan wear all black, anyway? I'd pick these over their Sochi set easily.

Nay: The number on the back looks a little high and a little small, and the number outline on the white jersey looks much thicker than on the red jersey. I'd stick with the same thickness as the number on the red jersey, the black outline and red number doesn't look that pleasing to the eyes on the white jersey. I think you can do without the outlines on 'Japan' in the arm striping.

Overall: Simple, but perfect for capturing Japan's identity. The arm style helps as well. 8/10

Team Japan (World Championships) Concept - Alan H.

Yay: Part two features a more styled jersey that would be used at the World Championships. Still a mellow jersey, outside of the yoke design, but has enough flair to stay interesting. The logo is very suitable for them, and the colour balance is again well done.  The yoke design is really sharp, as is the collar. Perfect balance between practical and interesting.

Nay: Something about the back of the yoke interacting with the name bugs me, but I can't quite say why. Maybe if the name was lowered just a bit, so the stripes would be going "through" the center of the text, it would look better.  The same comments about the number in the last concept apply here as well.

Overall: Both are good, but I like this concept more.  8.4/10

St. Louis Blues Concept - Daniel L.

Yay: We'll end today with a pair of Blues concepts. This first one is from Daniel, who goes with the dark shade of blue for both the jersey and logo. The striping and cuff pattern is an upgrade from their current 3rd, I think.  I like the use of the alternate logo as the shoulder patches.

Nay: The Blues haven't used the same colour for their jersey and logo in almost 20 years, and that's a good thing. I love the combination of this dark blue and yellow, but the logo needs to be different so it stands out better. A thin white line isn't going to cut it. The name is too low and has too much yellow outline, the TV numbers are too big, and I really don't like how you coloured the sides and underarms.

Overall: At least there's no trumpet. 6.5/10

St. Louis Blues Concept - Dr. Design

Yay: We end today with one of the best names I've seen on this blog. "Dr. Design", pretty bold if you ask me.  This concept does what the other didn't, differentiate the shades of blue, and it works well. It also has more yellow than most Blues jerseys, which may or may not be good, but is interesting and fun to see. The yoke style is peculiar, but different, and solid enough to give it a pass.

Nay: First off, I can barely read the 'Dr Design' name with the dark blue text on black background. It's not on the jersey, but presentation is everything on these concepts. The logos on both jerseys look too big, and the logo on the blue jersey could use a thicker outline. The collar on the blue jersey would look better as yellow or dark blue, not white. The back number on the white jersey should be blue, because on the white jersey there seems to be more yellow than blue as it is.

Overall:  Not too great, but interesting enough to be spared of the "Nurse Design" nickname, for now.  7/10


I'll end my post today by giving Alan H's Team Japan World Championships concept my COTW nomination.

Fun fact, 3 of the last 4 COTW winners have come from Thursday's post. Why not 4/5?  Be part of the Glorious Thursday Master Race, and help continue it's dominance! Nominate for your favourite concept from today, and then email in your COTW vote if you haven't already done so.

That's it for me, thanks for reading, and Happy Draft Weekend!

June 25, 2014

Wednesday: More Winter Classic News!

As was announced on Friday, the Capitals will host the Blackhawks in the 2015 Winter Classic! I could not have been more excited when I heard the news. I was jumping up and down at work in excitement, thinking of ways to get my hands on tickets to the game. I went to the Winter Classic and Stadium Series outdoor games in Chicago, and I wouldn't want to miss this one! I may have mentioned before that I am working on a Winter Classic series of concepts, and right when I was ready to send in a handful of concepts I decided that I want to change some things around to reflect the correct teams for next year's game. On that note, keep those concepts coming and let the votes roll in! The NHA ReDesign first round vote was due last night, so look out for info on the final round vote! As usual, the COTW vote is due on Friday night.

