WINNIPEG - One of Canada's most outspoken hockey fans and military boosters says the new Winnipeg Jets logo is a beauty.
Colourful television commentator Don Cherry is giving an enthusiastic thumbs-up to the reborn Jets military-themed emblem, which he says looks great while showing respect to those who risk their lives - and die - for Canada.
"It's terrific and it will look great on the sweaters," Cherry told QMI Agency from his Toronto-area home, adding that the logo will likely make Jets jerseys and other merchandise a strong seller across the country.
"I would wear it, for sure, because it looks good. It's got some style about it, I'll tell you that. It's a hell of a lot better than an awful lot (of the logos) in the National Hockey League that I wouldn't wear, for sure.
"I'd be proud to wear that and proud to have that on a cap, I'll tell you that. And the players will be, too. How could you do better than to honour the people who lay their lives down for us?"
The Coach's Corner icon from CBC's Hockey Night in Canada lauded Jets' owners True North Sports and Entertainment for taking the graphic brand in what he said is the right direction.
"It's better than a cartoon or something like that. It's great in showing respect to the troops. I couldn't think of anything better. Plus, it's a jet - it fits right in," Cherry said of the "primary" logo.
"And the one with those two little wings would be great on the helmets, on each side."
The logo is based on the Royal Canadian Air Force roundel through an agreement reached with the military, which involves a total $1-million contribution from True North to a few Canadian Forces personnel funds over 10 years.
Maj.-Gen. Alain Parent, commanding officer of the Winnipeg-based 1 Canadian Air Division and NORAD Canadian Region, suggested that the air force's strong ties to the city extend to its major sports teams.
"We see this as a win-win for both organizations - the air force and the Winnipeg Jets," Parent said, also noting the link in the name of the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Jets player Eric Fehr echoed Cherry's appreciation for the brand.
"I really like it. I think it's different. It's not what I was picturing, but it looks great. It's a good tribute to the military and to Canada," Fehr said.