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January 31, 2016

The Game

On November 23, 2009, I'm sitting in section 301 in what was then known as the Sommet Center (later becoming Bridgestone Arena - the Sommet Group would be sued by the Predators for missed payments two days later, raided by the FBI, and their CEO imprisoned for 20 years). It's my first game. The lineup is announced, a collection of names I have only passing familiarity with, as my roommate has filled me in on the major names on the drive so I don't embarrass myself tonight if someone strikes up a conversation with me. Cheers accompany the names, louder for names like Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Pekka Rinne, and Jordin Tootoo. Scratches are read aloud, their names including a man named Wade Belak. I haven't heard this name, and I ask Bradley who he is. He labels him a "perma-scratch" explaining that he's there only if they need a fighter, which they won't tonight because the Red Wings don't carry a pure "enforcer." 

It seemed strange to me at the time that a roster player would be carried along with the team only to fight. I did not grasp the perceived nuance of the purpose of fighting in the game, and still struggle with the notion. That night's game also included "tough guys" like Jordin Tootoo and Todd Bertuzzi. It was a clean night, though. Only four minor penalties were served; no fights. Tootoo even had an assist, his name announced as a secondary assist on the insurance goal to a chorus of train whistles. 

The game was already changing before I watched my first game. Men like Belak were becoming more scarce, and scarcely used. Belak played only 39 games that year, averaging less than 5 minutes a game. The next year, he would play less than half that number of games, and average less than 4 minutes of ice time. 2011 was his last in the league. Belak was replaced by a younger Brian McGrattan. The move was greeted as a sign that Barry Trotz, the only the coach the team had ever had, was hopelessly out of touch with the evolved game. McGrattan played 32 total games in two years, and was gone.

Fast forward to the 2015-16 season. The Predators roster contains no true fighters. Belak, McGrattan, Tootoo, and Rich Clune are all gone. Do not think this team is on the cutting edge, though. They would have been better served never having had employed any of them. The changes this game has taken on were set in motion in the 1970s, when the Soviets showed the world the true potential and beauty the game could possess when played when it's speed could be controlled, harnessed, and put on full display. Until then, I see the game taking on the personality of an American musclecar; it has a huge amount of straight-line speed, horsepower, and brute force, but with little control. The Soviets of the 1970s came in like a Lamborghini Miura and showed what could happen when that speed could be controlled.

I believe that since that time, the game has been moving slowly towards the game the Soviets re-wrote, unburdened with past traditions, after the 2nd World War, and into the 1970s and 80s. The game I watch today looks even faster that it did in 2009. It is more controlled. Even the Predators, long-suffering stalwarts of the "dump-and-chase" have a embraced a Soviet-esque system of a fast transition game. The game is more exciting to watch. You can see and feel when a goal is about to scored. You can appreciate the detail of properly executed cycle in the offensive zone. Passing is better because it has to be. Dumping the puck in is easy, carrying the puck in is hard, but in the long-run we all benefit from it.

The game is changing quickly. Personally, I hope the trend of speed and finesse continues. The myth that fights put people in the seats should be laid to rest for good. Fighting may bring in a casual fan, but fighting keeps that fan casual as well. 

These days, Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne still draw cheers, but names like Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Roman Josi joined them. A dump-in is by Eric Nystrom is greeted with an audible groan. I haven't seen a hockey fight live in years. 

John Scott is the dying breath of an archaic strategy. The goons are gone, and Scott's presence at the All-Star Game is a last salute to the crowd from a now bygone era. Hockey is no longer a war on ice. It's a beautiful new day for the game, and long may it stay that way.

How do you see the game changing and evolving over the coming years, and what players do you think will push the limits of the game further, finding new creative territory? I know you have opinions. Let's hear 'em in the comments section.


2016 All-Star Game concept - Mario A.


Positives: This template, although far from new by any means, is still attractive. The orange-and-black color scheme would likely be popular if returned. 

Negatives: The logo and jersey set mesh like oil and water. Seemingly little consideration was given to the location of the game, or the year in which it is being played. I know these aren't exactly like the 1994-1997 jerseys, but they are very close. There are some loose pixels in different areas on the orange jersey. The stitching overlaps the striping, which would not occur in reality. Where would the team patches go? Would they be used?

Overall: Nashville is a unique city, and deserves it's own unique jerseys. Recycling a Stars uniform seems lazy. (6/10)


Boston Bruins Concept - Mario A.


Positives: I respect the choice of player for the black jersey. I have a mid-90s Ray Bourque black authentic Bruins jersey. It's one of my favorites in my collection. These trend towards more of a 1950s design era.