COTW June 16-22 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

The Penguins are the only team to have played in 3 outdoor games, including 2 Winter Classics, since 2008 when outdoor hockey games became an annual event in the NHL. The Flyers, who were rumored to play the Caps on New Year's Day would have been appearing in their third Winter Classic. Instead, the Blackhawks will join the Penguins in being the only team to play in 3 outdoor games since 2008. Speaking of the Penguins...
Daniel L. - Pittsburgh Penguins Concept
Design: We have recently heard that the Penguins' new alternate jersey could very well feature their classic yellow over vegas gold, however, I would totally be behind Daniel's concept. The angles yoke and cuffs fit very well within the Panguins' current uniforms. I don't necessarily like that the numbers are on the shoulders, but I think the gold on black still looks good. Overall, this concept looks awesome!
Score: 8/10 - I'll give this concept my COTW nomination. I don't think the Pittsburgh fans would object to this jersey either.
Joey F. - Cobalt Silver Kings NHA Concept
Design: This concept is Joey's Silver Kings concept that he entered into the NHA ReDesign Competition. What really jumps out at me is the hem striping. A hem striping pattern like that is pretty unique and would definitely stick out on the ice. The white jersey reminds me a little bit too much of the Rangers away jersey. The blue jersey is definitely where this concept shines.
Score: 7/10 - I'd love to see a back to this concept, or at least see TV numbers to give me a taste of the number font.
Jeff C. - Delmarva Shorebirds MiLB Concept
Design: A few weeks ago, a pair of Minor League Baseball teams wore hockey themed uniforms for a game. Jeff brings us the opposite in his latest concept. Striping isn't usually a baseball jersey's forte, so Jeff used some creativity to come up with this design. The yoke looks to be inspired by wings, which looks very cool in my opinion. I don't know if the wordmark is necessary on the front though.
Score: 6.5/10 - The arm striping is too generic for this concept. I'd love to see something that fits better with the yoke. Also the front & back hem piping don't match.
Nick L. - Carolina Hurricanes Concept
Design: Nick's concept plays along with the Canes' new look, and gives them a jersey that would work as an alternate. I personally think that Carolina's black alternate is one of the coolest black alternates in NHL history, but the flag & stick logo looks good on a red jersey as well. I think the two stripes on the arm seem oddly far apart, and the lack of a name & number on the back of the jersey takes away from this concept.
Score: 6/10 - Finish the back of this concept, and without further changes this concept would go from good to great.
Trent D. - Wheeling Nailers ECHL Concept
Design: The Nailers currently use some generic Edge-like jerseys, and could desperately use a new jersey. Trent's jersey design screams Minor League hockey to me for some reason, which is ideal considering the Nailers are 2 steps below the big show. There are a few errors, however. The circles on the striping aren't all round, which is an issue. There are also some loose pixels on the front of the jersey.
Score: 7/10 - Aside from a couple stray pixels here and there, this concept is spot on!
Taylor R. - Haileybury Comets NHA Concept
Design: Taylor entered this concept into the NHA ReDesign competition. The colors and large chest stripe really set the scene for a throwback concept, and I think this concept does a great job of representing a rebirth of an old team. The Nike Olympics template keeps things current, and I like the idea of a number & name box as opposed to including the entire back of a jersey.
Score: 7.5/10 - I would only make one change: creme helmet to go with the creme jersey.
DR Design - Seattle Metropolitans Concept
Design: With all the speculation, I believe it is only a matter of time before we see an NHL team in the Emerald City. DR's concept pretty much emulates the Seattle Supersonics' logo and even uses the same color scheme. I can't give this concept creativity points, but it does look very good! The striping is awesome, and the double outline on the number is really sharp.
Score: 6.5/10 - The crest looks way too big, and the green on the crest doesn't match the green jersey. I do love the old Metropolitans crest on the shoulders.
Well folks, it's officially the off-season so let the rumors & news begin! See you all next week!

June 24, 2014


Hey everyone! Hope you're having a good week! I sure am, as the other day news broke that the upcoming Winter Classic will be between my Blackhawks and the Capitals in DC. Needless to say I'm already planning a New Years road trip to DC. I'm a bit disappointed in the matchup. It's not really a "rivalry" but it is going to bring in some mega ratings for NBC which is what it's all about anyway...

Personally I was hoping the Hawks' next outdoor appearance would be in either St. Louis or Minnesota as they were rumored to be future hosts in the coming years, as those games would be a helluva lot closer than DC from Rockford, IL. 

I'm curious to see what direction the teams go for their uniforms. The Capitals will probably wear red versions of their last Winter Classic jerseys/current alternates. I'm really hoping the Blackhawks resurrect these beauties!!!

