Friday, October 12, 2007

Rbk EDGE Review: Sabres

Part 19 of 30. All 30 NHL clubs have unveiled new jerseys under the new Rbk EDGE Uniform System for the 2007-08 season. Here at the NHLToL, we're going to review every one of them. Read up and then rate the new sweaters. We'll do a full ranking after completing all of the reviews.

Rbk EDGE Uniform System

Buffalo Sabres

New Uniforms

Old Uniforms

The Unveiling
Saturday, September 15. The Sabres didn't hold an unveiling event for their uniforms as the design wasn't changed from the previous version. But they went on sale to the public in the HSBC Arena in Buffalo on this date.

Home vs. Road
Home: Blue. Road: White. The two sweaters are essentially mirror images of each other aside from the sleeves and feature secondary logo patches on the shoulders.

The blue home jerseys feature a very unique striping pattern. A twisted silver stripe rides up the sides and around the shoulders beneath the logo patch. White, horn-shaped stripes wrap over the elbows and yellow paneling wraps under the arm down the cuff. The collar is silver with yellow trim and the primary logo serves as the crest.

The white road jerseys feature a very unique striping pattern. A twisted silver stripe rides up the sides and around the shoulders beneath the logo patch. Beneath the stripe on the arms, the sleeves are blue. White, horn-shaped stripes wrap over the elbows and yellow paneling wraps under the arm down the cuff. The collar is silver with yellow trim and the primary logo serves as the crest.

In The Details
The blue stroke around the logo on the white sweater is much thicker than on the blue one. Also the colors are swapped on the shoulder patches. The blue jersey features a yellow "B" while the white jersey features a blue one. The same numbering and lettering style has been retained.

New & Old
The new sweaters are primarily the same as the old as they were apparently designed last year with the new Rbk EDGE style in mind. The only difference would be the slight alteration to the stroke on the road jersey logo and the league-wide addition of the NHL shield to the collar.

Standard FAQ
Numbers on the front? Yes.
Laces at the collar? No.

NHLToL Editorial by Chris
Since I'm neither a product of the 1970s nor a fan of the Sabres, I never really liked their original logo that much. However, while I respected their choice to honor tradition and return to those colors last year, I was disappointed. Being a huge proponent of the red and black years, I often hoped to see them one day go with the red third jersey full time as that one actually had — of all things — sabres on it. The team is from Buffalo, not called the buffaloes, so let that be indicated in a secondary manner. I liked everything about those red jerseys and while saying so might put me in the minority, that's how I feel. The "slug" was not the right move. And while they may not agree with my particular opinion, just ask any Buffalo fan and they'll tell you so. This is pretty bad. 2/5

View the photo gallery

Buy your new Sabres jersey!

Online Petitions Seek New Unis

With so many new sweaters being unveiled this season, you just had to know that at least a few would be rejected by a large group of fans. It's inevitable. So a few online petitions have cropped up hoping to rid certain teams of their new duds.

Right now, 65 San Jose Sharks fans have signed a petition to "return to the jersey design introduced in the 1998 season along with the return of the color grey and the elimination of the color orange."

But one Edmonton Oilers fan has gone so far as to start a blog in an attempt to "revive the Oiler jersey." Certainly worth a read if you feel strongly about the craptastic nature of the new Oil sweaters. (And it takes a lot for me to use a made up word, just so you know.)

Anyway, if you've started a petition or a blog or know of one that you'd like me to post here, feel free. It should go without saying that while I don't necessarily endorse them (the Oilers site excepted), I wouldn't mind sending folks along to help your jersey-related cause.

UPDATE (10/13 7:14 AM): By the way, Oilers fans now have their own online petition, if you feel like signing it.

Introducing The NHLToL Expert Panel!

The time has come for me to introduce you to the NHLToL Expert Panel! Why an expert panel? Why not?

As this site has gotten more popular over the last several months, I've started to feel like we could use the opinions of some folks educated and working in the field of graphic design. So much of what this site is about deals with design. In fact, just about everything deals with it. So we now have five people who will provide "expert" criticism of the logo and jersey designs featured here on a daily basis.

I'll make an announcement soon about what their first big project will be, but right now, get to know them a little bit in their own words. One thing you'll notice is the logos next to each bio. These logos were designed by each panel member and will identify them each time they write something here at NHLToL.

Doug, Watertown NY

I am an alumnus of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Originally from the Buffalo/Niagara Region of NY, I came back home after his schooling in Pittsburgh and began my career.

Starting out as a Photoshop photo retoucher, I then moved away from the Western NY region to enter the world of package design/printing and now am using my prior experiences to help develop and design corporate brands and identities for one of the oldest names in the auto accessory business. With over 10 years of varied design experience under my belt, I have a good eye for what can make a design work in the market or fail miserably in the process.

A passionate Sabres fan for the last 10 years, hockey has steadily creeped into my household where plans with friends are made around the Sabres' schedule come hockey season. With the birth of my first son coming in January, I am already day dreaming about my boy playing in the NHL in 20 years.

