Saturday, 7 September 2013

Oh-Em-Gee Canada

There's a healthy amount of pride that one gets as a Canadian when a Canadian hockey team takes to the ice at any tournament. The expectation is that the chosen players for the team will do whatever it takes to secure victory within the rules, and will skate faster, play harder, and shoot straighter than their opponents in every game. Regardless of the outcome, Canada will play the right way throughout the tournament, and will wear the maple leaf on their chests proudly will representing this great country.

Unfortunately, it appears the Nike couldn't give a rat's ass about what that level of pride means to the Great White North. The above design proves that Nike has an eye for fashion, but little knowledge in the way of traditional hockey uniforms.

I'll start with a positive. There is no mistaking that these uniforms are those of the Canadian squad. The red-and-white color scheme is entirely Canadian-esque, and the maple leaf is unmistakably Canadian. If the white uniforms are simply the colors inverted, this would be a middle-of-the-road fashion uniform.

The problem is that the Olympics are not a fashion show unless you're wearing these exclusively for the opening and closing ceremonies. Hoe fantastic would Team Canada look in these uniforms while filing into the stadium for the 2014 Sochi Olympics? Dare I say that they may be one of the best-looking teams that would enter the stadium that night?

Where they falter is that they are NOT hockey uniforms in terms of their look or feel. Much like the Russian uniforms and American uniforms seen, the Canadian uniforms feel entirely incomplete. No hockey striping on the lower hem, no traditional should yoke to break up the uniform, and certainly a much more subdued feeling of pride over these uniforms. No, these shouldn't be the jerseys for the Canadian hockey team simply because they feel like fashion jerseys.

How this uniform's image got out was that Getty Images mistakenly published the photo of Jonathan Toews on its site before pulling the image. Unfortunately, the damage had been done, prompting Hockey Canada to respond with the following:
"Hockey Canada will unveil and launch the jerseys that it's men's, women's and sledge hockey teams will wear at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi on October 8. We look forward to telling the story and innovation behind the jerseys at that time."
Sounds like Hockey Canada needs some time to justify and/or rationalize this new design if you ask me. Personally, I feel for Hockey Canada because it seems the photo leak isn't helping their cause whatsoever.

Allan Muir, a columnist with, said it ooked like Toews was wearing an "oversized pajama top." Twitter reactions were swift and brutal.
Wow. Worse than Buffalo? I don't think they're that bad, but maybe I'm wrong? And it does seem to be a scarf with sleeves as Mr. Bowers pointed out. Again, it doesn't look like a hockey uniform at all! Rogers Sportsnet did what any good media outlet should do when presenting a subject so polarizing: they put out a poll! Here are those results unofficially.
I happen to be part of that near 80% population. So it comes down to you, readers. What say you when looking at these new Canadian Olympic uniforms? It's not like they didn't have a pile of options to work with when it came to design - the 1981 World Championships, the 2010 Winter Olympic uniform, the 2008 Canadian deaf hockey team's uniform, or the 1976 Summit Series uniforms - so which uniform would you like to see used? Feel free to suggest your own as well!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Peter said...

It looks like a duty-free bag you get in Niagara...

I am NOT a fan of these paper-thin "performance" substance and they all have the feel of cheap-Canal St.-knockoffs...

I miss the old CCM days...