Those, ladies and gentlemen, are the Blackhawks alternate jerseys from 1991-92 that were based on the club's jerseys from 1937-55. They are my absolute favorite jerseys (Modeled by my absolute favorite goalie, and new Hall of Fame inductee Dominik Hasek) and I would absolutely love an excuse to buy a new Blackhawks jersey.

Before we get into the concepts for today, I have received information suggesting that if you don't vote this week the NHL will cancel the upcoming season and we won't get to see anything cool... so get on it....

NHA team votes (end Tuesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW June 16-22 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

And now concepts!

2015 NHL All Star Game Logo Concept - Avi S.
We don't get enough logo concepts on the site here. Avi created a logo for the upcoming All Star Game. The actual logo has been floating around for a few years since it was cancelled in 2013 and postponed in 2014 due to the Olympics. I really like the actual logo but with some tweaks this one could be better than the actual. For one, the NHL would probably wouldn't want their logo skewed like in this concept. I feel like the silver outline could be a bit thicker as well. I like the script font but I feel like there's more that could be done to it, also, I'd want the "t" to be behind the "S" in "Star".  Perhaps move the "Columbus 2015" to under the "All Star". The word "GAME" should be in there somewhere as well.

Rating: 7/10

Cobalt Silver Kings (NHA) Concept - Coby S.
Very simple, straight forward jerseys for the Silver Kings. I prefer the "Cobalt" logo to the crown. The crown looks too simple to be a hockey team logo in my opinion, at least a chest logo. It would probably look good on the shoulders. I think the yoke on the white jersey could use an outline. The name on the back looks really low and the numbers seem small.

Rating: 6/10

Calgary Flames "Blackout" Jersey Concept - Daniel L.
The Flames haven't had a black jersey for 8 years. This black jersey is lacking yellow, something no Flames jersey has done, EVER. It doesn't look bad, but I prefer seeing some yellow. I wonder what this jersey would look like with the white swapped out with yellow. I feel that since this is a Nike jersey, there isn't supposed to be any striping on the back like there is on the front but it looks too bare without it. The maple leaves on the arms are really unnecessary. There's a lot of negative space at the bottom of the image. None of that needs to be there, the image should end under your ID.

Rating: 6.5/10

Atlanta Thrashers Concept - Dr. Design
I would love to see this logo be revived somehow, and apparently so does Dr. Design. The Doc wants to see the baby blue come back in a big way. I feel like that's a good move since their light blue jersey took over as primary and stayed there through the Reebok days. I think there's too much light blue/not enough dark blue on the white jersey. One thing that's difficult with the Thrashers, and I've ran into trying to make concepts for theme, is they have a lot of different colors to use and in order for a Thrashers jersey to look good one of them has to be left out or very very lightly used. The first Thrashers jerseys left out the light blue. I feel like there's too much red in the jerseys. I feel like these are headed in the right direction, but the colors are throwing things off.

Rating: 6/10

California Golden Seals Concept - Nate F.
Nate's Seals' jersey uses a darker teal than the team actually used and it looks good. Pretty simple jersey too. I like wordmarks inside of chest stripes so that's a plus. I feel like the pointy Atlanta font is out of place. The shoulder logo is too close to the collar. The shadows on the jersey cut off abruptly at the yoke and it looks weird. There shouldn't be a 7 showing on the man's right arm as it wouldn't be visible in this pose.

Rating: 7/10

Team Netherlands Concept - Stephen T.
The Netherlands aren't known for their hockey team, which is a shame, this would make a sharp set of jerseys. You wouldn't think that orange would look good paired with Red/White/Blue but it doesn't look bad. I think the logo on the orange jersey could either use a white outline or be white. Orange helmet would look bad as well, way too orange, it should be blue.

Rating: 8/10

Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) Concept - Trent D.
The chest logo on these jerseys is way too big. It should be scaled down quite a bit. All of the numbers have been skewed as well. They all look way too tall. The inside of the jerseys that can be seen through the collar shouldn't be white. The Reebok logo on the back of the jersey should be the wordmark as well, not the vector logo. The Lumberjacks are a USHL so there is no need for the NHL logos on the jerseys tags and collars. These aren't far off from being a good set of jerseys.

Rating: 4/10

And there you have it, another day done. Anything about the 7 concepts catch your eye?