Sunday, 30 August 2009

Minnesota Mighty Wild

As September nears, there are six NHL teams waiting to tease fans with "coming soon" ads and "new look" commercials on their websites. Of course, this is the season normally when new jerseys and uniforms are unveiled, so let's start with today's new look brought to you by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks Minnesota Wild. As you can see to the left, Derek Boogaard is modeling the newest threads that will be seen in Minnesota this season, and while I'm happy they didn't go black, the fact that the Wild's "Forest Green" looks very black in the images makes me cringe. When I think of forest green on the Minnesota Wild, this comes to mind. Maybe it's due to the striping on the old green jersey or the accent colours, but I much prefer that green. None the less, it's not black so it's already a vast improvement over some other alternate jerseys.

The colour scheme of the new Wild alternates immediately brings to mind the jerseys worn at the 2004 NHL All-Star Game in St. Paul, Minnesota. Of all the recent All-Star Game jerseys worn since the turn of the century, those ones from the Minnesota All-Star Game are, in my opinion, still the best of the bunch. These new Wild alternates pick up on that classic hockey sweater look, and use the forest green-wheat colour combo well. The hint of red at the neck adds to the sweater rather than detracting from it, and the logo on the front is clearly seen against the dark green background.

Speaking of that logo, according to the Wild, here's what you're looking at:

"The jersey crest features a script 'Minnesota' with 'WILD' emblazoned below. The script look, including the classic 'M', harkens back to historic Minnesota teams of the past including Minneapolis and Saint Paul teams of the 1930s and 1940s. The familiar 'north star' element, borrowed from the primary Wild logo, dots the 'I' and adds a decorative detail to the stylized 'M'."
I can see exactly what they are describing in the logo, and it really makes for a well thought-out logo. But what bothers me is the amazing similarity between the new Wild alternate jersey logo and the old Mighty Ducks third jersey logo. I'm not saying that the designers, New York City-based SME, copied what the Mighty Ducks did, but the similarities between this jersey and this jersey are close.

However, if that's the biggest complaint - it looks like someone else's discarded laundry - there isn't much to complain about. The socks and breezers are simple and classic. Now someone may be thinking that Reebok has changed their logo on the breezers from the vector to the wordmark. I am here to tell you that all equipment made by Reebok has the wordmark on it, and all on-ice merchandise that can be purchased commercially by the public - gloves, skates, jerseys, helmets - has the vector on it. Please don't think you'll start seeing a second name on jerseys. It's not going to happen, according to Reebok.

Speaking of names, the font is classy and easy to read on the rear of the jersey, so there shouldn't be too much confusion as to who is carrying the puck. The bright wheat colour stands out against the forest green nicely, and both the TV numbers on the rear and sleeves are highly visible.

So what do I think? These get an above-average passing grade. While I would have liked to see a return to the old green, the forest green here works well with the wheat accent colour. The logo has several interesting aspects, but I really like the "north star" addition to the logo, harkening back to the old Minnesota hockey days. Again, it might look like another team's old laundry, but it's not as bad as I thought it could have been. Personally, the only thing missing from the shoulders is this.

The Wild will break out their new duds against the Colorado Avalanche on October 21, and continue wearing them throughout the season. Including that game, the Wild will wear their new alternate uniforms 13 times on home ice, and twice on the road for the maximum, NHL-approved 15 dates. Keep an eye out for these new threads!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Sage Confucius said...

When I first glanced at the picture I immediately thought it was a college or high school jersey. That's what it makes me think of. It's not a professional look. I like the green though. The old alternate actually looks black to me, but this one is a nice, deep shade of green.

Teebz said...

Much agreed, Sage. It seems the NHL is really heading towards the collegiate look. Atlanta's alternate and Dallas' entire uniform set could be mistaken for college teams. Maybe this is to attract NCAA hockey fans?

Scott Billey said...

I'm a big Wild I was a bit disappointed in comparison to the really nice red sweaters the Wild have been reminds me a bit of the old Late Night with David Letterman logo...

I agree with Sage. This thing reeks of a college jersey.