Negatives: One thing that I've always liked about Bruins jerseys is their simplicity. These aren't simple. Striping is taken to overkill levels. It needs to be simplified to be more effective. Mario, you've been doing this too long to not have sleeve numbers on your jerseys. That's a crucial mistake. The socks for the white jersey have to be predominantly white. The black on the logo and jerseys don't match. The trademarks have been left on the crests. Rookie mistake. If a concept is worth making, it's worth taking extra time to execute it properly.

Overall: An over-striped Bruins set with below-average execution. (5/10)


Boston Bruins Alternate jersey concept - Mario A.

Positives: This striping pattern is much better than the above concept, even if it is a bit "Rangers." I really like this crest on a throwback jersey.

Negatives: Brown can work for the Bruins. Black can work for the Bruins. Brown and black doesn't work for anyone. The colors simply don't look aesthetically pleasing when used together. Again, no sleeve numbers are used. That's a huge negative. There are lots of loose pixels around the crest. Your concepts will not have the same gravity as other artists until these execution issues are fixed.

Overall: Striping fixed, execution problems persist. (5.5/10)


San Jose Sharks concept - Glen W.

Positives: The striping isn't bad. The whole thing could be salvaged by changing the color of the jersey to the same teal as the upper arms, the name to white, the numbers to white with black trim, the collar/cuffs to teal, and removing the yoke/yoke stripe.

Negatives: You lost me with the orange. Some shades of orange can work, the shade the Sharks use is really only suitable as a trim color. The yoke doesn't make sense, and causes the teal upper arms to stick out in an odd way. The crest is very pixelated. Because you picked Joe Pavelski, you would need to include the captain patch, as he was named team captain this season. I would also move the crest closer to the collar.

Overall: Too garish for the NHL. It just needs some restraint, and better color balance. (5.5/10)


Fort Wayne Komets rebrand concept - Brooks F.


Positives: Fort Wayne could have a really solid aesthetic going if they made full use of their logos. Maybe I'm not up to date on what Fort Wayne is up to, but their astronaut logo is underutilized. I really respect that Brooks took the initiative to create new logos as well as a new jerseys. I think the logo and jerseys are very complementary. I'm not usually in support of side-panel striping, but it works well here. The numbers the old Predators' font, but they make sense here. Execution is solid

Negatives: I could do without the contrasting nameplate on the orange jersey. The primary logo used on the orange jersey is my preference. I think that the same logo could still work on the white jersey without having any color changes. The old Predators font fits here, but it's always going to look dated to me.

Positives: A very solid, contemporary set for Fort Wayne. I like these. (8.5/10)

(Just out of curiosity - what's with the curling shield at the top right? Am I missing something?)


Winnipeg vs. Edmonton Heritage Classic concept - Lucas D.


Positives: I think it's only a matter of time before we see a white version of Edmonton's current third jersey. Those things have sold very well, if stadium shots are any indication. Conservatism is the norm with Heritage Classic games, and these are appropriately conservative. Execution is good.

Negatives: Not really understanding the double blue, unless it's an unnecessary nod to the Atlanta Thrashers. When I think of older Winnipeg Jets jerseys, I think of one of these three designs. That Winnipeg jersey really just needs some red instead of that lighter shade of blue. I think the color is tipped too much in favor of orange with the Edmonton Oilers jersey. The blue/orange could be reversed, and I believe that would work better. 

Overall: This could be a great Heritage Classic, but for the Winnipeg jersey. The execution is very solid, though. (8/10)


Washington Capitals concept - Alan S.


Positives: Using the "Weagle" is a wise choice. It's been said many times, but it is an underutilized logo. The striping across the chest and upper arms is creative. I like the number font used here as well. The subtle shadow behind the jerseys help them pop off the screen.

Negatives: The number on back is too large. Sometimes I would have trouble scaling a number, and to help myself I would duplicate it and see how it would look if (in this instance) it was "55" instead of "5," therefore helping myself get a better reference to scale. I feel like the lower arms need something, even if it's just one star at the end of the arms. The logo was placed on the concept after the shadow was done, and the centered "Weagle" logo has overlapped the shading. 

Overall: There's some interesting ideas here. I appreciate the creativity in Alan's designs. This one could use some minor tweaks. Presentation is improving, but needs a little more work. (8/10)


2016 All-Star Game concept - Matt M.


Positives: This was one of my favorite ASG designs I've seen in the past few weeks. Having a different jersey for each conference would be my preference with the 3-on-3 tournament format we are seeing this year. Color is balance impeccably well for each conference. Nashville's colors and personality are reflected well, as is the All-Star Game itself. The starred hems are a nice touch. Helmet numbers are a great detail. Execution here is flawless. Newer artists need to study concepts like this to see just what makes a great artist great. Presentation is very professional.

