Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Isles Counting Down To Third Jersey

As of yesterday, we now know all of the third jersey launch dates. But it's still nice to get confirmations from the individual teams — and to know that they're as excited about all of this as we are.

Having said that, the New York Islanders' official web site now features a countdown at the top of the page. What's it counting down to? You guessed it.

That countdown appears to confirm November 1 as the big day. The bigger geeks among you will be able to pinpoint down the second, the time at which I made that screenshot above.

Anyway, I'm told the Isles are marketing the game as "Throwback Night" and they'll be facing the Montreal Canadiens. Shocker.

Thanks to Lucas for the tip!

Hey by the way, if you're still on the Islanders' web site, there's a cool feature you should check out about the guy who's in charge of getting the ice done at the Nassau Coliseum.

Icethetics Season Preview, Part II


The Icethetics Season Preview continues. All week, I'm doing my best to get you caught up with what's new in the world of hockey as it pertains to the right side of your brain.

Every year, every NHL team repaints its ice rink. In fact, this happens several times a year. But usually, they paint the same logo down on center ice each time. For the 2008-09 season, a half-dozen clubs are giving their manmade ponds a makeover.

In this post I'll be using concept images to show you what the center ice logos will look like. They are not entirely accurate representations of what's painted on the ice, however the logo dimensions are correct. The arena names have been left off along with the center line design which can vary from team to team.

A couple of teams are just enlarging their primary logo under the main faceoff circle.

The Dallas Stars increased the size of their logo and also added small stars to dot their red line. The Toronto Maple Leafs actually removed one. Previously, the Leafs center ice featured two logos, one facing the television cameras and the other facing opposite.

Two other teams are using their center ice circle to celebrate their anniversaries.

The Montreal Canadiens' 100th anniversary logo replaces the classic CH logo this season while the Edmonton Oilers are going with a simplified version of their 30th anniversary mark, which includes the vintage logo.

Finally, two other teams are going with their third jersey logos at center ice.

The Buffalo Sabres will use their updated vintage logo while the Carolina Hurricanes are going with the storm flag and small square storm flags along their red line.

There are unsubstantiated rumors circulating that these designs are temporary for the Hurricanes and Sabres, meant only as a marketing tool for the preseason in creating awareness of the teams' new third jerseys. I'll keep an eye out when the regular season starts to see if the primary logos find their way back to the ice for these two teams.

I'm only covering the NHL with this part of the preview, but if you think I missed anything, shoot me an email and I'll be sure to add it. Otherwise, that does it for the second day of the Icethetics Season Preview. Tomorrow, we're looking at minor league teams introducing new logos this fall.

More Third Jerseys Next Week

I have new — reliable — information tonight regarding the various third jersey unveilings throughout the NHL.

As I mentioned in tonight's Live Chat, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be unveiling their new third jersey for the 2008-09 season on Monday, October 6.

It's expected they'll be wearing the same third jersey they did prior to last season — only it'll be Rbk EDGEd.

We already know the Oilers will follow with their unveiling a day later. Tonight's news is that the Atlanta Thrashers will follow Edmonton on Wednesday.

The rumor going around is that the Thrashers will don maroon with their name arched across the front of the sweater above the player's number — a lot like the Stars.

We'll know for sure next week though. And if you're interested in some other dates, I've made some updates to the Countdowns in the sidebar!

The dates seen there are not official from the teams but they are official from the NHL and Reebok. There are a bunch more — in fact, all of them — in the sidebar. Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Icethetics Live Chat VI

Icethetics Season Preview, Part I


The Icethetics Season Preview begins today. All week, I'll do my best to get you caught up with what's new in the world of hockey as it pertains to the right side of your brain.

I consider specialty logos to be those that get sort of a one-time use — commemorative, tribute logos; anniversary logos and the like. And obviously there's no better place to start for the 2008-09 season than the Montreal Canadiens.

The Habs are launching a 100th birthday celebration that will span two seasons. For the event, they've created two logos.

