Saturday: The Redesign Part 2: The Mulligan

Last week, we discussed the greatest redesigns ever, but today, let's look at the other side; when things go wrong. Very, very wrong.

Have you ever wished that you could undo something you've done? Something that seemed like a good idea at the time, that you instantly regretted? Teams do that, too. Here at HJC, we try to redesign jerseys to make them look better, but what happens when a redesign is actually worse? Today I'm going to share with you some of my views on the worst redesigns in NHL history. 

5. Seven-way tie: Nashville Predators 2007; Florida Panthers 2007; Colorado Avalanche 2007; Edmonton Oilers 2007; Ottawa Senators 2007; Pittsburgh Penguins 2007; Tampa Bay Lightning 2007



Image Credits: Top: predators.nhl.com; 2nd Row Left: uniformcritic.com; 2nd Row Center: zimbio.com;
2nd Row Right: sportsjerseypedia.com; 3rd Row Left: en.wikipedia.org; 3rd Row Right: zimbio.com; 4th Row: forbes.com

Yes, it's a seven-way tie for the Reebok template designs of '07. As I was graduating high school, Reebok was taking NHL designs back to elementary school levels.  These jerseys are all just variations of two templates. All these teams had distinct looks before 2007, but afterwards they were just faces in the crowd, bereft of life and individuality. Just look at the Senators/Penguins/Lightning. They are practically the same jerseys. It's disgraceful. Thankfully, the Predators, Oilers, and Lightning have had enough sense to trash these templates, but others still remain out there, taunting us with their terribleness. Consider this: if you saw one of these jerseys on this site as a concept, what would you think? Would you say it was a great design? Absolutely not! It would be panned as "fill tool" concept with no creativity. So why does any self-respecting NHL team continue to wear them?

4. Dallas Stars 2007

Image Credit: commons.wikipedia.org

The Stars dropped another aesthetic turd on us in 2007 as well. As if all the other jerseys listed above weren't enough. Has any NHL season looked as bad as Reebok made the league look when they took over jersey manufacturing in 2007? Look at the picture above. I think it perfectly shows how bland this team looked. This set was so vapid and uninteresting that I loathe it entirely. Have you ever seen a replica of one of these without the numbers? The average fan can't afford to buy an authentic jersey with name and numbers. If you were a Stars fan, and wanted to buy a replica of one of these jerseys (which are still over $100 new) all your money bought you was an uninspired "Dallas" wordmark (glued on), a couple shoulder patches (also glued on), and some small arm striping on a black/white jersey. Paying money for one of these jerseys is an invitation for others to question your judgement. 

3. Vancouver Canucks 1978

Image Credit: canucks.nhl.com
Image Credit: thirdstringgoalie.blogspot.com
What if a bad NHL sweater actually looked like a bad sweater? Is that too literal? The 1978 Canucks apparently left their jersey redesign that year up to Bill Cosby. This is a jersey set whose only selling point is, "It features seven Vs." Did you forget that Vancouver started with a V? Here's seven of them. Now you'll never forget, if you ever get your corneas surgically repaired from looking at it. 

2. Buffalo Sabres 2006

Image Credit: buffalonews.com
Image Credit: buffalofoods.com
This set was a harbinger of horrible things to come from Reebok in 2007. It earned the nickname "The Buffaslug" and not in an endearing way. Organic designs don't often work on a hockey jersey, and this is certainly no exception. Just look at that logo; Buffaslug, indeed. This set was instantly and almost universally panned to a degree that Buffalo also rolled out a retro third jersey to get everyone to calm down.

1. New York Islanders 1995

Image Credit: islesnation.net
Image Credit: lighthousehockey.com
Shocked? You shouldn't be. This is the worst set of all time. This is the classic cautionary tale of "You don't know what you've got until it's gone." The Islanders presumably contracted out their jersey redesign to Salvador Dali and a fishsticks salesman. It just looks like they had a design in mind, then left it outside in the heat, it melted, and then they just went with it as-is. Either that or they were stoned out of their minds. I just don't understand how a group of human beings capable of intelligent thought got together, thought that was a good idea, and approved it for team use. I would have thought this was a bad April Fools or 4/20 joke and asked where the real set was.

Do you have a differing opinion, or a design in mind that you think is even worse? Let us know in our comments section! This will be the last list I do for awhile. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Here are the last of the Cleveland Barons Competition entries:

Alan J.H.

Andy B.

Ben A.


Jeff H.

Scott M.

Let's move on to today's concepts. This week we have some concepts for the obscure (Georgia and Dalhousie U.) the traditional (Chicago and Detroit), and alternate jerseys and redesigns galore. 