Negatives: I would like to see a different number font that what Nashville currently uses. That's a bit too much of the Predators' aesthetic. I'm also interested to know if the striping continues along the back. The back of the jersey is important to me, but it's especially important to see that detail when there is chest striping involved.

Overall: Matt is one of the best out there. I would purchase any of the four designs shown here. Would like to see the back and a different number font, though. (9/10) COTW nomination from me!

Don't forget to vote! Here are this week's voting reminders:

2015 Concept of the Year vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW Jan 23-30 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

Also, I trust most of us watched the ASG Skills Competition? I must admit that the jerseys are growing on me a little. They are ultra-bland without name and numbers, but the gold really pops against the black and gray. I think I may have to get one of those jerseys with Josi or Jagr on the back.

That's all for this week's post. I promise a lighter post with less grandstanding and sermonizing next week. Just had to get out of my system.

January 30, 2016

Saturday: And Then There Were Two

The Final Vote for the 2015 Concept of the Year will be between...



JUSTIN C. and RYAN C.


In a match-up that equals that of Brady vs Manning or Gretzky vs Lemieux, Justin defeated his arch nemesis Dylan A.

Full Results
Justin C. (COL v DET) - 31
Dylan A. (FLINT) - 26

Ryan C's Sabres concept took out Tristan's Caps set to move on to the Final.

Full Results
Ryan C. (BUF) - 32
Tristan P. (WSH) - 25


And now there are two. Justin will be looking for his 3rd COTY win in the last 4 years and Ryan makes his first Final appearance in his first full year on the blog! All of the COTY votes for the past 4 years have been without a clear cut winner from the start. This year continues with that trend. Who will take home the 2015 COTY championship plaque? It's up to you guys now. The COTY Final is in the grey poll on the side of the page. You can see Justin's and Ryan's concepts by clicking the link in the poll or by going to the COTY 2015 tab. If you are signed into a Google account you can vote until Friday at 11:59pm Eastern. Go and vote!

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The winner of the COTW vote for January 17-23 was Taylor R. Glen's cat put in a good showing in this fight (as all cats do) but there was just too much skill on the other side for that cat to handle.


Full Results
Taylor R. (TB) - 37
Glen W. (CAT) - 15

 
The new COTW nominees have been listed on the side of the page in the black poll. As is becoming the norm, many concepts were nominated and thus the concepts that were thirded or more move into the vote.

Those with a Google account have until Friday at 11:59pm Eastern to place their vote. You can see the nominated concepts by clicking the link in the poll or by going to the CONCEPT OF THE WEEK tab.

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If you have already taken a look at the COTW noms you should be able to figure out who won the 2016 All-Star ReDesign. Matt M!

 

Full Results
 

Now I can join the long list of people who put a lot of effort into a concept thinking it can win a competition only to lose to Matt and in the process realize how far ahead he is of you. Thanks Matt! Matt's entry moves into the COTW vote...as you already know.

A new competition will start next week. We'll let the COTY Final vote get all of the attention this week. If you feel like adding your opinion as to what the next competition should be that would be great!

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2015 Concept of the Year vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW Jan 23-30 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

January 29, 2016

Friday: Moving In Like 17 Dimensions

Hello guys! And welcome back to another fabulous Friday with none other than the one, the only, Jack Godlewski (this is actually true apparently).

So, this isn't really hockey related but I was recently selected to be the president of my fraternity. A little crazy for a freshman. Although I know for a fact that I can handle the position, there is no debate that it is a massive time sink. 

College is difficult at times. Don't spread yourself too thin. Remember that, no matter where you go. Inspirational message out.

Not much else to report. Again. I think it's best we might as well move on to the post. 


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Do you ever get that feeling that you're really not even a person but maybe an omnipotent being that just exists on this outer realm watching over and controlling the ideas and thoughts of a single being?

I don't know where this is going but voting is still cool.

COTY Semi-Finals votes (end Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW Jan 17-23 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
ASG ReDesign Pick 5 vote (ends Friday @ 10:59pm Eastern)

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Alan S - Calgary Flames


Execution: The shoulder patch on the white jersey do suffer a bit from overlapping the yoke. Move it up a little bit more towards the neck line to fix this. Also scale the numbers down. (75%)
Striping: I really like this. The subtle black is absolutely awesome. Other than that, it's dang simple. Closing the yellow and white stripes on the red jersey would have given more similarities between the two jerseys, but strangely I think both work fine on their own. (85%)
Effectiveness: A pretty dang great, simple direction for the Flames to start going in. (100%)
Creativity: I think this is more a design based on already existing elements. Classic stuff. (70%)
Other: I never really know what to think of a Flames jerseys. Usually they do have this same classic look. This isn't bad. Just I feel like it's an old topic. If anything you would've thought the Flames would've just changed their crappy jerseys at this point. (100%)

