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Hockey TimE — Olympic Style

Czech Republic by Tim E. O'Brien

By Phil Hecken

Now that the excitement of the football season (how BOUT dem Giants???) has died down, we can turn our attention to other things, including a look at non-major sports, like hockey and curling. And we will. Because soon enough, the boys of summer will officially be reporting to the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues en masse, and once again, all will be right with the world.

But until that time, we’re stuck in the doldrums between the Super Bowl and the start of spring training.

In a winter-that-hasn’t-really-been for much of the United States, spring seems closer than usual, at least here from my perch in the north-east. But it’s still winter and it’s still cold elsewhere. So for many of us, that means it’s Hockey TimE.

I’m back again with everyone’s favorite puck-tweaker, Tim E. O’Brien, who has graced us with some mighty fine concepts in the past. Based in part on reader requests, and with some nudging from me, Tim has a bunch of proposed uniforms for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, taking place a mere 24 months from now. So, kick back and take a look at the latest batch of hockey concept goodness from Mr. O’B:


Hockey TimE, Sochi Version
By Tim E. O’Brien

A few weeks back, after posting some defunct team redesigns, people started asking for my take on other teams, including national teams. With the Sochi games just a scant 24 months away (I know Teebz is counting down the days!) I decided to take some of the historically best national teams and come up with a few ideas.

What follows are my concepts. As usual, I don’t expect everyone to like everything. Some ideas are a bit unrealistic (Canada’s helmets) and some are just unpopular (checkerboard patterns on any team other than Croatia), but I tried to go a little outside my comfort zone on a few of these – and in one of those cases, I made Phil very happy: I made the home jerseys white. You’re welcome.

**NOTE: All helmets for all teams include the Sochi 2014 patch and all jerseys have each country’s Olympic Committee logo somewhere on the front (most on bottom left hem).


Canada: Home & Road

Using the new Canadian Olympic identity released late last year, I have meshed these new elements (the line extension leaf, the Stratum 1 font, etc.) onto classic, yet forward thinking, Canadian uniforms.

Canadian hockey uniforms have long been a bastion for bold, unique and powerful design ideas. With this in mind, I have taken some chances with these unis.

The uniforms feature the word “CANADA” (split into CAN and ADA) on top of the shoulders. In probably my most unique idea, all Canadian players will wear a helmet designed to mimic the provincial flag of their home province – a bit of individuality that still screams “Canada, United.”

While the home uni mimics the Canadian flag, the pants on both home and road are black, a tribute to many great Canadian national teams that have won in the black bottoms.


Czech Republic: Home & Road

The Czech Republic has a great hockey tradition and this uniform set hopes to evoke that tradition.

In previous Czech uniforms, some of the colors of their great crest have been excluded from the rest of the uniform designs, leading to a team with a weak identity and a look very similar to Russia.

By bringing in patterns and colors from the crest, this team – home or road is – clearly and unmistakably – Czech.


Finland: Home & Road

The Lions are currently the second ranked team in the world and these uniforms hope to raise their image to the level of their play.

While recent Finland unis have had red, yellow and even black in their color scheme, these classic uniforms stick to two shades of blue and white. SUOMI (Finnish for “Finland”) adorns the crest just above the iconic lion for which the team is named.


Russia: Home & Road

Some of Russia’s best, most dominant hockey teams weren’t technically Russian – they were USSR/CCCP teams. Since that winning tradition shouldn’t be ignored (the USSR players didn’t kill anybody… probably…) I bring a CCCP feel to these Russian unis.

By incorporating blue (along with the Russian hockey logo) into an old school commie jersey, I tried to combine modern Russian patriotism with historical Russian hockey dominance. I kept both home and road helmets red, as was tradition back in the day.

Since The Sochi games are in Russia, the flag on the helmets is outlined in gold to symbolize Olympic excellence and their Olympic committee logo is on their upper right chest.


Slovakia: Home & Road

While the Slovaks placed fourth in Vancouver, they have hit a rough patch as of recent, sliding as low as 10th in the rankings. With this design, I attempted to give the Slovakian team a fresh start with a new, modern look.