Colorado Avalanche Third Jersey Concept - Mazzz

What I like: This is very similar to the design of Colorado's current third, but I like that there are some hem stripes added.

What I dislike: The colors don't match Colorado's color scheme. You don't need to draw a stitching in a box around the numbers. There are no sleeve numbers, shoulder patches, or helmet logos. There are several places where the stitching is missing. This is really similar to Colorado's original third from 2000, but I don't think this is an improvement over that design. 

Overall: Very similar to the 2000 third, but not an improvement. (6/10)

Washington Capitals Concept - Josiah B.

What I like: Josiah's designs are outside the box at least. Not many new artists take risks.

What I dislike: The arms are colored in the opposite areas from the front to the back. The new Reebok wordmark should be used instead of the old logo no longer used on NHL jerseys. The captain's C is too big. "Captials" should be capitalized and is a bit large. The number on the front is awkwardly placed. The number on the back is too large. Some stitching is missing. There are some red pixels around the NHL shield, Reebok logo, etc. where the jersey was recolored from it's original color. The end of the hem is bronze on the front, but blue on the back. There are no sleeve numbers or shoulder patches.

Overall: There's a lot of room for improvement, but everyone needs to improve when they are first starting out. That's why this sit exists: to help people get better. My first concepts were really bad. You'll get the hang of it, Josiah. Keep working! (4/10)

New Jersey Devils Concept - Jeff B.

What I like: The green stitching is interesting. I wonder what some jerseys would look like with contrasting color stitching. I'm not even sure if I like it, but I'm very intrigued by it. I would love to see that on more concepts. The shadow effect on the logo is actually pretty cool here.

What I dislike: The design of the jersey comes off as "Reebok template." If you read my list above, you know that typically doesn't go well. I don't really like the inclusion of green. I would just stick to red, black, and white. The Reebok wordmark should be used instead of the old logo. Sleeve numbers should be placed where the template almost splits the numbers evenly, instead of only being placed on one side. Some areas of the template are not colored in completely.

Overall: This design has some potential. (6.8/10)

Team Georgia Concept - Stephen T.

What I like: The flag design on the front is eye-catching. Understated arm stripes help balance the look and carry the theme of the flag.

What I dislike: The design for the rest of the jersey is fairly plain, and very similar to many of the other international concepts we've seen from Stephen. The placement of the Nike logo is awkward. In this case, I would simply put it on the shoulder yoke next to the collar. I would make the collar and cuffs all black, so that the outline of the name and numbers don't seem as arbitrary.

Overall: Geogia would look good in this. (7.3/10)

Dallas Stars Concept - Stephen T.

What I like: The striping pattern on the dark jersey is pretty good. I took inspiration from the older Stars jerseys when I designed a set for the Mississippi RiverKings a few weeks back.

What I dislike: Lack of detail plagues Stephen's rushed work, and this is no exception. Part of the Stars logo is cut off. That's so easy to catch that it sends the message of "I don't care." The striping on the front of the dark jersey doesn't reach the stitching, either. The numbers are off-center. The way the sleeve numbers are placed, you should be able the see part of the 4 on the rear left arms, but Stephen left them off because that requires more work. You have ability, Stephen, but your lack of detail is killing your work. Oh yeah, helmet logos. I'll mention it every time.

Overall: No detail. (5/10)

Toronto St. Pats Concept - Alan J.H.

What I like: This concept brings green back in a huge way. I really like the arm striping and number placement. I actually like logo as well. I appreciate the detail Alan puts into his concept by placing a logo on the helmet, and nothing is out of place or inconsistent.

What I dislike: Perhaps there is too much striping.

Overall: I really like this concept. The St. Pats would look good on the ice in these. (8.3/10)

Calgary Flames Concept - Christian L.

What I like: I fully support bringing back the flaming horse logo. 

What I dislike: Typically, sock colors match the jersey, but there are some exceptions. The striping is ok, but like Sean Monahan, isn't particularly interesting.  No helmet logo.

Overall: I would like to see a wilder design to go with that eye-catching logo. (7/10)

Dalhousie University Tigers Concept - David K.

What I like: There is some really good detail here. It really rewards to to look closer into this concept. From the helmet/pants logos, to the CCM hem logo, to the proper collar tags, and yoke striping, this is concept that was labored over, and took time to make properly. I appreciate that. I'll take one concept like this over 100 cookie-cutter jerseys with no detail. 