Overall: It's a simple Flames jersey. A great way to start moving forward. (87%)

Ben S - Robert Morris University v Pennsylvania


Execution: Absolutely amazing (100%)

Striping: These blend eras so incredibly well. The RMU jersey does have this strange vibe of being 70s mixed with 50s and some fauxback jazz thrown in for extra fun. Penn State on the other hand does have that really cool Maple Leafs-esque feeling about it. One thing I appreciate the most is that the body is so barren in such a good way while the arms carry so much of the detail. (95%)
Effectiveness: A Winter Classic style jersey done right. (100%)
Creativity: Incredibly. It blends some really cool elements of both teams. Never really seen much like it. (90%)
Other: I think everything I really have to say has been covered. (100%)

Overall: Need a cool Winter Classic jersey made, NHL? This Ben guy, he's got some good stuff. (97%) and a COTW Nom

Glen W - Chicago Blackhawks


Execution: The numbers on the arms do look really condensed, making them look a little misshaped. (90%)
Striping: The pattern of the V does work on the hem, but I think on the arms it would be better for it to look like wings or talons to fit the new bird motif. (85%)
Effectiveness: I think the jersey as a whole could be adapted as an alternate, but I don't know how well the Hawks would accept this. (50%)
Creativity: Haven't seen much like this for the Hawks before. Really built more around the logo than other jerseys I've seen that use it. (95%)
Other: That being said, the circle behind the logo doesn't fit too well with the angles and sharp edges of the striping. It seems like the jersey is fighting itself. (75%)

Overall: I think there is a great idea with these patterns here, I would love to see a second draft of this jersey! (81%)

Jake C - Arizona Coyotes


Execution: Two major things, the Reebok logo does need to be updated to the word, and the numbers on the arms need to be rotated properly. (80%)
Striping: This is where this jersey shines over many Coyotes concepts I've seen. What a beautiful use of these stitching patterns. It's fresh and really does have this great modern vibe about it. I would lose the sand outline on the side stripes, or maybe add it to the fills on the arms. (95%)
Effectiveness: Maybe the alternate Arizona needs to make their current set look not bad. (100%)
Creativity: First Coyotes jersey I've seen that doesn't use any form of the coyote. The Arizona patch is one of my favorite alternate logos in the league. I think it looks cool front and center here. (90%)
Other: I would suggest moving the foot patches down a bit on the shoulder. Other than that, great stuff. (85%)

Overall: A modern approach that Arizona could probably take some notes from. (90%)

Lucas D - New Jersey Devils


Execution: Great work (100%)
Striping: The pattern isn't really that new, but regardless it is one those classic designs that works very well. I think the maybe taking the yoke away from this would make it a much sleeker black jersey. (85%)
Effectiveness: New Jersey could use some more black. (100%)
Creativity: I've seen a lot of similar concepts. Although I do have to say making the logo white and red like that was very clever and does give it more of a modern vibe. (85%)
Other: I think it would've been really cool to maybe recreate the logo with the numbers, having red numbers with a white outline. Would create more of this mirrored effect. (80%)

Overall: One of the classic concepts that have existed forever. Black Devils jersey. This one definitely does that concept very well. (87%)

Mario A - Boston College Eagles

Execution: Some font needs to be made bigger, other font smaller. Also the logo could be made bigger as well. (75%)
Striping: It's a simple pattern that looks dang classy more than anything. The little bit of gold and black really pop, and the addition of red on the home jersey looks fantastic. (90%)
Effectiveness: Would separate them from the college style jersey. (100%)
Creativity: The most creative thing on this jersey is the red arms. Something I don't really see a pattern like that on a white jersey, very reminiscent of the Penguins jerseys I talk about a lot. (90%)
Other: The font could definitely be changed. I like the whole italicized idea, but it's way too round of a font. Also it needs a stroke to make it pop. The logo on the colored could use either a wordmark or by making the maroon letters white. (70%)

Overall: A far cry from other college jerseys I've seen, but I think that this does need some revision. (84%)

Mario A - Chicago Wolves 



Execution: Again, the logo could be much bigger here, as could the captain patch. (75%)
Striping: I think this is a bit too modern and curvy for a logo so rigid and scary. The balance is well handled, but the white yoke is a bit bright. (75%)
Effectiveness: The wolves use more classical themes in their jerseys. This is a bit of a far cry from that. (50%)
Creativity: This is incredibly creative. It's that 70s modern, something I don't see a lot of. (90%)
Other: Nothing else to really say. (100%)

Overall: Modernity is definitely a buzzword passed around a lot. These are modern, but in a very strange sense of the term. (83%)

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That's all for today!