When Czechoslovakia broke up, the Czechs got red and the Slovaks got blue. That being the case, I have kept blue as the dominant color. I obviously took some design elements from a certain Pennsylvanian hockey club but I believe that these unis stand on their own, especially given their uniquely Slovakian pants.


Sweden: Home & Road

The Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) have a beautiful hockey history, in both play and in dress. In Sochi, Sweden takes the ice with a traditional yet modern uniform.

The Tre Kronor now have Tre stripes on the sleeves, socks and hem. The crowns on the uni – just like the numeral font – are both classically shaped but also have very sharp angles and narrow strokes. This defines a team that is both sharp in play and strong in tradition.


Switzerland: Home & Road

When I think of Switzerland, I think of modernism and minimalism (and also that one scene from Cool Runnings). With that in mind, I have created a minimalistic and modern uni set.

While some may protest, the black helmets and pants are (just like Canada’s pants) based on tradition, but black is also a favorite color of modernists.

The jerseys and socks are exclusively in the colors of the Swiss flag: Red and white. The white cross from the flag remains white even on the home whites, keeping just a small red outline to preserve the image. The numeral and name font is, of course, Helvetica – the ultimate modernist font. As you may or may not know, Helvetica was produced in Switzerland and and is Latin for “Swiss”. The only font that seemed appropriate for this modern Swiss set was THE Swiss font.


USA: Home & Road

Saving the best for last: America. The American team has a proud storied tradition in Olympic hockey including a couple gold medals and many a silver – including in Vancouver two years ago. Combine all those past great teams, I have created a new uni set that still honors the teams of the past.

Both jerseys combine elements from the ’60s, ’80s and ’00s. The striping on both is inspired from the ’60s, the red pants with white stripes is reminiscent of the ’80s and the arched USA script on the road blues are taken from the more recent USA incarnations.


Well, that’s my attempt at nation building, hockey style. Hopefully people like ’em and nations take notice (one of those is likelier than the other…). Until next time, happy tweaking.


Thanks Tim. Great concepts. I’m particularly fond of your Czech Republic treatment, but they’re all great. OK readers — what say you?


Benchies Header


by Rick Pearson


Those guys from Blotto Bar will stop at nothing…

2-11-12 s-pecan

And, as always, the full-size.


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

And so, lets begin:


We start with Tony Tengwall who loves him some losing Minnesota football:

Hey Phil.

I love my Minnesota teams, even though they repeatedly crush my soul year after year, but what really bugs me is that they look like crap while they do it. If they looked better, it wouldn’t hurt so bad. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’ve been playing around a little bit and this is what I came up with:


Vikings Home: I love when the Vikes wear their throwbacks, so I went with a similar look, but gave them gold pants with nice stripes. The stripes they wear now are horrible. I also added the stripe to the helmet, and threw their “V” logo on the chest and pants. I threw in purple socks for some contrast, I think the whole thing looks pretty nice.

Vikings Away: Pretty much the same concept as the home jersey, but I switched the stripe pattern, went with Purple pants. I’m not sure if I love the gold socks, but I think they’re better than purple socks with purple pants. There are a few other little differences, the color of the V on the pants and the belt buckle, but overall, I think it looks pretty good.

Vikings Alternate: This is my favorite design of the three. It looks a lot like LSU, but hey, those jerseys are beautiful, so why not? Something about the white helmet with the “V” just feels right. Maybe it’s because they’ve never really changed their helmets. I added shoulder stripes and moved the TV numbers down, and added the “V” on the top of the shoulders. The white pants tie in with the helmet, and I can say I would feel alright watching them lose in this uniform.


We built them one of the nicest stadiums in the country, then we continue to run them out each week looking like clowns. These designs aren’t great, but they’re better than most that they’ve worn the past 10 years or so. I’m not sure I enjoy the maroon helmet, but I do like the look of the white ones. I really enjoy the alternate design, with the gold and white, with just a hint of maroon. For some reason, it reminds me of a classic, old style uniform from the 60’s, even though I wasn’t around then.


