In honor of the 100th anniversary of the IIHF, 15 out of the 16 teams participating in the World Championships in Canada wore vintage sweaters from a year that had special importance to the hockey federation in that country. Poor Belarus is the only country not partaking due to the fact that the federation was not formed until 1991. But I think they should wear the 2002 sweaters when Tommy Salo ruined his good Swedish name. But I think the template is the same. Any who, on to the sweaters….
Canada – 1976 Canada Cup Sweaters
In honor of the 1976 team that took on and defeated the world Team Canada wore the split-leaf sweater. Always a classic look for the Canadians and they used the super powers of the sweaters to beat the US.
Czech Republic – 1947 and 1949 World Champion Sweaters
The Czechs wore this little number this past week. I like the stripes under the yolk and the simple crest is very iconic. But at the time the country was Czechoslovakia, so what about the Slovaks on that team? But as we will see, they had two programs at the time.
Denmark – 1968
No special occasion linked with this sweater really. The sweater is just showing the return of the Danes to respectability on the World Championship stage. I do like the diagonal myself.
Finland – 1965
These babies are to commemorate the first year that Finland hosted the World Championships. The Blue and the Lion have remained on the sweaters of the current Fins, but the red had been lost.
France – 1968
The sweaters are replicas of the ones wore in 1968 by the French at the Olympics hosted in Gernoble. The French have a thing about roosters, which even is evident in the football (soccer) association. Plus the template looks like it is a rip of of the Rangers (look at the shoulder piping).
German – 1932 Bronze Medal Olympic Team
Before WWII and the subsequent partitioning of Germany after the war, they wore these sweaters at Lake Placid. I like the two color contrast and the stripes are amazing.
Italy – 1933
Replicas of the Italian sweaters wore during their first participation in the World Championships in Prague. Many people do not realize how far back ice hockey stretches back into Italian sports history.
Latvia – 1933-1939
These sweet V-neck sweaters were worn by the Latvian national team when the nation was independent between both world wars. Why they are blue, I have no idea.
Norway – mid-1960’s
Totted as the “New York Ranger look”, this sweater is simple and clean. But as many of you know by reading my first post, the Rangers are by far not the first and only team to use the diagonal lettering, but again reinforcing the fact that when people see diagonal lettering on a hockey sweater, they think Rangers.
Russia – 1956 Gold Medal Olympic Team
Paying homage to the first Soviet team to win Olympic gold in Italy, the Russians chose to ware a replica of that sweater. “Russia” in Russian was replaced by “CCCP” in game action.
Slovakia – 1946
This comes from the time when the Slovaks had a completely different program than the Czechs in the 40s. These are my favorites. I’m a sucker for stripes around the upper torso and through the numbers.
Slovenia – 1966 Yugoslavia Sweater
In 1966 Yugoslavia held the World Championships in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. During this time period, Slovenians dominated the program and made up most of the team. I would imagine, however, that the word mark on the left shoulder was not on the original sweater.
Sweden – 1957 World Champion Team
Not much has changed in Sweden sweaterwise in 50 years. The three crowns will always be there, even when Nike comes to town.
Switzerland – 1926 European Champion and 1929 Bronze Medal Olympic Teams
Believe it or not, the Swiss use to be one of the best hockey nations. Again, the simplicity of these sweaters makes them one of my favorites.
USA – 1960 Gold Medal Olympic Team
The sweaters come from the 1960 Olympics when the US won their first Olympic gold at Squaw Valley.
If you didn’t notice in some of the photos, each team’s vintage sweater has a little emblem on the back with the year they are modeled after. One of the problems that I have with the sweaters, well not so much the sweaters themselves, but IIHF in general, are the ads. It’s bad enough there is one at center ice and a car in the stands. But why not for one game just go with out them on the sweaters? Would it kill the IIHF?