The logo on the left can be seen on the right shoulder of Canadiens' home and road jerseys this season as well as doing double duty on the ice in the Bell Centre (more on that tomorrow). The one on the right will be featured on the the right shoulder of jerseys worn on Centennial Jersey Night — which brings us to our next logos.

On the eight Centennial Jersey Nights throughout the season, the team will don four different retro style sweaters, twice each. These jerseys will also feature the logo from that era.

The logo on the left is from the 1912-13 season. On the right is the 1915-16 logo. The Canadiens will also have throwbacks from 1945 and 1970, seen below.

The 1970 logo, right, is no different from the team's current logo — which is a cleaner version of the 1945 design, left.

The Habs aren't the only NHL club with a special anniversary this season. The Edmonton Oilers are celebrating 30 years — despite having been in existence for 37.

The Oilers were one of four teams that joined the NHL when the WHA folded in 1979.

Interestingly, all four were formed in 1972 but only the Oilers remain in their original city. The New England Whalers have become the Hurricanes (who celebrated 10 years last season), the Quebec Nordiques are now the Avalanche and the Winnipeg Jets are now the Coyotes. None of those three franchises are doing anything to mark their 30th year in the NHL.

Having said that, no other NHL teams are introducing anniversary logos this season. But for the record, this year is the 10th anniversary of the Atlanta Thrashers.

That brings us to the AHL. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have introduced a simple logo for their 10th anniversary. It features their skating penguin over a gold X with the years 1999 and 2009.

Oddly enough, this franchise has existed since 1981 when it joined the AHL as the Fredericton Express. In 1988, they became the Halifax Citadels and then the Cornwall Aces in 1993. But operations were shut down in 1996. The Pittsburgh Penguins resurrected the organization and moved it to Wilkes-Barre in 1999 — which is the year they count as their first.

The Norfolk Admirals are celebrating 20 years. This is interesting because for the first 11 years of its existence, the team played as the Hampton Roads Admirals of the ECHL. They were admitted into the AHL as an expansion franchise in 2000.

The anniversary mark incorporates a major element of the Hampton Roads logo — the large yellow ship anchor — yet stays true to the Norfolk logo and the addition of blue to their color scheme after becoming an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Speaking of the ECHL, a couple of teams are turning 15 — last year, technically. The Charlotte Checkers and South Carolina Stingrays joined the ECHL in 1993 and so started their 15th anniversary celebrations last year.

On the left is the Checkers' logo — introduced last year — and the Stingrays logo on the right, which is new for this year (I believe). Both logos come with a completely new branding for the teams. We'll get a look at their new logos on Wednesday.

Back on the NHL side, the Columbus Blue Jackets are honoring their late founder and owner John H. McConnell who died in April.

It's a sharp logo bearing his initials, a silver star and red stripes. The logo will be used as a patch on the team's jerseys this season.

There's more information on the Blue Jackets' official web site.

We can't forget about those all-star game logos. Along with their centennial celebrations, the Montreal Canadiens will host the 2009 NHL All-Star Game. English and French versions of the logo have been released.

It's a cool design that tries to play off one of the 100th anniversary logo (see above). It also features the Habs' famous CH logo in full — a rarity among all-star logos since 1993, which typically feature only small elements of the host team's crest.

We can't leave out the minor leagues. The AHL's All-Star Classic will be hosted this year by the Worcester Sharks and the Reading Royals will host the ECHL's All-Star Game for the second time in four years.

And that about does it except for one thing — a special logo for a special event.

The Winter Classic will be held at Wrigley Field this season and feature the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. The logo, left, works in the famous sign at the old ballpark.

For the game, the teams will don classic vintage sweaters — the Hawks in black and the Wings in white. I'll share pictures as soon as they surface.

Almost forgot a couple. Just like last year, the NHL is premiering its season in Europe.

On the left is NHL Premiere Prague featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers. On the right is the Bridgestone-sponsored NHL Premiere Stockholm featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators.

Now, I'm only human, so if you think I missed anything, shoot me an email and I'll be sure to add it. Otherwise, that wraps things up for the first day of the Icethetics Season Preview. See you back here for more tomorrow.