Tony Tengwall


Next up is Matt(hew) Harris. Did you ever wonder if Seattle had a hockey team and they called it the Super Sonics? Me neither, but here we go anyway:

With Phoenix moving, and the pacific northwest seeing to be a logical move if they expand within the US, I thought it would be cool if a seattle nhl franchise honored the basketball team that was run out of town.





We close today with Blake Pass, who wants to knockahoma with the Braves:


I think that the Braves need a “true” alternate. As of right now, they have kept the standard wordmark for both home and away alternate jerseys. I’ve decided to change that up a bit. This jersey can be worn at home or away.

The second tweak is what I believe the home cap should look like. The standard cap has always looked awkward to me with the plain white “A” on a red and navy cap. All I did was add a simple red outline outside of a navy outline.

Blake Pass


And that concludes today’s tweaks. Check back tomorrow for more.


Screen shot 2012-02-02 at 3.23.39 PM.png

UW Gathering & Curling: Last week, Paul posted this regarding the 2012 Curling Nationals, which segues into our next Uni Watch Gathering:

The 2012 USA Curling Nationals will take place later this month slightly outside of Philadelphia, and Phil and I have decided to head on down for the semi-finals and finals, which will take place on Feb. 17 and 18. Several people I know will be competing: Dean Gemmell, who gave me and Phil our first curling lessons, is part of the fifth-seeded team; Craig Brown, who was my skip two years ago when I participated in the House of Hearts bonspiel, is skipping the second-seeded team; and Tyler George, who invited me to come to House of Hearts in the first place, is skipping the top-seeded team. If they all make the semi-finals, I’m gonna have a hard time deciding who to root for. Anyway, if anyone wants to join us, tickets are very inexpensive.

After the finals, we’ll repair to the Devil’s Den for a Uni Watch gathering — hope all Philly-area readers will join us there on Feb. 18, 6:30pm.

The Opening Ceremonies of the Curling Nationals begin today at 2:30 and the first round of curling gets underway at 4:30. I will have more on this tomorrow. Paul and I will be heading down for the semis on Friday and the Finals next Saturday. If you want to follow along with any of the action, webstreaming throughout the event will be featured courtesy of USA Curling’s involvement with the 12th End Sports Network. Live scoring and a stats package also will be incorporated into the coverage courtesy of Gerry Geurts of CurlingZone.

Hope to see you in Philadelphia — the last time Paul & I roadtripped and he hosted a gathering (in Minnesota in 2010), we had a tremendous turnout. We’ll see you next Saturday night at the Devil’s Den.


OK folks, that is going to be it for today. Had a hellish week at work, my dog is having some health problems, and I gotta work a portion of today as well, so thanks to Tim E. for coming through with an nice set of concepts for the 2014 Olympics, and of course to Ricko and the concepters. Back with a bigger and better post tomorrow.


“Well, you say, neither is blue an Italian national color. The Italians are allowed to do that; the Germans aren’t. Nor are the English allowed to wear blue, by the way. Blue is Scotland’s color.” — Conn Nugent

Comments (80)

    Fully admit I may be missing something here, but are the helmets for Canada supposed to have great Britain and Finnish flags? Otherwise, they all look great…my favorite are the Swiss and Finnish.

    The Czech unis are a hot mess with the black and yellow striping. Looks like a Croatian nationalist with a Bruins fetish.

    I love the Czech design but agree the striping has a strange effect that feels a bit unbalanced. While this is a great design to my eye, one additional thing I’d be tempted to try is a combined stripe that’s blue / checked / black / gold that was consistent on the sleeve, bottom of jersey and sock.

    Well, if the Czechs ever give away Moravia and Silesia to a certain aggressor nation, they can just focus on the Bavarian red and white. Until then, I guess we’re stuck with the Pittsburgh-Croatian Bruin-Volunteers.

    “Looks like a Croatian nationalist with a Bruins fetish.”

    I can honestly say that a lot of people feel the way you do, but no one has put it quite the way you just did, haha.