I hope each and every one of you have an absolutely fantastic time this weekend. Best of luck to every single one of you. Until next time...

GO HAWKS!!! GO DUCKS!!!
-Jack G.

January 28, 2016

Thursday: All Star Countdown

Hello everyone and welcome back here yet again.

With the All Star Game right at the end of the week here, I figured I'd count down my top 3 all star jerseys! (All images from nhluniforms.com)

1- 1989-91, 1993
Simple design overall, usually seems to be the case with the best looking jerseys. The color balance is done well on this set, a bit better on the black jersey than the white though, I love that white yoke. The stars are incorporated well. They wore this same design from '89-'91, and then again in '93, but I'm using the '93 version here because the numbers on the black jersey were changed to white, which makes them much more easily visible.

2- 2004
Another pretty simple design, this one aiming for a more vintage look. Not too often do you see vintage white take the main color for jerseys, but when it does, like in this case, it definitely looks better than having regular white and still trying to incorporate the vintage. The green and red colors both look great on these jerseys, and the stars are incorporated into the design very well again. And if you didn't notice, the green jersey looks an awful lot like the alternate jersey the Wild currently use.

3- 2009
So maybe this technically isn't one of my absolute favorite all star jerseys, but I wanted to add a modern design to the list to keep things interesting. I think this is the best turnout for a modern design in the post-edge era, and a really unique idea. The asymmetrical design is really not something you see often, the only example I can think of right off the bat is the Thrashers. Pretty cool that they're each a reverse of the other team's design too. It wasn't the best look overall but like I said I think it's the best turnout for any of their designs in the edge era.
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We're getting closer and closer to crowning our 2015 concept of the year, and only 4 concepts remain at this point. Along with that, we have the COTW, as always, and the All Star redesign vote.  So go leave a vote. I see no reason why not to.
COTY Semi-Finals votes (end Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW Jan 17-23 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
ASG ReDesign Pick 5 vote (ends Friday @ 10:59pm Eastern)
Also, now that all of our new writers have written a post I think it's a good time for this reminder
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Ben S. - Stadium Series
Idea: I think a lot of people would like a Pens/Flyers classic. Only problem is that they've both been in two already. I'd be fine with this but I'm not sure if others would.
Design: They're both vintage/classic looking designs, and both fauxbacks. I like the simplistic approach of the Penguins one, while it also does have links to their jersey history. The Flyers jersey gives a bit of a Quakers vibe as well.
Colors: I think the vintage white fits really well for the Flyers jersey and the colors are balanced well, and the color balance for the Pens jersey is interesting but I think it works.
Other: I wasn't sure where else to put this, but I'm not a fan of the namebar on the Pens jersey at all. Get rid of that and it'd be a lot better.

Overall: 8/10


Brad F. - Saskatoon Blades
Colors: Blue and yellow is a really nice color combo, sometimes not used to its potential. I'm not a fan of the gray on the jerseys though, especially on the white jersey it makes the yellow look "muddy"
Design: Very conservative, usually can't go wrong there. Not a fan of the "phantom yokes" though.
Execution: Speaking of those, you forgot to add the phantom yoke on the back of the white jersey. A bit of nitpicking now, but I don't believe the WHL logo gets recolored at all, and the CHL logo should have an outline.
Other: This is unrelated to the concept itself, but I'd recommend putting a background on the image. Still save it as a png, but put a white background behind it all instead of keeping it transparent.

Overall: 7.5/10


Glen W. - Nashville Predators
Idea: I wouldn't mind seeing an alt for the Preds
Design: At its basics, it's not a bad start. The side panels with a partial hem stripe type design has been used by the Preds before, and the upper arm fill has an interesting pattern, and could work with a yoke like that.
Colors: I'd simplify the palette a bit to what they currently use. I don't think the steel blue works very well for a jersey for the Preds.
Execution: Now let's get to the metaphorical elephant in the room here. The execution could use a big improvement. The logo is squished, the name is too thin and pixelated, and the numbers are pretty pixelated too. The tv numbers also look too small. The inside collar (around the tag) should also be colored to match the yoke. Also, you need to add ID to the images.
Other: Not a bad start. Work on the execution and you'll see a lot of improvements.

Overall: 5/10


Jake C. - Prince Albert Raiders
This template works decently well for the Raiders, and I like the logo and font used. You're also missing TV numbers. Other than that there's not much more to say since this is just a recolored template.