Season Preview Starts Monday

The Icethetics Season Preview kicks off this week — later today, technically. All week long I'll be catching you up on what you need to know with regard to new hockey logos and jerseys for the 2008-09 season. Who's excited? The first part will be the big one, covering all the new specialty logos for the year — and there are a lot of them!

To get the week started, I'll be hosting a Live Chat right here on Icethetics on Monday night at 11 PM EDT — for the math challenged, that's 8 PM on the west coast and 4 AM in the U.K. It'll last about an hour and as always we can talk about anything you guys want. I'll take questions and comments and get you prepared for the rest of the week.

Learn To Make Your Own Jerseys

And no I'm not referring to concept art here. I mean actual jerseys that you can touch and, well, wear!

If you're bored, a Brit with a proclivity for thriftiness and a blog on NHL Connect at NHL.com has devised a technique for creating homemade hockey sweaters. He outlines it here.

So if you're unhappy with your team's present jersey offerings, stop griping and make your own. Seriously, your imagination is the only limit.

I realize this post is about five months old so my apologies for coming late to the party. But I thought many of you might appreciate it. Kudos to Ninh on coming up with the idea!

Brief IceHL Update

Believe it or not we're now seven weeks into the process of creating our fictional hockey league — the IceHL. Just wanted to keep everyone up to date on where we are. The name nominations are now complete and we're starting the name ratings for our third division. You'll find links in the pollbar, off to the left, to rate the names available for the North Division. Next week will be the Northeast.

Logo submissions have started to trickle in since the final names were announced for the Pacific Division last week. Remember, the deadline is still two weeks away but I thought I'd point out that the only team I haven't received a single submission for is the Portland Pioneers. So if you're still contemplating which team to design for, that would be a good one.

Submissions begin this week for Central Division logos with the final names having been revealed yesterday. For each division, you'll have three weeks to get your logos created and sent in.

As always, any questions will be answered by email.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Flames Developing Third Jersey

According to an article in today's Calgary Sun, the Calgary Flames will sport a third jersey for the 2009-10 season. They're keeping the design under wraps until next fall.

Sun writer Steve MacFarlane spoke with Flames president Ken King about the new sweaters.

Excited, maybe even a little nervous, you'd think it would be tough for Ken King to keep the new design under wraps for an entire year.

After speaking with the Calgary Flames president about a third jersey the team is going to launch next fall, there's little doubt King will be able to keep the secret.

Four franchises have unveiled new alternates, with another 14 rumoured to be doing the same in the near future. King confessed the Flames are in the final stages of putting theirs together, but was tight-lipped about the new look.

"It's pretty much complete," said King. "We're working on one aspect of one shoulder patch that we're figuring out a little bit, but the rest is complete. It's 95% complete."

So the Flames will join the Minnesota Wild who are also rumored to be planning a third jersey for their 10th anniversary next season.

I hate to copy so much from a single article, but this is a good one filled with lots of new information. MacFarlane went into a little more of an explanation about what to expect from the new design. Sounds interesting.

Hazarding a guess after grilling a few people who have peeked at the new threads and trying to read between the lines of a 10-minute talk with King, the Flames sound like they're putting together something of a departure from their Flaming C design that has become a best-seller.

Not quite an out-of-nowhere fire-breathing horse head — the last crest to adorn an alternate jersey in Calgary — but definitely a new twist.

"It's a different look," said King. "We like to think we've got a reasonable feel for our audience. You look at what other people do. You do look at what the trends are. You look at what you're working from and then what you do is try and come up with something that isn't a compromise.

"You also have to have some courage."

They could make a return to a black base like the horse head sat on, or put the new logo on a classic look similar to one from their past.

"We took a lot of colours into consideration," said King, apologizing for being unable to reveal more. "We looked at black and we looked at red and we looked at variations of them, and I think we settled on something that will work."

Confident as he is the public will approve, King says the venture is always a little scary.

"I'm pretty comfortable, pretty confident people will appreciate it."