What I dislike: This is just a personal preference, but I'm not a fan of the hem striping. It's probably because the uniforms the cheerleaders wear at the school I work for wear the exact same striping, in the exact same colors. Yeah, probably just associating it with cheerleading, and the struggles of teaching cheerleaders Personal Finance.

Overall: Great concept for Dalhousie University. (8.5/10)

Chicago Blackhawks Concept - Dylan W.

What I like: This is a very consistent and detailed concept. I love that Dylan not only puts a logo on the helmet, but a number as well. Great work. Dylan takes Chicago's older, pre-1955 designs, changes the color to red, and tones down the overall design to create this. I think it works really well. If Chicago was ever going to do a throwback to those designs, this is the way to do it. The originals had way too much striping, and would be an eyesore today. This manages to take something outdated and make it work in today's NHL. Execution and presentation are flawless, and the stitching on this template is marvelous.

What I dislike: Because there's so much going on with the striping on the jersey, I think I would just leave the pants plain black.

Overall: Chicago, if you ever get another Winter Classic (which, let's face it, you will because you're an "Original Six" team and the masses are eating that up for some reason - $$$) here's your jersey. (9/10) COTW nomination from me!

Detroit Red Wings Concept - William B.

What I like: Wow. Purple on a Red Wings concept. That's different. Not bad, necessarily, but different. I like that William goes out on a limb with this one. There's some good detail here as well. 

What I dislike: I'm not sold on the red/purple combination. Would Detroit accept this? Probably not. The self-proclaimed "Hockeytown" isn't renown for it's open-mindedness. I think it could be a cool fan jersey, though.

Overall: This could be a great fan jersey for the Red Wings. Not sure if I'd want to see it one the ice, though. (7.5/10)

C.D. Hielo Bipolo Concept - S2udio

What I like: C.D. Hielo Bipolo is a Spanish hockey team. From what I could tell in my research, S2udio is using their logo and typical color scheme, but they seem to change jerseys (which, naturally, are full of ads) every year. S2udio really helps clean up their look. I especially like the dark jersey. That shade of green is perfect, and the striping works very well. The best part about this template is seeing how everything fits together. Execution and presentation are great, I really like how S2udio presents the helmet.

What I dislike: I would like to see more green on the white jersey.

Overall: This would be huge improvement for C.D. I wish more international teams looked like this. (8.5/10)

Also, if you haven't signed up for the HJC Meet-Up, get on it, son! This is going to be the best jersey meet up ever! There are some seriously cool prizes being given away, including a 1998-1999 New York Rangers third with the correct collar striping! That jersey is super rare. I would do unspeakable things for one, so be sure to sign up!

We had some really great concepts today. If you feel that any of these concepts deserved COTW nomination, let us know in the comments! Let's keep the momentum going on our voting as well! See you all next week!
Saturday: The Redesign Part 2: The Mulligan Reviewed by Caz on May 03, 2014 Rating: 5


David Kerr said...

Caz, really appreciate the sparkling review!! You don't even want to know how long I spent pondering over whether to have the script "DAL" or to simply use the tiger head logo on the gold jersey before picking the script (FAR TOO LONG).
Also as I know some people find comparisons interesting, here are links to the current Dalhousie (men's) hockey jerseys.


Unknown said...

I happen to disagree with you on Vancouver's 78 redesign. I really liked those jerseys, especially as they got updated and refined going into the '80's. I even went so far as to buy one of the Mitchell and Ness repro's because they are so awesome. Thier jerseys before were probably better but even as a Penguins fan I really like the gold and orange.

Will S said...

Also like the Canucks 1978 design, but the yellow helmets with the yellow jerseys were a bit much; similar to the gold pants with gold jerseys of the Kings of the 70s. Canucks went outside the box with that one and people either love it or hate it; to compare it with MLB baseball it would be in the same field as the Astros 'rainbow guts' jersey. Probably my favourite Canucks jersey after the 1970-72 white jersey.

Don't care for the 'Captain Highlanders' logo but kind of liked the one that replaced it with the same wave jersey design with lighthouse shoulder patches and the original Islanders logo. Not as enthralled with the wavy name and numbers as I briefly was when they came out.

Reebok's template is worse than anything else mentioned today except the Dallas 2007. I'd say it's a bush or beer league design but that would be rating it much higher than it deserves. Like part of the theme song to Gilligan's Island (and the show itself) - "it's primitive as can be". Zero thought and creativity went into that one - even the font of 'Dallas' on the front is dull and ordinary.

Caz said...

Very good comments. I think my main beef with the Canucks '78 redesign is the yellow/red combination. It's a personal thing, but I don't like the two colors together.

Tyler. F said...

I would want to see the Dalhousie concepts for the COTW

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