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While officials debate what jersey Team Canada will wear at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, its clear that player loyalty to the Hockey Canada Maple Leaf logo in question runs deep.

Simply put, a lot of us wore that jersey, wore that logo we won a gold medal in that jersey, said Steve Yzerman, executive director of the 2010 mens team. It does have some special significance to us.

It wasnt all that long ago that Canadian hockey teams were sent to international competitions with all kinds of different emblems. That changed in the mid 90s when Hockey Canada adopted its current logo and started putting it on all national team jerseys.

I think its helped give players recognition of who theyre playing for, said Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson. Before that time, we used to wear different logos and the general public didnt know who was playing. Now they know when they see that logo on the ice that its Team Canada.

Ironically, the Olympics played a big part in creating that awareness both for fans and the players themselves.

Ever since NHLers started participating in the Games in 1998, Hockey Canada has grown exponentially. cheap nfl jerseys The organization has done a great job of marketing itself while undoubtedly being helped by the increased exposure its received as the caretaker of the Olympic hockey teams.

Hockey Canada has also clearly left a mark on the athletes its worked with at all levels, judging by the reaction many had to news that the organizations logo cant be used at the 2010 Games.

Its kind of a downer, said Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price. I mean, how long has that logo been around for? It is the face of the Hockey Canada program. Its kind of tough to learn that its not going to be used in the Olympics. Its kind of outlandish, but what can you do?

Theres a lot of history behind that logo. Its been the face of Hockey Canada. Its almost like we could put it on our flag. Its that big a deal, and its a real disappointment that we wont see it at the Olympics.

Its too early to speculate what the 2010 jerseys will look like.

Hockey Canada will be responsible for submitting a design to the Canadian Olympic Committee, which will then pass it on to the IOC for approval.

Thats the same process the summer federations had to go through with their uniforms before the recent Beijing Games. Baseball Canada, for example, ended up with a logo similar to its own although the organization had to go through a few revisions before getting final approval.

The COC signed a form that allowed Hockey Canada to use its logo at the past three Winter Olympics but decided last weekend that it wouldnt do so again for 2010.

Part of the reason is the fact that the Olympic Charter directly states that federation logos arent permitted on uniforms and the IOC seems intent on enforcing the rules now. However, the potential for the COC to eventually earn some revenue through jersey sales cant be totally overlooked.

Up until this point, Hockey Canada has collected all the money from Olympic hockey jersey sales. While the COC notes that it doesnt want to hurt any of its sport federations financially, it does acknowledge that it might lay claim to some jersey revenue beyond 2010 when the joint marketing agreement with the Vancouver organizing committee expires.

In the post 2010 era, we would sit down with our colleagues at Hockey Canada and try to come up with something that would recognize the unique place of hockey in Canadian culture and sport, said David Bedford, the COCs executive director of marketing and communications. There is certainly a revenue opportunity there and we would definitely negotiate that with our partners at Hockey Canada.

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