Follow the wire frame (see attachment).
If you really feel the need to stray from it, that's fine, but please use it as a foundation. It should be viewable on a 1024 x 768 monitor.
The current site can be found at http://www.schoolyardpuck.com There you can see the type of content this blog provides, along with some of the pictures used. It's a generic template and it must go! It does not reflect the quality and magnitude of the articles. There isn't much about the design I want to keep. It's time for something new and fresh.
Sites I like the look 'n feel of:
* http://www.touchgrind.com - mostly for the cool header
Sites that have good content organization:
Use the (attached) logo as a guide for color palette. Orange represents a classic street hockey ball and the gray/silver represents the chassis of inline skates or the blades on ice skates. The font used in the logo is called Onani. I am not dead set on that font so if you see one that works better, go for it!
You can use stock images or Flickr, just site the source so I know where to buy them. I will likely use images from the photographer found on this page: http://www.rinkshots.com/eic
Like a hockey team, the website should look professional with matching colors. It should be well organized and clean. It should also be a little gritty, explosive, and exciting.
The ultimate goal of the redesign is to lower the bounce rate by organizing the content better. If visitors can easily sort through the articles, they will be able to find more information that will be useful to them.
One last piece of advice: do not use ice as a background texture. It's been done too many times.