There’s only one picture of this jersey, so click it to make it bigger:
This is my USA Hockey jersey. And before you go off about USA Hockey, and USA vs. Canada, know two things: 1) I have 2 Canada hockey jerseys, and 2) I am a USA Hockey member. So there. This was pretty much known as the women’s style of jersey. The men never (to my knowledge) wore this jersey. I think the NTDP U-17 wear it, but I’d have to look at some of my photos from Hockey Day in Michigan last year. If you didn’t know, I have a penchant for jerseys with laces in front. I want the Avs to do a regular jersey with laces in front. The P-Bruins did, and it kicked ass.
The patches were all added to the jersey afterward. From left shoulder, across the chest, to the right shoulder: 1) Lake Placid winter Olympics 25th anniversary patch, 2) World Cup of Hockey 2004, 3) Authentic 1980 Lake Placid patch, and 4) US Olympic Training Center, Lake Placid. The training center in Colorado Springs does not have patches, and to me, that is a travesty. This jersey was purchased in Lake Placid, NY, which is just an amazing place. I want to do a travel guide to Lake Placid for hockey post. You can skate on the Olympic Oval (outdoor speed skating), or rent the Herb Brooks Arena for an hour. It’s just an amazing place.
This jersey doesn’t get worn enough. There’s something about wearing a jersey with USA on it that reminds me of those people who wear stars and stripes button up short sleeve shirts. But I did wear it in Lake Placid when I saw the USA Women play a men’s league team from Vermont. The men were clearly out played, and probably a little surprised at how fast the smaller womens team was. I have never seen a womens team play with such intensity, and there are a lot of NHL teams that could take the lesson.
In short, you can sneer at USA Hockey all you want. You can say crap like “Damn Americans.” (Not here though, this is Hockey Love) You can tell me how the Americans will never catch up to the Canadians in any number of formulas, graphs, or stats. And it won’t matter. After that, you need to go see a USA Hockey kids game (or a Hockey Canada kids game), then tell me USA Hockey sucks. And you will feel a little part of your heart shrink.
Quick note: A story that, to me, didn’t get enough attention was the hiring of Mark Johnson, he of the Miracle on Ice team, will be the new head coach of the USA Women’s Olympic team. If you don’t know him, he has been head coach of the University of Wisconsin’s women’s hockey team since 2002, and won the NCAA championship this year. In the book, The Boys of Winter, Johnson talks about what it’s like to be head coach of a womens team. There were, at first, mixed emotions, on both sides of the whistle. Then he grew to love it, and found a better hockey environment with the women’s teams. The USA position was made a part time job, which is probably a good thing for Johnson, so he can stay with the Badgers. Johnson, to me, is the perfect choice for the job.