The NHL and adidas released their World Cup of Hockey jerseys for the eight teams competing in this year’s tournament on Wednesday.
Which ones worked? Which ones didn’t? We rank them here.
Keep in mind our rankings are based on how these jerseys compare to others in this collection and to ones previously worn in international events. Except of course for the two phony teams that were made up for this tournament because Switzerland and Slovakia can’t have nice things.
And here … we … go.
8. Team Europe
Team Europe is truly the deformed cousin chained up in the basement of the World Cup of Hockey. It’s a hodgepodge of every player from a country outside the Continental Six, although it primarily serves as a way to ensure Anze Kopitar gets to experience the World Cup.
Credit where it’s due: We love any logo that takes a few moments to dissect (hello, Milwaukee Brewers’ ‘MB’ mitt). So the hockey stick helping to form the letter ‘E’ for ‘Everyone But Swedes, Finns, Russians and Czechs” is pretty sweet, although uncomfortably evocative of ENRON.
But the whole two-tone look is atrocious. We get the whole “unity” think they’re going for, but you end up with a unintentional Frankenjersey instead. As for the color scheme, it reminds you of toothpaste. And you never want to remind anyone of toothpaste, said the New York Islanders.
7. Team Czech
This is … Slovakia?
Wait, no … Sokovia, where Ultron was hiding?
The Czech jersey is just fine. If anything, it’s a cleaner, more modern look that we usually see from them, although nothing here compares to that “flag” jersey from Sochi, which was all kinds of fun. This is boring by comparison.
Obviously this jersey shoots up the rankings if and when Jagr puts it on, as he elevates everything with his Jagrocity.
6. Team Canada
As for the crest, adidas writes that “the three veins contained in the Dominion Leaf crest represent Canada’s three coasts and make this a mark to represent all of the Great North.” As we mentioned previously, it’s about time someone celebrated Canada’s three coasts: West, East and Up.
The logo itself looks like a Maple Leaf took a job as a plumber and is bent over fixing your pipes. What is it with Leaf logos and butts these days?
5. Team Russia
Jersey-maker adidas writes that “the uniform reflects a modern interpretation of the steadfast Russian identity,” and it’s hard to argue with that, being that these are basically the sweaters Russia wears in every event.
(Where have you gone, ‘weird double eagles that look like chess pieces?’)
Traditional but predictable, classy but clichéd. But at least it’ll be an improvement in look and material for the KHLers.
4. Team Finland
Finland has had a dozen variations of its national team jersey through the years, including previous ones that accentuated verbiage over a logo.
Truth be told, the home sweaters are a little too soccer-styled, but the roadies are simply awesome, with the big bold Finnish crest. The adidas stripes on these look oddly appropriate, however.
Not their best, but still a great jersey.
3. Team USA
Much like the majority of international appearances for Team USA, these have flashes of brilliance marred by some untimely decisions.
The solid blues are classy as always, with the adidas stripes blending well and that "Home of the Brave" and "Land of the Free" collar inscriptions makes you want to take some super soldier serum, grab your Captain America shield and fight HYDRA.
Although, seriously, Team USA home jersey: FIAT called, and it’s pissed.
The white jerseys are a matter of personal preference. Maybe you like the font for “USA.” Or maybe you think it’s something the hero wears in a game of futuristic “space hockey” in a terrible 1990s sci-fi flick.
Oh, and for the record from adidas: This is “an unapologetic shield.” Unless of course the shield loses to Canada and then doesn’t show up for a bronze medal game, of course. Then it apologizes.
2. Team Sweden
It’s hard to improve on perfection, which the tre kronor in fact is. But that “kurbits” texturing inside the crowns is pretty intriguing.
What are kurbits? “The kurbits is an invented, fantastical symbol of vegetal fertility based on a gourd or pumpkin of biblical legend, principally used for ornamentation in Swedish folk art and on painted furniture and domestic objects.”
Also a sign of vegetal fertility? Lundqvist’s beard. Sold!
1. Team North America
Oh. My. God.
As you know, we’ve been lobbying for about a year to have either Team Europe or Team North America wear a pirate-flag motif jersey for this tournament. Something black. Something bad-ass. Something that spoke to their being insurgents, to their attempt to rob the world’s storied hockey powers of glory.
And then they make this for the Young Guns.
The home jersey is just brilliant. That “anarchy” logo with the ‘N’ and the ‘A’ inside an upside-down triangle, like the Illuminati meets an angry kid’s desk scribblings. The gray shading. The ‘XXIII’ notation for the under-23 team. It’s the nWo of the World Cup of Hockey. Or, perhaps, the Oakland Raiders, in the sense that they’ll look amazing but only win, like, one game.
These are awesome. Full stop.
It’s now a matter of how many more we purchase after ones for McDavid and Eichel.
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