However, the new logos have now been released, and the tacit association with the military has been confirmed.
An incredibly short-sighted decision in my opinion. A logo can exist and be part of a team's identity for years or decades to come. But the new militarism that is currently popular in Canada is only a recent phenomenon.
No, I do not mean to suggest that Canadians do not have a proud history connected to our military nor that we have not always supported the work that has been done in the past to defend our country. We have and will continue to do so. But the jingoistic, chest-thumping brand of support is something that has only been imported from the US since 9/11.
Consider how imbecilic the Toronto Raptors name sounds years after they anointed their team with an identity based on the fact that a wildly popular movie at the time had made dinosaurs all the rage. Of course, a country's military is far more likely to stay relevant but it is still not the best choice.
The quietly proud, get-the-job-done-and-don't-waste-time-congratulating-yourselves brand of patriotism appeals to most people in Canada, at least in my experience. To design a professional hockey team's logo with the aim of paying tribute to the air force goes against that.
While the majority of Canadians support their country's military, political considerations often surround the actions that a particular government takes and how they may use or misuse military force. Most people want to leave behind any real-world divisive issues when they go to see a hockey game.
True North Sports and Entertainment (TNSE) has ensured that is no longer the case. Sure, the connection is not official, but the logo automatically creates the sense that the team owners are boosters of whatever military action the Canadian government takes.
The current federal government in Canada has announced that it will spend billions on new fighter jets. The government has also been criticized for failing to take steps to support veterans in a more comprehensive way (something that past governments have not adequately addressed as well). How long before the government reaches out to TNSE to try and gain an advantage by associating themselves with a team that has made their support of the military so clear?
The Blowhards Will Love It
The new militarism in Canada has a few unique features. The people who shriek the loudest and try to associate themselves with this new militarism often seem to be in it to boost their own profile as much as to pay tribute to the military. To me, "support" means not just letting everyone know that you consider yourself honourable for supporting the people who take the risks, but actually giving money or time to help those people.
And most of those individuals are hard-core black-and-whiters. To criticize a logo that has that indirect relationship to the military, of course means to the blowhards that you are criticizing the military. It just adds a permanent angle to the identity of the team that I feel is inappropriate. Keep the tributes to individual games and/or pre-game ceremonies. The intentions of TNSE are no doubt good with regard to the logo, but I believe it wasn't the best decision.
But enough of that. How does the new logo rate in terms of its design?
First, the colour combination of blue, silver and red is slick and looks very good.
The main logo features a fighter jet over a red maple leaf on a white circle surrounded by a blue inner ring and a silver outer ring.
Some people may claim that the red maple leaf is not an accurate depiction of a maple leaf as the stem is made to look like a thrust from the overlapping jet.
But, you might say, who cares? It doesn't have to emulate a real-life maple leaf. True, but it may look a bit off to some people.
Also, for most hockey fans, the maple leaf is part of the Toronto Maple Leafs logo and identity. But who says one team has a monopoly on a symbol that is so important to so many Canadians?
Overall, this logo reminds me of a bottle cap. A tie-in with a local brewery could be in the works.
As has been pointed out by others, one of the secondary logos looks like a military medal.
It features a military-type insignia that is shaped like wings, over which are imposed two crossed hockey sticks (that also look vaguely like two splayed feet), a red maple leaf and "Winnipeg Jets" in two white banners. It will likely be a shoulder patch.
Finally, the other secondary logo features mainly script, and is weak, in my view. The font just does not look very good.
While nothing is ever final, the look of the new Winnipeg Jets is set, at least for the foreseeable future.