    Love the Olympic hockey designs, especially the more conventional looks. The beautiful Swedish design reminds me of a pet peeve I have about modern hockey and basketball uniforms, that they’ve gotten away from routinely using yellow and other light colors as completely acceptable substitutes for white. I don’t know NBA uniform history very well, but it seems like yellow was used as a home color for many decades and I can think of one point where there were at least four teams using it consistently (early 1970s with L.A., S.F./G.S, Seattle and Cleveland). Looking at the Swedish uniform and realizing how much better it looks with a yellow jersey than it could with white drives home to me what a loss that change has been for the NBA.

    Then again Phil is from Long Island, no wonder he does not think hockey is a major sport. How many countries have a serious American Football league – 1?

    Paul, read your curling article again and it’s really peaking my interest. I love the idea that a sport that looks deceptively simple, like there’s “nothing to it”, is actually physically rigorous and requires precision timing and subtle strategy. Fascinating…


    Croatia owns the Purina checkerboard motif, TE, so don’t incite a war. Any chance I can still rant about those green German soccer shirts?

    Just sitting at the rink before we head out in to lovely -34 C (with the wind) weather for the finals of our outdoor league. I had the boys on my team take a look at the uniforms, Tim, and everyone pretty much agreed that they look good. A couple of comments as everyone discussed:

    – Czechs: too busy with the checkered pants. That hem stripe colouring throws the jersey off.
    – Swiss: the home logo of white-red-white leaves the jersey feeling kind of blank on the front.
    – USA: road jersey has the USA and the “C” kind of bunched together.

    Other than that, the guys really liked them. Well done, Tim. I have to say that these would really work in the real world.

    I love the design for the USA hockey team, but the pant striping should be White/Blue/White. And I’d reverse the lettering and numbers on the White sweater to Red with Blue outline. Just my personal preference.

    Watch out, the oddydas police will nail you for infringing on their sacred “die mark mit drei reimen” for your Swedish redux.


    When I was a kid I was on a street hockey team called the Super Sonics. Our logo (which we came up with but then we could barely finding one other team to play) wasn’t Seattle based, but this was around the Glove Payton/Shawn Kemp era Sonics team that the kids around town really liked (but not more than our Bulls).

    Olympic hockey jerseys can be either beautiful or horribly ugly, and I think you captured the beautiful quite well. Love those Slovakian jerseys.

    How about switching the Team USA helmets? I always liked that a bunch of Olympic teams wore dark helmets with light jerseys (and vice versa) even though no NHL teams do that.

    Maybe it’s my smartphone, but the colors on the Viking concept seem to be terribly off; the purple is much too bright and the gold has too much of an orange tint.

    I’ve maintained that the Vikings should follow the path of the Giants: take the classic design of the 60s and 70s, but tweak the helmet color so that it’s a better match to the rest of the uniform.

    Here’s what the Vikings should return to:


    Concede that there are no sleeves, thus no stripes. Bring back the original helmet logo for cryin’ out loud. Implement full pants stripes as god intended. And the purples in this image, to my eyes, match up pretty well.

    It always seemed to me that the helmet was much, much darker than the jersey. This became really pronounced to me after they moved into the Metrodome, with the consistent lighting. Then again, my vision is quite poor. :-)

    If the Vikings went with the 70s design and the present-day helmet logo and colors, I’d be fine with that. If they went back to the 70s colors and logo, with maybe a light metallic flake (in the style of the Giants, to lighten the color of the helmet just a bit), I’d be fine with that, too.

    Like the hockey concepts. The Swiss home would look better if it were slightly less minimalist – perhaps add “HELVETIA” (in Helvetica) immediately under the Cross?

    Im loving the olympic hockey tweaks. Im an American, therefore my opinion on the Canadian jersey doesnt really matter, but I dont like the nod to England/the UK on the helmets. I know you Canucks still respect the queen and are still technically a constitutional monarchy of the UK, but being an American, its in my blood to not like anything British :p

    The Canadian helmets are based on the provincial (read: state) flags of canada, their inclusion of the union jack makes them no more a part of the UK than Hawaii – link

    Love all the Olympic concepts except for Czechs and Canadians.

