It's been a long few months for jersey hounds, but we've finally reached the end of the road: we've gotten a glimpse of the jerseys for each of the 14 hockey-playing countries in Sochi. We haven't seen the home and road jerseys for some nations (Sweden, Austria, Slovenia), but we do have an idea of what they'll look like based on simply reversing the color schemes.
Below are various images and mock-ups of each of the 14 men's and women's hockey nations: Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the good ol' United States. All of the jerseys are being made by Nike. All feature shiny plastic-ness in some way. It's unclear if all are for sale yet, but many can be found for sale here.
If you have info on or additional pictures of any of the jerseys, let me know on Twitter or in the comment section.
Note: these are in alphabetical order, not "best to worst" order.
The two pictures of Austria's jerseys came from the national hockey governing body over there, so they're legit. The red mock-up is just my guess, but usually the colored jersey is simply the inverse of the white jersey.
Canada kept it simple for two of the jerseys, then threw a screwball with that black jersey. Always nice to look at, Canada's red and white jerseys stand out. The black one stands out for the wrong reasons.
3) Czech Republic
The Czechs took a gamble with the flag jersey, but it doesn't look too bad overall. The white jersey is simpler, and it looks better than the colored one.
Finland went bold with both jerseys: a Finnish flag turned into a jersey for their white, and a multi-toned blue with the Suomi crest for their color.
5) Germany (women's only)
Germany's men's team didn't qualify for Sochi, but their women got in. The use of the colors of the German flag is a nice touch, and Germany's coat of arms is a great front logo. Also, the Germans have the first three words of their national anthem on the inside of the jersey near the heart.
6) Japan (women's only)
Japan kept it simple with no fancy logo on the chest: just block lettering and a Japanese flag on the sleeve. The extra striping along the bottom of the jersey makes for a nice visual endpoint, and when viewed as a whole, the sets look great.
Latvia didn't change much from their 2010 Olympic jerseys, and that isn't a bad thing. They kept the maroon and white color scheme and the country name below the crest, and the jerseys look pretty sharp.
Like the Latvians, Norway hardly changed a thing from 2010. They got away from the polar bear logo they've recently used in international play and returned to a more classic design.
One of the host's jerseys is rather tame, while the other is just nuts. The Russian double-eagle jersey is probably the boldest one that will be seen in Sochi. It's a lot to look at, but is kind of cool at the same time. The red and blue jersey is a classic look.
Slovakia used their national colors and flipped them for the home and away jerseys. They've been getting a lot of buzz for the horizontal striping: the stripes aren't just solid lines, but are the words of the Slovak national anthem, wrapping around the entire jersey.
11) Slovenia (rumored)
Slovenia is the only country that has yet to release any official pictures. The pictures above came from an IIHF Jerseys group on Facebook, and match up with a set of gloves that has been floating around. Slovenia uses similar colors for its national soccer team, so it's not too much of a stretch to say that these are legit renderings.
The Swedes returned to their classic blue and yellow color scheme and Tre Kronor logo. They haven't revealed their other jersey yet, but it's pretty safe to assume it'll be blue with yellow crowns and stripes.
The Swiss stuck close to their 2010 color scheme, but branched out a bit with the overall design. The jersey is a classic two-color combo, and the tiny dot-looking things across the breast are actually small Swiss crosses, a nice detail.
14) United States of America
Team USA's jerseys actually aren't terrible, but the shiny stars on the shoulders of the jerseys have made them a source of ridicule. Take off those stars and the Americans have themselves a pretty nice set. With the stars, however...eek.