Overall: The score is only so low because it's 90% a pre made template, not necessarily because it looks bad. Be more creative with your concepts if you really want them to stand out (4/10)


Jimmy T. - Providence Bruins
Colors: I like the emphasis on yellow. I actually think it works well even on the white jersey, but it does throw off the color balance. In some places it's hard to tell the white apart from the yellow too.
Design: Quite simple overall, the yoke looks a lot like their and the Bruins current design. I'd make the inner stripe thicker though, as it is now its too thin to really have a good effect there.
Logos: I like the idea of getting rid of the "bounding box" from the logo, however I'm not sure why you have them slightly different. I'd stick with the one on the black.

Overall: 7.5/10


Lucas D. - Philadelphia Flyers
Design: The design is quite reminiscent of the Quakers, but not exact, so this makes for a good fauxback design. I like the collar choice, definitely adds to the look.
Colors: The jersey is mostly orange, which gives a surprisingly good look. The choice to use regular white here instead of vintage white was the better one, in my opinion.
Execution: The name and number on the back look slightly small to me.
Other: I like the keystone for the C patch. It's unique, as the only other team that could use it is the Pens.

Overall: 8.5/10 and *sigh* my COTW Nomination


Mario A. - Alabama A&M Bulldogs
Colors: I'm not sure if these are the team's official colors or not, but the black and maroon blend together way too much. Especially on the white jersey they're almost hard to tell apart at times.
Design: Another quite simple design. Done pretty well too. Not much to complain about there.
Logos/Numbers: Similar to the colors, the logo on the white jersey would look much better in white, and the numbers would look a lot better with an outline.
Execution: TV numbers, name, and C patch look a bit small.

Overall: 7/10


Mario A. - Northwest Tech Mavericks
Design: Now this is interesting. It falls in the middle of going for a traditional design and a modern one. As it looks on here, I like the arm stripes, they're unique, and hopefully they'd look good on the ice as well. Not a big fan of the contrasting mesh (or whatever material it may be, I'm not too sure) under the arms, though.
Colors: Good choice having contrasting upper arms in red on the white jersey, it really helps balance out the colors.
Logos/Numbers: Similar to last concept, the logo on the red jersey would look much better in white, and the numbers would look better with an outline.

Overall: 7.5/10
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And that's a wrap for this week. I hope you enjoyed the post, thanks for reading, and I'll see you again next week.

January 27, 2016

Wednesday: Book Club

Hello folks!  I need some book recommendations.  You see, I have a gift card to my local bookstore, but that bookstore is closing soon, so I need to use it up before the store closes.  If you've read any good books lately, let me know in the comments.

I'll share a couple of my recommendation's with you.

Image from amazon.ca
My first suggestion is Ken Dryden's classic book The Game.  It's an inside look at the 1978-79 Montreal Canadiens (funny pranks, what goes on in the dressing room, etc), but what makes it special is that Dryden shares what it's like to be a hockey player.  He describes what it's like being in the spotlight, how your mood (and the teams mood) is so closely tied to the result of your most recent game, and much more.  This book will give you a better understanding of what it's like being an NHL player.

Image from xkcd.com
If you're not looking for a hockey book, maybe you'd prefer the coffee table book Thing Explainer, by Randall Munroe (who also created the webcomic xkcd, and wrote the book What If?).  The premise of this book is that Monroe can only use line drawings and the 1000 most common words to describe complicated things like the International Space Station (or the shared space house, using common words), helicopters (sky boat with turning wings), or submarines (boat that goes under the sea).  I haven't read the whole book yet, just the first few pages, but I know this book will be funny and that I'll learn some interesting things as well.

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This week's voting is no joke.  Very serious stuff, we have the super important COTY Semi-Finals vote, as well as a cat in the COTW vote, and the voting stage of the ASG Redesign Competition.  Vote, people, vote.

COTY Semi-Finals votes (end Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW Jan 17-23 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
ASG ReDesign Pick 5 vote (ends Friday @ 10:59pm Eastern)

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La Ronge Ice Wolves, by Brad F:
This is a stolen concept.  It's a re-coloured Brian Brideau Dallas Stars concept.  Brad's Creighton Comets concept from the 18th was also stolen, that one was a recoloured Mike Sweezey concept, and Brad's Flin Flon Bombers concept from the 11th was a recoloured Bobby Pinkham concept.  Don't be a theif Brad.
Rating:  0/10

Buffalo Sabres, by Patrik W:
Our first non-stolen concept is from Patrik, and I use the word "concept" liberally here, because this is just the Sabres original jersey.  The only difference is in the equipment, but honestly I don't think any of those changes are improvements.  The yellow helmet is a bold choice, but ultimately I think it's the wrong choice.  Execution isn't that good either, the player's name is too small, and the pant-stripe shouldn't go all the way to the top of the pants.
Rating:  4/10

