Let’s start with the United States, fresh off its fourth-place finish at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Starting with the new USA logo, I love it. It definitely has that ‘Captain America’ feel to it, which I hear is popular with the kids these days. The NHL has had a tough time breaking into the real discussion in American sports as a legitimate ‘Top Four” professional league. The NFL, MLB and NBA are all super popular in the States, but the NHL has had its struggles to break out of its somewhat cult following or niche fan base.
If the hockey wants to break into that real mix at the top of popularity, your national team not only has to win on the world stage, but also needs something aesthetically pleasing.
They do a great job with the crest and the sweater design. Simple navy blue base with the single, large red stripe on the sleeve works great with the white accents on the collar and with the Adidas triple stripe on both sides of the torso. The Adidas triple stripe is included on each uniform and really does not get in the way, but adds to the design of each sweater. Good job, Adidas.
GRADE: PASS – I give the USA an “A” for both sweater design and the new logo. USA! USA! USA!
On to Canada, where the World Cup of Hockey will be held (in Toronto), so the home crowd will be out in full force for the tournament favorites. You can also expect to see a lot of red in the stands, but maybe not necessarily this version of red.
Starting with the logo for Canada, the maple leaf. For my taste, it looks a bit too cartoonish for a team that is going to represent the nation that owns the sport of hockey. For what it is worth, they are working with a leaf as their centralized national symbol, so do with it what you can.
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Aside from the crest and the Adidas triple stripe, the only other distinction on the solid red sweater is the white maple leaf silhouette on the sleeves that go from the cuff to the elbow. Similar to the 1972 Summit Series uniforms Team Canada wore against the Soviet Union. So if the homage is being paid there, I’m good with that.
Grade: PASS – I can’t harp on the Canadian design too much, and I am sure once the whole thing is put together and modeled on the players, it will look great. I would give them a “B” grade.
Next: Sweden And Russia