Kathleen, Washington DC

I received my BFA in Communication Design from Buffalo State College in August 2006. Admittedly, I am a fairly recent convert to hockey fandom, but always admired hockey logos from afar.

I am an expert (or think I am) because of my chosen field, and being exposed to hockey growing up in Buffalo NY. I understand the great tradition of this sport, and believe out of all of the "Big 4" sports, team logos are most visible in hockey.

Drew, Buffalo NY

I am a freelance web and graphic designer residing in Buffalo, New York. I've done design work for the Official Buffalo Comicon, M&T Bank Corporation, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, as well as logo and flyer designs for local bands, movies, and events.

I'm a lifelong Sabres fan, who infamously ran the Fix the Logo campaign, protesting the "slug" logo design now (dis)gracing the Buffalo Sabres uniforms and merchandise everywhere. For the record, I still buy nothing but vintage logo stuff.

I'm a lifelong comic book fan and collector, and I think that the colorful costumes and iconic symbols of some of my four-color heroes influenced my interest in sports uniforms and logo design. I am also a guitarist, song writer, sometimes actor, sometimes writer, and aspiring craft brewer. Cheers everyone!

Lindsey, Las Vegas NV

I was born and raised in Southern Oregon and I moved to Las Vegas a little over three years ago to get my Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design at The Art Institute of Las Vegas. I have years of training in visual arts, corporate identity, advertising and marketing, and print publication. Graphic Design is as much about the science of how the viewer's brain sees an image as how they react emotionally to what they observe.

But first and foremost, I'm a huge hockey fan and I have been nearly my whole existence. Pens for life!

Ryan, Portage La Prairie MB

Hello everyone. I am your neighbor from the north. I am very excited to be included on this expert panel and cant wait to bring you my opinions and help make this site even better. I have been doing Photoshop for about a half a year and have been taking graphic design courses. I think I will be a good fit and will bring a lot of strong opinions and can be a good critic when choosing the best in the NHL when it comes to jerseys and logos.

So there they are. I hope you all enjoy the diverse input from Doug, Kathleen, Drew, Lindsey and Ryan here at the NHL Tournament of Logos. As you can see, they have their favorite teams, but don't worry, they won't let that get in the way of their actual design analysis.

You will get to see some of their first "critiques" this weekend along with the announcement of their new project. We all look forward to your feedback.

Just To Freak You Out X

It's like watching a trainwreck. It's horrible, but there's just something about it that prevents you from looking away. There's all manner of scary stuff out there and now I'm bringing some of it straight to you on another Freak Out Friday. Here goes.

I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't start with this one.

It shouldn't take you more than a second to realize the designer was trying to offer us something different for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Leafs fans, I really want to hear from you on this one.

We've got a brand new logo with a very prominent "M" worthy of perhaps a place like Minnesota — or Montreal! And that leaf! Don't look it in the eye or it will cut you. Deep.

Even the second shade of blue worries me some. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about this, but let's just say it's not great.

Anyway, I'd like to move along now because I can't take looking at this anymore. There's a point when doing this to a team like the Leafs starts to hurt.

Once again, Leafs fans, please comment.

Speaking of prominent letters in place of actual logos, I've got a pair of concepts from each coast.

Cleverly, though, we can't know exactly what these letters stand for as alliteration was employed to mask it. Is the "S" for San Jose or Sharks? And is the "B" for Boston or Bruins? Perhaps, the ultimate question is why dump perfectly good logos for these two teams in favor of members of the alphabet?

Even more disturbing is that "S" keeps reminding me of the Minnesota North Stars. Make it stop.

Each of those were delivered to me with a road sweater design to match. I wouldn't do that to you, though.

Here's what concerns me, though. I've been send a number of logos which have been converted to red and black for no apparent reason. Do any of these work?

It may be that the blood-in-the-water shark is the scariest one. I do see what's going on, though with the Hurricanes colors on the Whalers logo and the old Sabres colors on the new logo — but that doesn't make it any better.

I'm still worried about the killing to follow.

I'll wrap things up today with the thing that might frighten you the most. Did you ever get to feeling like that Rbk EDGE New York Islanders jersey reminded you of something? Perhaps you couldn't quite put your finger on it. But maybe it evoked feelings of being lost. In the ocean.

One reader thought so and sent in this.

If you wanted to know what they were thinking when designing the new Isles uniforms, now you do. Don't you wish you didn't?

So there it is. Another in the Freak Out series is behind us. I'm looking forward to next week. In the meantime, I await your crazy concept art. You can send it to me at

Poll: Rockies vs Penguins


Place your vote and then feel free to leave a comment as to how you came to your decision. Tell all your friends to drop in and vote! The more voices heard, the more accurate the results!

Poll opening date
Fri Oct 12 @ 4:24 AM
Poll closing date
Tue Oct 16 @ 11:59 PM

07VNTRN | #1G | CORvPIT67

Result: Flames vs Seals


71% 1,796 votes


29% 742 votes

2,538 total votes

Atlanta Flames
Advancing to face Canucks or Whalers

Oakland Seals

Poll opening date
Sun Oct 7 @ 8:42 AM
Poll closing date
Thu Oct 11 @ 11:59 PM