    The yellow-black and checkered parts of the Czech jersey are not unmistakably Czech. The red-white checkers are unmistakably Croatian, which is something that will not be lost on a single Czech fan. And the yellow-black, besides having been used exactly ZERO times on any Czech uniform at any time ever, simply doesn’t mesh with red-white-blue at all.
    The Czech coat of arms uses old heraldic colors from different parts of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, but they do not represent the modern Czech identity. It is red, white and blue all the way. There are plenty of ways to make it look less like Russia without adding the distinctly foreign checkers and yellow-black stripes.

    As for Canada… The CAN-ADA part kind of kills it for me.

    Suomi’s design is easily the best but the others are great, too.

    Overall Tim’s Olympic jersey concepts look very good.

    Thought of a couple tweeks could be tried on 2 of the home jerseys. The Finland home (too much repetition of the light blue with the thin dark blue outline?): either make the dark blue outline thicker on the ‘SUOMI’ and players names, or reverse the light blue and dark blue on them, or change them to a one colour solid dark blue. Possibly change the Czech home jersey shoulder from red to blue.

    The provincial flags on the helmets of the Canadian team are a great look. Were you thinking some sort of vinyl stickers or wrap?

    Czechs can’t wear blue. They did sometimes when it was Czechoslovakia but now the primarily blue jersey is strongly associated with Slovaks.

    I read somewhere that Hydro Graphics is experimenting with hockey helmets (Notre Dame?). They might be able to do the job.

    Aslo, a minor note on the Russian crest. It uses the old logo of the Russian Hockey Federation (eagle with sticks), which cannot be used for three reasons.

    Firstly, this logo is no longer in use, having been redesigned in 2007.
    Secondly, the Olympic teams are prohibited from using their Hockey Federation logos.
    Thirdly, the Russian law dictates all national teams to wear the coat of arms of the Russian Federation.

    The difference between the coat of arms and this logo is almost negligible. Seriously. And how would I have any way of knowing of this “law”? If you must, just pretend that the crest looks like this one – link – and move on.

    Oh, and this is the Russian Hockey Federation logo – link

    Not all that negligible, primarily due to the fact that the Federation logo is seriously ugly while the crest at least looks presentable in the imperial sort of way.
    As for the law, now you know. That’s the reason for commenting.
    And I did say it was a minor point.

    Really enjoying the Olympic tweaks. I’d never thought of using provincial/state identifiers, but it’s a great idea – kind of like all-star uni’s with individual team logos on the shoulders. It’s an especially good idea for countries that are large geographically – Canada, USA, Russia. Some of my thoughts…

    Canada – don’t like the CAN ADA on the shoulders but that’s my only beef. I think the usual Hockey Canada logo is extremely lame and generic, so a nice bold maple leaf on the crest works really well. The unique, but not too flashy font is also a nice change.

    Czech – like others, I think it’s kinda busy but at least it’s an attempt at something new. The Czech hockey team has definitely lacked a real visual identity. I think all the colours could be implemented, but in a more subtle way – maybe thin striping?

    Finland – good call going to a simpler palette. Double blue is all Finland needs. Nice pants striping too.

    Russia – why not bring back the Soviet look? I think the regular unis should feature blue, but I wouldn’t mind seeing an alternate with just red and white – maybe with a diamond motif: link

    Slovaks – they look like Slovakia, and not one of the many other red/white/blue teams.

    Sweden – Sweden’s unis should never be messed with much. I like going to three stripes – why not? Also, good call on removing the white outlines that have crept into their jerseys in recent years.

    Switzerland – they’ve looked a lot like Canada in recent years, and this one mixes it up a bit. The font also looks Swiss to me, for some reason.

    USA – maybe my favourite. Nothing beats the big bold ‘U-S-A’ on the chest, whether it’s diagonal or arched. Not a fan of the width of the pants stripe, but no biggie. I’m a little torn here because I like the more modern USA designs – with the strong logo and navy blue…but I also think the classic USA sweaters, from the 60s through the 80s, are exactly what a hockey jersey should look like.

    I’m going to lie, I loved all of Tim’s hockey concepts. One thing I think would be cool (and interesting) would be to put the provincial flags of each player on the Canadian helmets and to do that with the United States players as well.

    I liked Tony’s concepts for the Vikings, especially the one with the USF style helmet. It looks strangely really good to me. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the Gophers, but I can see the appeal behind them.

