Canes and Stars Miss the Mark

Fashion Weak

Two Stanley Cup winning franchises unveiled new home and away jerseys for the 2013-14 season; both came up short.

The Carolina Hurricanes and the Dallas Stars underwent what should have been an extensive rebranding effort in their full jersey redesign. It seems like both forgot the part where they do something original, and of value to their team’s history, identity, and the league image of the NHL.

Starting with Carolina. The Hurricanes have a timeless red/black/white color scheme that offers so much in terms of aesthetic options. A quick look around the NHL shows what you can do with those colors. New Jersey, Chicago, and Ottawa (minus the gold) all use those colors with varying degrees of success. The Hurricanes, however, have fallen short of expectations.

nhl_e_hurricanes-unis01jr_576

The new home reds for the Canes are a disappointment. The smaller crest makes the jersey look unbalanced and more like a high school practice jersey than an NHL game sweater.

New+Jersey+Devils+v+Carolina+Hurricanes+7u-AhRGQWjSlLowering the logo by an inch or so would likely fix that aesthetic issue, however. Where the jersey really falls apart is the striping. It was a fantastic idea to keep the jersey stripes simple, especially after the complicated warning flag stripe on the previous design.

However, like Tampa’s veiled attempt to carbon copy the Toronto jerseys, Carolina seems to have taken the Phoenix look, with some minor adjustments. Here’s the issue: Phoenix can get away with the two-color jersey because, well, they only have two colors (brick and white). Carolina, on the other hand, has too much black within it’s logo to ignore. The incorporation of an inch wide stripe adjacent to the white would make these sweaters more well-rounded, and less like a generic practice jersey.

Canes new2The Canes’ new road whites are almost perfect, except not. Anyone who has NHL13 knows this sweater well. In fact, I think the Canes were in a rush to finish the road whites and someone called his 16 year old to do a mock up on an XBox. That being said, the stripes on the tail and arms are perfect and timeless. The red shoulder yoke, however, is awful. A thin black border on the shoulder yoke would tie the upper and lower together quite nicely. All together the road jersey is not horrible, but it is horribly unoriginal.

One last critique of the home reds. I have never been a fan of red pants on teams other than Detroit. The Hurricanes pulled them off in the past because of the significant black and grey stripes at the tail. The new look, however, I will have to see in action before I make my final judgement. I think the white stripes are thick enough to prevent the Cooperall-effect, but time will tell.

After the jump, it’s Dallas’ turn on the catwalk / chopping block.

The Stars underwent a total redesign, changing everything but their name.

Stars new2

We must start with the new logo: the D-Star. Right out of the gate, this is a horrible logo for the National Hockey League. Would this logo be a good fit in the AHL or ECHL? Absolutely. But it just does not work for the big show. The logo seems too pedestrian, too juvenile for a $3+ billion league. It is hard to imagine how a simple concept fell so short. Frankly, the D-Star seems to look more like a first draft than a final. Some fine tuning should have been done before making the decision. Perhaps keeping the gold in color palette would have solved Dallas’ problem here.

Srats old 1Now to the jerseys. Ever since Dallas unveiled their old jerseys I have been saying they need a redesign. This was not what I had in mind. The new jerseys look eerily similar to the UND uniforms, with just minor adjustments with the stripes.

The new home green jerseys are simply awful. Take any team’s logo, turn it green, slap it on this jersey, and you have a hideous St. Patrick’s Day gimmick jersey. The only saving grace these green jerseys have are the strips. White flanking black is classic and powerful; an excellent choice for the new look, and a huge step up from the four thin stripes around the elbows of the previous jerseys. However, a black base with green and white accents would make this sweater look much more professional, not like an obvious marketing gimmick. Be careful if you go to a game in Dallas, though, you will experience time travel to March 17th as soon as you enter the American Airlines Center.

Stars unvel new sweatersThe road whites are decent enough; classy green shoulder yoke, laced collar, secondary logo patch. The stripes, on the other hand, are hideously juvenile, much like the new logo. A three stripe pattern, while traditional and well-executed quite often, only works with two colors. The black/white/green striping is clumsy and unbalanced. If the Stars only wanted one green and one black stripe, they should have made them adjacent to each other, not flanking a white stripe. Though, had the white stripe been thin piping instead of equal-width, the jersey would look a little less childish. Also, and only a minor critique, a black lace instead of white would be a nice contrast at the collar.

June 4, 2013 proved to be a disappointing day. I planned on having my two passions collide in a whirlwind of fashion and hockey. Instead, it was a light breeze that blew pollen in my face and I could not stop sneezing. Needless to say, the NHL clubs who plan to release new jerseys this summer better not disappoint.

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8 Responses to Canes and Stars Miss the Mark

  1. james says:

    i totally agree

  2. Buck says:

    Interesting subjective opinion stated as fact.

  3. Derrick says:

    I don’t know, did you ever watch the Stars on TV? When they were at home it looked like they were wearing black pajamas. These will look better on TV at least. I have to agree with you about the logo looking like a rough draft and about the striping on the road jersey. I’m expecting some tweaks to the design (and the logo) over the next few years.

  4. thehaak says:

    So the shoulder yoke works on the Stars away jersey but not the Hurricanes away jersey? As for most Canes fans, we actually like the hurricane warning flags on the bottom of the jersey’s and wish they had incorporated them on the new ones.

  5. Nude Tayne says:

    The Reebok Edge is too juvenile for $3+ billion dollar league. The fit and cut are awful. I’ve worn an Edge uniform (jersey and socks) in my league and it’s easily the worst thing I’ve ever put on. They look terrible and constrain jersey designs way too much. They need to go now. Maybe then we’ll be able to see some truly innovative and classy designs.

  6. David says:

    The Stars need to just go back to the Jerseys they wore when they came to Dallas. The Black with the Green Star trimmed in Gold was perfect!

  7. @thehaak: I like the warning flags too. i’m surprised they didnt use them in some way on this redesign. There were simply too many stripes on the old jerseys, which made it look cluttered. As for your comment on the shoulder yokes: red on white is a very drastic and bold statement, which usually needs a buffer. Very similar to yellow on black, which is why Boston’s shoulder yokes work so well. Green on white can stand alone pretty well, especially this shade of green. What works for one jersey and color scheme does not always work for another.

    @buck: I’m sorry, where in my post did I say everything was a fact? A fashion critique is wholly subjective, and that’s what this is: a fashion critique.

    @nude tayne: I agree. the Edge jerseys do hinder creativity to a point, which is unfortunate. But, if you look around the league, you will see teams doing a lot of innovative designs with them. The big problem is not using the color palette well with the design they developed. The Edge jeresy is partially to blame, but the true test of creativity and innovation is working through road blocks and barriers.

  8. Eli says:

    For what its worth, the Canes actually did incorporate the warning flag design inside the jersey neck in a similar manner to the Nashville piano keys. Subtle, but still there.

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