A month until the Minnesota State Fair and a new Jersey
Posted by Nathan Wells on Monday, July 29, 2013
Late July is one of the few times in the hockey schedule to catch our breath. Free agency has slowed after a hectic first wave down to a crawl. The same is true with news. Anything on the horizon like the Traverse City prospects tournament is normally at least a month away.
We are exactly 66 days from opening night on October 3rd.
Still, as great as it is to have that chance to breathe with everything all quiet on the western front, writing about hockey in late July means one of two things. You can look backwards and comment on what just recently happened, or you can look into the near future and start predicting. Neither is a wrong choice. In fact, we'll probably continue to do both over the next few weeks.
But why not tie the two together with a comment on what will happen?
Next month Minnesota will unveil new white jerseys at the Minnesota State Fair...or so the rumor goes. That should come at no surprise. A new jersey (not to be confused with New Jersey as that was last summer) has been in the pipeline for months.
Back in December, several season ticket holders were focus-grouped on a couple different options on a new white sweater.* One had the large Wild head crest with 2 horizontal green stripes on the arms. Another option was in line with the green alternates, showing off the "Minnesota Wild" script, only in white.
(Of course those were just prototypes. When Dallas re-branded earlier this summer, the finished product was one of over 200 designs considered.)
At the same time, the State Fair has had history as a place where the Wild have publicly unveiled sweaters. The "Great Minnesota Get-Together," which this year runs from August 22 to September 2, was Minnesota's choice to initially show off the green alternates. It's a good place to do so locally. While some teams utilize the NHL Draft to showcase new jerseys to the hockey world, the "State of Hockey" shuns the national spotlight for a large built-in audience of its own. The Minnesota State Fair draws nearly two million people to Falcon Heights, MN (just north of St. Paul) over 12 days. One out of three Minnesotans attend.
More importantly, the Minnesota State Fair is the unofficial end of summer. Children go back to school when the Fair shuts down the midway on Labor Day. Families close up their cabins. Fall is upon us after the Minnesota State Fair and with that comes both training camp and the beginning of another NHL season (non-Lockout years).
And with that means only the second white jersey in Wild history will grace the ice (and retail shops everywhere). The original white, worn as a home sweater before the NHL switched course, speaks of the late 90s and all its extreme Mountain Dew/Surge fueled goodness.
To be fair, the Wild's original sweater has aged better than nearly every other "extreme" jersey of the era. It's one reason why Minnesota has one of, if not the only, active jerseys still from that time. They are unique and led the push for the Wild to be trendsetters. The red and green home sweaters with the circle logo brought back that innovation to the NHL full circle.
However, the current white jerseys stick out because they do not the current scheme of either the red home sweaters or green alternates. None of them really do. Minnesota's three current jerseys cover three distinct eras going back to the far-off year 1997. The hope - whether or not one of the two white jerseys mentioned or another unseen option get chosen - right now is more than trendsetting.
The hope for next month is that the new ones will one way or another fit together.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Follow First Round Bust on Twitter @FRBHockey. You can also follow Nate @gopherstate for Minnesota hockey updates and his mad hockey fashion sense. Cooperalls are out this year. Breezers are in.
*We also posted our own take at new Minnesota jerseys, which you can see in the December post. Or likely have seen. Out of the nearly 900 posts on First Round Bust at the time of this writing, that uniform article is the most-read one in our blog's history.