    The Supersonics designs made me laugh, but they are extremely bad ass. It would definitely be a cool concept to see in the NHL. I also really liked Blake’s Braves look, but I think it would look better cream colored like the alternate in place. The blue uniform reminds me too much of their spring training ones.

    Have fun at the curling championships tonight!

    Whoops, I meant to say *I’m not going to lie. Sorry Tim, I thought all the concepts were fantastic, except for the Gophers design.

    An alternate idea to signify state/provincial affiliation: put the player’s shoulder uni number inside an outline of the player’s state/province of origin…kinda like the old Cleveland Barons: link

    That’s actually a really neat idea Dan. I do think, however, that on the helmet would look a little cooler. It would also almost be like a football type design.

    I’m not completely sold on having each player wear a unique helmet – but I’ve thought for a long time that hockey helmets are way too boring. A manufacturer’s mark on the front and team logo on the side of a one-tone helmet? Boring. At least some NCAA are mixing it up – Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame all wear helmets that mimic their football counterparts.

    How did Winnipeg get shut out of Hockey Day in Canada? I could understand it if it was Penguins at Jets but c’mon!

    With no time to redo the schedule, Winnipeg is still playing Atlanta’s schedule. I’m sure they’ll be at home next year, playing Buffalo or somebody close to the border.

    I think the design that Matt(hew) Harris did of the Super Sonics hockey jersey got me thinking about what the Seattle hockey team should be called and what their colors should be. I like the Mammoths or Totems or Steelheads and I think their colors should be light blue and navy blue and white or similiar to the Finnish jersey that Phil Hecken designed.

    “similiar to the Finnish jersey that Phil Hecken designed.”


    that was TimE…all TimE

    The IIHF has assigned a single color helmet for each country, which leads to some real stupid combinations like the USA’s white helmet with blue jerseys. What, are they afraid that a player is going to pass to the wrong team because they have the same color helmet? Message to IIHF: international hockey brings in a lot of money, and the top nations can afford to spring for a home and away color helmet.

    I didn’t know that about the IIHF, very interesting. I had noticed during the last Olympics that Canada wore a black helmet, home and road. They looked better at the 2002 Olympics when they had two separate helmets. The US all-navy is such a great look, but the white helmets almost ruin it.

    Anyone remember the two-tone helmet the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) used to wear? They sported the look for years.


    I often say the Bobcats should be contracted, but if they switch back to being the Cougars, they can stay.

    Nice job, Tim. I particularly enjoyed the subtle touches on the Finland and Slovakia uniforms. Well done!

    Tim, always love your concepts, I’d love to see some of these implemented in 2014, the Czech one is awesome. However, with the USA uni, looks a little too much like New York Rangers unis. Good stuff overall! Can’t wait for your next article!

    The lion in the Finnish unis could not and should not be blue as it comes from the Finnish coat of arms which has a gold lion on a red field dating to 16th century: link
    This is also where the nickname “lions”comes from.

    Why Finland has blue and white flag and red and gold coat of arms is due to local historical circumstances but as a Finn I can say the the blue lion just looks wrong and would cause an uproar in Finland.

    I am sorry, I also meant to say that other than the colour of the Finnish lion I could go for these uniforms, so good job! (Though the checkered pattern on Czech unis makes me think of Croatia but as I have no feelings tied to that I dont mind it. ;))

    I like the Slovak concept jersey the best, it has that bold 1970s-style feel to it. The white Russian jersey copies the styling of the CSKA Moscow jersey, which has always been one of my favorites. Russia needs to bring back those awesome onion-dome jerseys they wore once, around 1993 or so. That’s the only one of their post-USSR jerseys that I’ve really liked. Czech Republic on the other hand I think has had one of the stronger jerseys in recent years, especially when they’ve used traditional/NY Rangers-style striping. The wavy-flag motif of the early-mid 1990s was cool too.

    Switzerland looks sharp with the black pants/helmets, but I’ve preferred Canada in blue pants(link). I like the country name in the yoke too. The concept of the shoulder yoke seems to have died out in recent years, except as a same-color yoke separated from the jersey body by thin striping, not very effective in my opinion.

Comments are closed.