The Czech Republic National hockey team has announced a whole slew of changes recently including a new logo, new uniforms, and even a new name. Yes, after more than 25 years the “Czech Ice Hockey Association” is no more, changing its name to the more succinct Czech Hockey.
Czech Hockey has also done away with their coat of arms logo. The famous four-quarter shield that has graced the front of their jersey for decades has been retired. In its place – a modernized logo featuring the head of the Bohemian lion which had previously been found in the first and fourth quarters of the old crest.
The lion logo is quite well put together and features hidden imagery, in particular is the lion’s tongue which takes the shape of the outer-edge of a puck. Its mane is made up of six points meant to symbolize the six players on the ice during a game. Geography buffs will like the lion’s eye, a map of the island of Štvanice where the Czechoslovakian hockey team won its first world championship in 1947.
A unique aspect as well is the crown atop the lion’s head. As a way to identify the skill level of their players, a gold crown will be featured on their adult team jerseys, while a white crown will be used for junior hockey.
The uniform, while not as dynamic as the logo, is still an upgrade from previous Czech sweaters. The Czech flag can be found tucked snuggly at the front of the collar as opposed to previous incarnations where it was often wrapped around the waist of the jersey. The lion’s mane also makes a subtle appearance on the arms as well as in the player number.
Czech Hockey also claims to have created its own font for player names and numbers as well as for marketing materials, named “Hockey Player” the font is a bit of a let-down and hardly dynamic but seems to be the only genuine flaw in the new uniforms. Frankly it looks a lot like the “Arial Black” font to me, but as long as Czech hockey fans are happy and the uniform doesn’t need to be scrapped due to unforeseen legal troubles (again), then I’m happy.