Eric Westhaver

NHL Hitz Expansion Project - (27/60) PARIS NATIONALES (5/03/2017)

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1 hour ago, Jimmy Lethal said:

 

Believe me, I would if Kevin was up for it. He was the one actually making the jerseys; I was the ideas guy.

Oh, no motivation on his part?

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For what it's worth, I'm sure a few people - myself included - would be willing to help resurrect that if we could.

 

Back on topic, anything else before the next release?

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Is there anyway you/anyone could give the "exotic stadium" treatment to the earlier teams? I would love to see what Hong Kong's would be like.

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So this project, at least on my end, is back from the dead.

 

After months of work, every team in the expanded Hitz League - all 60 of them - has a full three uniform set. 

 

There's going to be two changes to the project going forward.

 

1. No more T-shirts, just because I'm not that witty and coming up with new stuff was a pain in the rear for all the teams.

 

2. The lineups will be posted here as part of a Google Spreadsheet, not as a standalone image. That was also a pain in the rear.

 

Anyway... this has expanded by a bit since last October. I'll be posting as much as I can over the next little while, with a new design every few days at the very least. 

 

We'll start with two new ones now.

 

First, those who sold their souls to the devil for on-puck talent (and some tasty blues licks), the Mississippi Crossroads.

 

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For this team, I wanted to pay tribute to some of the greatest music, for my money, ever recorded - the blues. The team is named after the legend of Robert Johnson, who acquired his incredible musical talent by meeting the Devil himself at a crossroads in Mississippi and selling him his soul. 

 

The team has nods to the music and myth throughout the brand. The five stripes are meant to look like a musical staff, and the main logo and hem stripes are shaped like an upside-down cross.

 

The Crossroads, appropriately enough, play in Clarksdale, Mississippi - home of the fabled crossroads where Johnson made the deal. Of course, it's become a tourist trap over the years.

 

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The rink is located partially on a turning lane and a donut shop parking lot, with the guitar monument pictured above visible behind one of the nets. A stage over the other net features the hottest blues acts in Mississippi, who often play during the games. Music lovers and hockey lovers alike come out to watch the club.

 

The team features three lousy goalies, but a good all-around first-line centre in Bobby Barkow. He forms the first line with Jerry Hirstenhuis and Garrett Westerhouse. Brock Turner is the team's best defender... and the team's defense falls off a cliff after that.

 

So there's the first team. 

 

Here's the second one, the Greek gods' hockey squad, the Athens Immortals.

 

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I wanted to make this as stereotypically Greek as possible, with the meanders and the swoop up the one side of the jersey. That's meant to look like a toga.

 

For a team in Athens rooted in Greek traditions, one place seemed appropriate to be their home rink - the Panathenaic Stadium, built for the first modern Olympics.

 

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In keeping with the ancient Olympic tradition, admission to the games is free. It's a policy that's brought a lot of fans in during the Greek economic crisis. The team makes back their cash at the concessions, which are pretty insanely priced. A major street lies right behind the corner the stands don't cover, meaning a deflected shot does sometimes break a windshield or hit a biker. That's just the price you pay, I guess.

 

Athens has the weakest goalie corps in the league by far, but a fairly strong defense anchored by Angelo Michel and Spyridon Ioannidis. Kyriakos Aristotelis is the team's main offensive threat, along with Stathis Papadopoulos, Andreas Prokopis and Efstathios Iliopoulos.

 

Here's the Google Doc with all the teams released, to date. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LSWX8BRnUxp7351uTL_YWu7-nuQdW2cLUpAXt0gwq6g/edit#gid=0

 

We're going to the Balkans for the next team, going to a city with a dark past and - hopefully - a bright future.

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I really like the use of the meanders for the Immortals set!

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Greek version of older Washington Wizards. Love it.

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Let's keep the momentum going with the next team, the Sarajevo Dragons.

 

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A bunch of experimental touches here - asymmetrical lines and socks being the key. The diagonals and the lines, as well as the colours, came from the Bosnian flag. The name for the team comes from Husein Gradascevic, a Bosnian general who rebelled against the Ottoman Empire.

 

The Dragons started playing, appropriately enough, on Zmaja od Bosne Street - also called Dragon of Bosnia Street. The team would play in a small rink in a park next to the street. That plan worked, until 1992 when the Bosnian War broke out.

 

The team's old rink was located near what became known as "Sniper Alley", a known hide-out for sharpshooters. The snipers would hole up in highrises along the road, picking off people below, sometimes hitting civilians. More than 1000 people were shot on that road over three years, including more than 200 deaths.

 

During the war, the Dragons moved to Sutjeska National Park, about a half-hour south of Sarajevo. Not only was it beautiful, but compared to the chaos and the fighting in the city, it was peaceful.

 

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A rink was built on one of the few flat parts of the part, underneath the Tjentiste War Memorial, built in the 1970's to commemorate an ill-fated WWII battle there.

 

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The team played there until cooler heads prevailed in the city. The team moved into the Bascarsija, the bazaar in the heart of the city. On game days, the shops and stalls all stay open, filling the air with the smell of fresh bread and cooking meat. Things are starting to look up. The team still heads up into the country to play a handful of games each year under the war memorial, but spends most of their time in the bazaar.

 

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The team has a handful of good players, but no real stars. Sarajevo-born defender Hamza Krivokapic is both a fan favourite and the top player, followed by Emir Ficko and Croatian forward Dominik Suker. Marko Spoljaric, Russian import Ruslan Zaykin, and goalies Jure Prce and Armin Pjetlovic hold down the fort.

 

We'll be heading to the City of Lights for our next team - one that's often tossed, but not sunk.

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Let's keep this going. The next team is the Paris Nationales.

 

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Each jersey features a lot of patriotic French imagery. The 'T' in the Nationales script is meant to look like a small Eiffel Tower. Obviously, the French flag is a big factor in the design, hanging off several letters. The sweeping stripe on the alt is meant to evoke the gradual slope of the Eiffel Tower.

 

Of course, where else would a team in Paris play... but at the Tower itself?

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The team plays directly underneath the tower, with stands surrounding the rink at ground level and standing room seating on the first deck of the tower itself. A hanging net protects debris and any uncoordinated spectators from hitting the ice after a tumble over the low railing.

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The first floor is about 170 feet above the rink: free binoculars have been handed out to fans in the past.

 

Team roster can be found at this link. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LSWX8BRnUxp7351uTL_YWu7-nuQdW2cLUpAXt0gwq6g/edit#gid=0

Swedish import Felix Seilmarck leads a decent forward group, along with linemates Luther Daoust and Christopher L'Esperance. The team falls flat on defense, where Mario Cinq-Mars and Zack Langlais are the only players with an 80 rating or higher. Justin Soucy handles things in the net.

 

We're heading back to Canada for the next team, taking a deep dive under the country's biggest harbour.

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