I like the idea of third jersey introducing third logos. The idea is that it's something different for the fans to look at on a given night. The Bruins didn't seem to understand this notion at all.

I'll start keeping a list of rumored third jerseys for 2009 once we get them all unveiled for this season. And for whatever it's worth, I'll level my guesses for next year's crop of thirds. Aside from the Wild and Flames, I'd bet on the Avalanche, Predators, Rangers and Capitals.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

IceHL Central: Final Names

The final names for the IceHL's Central Division are in! Hundreds of you made your voice heard by rating the finalists for each franchise. So here are the winners.

  • Chicago HITMEN
    average rating 3.53/5 by 403 people

  • Detroit MOTORHEADS
    average rating 2.88/5 by 328 people

  • Milwaukee LAGERS
    average rating 2.92/5 by 312 people

  • Minnesota MAMMOTHS
    average rating 3.53/5 by 327 people

  • St. Louis ARCHERS
    average rating 3.85/5 by 376 people

Based on these names, your task — should you choose to accept it — is to brand the franchise. You choose the color scheme and design primary, secondary and script logos around that. Additional logos may or may not be included in the voting process.

Submit your logo art by email to me at icethetics@gmail.com. Do not post links to artwork in the comments. They will be deleted and not considered for use in this project. I'm also outlining guidelines for submissions below. I'm taking them a little more seriously than I did for the IHA. If you don't follow them, your work will probably not be included.

Central logo submission deadline: October 18

If you want your submission included, follow these instructions:
  • DO NOT STEAL ARTWORK. Logos copied or adapted from professional trademarked logos will not be permitted.

  • Submit three (3) logos: primary, secondary and script. Use a white background. If your logo requires a white outline (think Lightning or Capitals), then use a gray background with the white outline included. ALL 3 LOGOS will be used in the voting process. If you leave out one, your work may be disqualified.

  • Submit vector art if possible. I will accept .ai, .psd and .pdf files. If you cannot submit vector art, you must be able to provide high quality images in .jpg or .png files ONLY. All other file types may be disqualified.

  • You must include your credit within the graphic itself as well as the email. This can be your real name or a pseudonym. I need them in both places so I can easily search my email to find your artwork and email address. Failure to do so may result in disqualification.

  • By submitting your own original artwork to any Icethetics email address, you agree to grant permission of its use for online or print publication by Icethetics. Do not watermark your logos or they will be disqualified.

  • No jersey concepts, please. That will be a later step in this process.

I tried to be specific here but I'm happy to answer any additional questions you may have via email. I was very clear about this but keep in mind that if you do not properly follow the instructions above, your work will likely be disqualified. So read them carefully.

Just so everyone is aware, when it comes time to choose a logo for each team, the process will work basically the same as the name ratings. Logo rating pages will be posted for each team and up to 20 logo submissions will be available to rate. I'm sorry I can't include more but this assures that all worthy submissions will get a fair shake.

The difference here is that once the rating period has ended, there will be a vote on Icethetics of the top 3 rated logos for each team. This assures that we choose the logo everyone wants.

Start submitting your logos!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Face Time With Sabres' Artist

Charlie from Sabres Not Slugs pointed me to a cool new video from the Buffalo-based Artvoice. Buffalo Sabres creative services director Frank Cravotta is interviewed and talks about designing the third jersey and a new line of Sabres clothing that will be available soon.

You can watch the video right here on Icethetics.

He's done some awesome work there. I look forward to seeing what else that team comes up with. Any thoughts?

Fans Get Creative

I've been trying to get some concept art posted a little more frequently. So since we're lacking any real news today, I can offer you these concept designs created by some of your fellow readers.

We'll start with the Kings and some ideas for their new third jersey.

And here's a series of various Kings logos from history in black and silver on a black sweater.

They don't all work, obviously. So let's get some color back in here.

I could really get behind a jersey like that.

Got a couple of concept logos to share as well. We'll start with the Blackhawks.

You already know I'm not a fan of their Indian head logo, but you can also be assured that I don't think this is the right direction. Very clean design though.

