Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blues, Blackhawks & Blue Jackets

Hope you guys are psyched for the Center Ice Tournament. I've been busy getting that prepared but in the meantime I did promise you concept art. Today's theme is the Central Division.

First up, the Blues — in an assortment of different colors.

These logos have a very different feel to them as well because of the hand-drawn look. The NHL has never really done anything like this. Also, there's a jersey to go with them.

But back to a more simplistic approach, what about a striping pattern on the jersey that alludes to the Gateway Arch?

Here's an interesting wordmark.

Next is my favorite subject, as you know, the Blackhawks. The designer tells me he came up with this logo around the time the Senators first introduced their 3Dish logo. You give the Indian head a quarter turn and he might look something like this.

I like it a lot — maybe not as a logo, but just in general. Plus, remember this logo? Somebody put it on a jersey.

Not bad at all.

We'll finish things up here with the Blue Jackets. Here we're replacing the hat with a cannon on the secondary logo.

And here's a variety of color patterns for Columbus' jerseys.

Nothing really jumps out at me (in fact, it took me a minute to notice they were all different).

Don't forget, tomorrow you'll get your first look at some of the logos designed for Project: IHA. I can't wait to post them and get your feedback. Plus the Center Ice Tournament bracket will make it's debut. So there's a lot you won't want to miss.

Center Ice Tournament

It's been a long time since we've had a full-fledged logo tournament underway here or on NHLToL. In fact, in the 26 days Icethetics has been up and running, we haven't had a single one aside from finishing up the CHL tournament. So today I'm announcing the first tournament here on Icethetics — it's the Center Ice Tournament.

Your vote will help determine which NHL arena has the best center ice design. The criteria you use to cast your vote is entirely up to you. You just have to pick which one you like better for whatever reason you choose.

There are 30 teams and each one will be included in the tournament. This means two teams will get first-round byes. They have been randomly selected as has the bracket which you will get a peek at tomorrow. But all 30 graphics are ready to go and in no particular order, here they are.

The original ice graphics were created by CanuckFanatic92 at

They are as close to accurate as I could find. They generally reflect last year's designs so this is what you'll be voting on regardless of whether anything has changed for next season. I recognize that teams celebrating special anniversary or hosting the all-star game tend to use special designs but I'm going with just the standard looks here. If you notice any major inaccuracies, best to point it out right away, though I can't say for sure whether I'll be able to make any changes.

BRACKET You'll get your first look at the new bracket tomorrow and the tournament will begin on Monday. It's going to run basically the same as any other tournament we've done in the past. I think it's been a fairly effective system and you guys already know how it works so what's the sense in changing it?

POLL LENGTH The only major adjustment will be to the number of days a poll remains open. It was previously five days but I'm now cutting that to four. The majority of the votes are cast within the first two or three days anyway.

SCHEDULING A new poll will be posted every day in the first round. For later rounds, polls will be scheduled so that they can be posted on consecutive days. We will have a few days off between rounds as the tournament progresses, but I prefer not to have days off within rounds, if possible.

LAYOUT The individual polls will also have a new layout. If you've voted recently on the CHL championship poll you'll know what I'm talking about. The logos will now be arranged vertically and alongside the radio button you use to make your selection. The logos will also appear in random order when you load the page.

If you've got any questions about this tournament, feel free to ask by emailing me or leaving a comment. Remember, I'll reveal the bracket tomorrow and the voting will commence on Monday. And just because I enjoy teasing you, I'll tell you which poll will be first: Predators vs Bruins.