New Year, New Beginnings (or Revivals)- Part 6 Vive Les Nordiques

As the dawn of the New Year begins to fade, I conclude the exploration of the possibilities of relocation and expansion. In this excessively informal post, I’ve taken a look at what some of the best concept jerseys are for a team that needs to be revived! In each case, I’ve looked at numerous designs, courtesy of Icethetics.co and the forums over at Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, and highlighted the ones that I would pick if I were the owner of a new franchise looking to establish its identity.

QUEBEC NORDIQUES

Quebec City, once a city that was the northern most city in all North American professional sports, gracefully became widely known as a great hockey market with it’s WHA’s presence that then turned more mainstream in it’s welcoming into the NHL. Hartford Whalers and Quebec Nordiques paraphernalia continue to be top selling merchandise among hockey fans, despite the fact that both teams have long since relocated to their current markets in North Carolina and Colorado, respectively.

If I were going to be the owner of a new inception of the Quebec Nordiques, I would emulate a move by the current Winnipeg Jets in that I would design a new logo and a new set of uniforms, effectively replacing the old franchise. I would instead seek a design that incorporates the old franchise and even incorporates Quebec City’s history in the NHL, with the Quebec Bulldogs.

With that said, I would also have the hardest time picking the best jerseys out of a long list of concept jerseys. In any case, I’d want the right combination of the traditional, light blue, Quebec Nordiques and a return to the initial darker blue days of the WHA Quebec Nordiques with a modernized logo that better defines the region.

This set of jerseys provides just the right combination of old and new. A logo reminiscent of landmarks of Quebec City, the snowy owl, a symbol of the people of the North, and the timeless fleur-de-lis that was ever so perfectly encompassing of the province of Quebec and its relation to the Quebec Nordiques of yore.

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There were a couple of alternate jerseys to consider, the first of which, I’d use for at least a couple of seasons (or simply for an outdoor game). The first alternate jersey combines stylish elements reminiscent of the Quebec Bulldogs era with the original Quebec Nordiques on a slimming, modern jersey design. .

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The second fits better with the home and road jerseys and is actually something from the same artist as the home and road sweaters.

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With these jerseys in mind as the representation of the franchise, I sorted through these other ones that just didn’t have quite enough of what I was looking for.

First, a look at some of the other designs the winning artist created that just didn’t resonate with me.

Here we have too much of a blend among the colors. Nothing really separates these jerseys out from one another. On the plus side, however, the alternate uniform in this set does look spectacular.

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In this design, the artist approaches the right combination of colors, but lacks the ever important fleur-de-lis in the actual jersey (although placing them on the side of the pants is catchy).

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Moving on from that artist we have a set that I seriously considered to be the chosen one. However, a bit too bright blue for regular use in the NHL in this day and age, these would probably see time as a specialty or future set of alternates. Heck, a current minor league team should really take this look and run with it.

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This jersey has potential as an alternate, but the nameplate font is what ruins its chances in its current form. Remember kids, just say “no” to lowercase letters in a player nameplate unless it is part of their name. Even then, if your font looks better without specialization, then don’t implement specialization. Other than that, I love the number styling of this uniform.

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Here’s what you get when you combine the Winnipeg Jets with the Ottawa Senators!

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This looks plain and blue. Nice use of the old logo. I appreciate the attempt to modernize a classic, but it just doesn’t work for me. Perhaps a different number stylization would set things in a better tone, instead of something that says “we’re still the Arizona Coyotes, but instead of red we used blue and changed our logos for this set of practice uniforms.”

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But hey, at least we’ve moved on from the early days of RBK Edge jerseys, right? Ew. It’s the Quebec Islanders, everyone!

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 1.28.54 AMAll in all, a classy look is appealing, but in the interest of preserving hockey history, I think it’s best to retire the igloo- no matter how awesome these modernized jerseys might look on the ice.

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Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 1.24.15 AMEspecially if you’re teetering on the border of old school Winnipeg Jets territory.

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And so ends this chapter of the journey, “New Year, New Beginnings” has officially come to an end. We’ll move forward with new content coming in February, with a look back at reality, more analysis is on the way, created by fans for the fans.

Thank you for enjoying this series, I had a great time delving into everything about it. – NL

New Year, New Beginnings (or Revivals)- Part 5 Bring Back the Whalers

With the dawn of the New Year upon us I decided to explore the possibilities of relocation and expansion. In this excessively informal post, I’ve taken a look at what some of the best concept jerseys are for teams that no longer exist, but should (or possible expansion teams). In each case, I’ve looked at numerous designs, courtesy of Icethetics.co and the forums over at Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, and highlighted the ones that I would pick if I were the owner of a new franchise looking to establish its identity.

