Official photos reveal differences from leaks
Canada's 2014 Olympic jerseys leaked not once but twice this summer. First, Jonathan Toews was caught modeling it in a photo shoot, then another photo popped up showing all three sweaters in a retail setting. So the official unveiling today from Nike was just a formality, right? Not exactly.
What we couldn't tell from those early photos is that the large chest and sleeve stripes don't extend all the way around the jersey. They stop at the player's side. There's a practical reason for this. A completely different (and more breathable) material makes up the side panels of the jerseys.
Another difference seems to be between the retail and game-worn versions of the jersey. In the retail store shot posted two weeks ago, 12 gold maple leaves are visible on the front, toward the bottom. (They represent the combined gold medals won by the Olympic and Paralympic teams, according to Nike.)
On the game version, the gold leaves are on the inside of the collar. Look closely and you'll notice that telltale faux lace-up collar protruding through. Not quite Reebok's "hanger effect" fad, but it does have something in common with the American jerseys now.
Another new detail is the shoulder applique. It's a maple leaf within a maple leaf pointing out of the collar. So far, only the Czech Republic has escaped this feature — what many here would likely call a scourge. Under those bright TV lights, it'll probably be more noticeable than you'd expect. We'll find out in February.
At this point, I'm counting 19 individual maple leaves on this jersey. Maybe going a bit overboard, Nike? In any case, these are the sleeve features. On the left is the Canadian flag — which we've seen before, and on the right are the Olympic rings — which we haven't.
Finally, there's the black jersey. This won't be the first time Canada has worn black, but all the gold makes it a bit odd. According to Nike's press release, it's there to "remind the world of Canada’s goal to win gold medals in Sochi." Everyone needs a reason for existing.
Many of you have probably said your peace on the previous leak posts, but if you have anything else to add, now's the time to do it. Do these slick photos from Nike make you like the new jerseys any better? To those who hadn't made up their mind today, what do you like/dislike most about the new designs?