September 19, 2016

Team North America's Brotherhood Triangle

With an impressive 4-1 victory over Finland, Team North America is looking good. Real good.

Their jerseys and colors have grown on me too. But I'm still kind of turned off by the unimaginative logo. The NA just looks too stretched out. I'm sure the marketing focus groups decided that's what the target demographic would most likely purchase.

And what's up with the triangle?

Hockey has a bit of a history with triangles. Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks prominently feature triangles in their logos. In both cases it is in geographical references to their respective cities.

In Team North America's case, I'm not sure what the triangle is supposed to represent. Canada, the United States...and Mexico?

Yes. Mexico does have a hockey team. They're currently ranked 33rd in IIHF world rankings, right above Israel.

There are about 2000 Mexican hockey players using the countries 23 indoor rinks. There are no outdoor rinks, of course.

The vast majority of these hockey players are youth, though most do not stay with the game. IIHF numbers say there are less than 250 adult male players. There are actually more female players at an estimated 350, though I'm not certain if that differentiates adults and youth.

One of Mexico's more notable players is Hector Majul. At 22 years of age he could, technically, be eligible to play for Team North America as he fits the under-23 age requirement.

Majul was a notable soccer talent who many believed he could have landed a college scholarship, but it was hockey that captured his heart. He loved to skate.

His skating ability did bring him to America in his late teens. He ended up playing in Phoenix, Arizona with the NAHL's Firebirds. His game improved greatly with the better coaching.

So much so that Majul did end up in college. He is playing for the Curry College Colonels in Massachusetts. Yes, the hockey team, though I wouldn't be surprised if the soccer coaches introduced themselves to him.

It's not the World Cup, but it is worlds away from the empty rinks in Mexico City.

By the way, Adidas, the maker of all the World Cup of Hockey jerseys, says the triangle logo was designed to be an "inclusive band of brotherhood."

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