By now if you haven’t read Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4- I’m just going to make you search the site for them.

HARTFORD WHALERS

There is no sense in even trying to modernize the genius H&W logo of the Hartford Whalers. However, there would be a great need for the right version of a modern uniform to be implemented. None of this blue home jersey stuff. Only a green jersey at home should do, with a white road jersey and perhaps a blue or grey third jersey (if done the right way). The uniforms that I have selected for the Hartford Whalers are the equivalent of the Minnesota Wild done right. Look, the Wild’s uniforms lack uniformity. These Whalers uniforms utilize a similar- trendy- shoulder yoke as the Minnesota Wild, yet keep it consistent on both the home and road sweaters. Everything about these brings the modern-retro look to the ice and gives the old school “W” and Pucky a facelift by enclosing them within circular shoulder patches. I’m just saying, these would look rather sexy on the ice, okay. The league could use a little more green.

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For an alternate jersey, I would venture into something a little uncanny. It was probably inevitable before the Whalers moved to North Carolina that a grey third jersey would be implemented. I mean, hey, if the Los Angeles Kings can do it in the Stadium Series this year, then why not? So to bridge the gap between the days of yore and now, I think these would look cool on the ice for a few years.

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Among the other designs considered… This set- while a bit bland- offers a great script logo for the Whalers.

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This set looks like something the Vancouver Canucks considered.

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And these speak too much Detroit (although classy looking).

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But hey, sometimes a return to the franchises roots isn’t always a bad thing. The colors work well for these jerseys.

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With that, Part 5 is complete. The final portion of the series is coming up this week. And you guessed it, it’ll be about reviving the Quebec Nordiques.

New Year, New Beginnings (or Revivals)- Part 4 Seattle

With the dawn of the New Year upon us I decided to explore the possibilities of relocation and expansion. In this excessively informal post, I’ve taken a look at what some of the best concept jerseys are for teams that no longer exist, but should (or possible expansion teams). In each case, I’ve looked at numerous designs, courtesy of Icethetics.co and the forums over at Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, and highlighted the ones that I would pick if I were the owner of a new franchise looking to establish its identity.

Check out Parts 1, 2, and 3 if you haven’t already!

Expanding or Relocating to Seattle

The easiest thing for a Seattle NHL team to do is to take the name of the current Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. Why? Because these jerseys encompass everything to do with professional sports teams in Seattle. They’re unique, quirky, bold, and just look at those stripes, the colors! For a region that religiously follows the Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders, it makes sense to equal that passion with an NHL organization. I’ve seen the updated version of these jerseys, but they don’t do enough justice when it comes to fitting in with the rest of Seattle’s teams.

These jerseys are simple and yet they are electrifying. The unique stripping pattern sets them apart from every other team in the league and the never before seen frontal-centered placement of the jersey numbers exemplify the professional quirkiness of the Seattle market (and that’s a good thing).

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To give you more insight as to how I ultimately decided on what jerseys the Seattle Thunderbirds (NHL edition) would support, here’s a look at a few designs I considered.

In fairness, I considered these as a unique set of uniforms, however some of the design elements reek too much of the early RBK Edge days.

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I’m a fan of the Metropolitans moniker, but that probably wouldn’t sit well with the league given the fact that the Metropolitan Division is, well, the Metropolitan Division. Also, these concept jerseys look too much like the Dallas Stars, thereby lacking individuality.

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These would look good in the league, however they are a bit cookie cutter design. I am a fan of the color scheme and even more so a fan of the third jersey. If there were ever an outdoor Vancouver and Seattle game, this third jersey would be the one to sport outdoors.

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That’s it for this week. Tune in next week for the penultimate part of “New Year, New Beginnings”. You’re definitely not going to want to miss it.

New Year, New Beginnings (or Revivals)- Part 3 Lone Wanderers

With the dawn of the New Year upon us I decided to explore the possibilities of relocation and expansion. In this excessively informal post, I’ve taken a look at what some of the best concept jerseys are for teams that no longer exist, but should (or possible expansion teams). In each case, I’ve looked at numerous designs, courtesy of Icethetics.co and the forums over at Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, and highlighted the ones that I would pick if I were the owner of a new franchise looking to establish its identity.

If you missed any of the action so far, here’s part 1 and part 2.

MONTREAL MAROONS/ MONTREAL WANDERERS

Granted the addition of a second Montreal franchise would never happen nowadays, there are a few excellent ideas for former Montreal teams. Montreal used to be home to two hockey teams, one marketed for the English speaking population and the other (the Montreal Canadiens) geared for the French speaking population. The last two team effort in Montreal began in 1924 and ended in 1938 with the failure of the Montreal Maroons, having suspended operations in 1938 and officially canceling the franchise in 1947. The Montreal Wanderers were one of the original NHL franchises in the 1917- 1918 season, but disbanded after having played 4 games in the regular season and forfeiting 2 more due to a fire that burned down their arena.