All-Star Jerseys, by Anthony C:
Next up Anthony takes on the All-Star game jerseys.  These jerseys remind me of the 2004 All-Star jerseys, with the use of cream instead of white, green, and the stars along the hem-stripe.  That was a good looking All-Star game, so it's a good year to take inspiration from.  The striping pattern looks good on both jerseys here, although I'd get rid of the hem outline and just continue the cream colour to the bottom on both jerseys.  There are some execution errors, the Blackhawks logo is upside-down on the back view, and the Lightning logo is backwards.  The back numbers are too big, the sleeve numbers are missing, and the sock stripes are too high.  Also the collar, player's name, and pant-stripe on the blue uniform should be cream instead of true white.
Rating:  6/10

Toronto Maple Leafs, by Ryan O:
Hey look, it's another Leafs concept.  Ryan also uses a leaf/T combo, using the 1963-67 leaf with the Toronto Arenas T, but he also adds in the word "Leafs".  I like the leaf/T combo, but I think adding "Leafs" makes it too cluttered, it would look bad at small scales.  The alternate logo is interesting, the 1967-70 leaf on top of the Arenas T, but I think it would be better with an outline separating the two elements.  The jersey itself looks good, I like the four-stripe pattern.
Rating:  7/10

Colorado Avalanche, by Alan S:
The Colorado Avalanche could really use some new jersey, here Alan modifies their original jerseys to create a new set.  I like the emphasis on just maroon and white, limiting the use of blue and silver makes it look less dated.  However, the stripes are a bit too thin right now, I didn't even notice them at first.  The shoulder yoke is also a good addition, I think it balances out the jerseys.  The third jersey is the weakest of the bunch in my opinion, I'd scrap it and go with just the home and road jerseys.
Rating:  7/10

Washington Capitals, by Lucas D:
Wow!  That's an interesting choice using a barber-pole pattern on the upper-arm area.  I don't think it looks good right now, but if you cut the total amount of stripes in half it might work, and it would match the US flag (13 total stripes, 7 red, 6 white).  The rest of the concept is good, I like the hem and cuff stripes, and the Weagle looks good as the primary logo.  There are a few small execution errors, the back numbers are a bit small, and the cuff stripe is slightly thicker on one side, but overall it's well done.
Rating:  7/10

Nashville Predators, by Lucas D:
Lucas also sent in this fauxback concept for the Predators.  That's a very clever use of the Predators former alternate logo.  Who would of thought that logo would look good as a single colour silhouette?  The striping pattern also looks great, very vintage-y, and I like the TV numbers in the arm-stripe.  Although, I think all the fonts are too modern, they don't fit with the retro-theme of the jersey.  I also think the Nashville script could use a blue outline.
Rating:  8/10

2016 Women's Outdoor Classic, by Matt M:
The NHL hosted the first ever Women's Outdoor Classic this year, unfortunately both teams used their normal jerseys, not anything special for the event.  Matt rectifies that with this concept, giving both team's beautiful fauxback jerseys inspired by past Bruins and Canadiens jerseys.  The Pride jersey, which is inspired by the Bruins 1926-32 jersey, is my favourite of the two.  I especially like the custom wordmark logo.  The Canadiennes jersey, inspired by the Canadiens 1935-38 white jersey, is good too, but I can't shake the feeling that it would look better in true white.
Rating:  9/10 and a COTW nomination!

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Don't forget to vote.

That's all folks!

January 26, 2016

Tuesday: A Broad Spectrum of Jerseys

Hi everybody! Steve M here. As our Monday writer posted, the Lake Erie Monsters (of Cleveland) will be wear Cleveland Barons throwbacks. Well I did some looking and found on the Monsters' twitter account a picture of the actually jersey.
From Lake Erie Monsters' Twitter Account
As you can see, it's the real deal without the numbers. That leads me to wonder if this is just for a preview or if they will actually sell the jerseys minus the numbers? I know they said that they would just auction off the game jerseys but these could become so popular that they just sell replicas at "The Q" on that game night.

Anyways, I have some important reminders. We have the COTW, the ASG competition, and the COTY semi-finals Voting going on. Now remember that your local concept designers worked hard to get to that stage so be supportive and vote for them.

COTY Semi-Finals votes (end Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW Jan 17-23 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
ASG ReDesign Pick 5 vote (ends Friday @ 10:59pm Eastern) 
 
 On to the concepts we go!
 
