Hockey Canada has unveiled the jerseys that Team Canada will don in their attempt to win gold on home turf at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Hockey Canada was forced to make changes to their jersey after the IOC said that the Hockey Canada logo couldn’t be used on the Olympic jerseys. Previously, the Canadian Olympic Committee had gotten an exemption so Hockey Canada could use the logo. The 2010 jerseys are the same as the most recent Team Canada jerseys but with a new logo. I think that Hockey Canada had a golden opportunity to do something special here but they blew it.
The new logo to be used on the 2010 Olympic jerseys has a decidedly Native theme to it. That fits right in with the rest of the COC’s branding decisions. The 2010 Olympic logo is a Olympic coloured Inuksuk. The mascots are all based on mythical creatures whose origins rest in western First Nations legends. That all works well with paying homage to the massive amount of First Nations history that is based in that part of Canada.
However, given the massive push by the media done in the vain of Canada winning its first gold medal on Canadian soil, I think the push for history gave Hockey Canada a great opportunity to reach back to some of its history. They haven’t shown any hesitation when it comes to going nostalgic. In recent years, we’ve seen them break out a replica of the old Winnipeg Falcons’ black and gold jersey they when they were the first Canadian Olympic hockey team. Really, I think Hockey Canada had three more viable options when it came to solving the jersey quandary.
1. Use the logo from their alternate jerseys as the primary jersey logo
Seeing as it isn’t Hockey Canada’s official logo, it gets around the IOC rule about using a corporate logo on the jerseys. It’s already been used on the last generation of Canadian jersey on the black alternate jerseys. It’s a nice retro logo just different enough that Hockey Canada can sell some jerseys. The only problem is that is reminds me just a bit of that old Maple Leafs logo and we all know their history of success.
2. Use Summit Series style jerseys
The Summit Series nostalgia craze has passed since the 35th Anniversary of the greatest hockey series ever played. However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a good choice for a jersey. After all, the Summit Series team was the first team of professional athletes that represented Canada in an international hockey competition (even if it was an exhibition series). Of course, a major event in that team’s run to victory. The Vancouver fans booed Team Canada which led to Phil Esposito’s famous speech which spurred the team on to victory. Actually, while the rest of Canada might love the Summit Series throwback, I don’t think bringing it to Vancouver is a good idea.
3. Use Canada Cup style jerseys
The jerseys used in the Canada Cup evolved over the history of the tournament. They all followed the general design of a stylized maple leaf with “Canada” written diagonally along leaf. These jerseys are synonymous with one of the most successful periods in Canadian hockey history. Like the Summit Series jersey, these jerseys fall into that fond nostalgia category. However, I would have preferred that these jerseys be used in 2010 because they tie nostalgia, history, and that Canadian drive for success all in one sweater. And they busted these out at the 2008 IIHF World Championships so it’s not as if they’re being plucked from obscurity.