Monday, January 28, 2013

WHL Section Expanded

0
A short while ago we introduced a new section devoted to the WHL. Due to the small number of graphics on the site and the lack of interest, I thought it might make more sense to combine that section with the other two leagues in the Canadian Hockey League. Now you can check them all out at frozenchl.blogspot.com.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Comparison: 12 to 13 Center Ices

3
With a new season about to begin, and all 30 teams have installed their ice, it is time to look at this years changes. I will add my opinions about the changes and I would encourage others to do the same as well. You can post your thoughts in the comments below.

Boston Bruins
The Bruins have not been able to stick with a red line for more than one season since the last lockout. Somewhat ironic since before that they had the same red line for almost a decade. Well maybe it is because of the abbreviated season, or perhaps they are just giving up now, as they have gone with a solid red line. With a simple iconic and dark logo at center ice, I find a solid red line to look more natural. Good Call



Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo has tried to change their arena font to make it match the official arena brand. It is a pretty insignificant change to me and takes away some symmetry from the design. On the other hand, the word "CENTER" stuck out last year in its bold unmatching font. In my opinion it clashed with the "FIRST NIAGARA" font. Good Call


Calgary Flames 
I always liked the layout of the arena text in 2012 and frankly didn't see a need for a change.  It was also dissappointing to see another team go with the cliche red line consisting of its primary logo. This is a trend that is growing old fast due to its overuse in the league. Bad Call



Dallas Stars
It is well-known at this point that this will be the last season for the current Dallas Stars logo and jerseys. This is very welcome news, and though I am never too fond of anniversary logos at center ice, in this case I prefer it. We will likely never see the old Dallas Stars logo at center ice ever again. Good Call



Florida Panthers
Do the players even keep up with the name of their home arena anymore? So many changes and this time the on ice look is cleaner, though not as iconic as the BankAtlantic text. Now here is where I would expect to get some criticism, but I preferred the old arena text over the new. Bad call, though to be fair, they really didn't have a choice.



Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens rarely change up their historic ice design, but last season they brought in a new look for the red line. It was nice to see a team incorporate their logo into the red line in a slightly different way, similar only to the Dallas Stars. However it was not very easy to see on TV and probably not to easy to make out in  the arena either. Perhaps that is why they changed it to follow the current overused white logo on red line theme. While it is easier to make out the tiny logos, I would prefer their 2012 design or even their older white  box pattern in the red line. Bad Call



New York Islanders 
Last year's anniversary logo actually looked pretty cool at center ice, but in my opinion, the special logo's appeal wears off on me before the season is up. Its always usually nice to see the primary logo return to center ice. Good Call



Ottawa Senators
Well what do you know, another teams trying to fit in with the cliche red line crowd.  Perhaps this is best compared to the cool kids table in high school that everyone wants to get to sit at, and those that can't despise them. Never-the-less, its nice to see the primary logo back at center ice. Good Call



Phoenix Coyotes
We don't know when they will be renamed the "Arizona Coyotes" so that is probably why the text around center ice was changed up for the first time since Jobing.com took over naming rights to the arena. Also good to see the primary back at center ice front and center. What is really unfortunate is that they had a one of a kind red line and gave it up for the red line cliche. The rest of the center ice makes up for it at least. Good Call



San Jose Sharks
Only one change this year, and that is obviously the arena text. Before it was subtle and classy. Now it is big, bold, and really takes attention away from the Sharks primary logo. It also does not seem to match any other HP Pavilion branding.  Bad Call



Tampa Bay Lightning
Like their new logo or not, it seems awfully early to take the new primary logo off of center ice for an anniversary logo. They also have changed up their red line which is less like the cliche but also very bizarre and off-center. Overall when I take a look at the 2013 ice, it is not very pleasing to the eye. Bad Call 



Vancouver Canucks
Ill keep this short and sweet. The Canucks rarely change up their red line. I wonder what prompted them to go with solid red. Bad Call 
Winnipeg Jets
They changed their red line to match the overused pattern of the primary logo, or part of it at least. However, this dosen't bother me since this red line is sort of a throwback to the 1996 Jets red line. Good Call 


There you have my thoughts, it is only fair to let you all chime it and agree or disagree. Please feel free to comment below...

Friday, January 11, 2013

EA Sports Center Ice Designs

3
EA Sports has come a long way in the presentation department over the last few seasons. NHL 12 brought updated scoreboards to most rinks. NHL 13 brought animated power rings, dynamic rink lighting, better ice textures with better skate marks and ice wear. We can only wonder at this point what NHL 14 might bring.

Here at Frozen Faceoff, we strive for accuracy on center ice graphics, and when I start playing NHL 13, the center ice designs have some eye catching flaws.  I don't want to sound as if I am bashing EA Sports on this, because they have improved greatly in the presentation department, and they can't fix everything in one year. The improvements that they made last year made NHL 13 an awesome game in my opinion. My hope is that NHL 14 is the year that all the center ice designs are accurate along with the red lines. Here I will show some of the necessary corrections to make this possible. Please keep in mind, EA Sports does not always have the rights to display arena names for some rinks. This is not their fault, but rather the fault of team and/or arena officials for not signing off on the paperwork. In these cases they have to put in a fake name that is not in any way similar to the real text on the ice.