Anthony Cinerari- Quebec Nordiques
 
Positives: It's a Nordiques concepts (obvious positive in my book), It's also nice to see that you kept the three fleur de lis at the bottom. Also, the phantom yoke really works with the home and away jersey. As for the Alternate Jersey, I like that you gave it a more modern touch by using a word mark and added a hem stripe with that one white accent strip above the red.
Negatives: All that being said, while the designs are nice and are fairly clean, you are missing the names and sleeve numbers, both of which are required by the NHL. While I don't have any problems with the home and away jersey, the alternate's word mark bothers me. it resembles the Washington Capitals main logo on a navy blue jersey. You could say that if you slapped the Capitals' logo on there it could pass as an alternate for them.
Overall: 6/10 I must make something clear with you Anthony. This concept could have gotten more points if you remembered to put the name and sleeve numbers on the concept. It's understandable if you forget to do that, but I have to dock you some points because of it.
 
 Shai Rotbard-Seelig - Toronto Maple Leafs
Positives: Shai, this is a lot better than the last concept I judged from you so I'm glad you really stepped this one up. Anyways, the concept is well executed with with little pixelation. The mixture of styles of previous jerseys to create a whole new set really works nicely here.
Negatives: The back numbers seem on the short side. Other than that and the stray pixel here and there your in good shape.
Overall: 7.5/10 much better Shai.
 
Brooks Freeman- Minnesota Eagles (NWHL expansion)
Positives: Kudos on going all out for this expansion project. the concept and logos are really clean. the custom shoulder yoke is really fitting in relation to the logo and the simple design below it doesn't make the jerseys look busy. Also, adding the NWHL logo to the jersey is a nice touch
Negatives: While your concept is clean, the issue I have, as I did with Ryan C, is that the collar looks like it's just sitting on top of the yoke instead of being a part of the jersey. I would suggest that you put a jersey tag or maybe slightly darken the inside of the collar to give it that unified look.
Overall: 8.5/10
 
Lucas Daitchman- Montreal Canadiens
 Positives: The vintage round collar is a nice touch on this jersey.
Negatives: This is just the Canadiens' current jersey with the blue and white swapped in the stripes with the hem stripe added to the cuffs. While I understand that this is a concept of what it would look like, this is a rough concept and needs to be cleaned up.
Overall: 6/10 
 
Scott Garland- Tampa Bay Lightning
Positives: This is a good example of a well executed concept. While it is a "fauxback", it works. The "TAMPA" diagonal word mark looks really nice in that font, rather than using a plain block or full block. the simple striping and minimal use of black pull this jersey together to make it very easy on the eye.
Negatives: Not really a negative but the captains' "C" inside a plain circle isn't doing anything for me. Make the circle dark blue with a cream colored "C" and that would make it stand out more.
Overall: 9/10 
 
Glen Wilson- New York Rangers
Positives: well I'm glad to see you took this on more serious than your "Uno the Cat" jersey. The Concept of the Diagonal strip is really interesting, as well as the diagonal sleeve stripes. they remind me of the Lady Liberty Jersey.
Negatives: The name and number on the back of the jersey are too low. The crest logo is also a little low. Also about the crest logo, changing the colors to red, white, and gray/silver doesn't look that good on this. As for that diagonal stripe, I understand you wanted it to line up with the logo. However, you have the stripe going all the way onto the sleeve, which just looks awkward. I'm sure the stripe would look fine if it stopped right at the arm pit. Also, it could get pretty hard to see those sleeve numbers from a distance in just red. Either change them to white or put an outline of white or gray/silver to make them stand out. But most importantly, make sure that your concept is clean.
Overall: 6/10
 
Alan Su- Ottawa Senators 
Positives:  this concept is pretty clean. It almost has a soccer style to it with the crest patch smaller and to the left side of the jersey instead of being front and center. the two equal sized horizontal stripes are also a nice touch to the jersey.
Negatives: First, remember to put an ID on your concept! second, the back number on the white jersey can get a little hard to see. I would suggest putting a white outline after the black so it gives it that clarity that the red jersey's back number has.
Overall: 7.5/10 
 
Alan su- Pittsburgh Penguins
Positives: Glad to see you put an ID on this one. Anyways, having the Penguins go back to the Athletic gold was a great choice. The way they use the vegas gold doesn't do it justice. Your execution of the 3D player turned out fairly well, so kudos. Also, adding in the mix of gray reminds me of the Penguins 90's 3rd/away jersey, but the arm design is more 80's. 
Negatives: Those large stripes of color on the sleeves of the home and away just look awkward with just a little accent stripe at the bottom of the jersey. Also, it would be nice if you had a back side of these jerseys for us to see, Because from what I see on the arms of the player makes me question what the back of the home and away jersey looks like.
Overall:7.5/10
 
COTW Nominee is Scott Garland's TB Lightning 
 
Well that's all I have for you guys this week. Remember to vote for the COTW, ASG competition, and COTY semi-finals. Everybody have a good week and I'll see you guys this time next week.