Thursday, November 20, 2008

No backing down for Hockey Canada

They aren't exactly dropping the gloves, but they certainly aren't backing down either, as Hockey Canada continues to take the offensive in the bid to keep the Maple Leaf crest on the front of the International hockey jerseys.

And while much has been made of image and patriotism and part they play in this controversy, it's really cash that is the underlying issue at stake. A potential 10 million dollar infusion of cash for the nation's hockey programs that Hockey Canada reaps from those Maple Leaf jerseys every time a Canadian team takes to an international tournament. Funding they fear may decline quite a bit without that iconic national symbol adorning the front of the uniforms.

The hockey body has pulled out some big guns for their battle with the International Olympic Committee, which has been cracking down on image of late, most recently at the Beijing Games. To back up their case for keeping the uniforms as they are, Hockey Canada has called on IIHF President Rene Fasel who it is said is willing to put forward a Hockey Canada proposal for uniforms.

They are also seeking out other member hockey federations who may likewise find that the marketing abilities become limited under the IOC guidelines.

While it's still early in the game as they say, Hockey Canada has shown that they're not afraid to take the play to the IOC end of the rink.

So far they've only been gently nudging the IOC towards their position, but don't bet against them making a few body checks of note before this tempest resolves itself.

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