This design for the Maroons is substantial for the foundation of an aesthetic design that incorporates hockey history, where as the Wanderers jersey simply modernizes a uniform that barely saw the light of existence in the dawn of the National Hockey League. I chose to focus on a second Montreal team, instead of a second Toronto team, simply because I found better concept jerseys for them. If you’ve seen a great Toronto idea, let me know, or simply be the one to design it.

Personally, I’d use the Maroons third jersey as the basis for home and road uniforms. If you don’t like the words inside of the “M”, just get rid of them and you still have a good logo. I am attracted to the rest of the uniform because of its unique stripping pattern and use of maroon- a color that could be utilized more often on the ice.

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The Wanderers, on the other hand, would have a classy jersey that sets them apart from others in the league. Depending upon its visibility, the home uniform might see the numbers on the back change from red with a white outline to being just white numbers. I am very much a fan of this design. Since it is unrealistic to think that a second Montreal team would be feasible these days, I’d hope some hockey team would take advantage of the concept ideas featured in this jersey. The stripping would look very classy on say, a high school team’s uniform.

As you can tell by now, I’m a fan of stripes that set apart a franchise from all the other franchises and generic “traditional” hockey jerseys. I think that you can have a traditional looking jersey in your own modernized fashion. Maybe not quite what the Carolina Hurricanes have strived for, but with the same good intentions in mind. When done right, it can make all the difference between your team and someone else’s.

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So with this two for one special in mind, I hope you’re going to enjoy part 4 of this series, because it’s going places where the NHL has never gone before.

New Year, New Beginnings (or Revivals)- Part 2 Return to Hamilton

With the dawn of the New Year upon us I decided to explore the possibilities of relocation and expansion. In this excessively informal post, I’ve taken a look at what some of the best concept jerseys are for teams that no longer exist, but should (or possible expansion teams). In each case, I’ve looked at numerous designs, courtesy of Icethetics.co and the forums over at Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, and highlighted the ones that I would pick if I were the owner of a new franchise looking to establish its identity.

If you missed part 1, you can read about it here.

Truthfully I find it odd that Hamilton does not have a hockey team when compared to similar sized markets- off the top of my head and in terms of fan support- like Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Calgary. Then again, being smack dab in the middle of the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs had enough to do with that; similar to the chances of the Hartford Whalers returning, given that the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and New York Islanders are all right in Hartford’s backyard. Regardless, let’s say the Hamilton Tigers came back to life. These jerseys are both appealing and retro enough to convey a sense of connection to the once existent Hamilton Tigers of long ago. Similar in nature to the Minnesota Wild, none of these jerseys are close enough to being related to one another, yet they aren’t far enough away from being unrelated. They’re somewhere in-between, just like the physical location of Hamilton, Ontario; somewhere in-between Buffalo, New York and Toronto, Ontario.

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But for you snafu’s that would rather see a more traditional set of jerseys, the Tigers wouldn’t go wrong with these. Quite frankly, I would be inclined to use the yellow home jersey as the third jersey for the set above.

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New Year, New Beginnings (or Revivals)- Part 1 VEGAS BABY

With the dawn of the New Year upon us I decided to explore the possibilities of relocation and expansion. In this excessively informal post, I’ve taken a look at what some of the best concept jerseys are for teams that no longer exist, but should (or possible expansion teams). In each case, I’ve looked at numerous designs, courtesy of Icethetics.co and the forums over at Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net, and highlighted the ones that I would pick if I were the owner of a new franchise looking to establish its identity.

First and foremost I would like to address the idea of a National Hockey League team in Las Vegas. Ready? Pffffffffffffffft.

Las Vegas Aces- Down The Frozen River

Okay, now that that’s settled, I’ll be honest in saying that I have yet to see a concept jersey that I even remotely like for a potential NHL team in Las Vegas. I am, however, a fan of these logos designed by a potential Las Vegas Aces fan. Notice the stick inside the spade, notice the playing card disguised as the state of Nevada, or the state of Nevada disguised as a playing card (you decide). Either way, I like these logos, but not the subsequent jersey ideas that followed. Perhaps that is because plenty of time has passed since the days of the ugly introduction of the RBK Edge jerseys. Or maybe I’m just thinking that they look too much like the Milwaukee Admirals. Anyway, these logos would be the start of something unique in professional sports history- fan of the idea of an NHL team in Las Vegas or not.