A Blueshirt Banter Contest And A Thank You

Today marks a full month since I took the site over from Jim, and what a month it has been. I was hoping to make as smooth a transition as possible, and I believe we have done that. But, I could have never done it without a fantastic writing staff and all of you readers as well.

In the month of July 2011, Blueshirt Banter shattered all of our previously established month-long unique visitor and page view records. The site had a career-high in unique visits, page views, unique visits daily average and page views daily average. The previous best month in site history was ironically enough July of 2010.

We also received our 5 millionth page view and our 2.5 millionth unique visitor sometimes last month, a very humbling accomplishment considering the blog is not even two and a half years old.

That's a tribute to all of you who continuously make Blueshirt Banter your first and primary source for New York Rangers news and analysis. The accomplishments we have made this past month are just the beginning of what I see possible for this site as time moves forward.

I would once again like to remind you that my twitter (@joe_fortunato) is the new official twitter account of Blueshirt Banter. So if you're on twitter make sure to give me a follow and get tweets the second a story is posted on the Banter. You can also follow the rest of our crew at the twitter addresses at the end of the post.

I am also very happy to announce that prospect guru Russ Cohen will be contributing some insight through the month of August. Russ, one of the single-best prospect guys when it comes to the Rangers and the NHL, will be e-mailing me some analysis on the Rangers top picks in this year's 2011 NHL Entry draft and even on some of the Rangers top prospects already in the system. I know it's a little late to be doing draft reviews, but in the slow month of August it will be good to get an experts view on some of the prospects and draft picks the Rangers made this year.

Join me after the jump for the contest details!

As you all know the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers will be playing in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic. You may also know that each team wears throwback jerseys for the event. And although the Rangers haven't announced what jersey they will wear (and probably won't for a few months) that doesn't mean we can't speculate.

So here is the contest: Design the Rangers' Winter Classic jersey. Send them to me at Joe@blueshirtbanter.com, and we'll put the best one's on the site and vote for a winner. If you do win, you get  free Blueshirt Banter t-shirt. Here are the rules:

Submissions will be open until August 20th. From there, all the the designs will be grouped into four different groups. We will than open voting to the public, and the winning design from each group will advance to the next round. It will than turn into a head to head voting, and will result in our winner. We will allow a week or so for each voting session, and it should bring us right up to the Rangers training camp. The voting will be outlined below, along with the rules and jersey templates.

*Playoff Style Voting*

Group 1 --> Winner of Group 1

vs --> Group 1 vs 2 Winner

Group 2 --> Winner of Group 2

vs --> Contest Winner

Group 3 --> Winner of Group 3

vs --> Group 3 vs 4 Winner

Group 4 --> Winner of Group 4

*Rules and Regulations*

1. All submissions must be in by August 20th, 2011.
2. All submissions will then be grouped into four groups. The winners from each group will be placed into playoff style voting to determine the winner.
3. Each participant is entitled to one submission.
4. Any design that was not solely created by yourself will not be entered into voting.
5. If possible, please include a short description of how you came up with your design. (i.e: history, ideas, etc)
6. Jerseys do not need to include a Winter Classic patch, but can be included at your choice.
7. The winner will receive a prize which will be announced at a later date.

*Jersey Templates*

In case many of you didn't have a jersey template on hand, we will provide all our participants with some. If you have your own and wish to use that, you may do so. You will find the download link to the jersey templates below:

Jersey Template 1: (In .psd format) Includes 6 collar types and 4 different jersey styles. (Credits to fireholder at thebreakaway.net)

Jersey Template 2: Generic Reebok Edge style jersey. (Credits to Hockeyjerseyconcepts.com)

Jersey Template 3: Includes all Reebok Edge collars, sock template, pants template, and helmet template. (Credits to Hockeyjerseyconcepts.com)