Buffalo Sabres - First Niagara Center 
I was surprised to see that they got First Niagara Center naming rights for NHL 13. Usually banks are pretty iffy on whether or not they allow their name in the game. This year the text has changed a bit as you will see below.

My only beef with this ice is the red line. Stars were only used in 2010/11 season when they had the anniversary logo.




Carolina Hurricanes - PNC Arena
This rink seems to have been neglected for a few years now. No arena name or faked arena name, no black boxes in the red line, and though its not related to ice graphics, I still want to mention the horribly outdated scoreboard.

At the very least, they need to get the red line corrected. It is iconic with the Hurricanes as it is the Hurricane Warning Flag symbol. Also, it is the only rink they left without text and it reminds me of NHL 94.


Here is an alternative idea if they can not secure arena naming rights.

Chicago Blackhawks - United Center 
I feel like I am nitpicking on this one but this ice bothers me quite a bit really. I understand they have to fake the arena name until they get the rights to use the real one, but the red line is wrong and the Blackhawk logo is a bit too big and is touching the red line. It all gives me a very vintage feel. Would also like to see the arena text a bit bigger or moved to surround more of the circle, but that's just a personal preference.


Minnesota Wild - Xcel Energy Center
This ice just needs to have the arena name changed to upper and lower case letters, and "Xcel" should be made bold.


New York Islanders - Nassau Coliseum
This ice could use some work with the red line as well as some white space separating the Isles logo from the red line.


New York Rangers - Madison Square Garden
Here is an ice that feels so wrong. Its a shame that EA can't use the correct arena name anymore, again not their fault, but I do hope they will update the rest of the center ice for NHL 14. Red line needs some work too. Below is the actual ice design and my suggestion for a fake name alternate if they need it.


San Jose Sharks - HP Pavilion
This is probably wont of my favorite fake text graphics as the SAN JOSE SHARKS text surrounds the sides of the circle and is in the correct color. The color may need to be updated this year as the real life text has changed. The only issue I have with this ice is the red line.


Saint Louis Blues - Scottrade Center
The ice is mostly accurate but the Blues Logo should not be navy blue, instead more of a royal blue. Also the arena name could be closer to the circle and should be purple and gray.



Vancouver Canucks - Rogers Arena
My only complaint with this ice is that the red line is not very accurate. This is a bit surprising as this is pretty much the hometown favorite up there at EA Canada. Although the red line had diagonals in it before, just a different ice, now they have changed their red line completely. For this abbreviated season, they are just using a solid red line.

Finally I will list the rest of the improvements or updates that could help improve the accuracy of the rest of the center ices.

Boston - using a solid red line this season.












Calgary - new arena text layout and "C"s in the red line....











Colorado - "CENTER" font should be changed to something more basic.









Columbus - Bold, black font for arena text.



Montreal - Updated red line with Habs logos in it.











Phoenix changed the arena name layout and got rid of "Phoenix Coyotes". Also got a new red line.










Ottawa - Added Senators logos to red line.









Winnipeg - Added Jets to red line.











Tampa Bay - They changed up their red line a bit. I have to say I am a huge fan of the fact that EA does not put anniversary logos in the game. While some may disagree, I just feel it dates the game, and usually they do not know what the ices will look like in time anyway.








If you work for EA and should happen to be viewing this article, which is my goal, I would invite you to check out  http://frozennhl.blogspot.com/search/label/2013 and use those graphics as reference. We would love to see the ices look fully authentic in NHL 14!

Here is a little site that I made that involves a lot of fake arena name concepts. They are not based on actual arena name designs and layouts (as EA has to be careful) but they are unique and a bit more creative than the fake text put in NHL 13. http://frozenfakes.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dallas Getting New Logo And Uniforms

0
The Stars' organization have announced a new logo, and new uniforms that are very different than their old ones. They should be ready in time for the 2013/14 season. [soucre] All I can say is that it is about time. They have been using those generic black and white jerseys far too long.

A while back I created a Dallas Stars logo and jersey concept along with an ice graphic showing the new logo. While I am sure they will go in a different direction, feel free to have a look at the concept here.

Hockey Is Returning: Site Update

0
A tentative deal has been made between the NHL and the NHLPA to end the four month old lockout which has wiped a half a season. While this is great news for the fans who are still around, the NHL would appear to have fixed the smallest of their problems.

It is hard to say at this point who "won" and who "lost". However it is obvious that no matter the outcome for  the NHL, they are the true losers as they now have the responsibility of not only making it up to the fans that are left, but also bringing back the ones that have left.

A simple "Thank You Fans" on the ice will not cut it this time. Seriously, did it help at all last time? Mostly it just made fans even more angry to think that after all they had endured  all they got in return was a simple message on the ice.

The league faces this task which I would not want to be responsible for. Lets just hope they figure out a way to restore our sport to at least some of its old glory, and learn from its mistakes in order to prevent future work stoppages.

View the statement from NHL.com here.

As for what this means for Frozen Faceoff:

We will continue to update the 2013 with the remaining teams that must install their ices. We will also keep an eye on Calgary who I would expect to change their ice back to the familiar C logo filling the center circle.

The absence of the NHL was a large factor that led to the building of the minor league ice graphics and perhaps the only factor. However, those will not be going away and we will continue to frequently update the sites as we did before. It is my personal goal to continue building the site so that there is a little something special here for any hockey fan.

Thank you for your continued support.

© 2014 Frozen Faceoff. All rights resevered. Designed by Templateism