If there's one thing I know about hockey fandom, it's that we love to complain about almost everything that the NHL gives us. I'm certainly not above this. Just within the last month, I criticized the redesigned NHL.com and was close to setting fire to myself cause the Blackhawks were playing in yet another outdoor game and it sucked.
Then this morning, we put up an article saying how we all should definitely be mad online about the World Cup of Hockey preliminary roster snubs. It's seemingly in our blood that we as fans of hockey must react with snark every time the league so much as breathes. Like a snake eating its own tail, hockey fans create themselves out of their destruction of the NHL.
Announcements like yesterday's World Cup of Hockey rosters and jerseys are ripe for the picking for NHL fans. So, why should we be any different? We already settled the roster debate, so let's dig in on how completely awful or wonderfully innovative these jerseys really are. And as someone who's watched many seasons of Project Runway, I think I have just the credentials for the job.
These rankings are 100 percent absolutely serious and should be taken as such or you risk pain of fiery death from these scorching hot takes.
8. Team Europe
I won't tell you how long it took me to realize that the logo houses an "E" in the negative space. Probably less time than it took for the NHL to decide on such a logo. I get it, it probably wasn't easy putting together a logo for a mishmash European team. But it shows, big time.
It's probably fitting that this Frankenstein of a team gets such a Frankenstein jersey. The white alternate is miles better than the solid blue and darker blue combination that looks more fit to ride out at your local Medieval Times than hit the ice in Toronto. And don't get me started on the half light blue piping on the collar with the jersey numbers on the home sweater.
I've probably given this jersey more words than it deserves but this is bad and you should absolutely feel bad for your poor design decisions, NHL. Don't @ me.
7. Team Finland
I don't really mind these but they're just so boring. The Finland coat of arms -- which looks identical to the Czech Republic -- is way out of place on the home jersey as just a patch. The crest looks best displayed fully across the chest, like on the away white jersey, than tacked on as an aside to a very modern jersey. You have to commit to going full Regency England with the coat of arms, or don't do it at all.
These also get points knocked off for not being the absolutely brilliant styling of Finland's 2014 Olympic jerseys. You can't beat a jersey that looks like your flag, you just can't.
6. Team Sweden
Sweden normally wears the predominantly yellow sweater as their designated first jerseys, but they decided to switch it up for this tournament. Still, it's a very lacking jersey all the same. Just the three crowns, the new Adidas stripes and a block of alternating color at the wrists. Simple, but not in the best form of the word.
We're not talking All-Star Game levels of meh, but it's definitely a been-there, done-that jersey style. I get it, it's classic, but come on, take some risks!
5. Team USA
I love you Team USA, I do. I've rooted for you in every international tournament since I can remember. I cried when Sidney Crosby scored the golden goal and howled in rage when the women lost the 2014 Olympic gold medal game on bad officiating and a post. But you can do better than this.
The white diagonal USA jersey is far superior to a crest that looks oddly similar to the new US Soccer logo. The blue jersey isn't atrocious, but again it's very bland. Just the solid red armbands and the Adidas stripes don't add anything to the new logo in the middle, which almost looks just a bit too small for the front.
Thankfully, it's better than the top-heavy design from the 2014 Olympics. The perfect white jersey brings up USA's overall ranking, but hopefully this spells the end of odd crests. That's not what USA Hockey is remembered for.
4. Team Russia
Maybe I just have an unexplained love for the Russian coat of arms, but I find the elegance of these quite beautiful. Honestly, the picture doesn't do it justice as to how great it looks in motion -- at least the white ones anyway. I feel like they maybe could have gone with just a darker shade of blue to line up more with Russia's flag, but that's really my only niggle.
Fine, the Russians always wear this style of jersey to international tournaments. And hey, I knocked Sweden for doing just that a few spots ago. But these are my rankings not yours. Go make your own post if you disagree with me.
3. Team Canada
The maple leaf sleeves fascinate me, what can I say? Trustworthy Canadians say they look like the logo of a Canadian gas station, and I kind of agree. That aside, I appreciate the risk Team Canada took in designing this jersey. And that's probably the only time I'll ever say I appreciate Canada, because I am a good All-American Girl™.
The sleeves are negative space done right -- take that Team Europe! -- and the more I look at them, the more enthralled I become. That's probably the point of them, to mesmerize opponents so they don't realize it's Jonathan Toews coming down the center of the ice at them. Chalk it up to the jerseys if Canada lights up opponents on the regular, not their superstar roster.
I don't even mind the new maple leaf logo in the center. If they're complaining so much, clearly Canadians hate sharp, modern, and fun things. Just ask P.K. Subban.
2. Team Czech Republic
This is red, white and blue done right, folks. It's not innovative like Canada's maple leaves, but look at those home reds and tell me you wouldn't want to wear that. Anyone would look good in that. Even the whites, while less stylish than their counterpart, just feel like a breath of crisp fresh air.
You know who would look the best in this jersey? Jaromir Jagr. Please come back to us, Jagr. We miss you.
1. Team North America
Sign me up for this revolution. Time to rally in the streets, demand a better living and overthrow the gover... wait that's not what these jerseys are promoting? It certainly seems like that to me.
The under-23s look ready to raise hell, and by the reactions to the reveal of their jersey yesterday, many fans are ready to join them. They're jerseys fit for the NHL's misfit team, one that will give us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this much young talent playing for each other instead of against.
They're the dark horses, the villains, the spoilers, and they're ready to throw some chaos and fun into a tournament that's being bandied about as anything but.