This would only work for the Islanders if the Rangers didn't exist. But this Big Apple imagery won't fly for the team on Long Island. Still, it's another excellent logo.

And we'll finish where we started — colorless.

These are some all-star game jersey ideas. Not bad, but very plain.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Slow News Day

Seriously, nothing seems to be going on today. Yesterday I had five posts. Seven on Sunday. Today, I'm barely going to get this one to count for Thursday. Anyway, it was a nice break and it gave me some time to start putting together next week's Icethetics Season Preview.

Anyway, just so you guys aren't left with nothing tonight, I'll respond to a few of the emails I've been getting pretty frequently these days.

No, the Detroit Red Wings are not changing the nameplate lettering on their jerseys. This is something we seem to go through every year around this time.

During the regular season and playoffs, each player has a custom made arched nameplate on his back. Obviously, something of that nature requires considerable time and effort — something wasted on the dozens of guys who are only trying out in the preseason and won't actually make the team. So a simpler lettering process is put to use.

That's a sample of what they're using for the preseason. Everything will be back to normal once the regular season begins. Count on it.


Back in July, I wrote up a bit after the draft about the Ducks enlarging the wordmark on the front of the jerseys. There appears to be new evidence of that in photos of preseason action.

It's a step in the right direction, Anaheim. Now if you just drop the UCKS, you'll have a happy camper over here.


The Ottawa Sun, who I was recently mean to has pictures of Darth— pardon, Martin Gerber's new helmet.

Gerber made waves last season by wearing an unpainted black goalie helmet. It earned him the nickname Darth. Apparently he liked it because he's had his new helmet painted like Darth Vader.

During the Goalie Mask Tournament at NHLToL several months ago, he was unsurprisingly defeated in the first round, garnering only 25% of the vote against Mathieu Garon.

That's all I've got for tonight. Hopefully there's more going on tomorrow. If nothing else, I'll at least have some concept art for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oilers Set Third Jersey Unveiling

The Edmonton Oilers announced tonight during a game webcast that they will officially unveil their new third jersey for the 2008-09 season on October 7.

A couple of readers sent in screenshots of the announcement.

Rumors have indicated the Oil will be one of a handful of clubs reverting to vintage alternate sweaters. They've always managed top-notch third jerseys and I expect nothing less this time. According to information I've received, they'll debut the jersey in a game five days later on October 12 against the Avalanche.

The unveiling is scheduled for 10 AM local time on that day — that's noon here in the east for me. I'll probably hold another Live Chat for that.

Thanks to everybody who sent in emails. Let the countdown begin!

Habs Announce Plans For Centennial

The Montreal Canadiens have announced their plans for their 100th anniversary season. They also unveiled a collection of vintage sweaters which will be worn throughout the season along with the jersey for the NHL All-Star Game which will take place in Montreal in January.

Four separate vintage sweaters will be used this season. Two will be introduced in the 2009-10 season. An image posted on their official web site shows the new duds.

According to the team, there will be eight Centennial Jersey Nights throughout the season where the Habs will don retro sweaters — two games for each jersey. Before I detail the schedule, I'll tell you about the four jerseys.





Interestingly, the jersey they seem to be indicating as the 1970 vintage style is actually just what they wear on the road currently. However, all of the Centennial Jersey Nights take place in Montreal.

The first one is October 4 against the Panthers when they'll wear the 1970 jersey. On November 15 against the Flyers, they'll wear 1945. They'll don the 1915 sweaters on December 4 against the Rangers. And on February 1 they'll wear the 1912 jerseys against the Bruins.

Those jerseys are repeated in the same order for the last four Centennial Jersey Nights on February 21 against the Senators, March 14 when they face the Devils, a week later against the Maple Leafs, and on March 31 when they face the Blackhawks.

As I said, two more jerseys will be introduced for next year from 1909 and 1910. You can see them below. Oddly, they each have 08 on the sleeves but they aren't indicated for use until fall of 2009.

It's going to be a big year for the Habs. I look forward to seeing them in all of these vintage jerseys.