As for news, there's a lead that many of us here at HJC missed out on, probably because it was only briefly referenced in an unrelated article, but according to Ducks GM Bob Murray, they will be joining Edmonton in the orange jersey rush starting in the 2018-2019 season. You have to scroll down about halfway through the article to see it, but it's there. Confirmation that the Ducks will be moving to an orange jersey the season after next. I like this move, because I feel that black jerseys should be kept to a minimum because it makes the game less vibrant and less interesting to watch.
In other news, the AHL has released the new division alignments for the 2017-2018 season. The new alignment consists of only 30 teams, effectively cementing the fact that Vegas will not be given their own AHL team in the forthcoming season.
That's all for the news. look for the COTW poll to be posted later today.
COTW May 5 - May 11 vote (Ends Friday @ Noon EST)
Now on to the concepts!
Anthony C.- Wellington Dukes
First up is Anthony C. with a concept for the Wellington Dukes of the OJHL. LEt's start with the positives: I like the color balance on this set, it work really well. I'm a big fan of the simplistic striping pattern, especially with the decision to use it on the cuffs rather than the arms. I also like the new logo, with a few stipulations. I'm not a huge fan of the "Dukes" wordmark over the W, I think it can stand alone. Also, the star placement on the logo bothers me. It runs into the far left part of the W, and the other two don't line up with the points at the top of the other two parts of it. It's not a huge problem, it just doesn't sit right with me. Finally, while it is a good looking set, it feels a little uninspired, as it is essentially just the original Capitals uniforms with some minor striping changes. Final verdict: a good looking set, but a little too close to the Caps. 7.5/10
Brooks F.- Winnipeg Jets
Next up is Brooks F. with his entry for the Random Competition. I really like the striping pattern on this one, it forms a W for Winnipeg while also reminding me of the wings on a stealth bomber. I also really like the choice of contrasting hem and cuffs, it really helps the color balance on this set. For negatives, it's hard to come up with some. I would have liked to have gotten a better look at the recolored shoulder patch, and on the light jersey I might have moved the blue circle on the main logo out to where the white one is on the dark, just so that the blue and black don't bleed together. Brooks, I love this set and normally I would make it my COTW nomination, but given that it's already got a chance at a nomination as part of the Random Competition, I just can't give it one here.
Final verdict: 9.5/10
Dylan N.- Houston Bulls
Here we have Dylan N. with a concept for an NHL expansion, the Houston Bulls. This concept is part of a Senior project that Dylan did in design. I highly encourage all of you to follow that link, as he did a phenomenal job on creating an identity, complete with tickets, mock websites, and center ice design. First off, I love the logo you made, combining the bull's head with the lone star, a symbol synonymous with Texas. The shoulder patch is also great, turning an H into a bull head similar to the main logo. It could also work well as a main logo for a third jersey, which I think is a great strength in a shoulder patch. The striping pattern, while simplistic, works well here with the matching yoke and contrasting cuffs. I also like the inclusion of the lone star on the sleeve, tying it in to the main logo. The font is very unique, and I think it works well with the identity, as the serif is reminiscent of bull horns and gives it a Western feel. Now for the negatives: given the simplicity of the striping pattern, I would have liked to have seen it on the pants. There are also some small execution errors; the captain's C shouldn't go over the seams and the numbers on the helmet should be farther forward. Other than that, it's a great concept from a new face on the site. Final verdict: 9.5/10 and my COTW Nominee!!!
Jordan R.- Montreal Maroons
Next up is Jordan R. with his latest entry in his NHL defunct series. I really want to like this concept. I really do. It's just way too similar to the Millionaires uniforms that the Canucks wore for the 2014 Heritage Classic. Thinning out the stripes and adding a hem stripe and extra sock stripes just does not add enough to the design for me. Final verdict: good execution, no originality. 4.5/10
Lucas D.- Anaheim Ducks
Lucas D.'s first entry this week is an identity swap between the Ducks and their AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls. I think the Gulls striping pattern lends itself well to the Ducks' colorways, and I gotta say I wish the Ducks would choose this over their current striping pattern. I also love the use of the OC shoulder patch, the only redeemable part of the abomination that was the pumpkin jersey. The font on that actually really matches the font on the main logo, so good job on that. That being said, I was never a huge fan of the Gulls logo, and I'm even less of a fan of this mashup version of it. It still looks like a gull wearing a duck mask, not a duck. I'm no ornithologist, but I can tell the difference between the two. Final verdict: 8/10
Lucas D.- Pittsburgh Penguins
Lucas' second entry today is the latest entry in his +1 series, wherein he adds another color to the colorways of an NHL team. I really like the decision to add the original powder blue back into the color scheme of the Penguins, a nice nod to the history of the club. I just really wish you'd done more with it. The striping is way too thin, and the blue kind of seems shoehorned in. I think that you definitely could have done a better job of incorporating the blue into a jersey design a little closer to their current set. Final verdict: so much potential, but falls short. 6.5/10
Ryan C.- Buffalo Sabres
Next up is Ryan C. with a third uniform for the Sabres. The best part of this concept that I immediately notice: NO PIT STAINS! I really like the idea of a yellow alternate, as the Predators have shown us that even a contemporary team can rock it. I also like the logo choices, using the script from the 2010-2012 alternates (minus the unnecessary lines) and adding the standalone buffalo. I like the simplistic striping as well. With the inclusion of white in the shoulder patch and that little tab in the front, I wish that there were more white in this uniform to get a better color balance. Or just eliminate it altogether by recoloring the shoulder patch and tab. I'm not a big fan of the font choice, I think their current font or the one used on the original script alternate would work better. Finally, the grey in the pants is completely unnecessary. Not only would it be covered by the jersey, but it throws another unused color into the mix. Final verdict: 7.5/10
Vaughan R.- Norfolk Admirals
Our final entry today is Vaughan R.'s entry for the Norfolk Admirals contest. At first glance, I really liked this concept, but as I delved deeper, I began to run into problems. I know that you technically had consistent striping, as it always went white, yellow, blue, but with the change of colors in the jerseys it creates inconsistent striping patterns across all of the jerseys. This also throws off the color balance, especially on the yellow jersey. The shoulder patch is a little basic, I would have liked to have seen something with a little more creativity. Finally, and this may just be me being nitpicky, but I have no idea why the Admirals have branded themselves with five stars. In most nations, the admiralty is denoted by four stars. Again, that's not your fault, it's just something that's always bothered me. Final verdict: a good idea, but a few shortcomings hold it back. 7/10
That's it for me today, see y'all next week!