New Minnesota Wild Uniform Thoughts & Analysis


Throughout the last week and even going back to the last jersey unveil in 2009, my thought on the new Minnesota Wild road sweater that was unveiled Saturday (September 1, 2013) was that I wanted to see a sweater which fit in with the rest. It's a minor concern. The Wild have been successful in the jersey designing game for as long as the franchise has existed. Even in the awful late 90s period when NHL teams went outside and then burned the box, Minnesota's expansion franchise made the most with its inaugural sweater. No other team still had the balls (pucks?) to even wear one based in the late-90s.

Still, there has never been any cohesion with the jerseys since the Reebok Edge redesign in 2007. Minnesota's third jersey, initially designed to stand out from the original two designs, became the home sweater. In its place was a new green alternate which also stood out when it was introduced in 2009. Not only were the Wild wearing three different jerseys with three different logos on the front, but none of the three shared any cohesion. They all had a different identity, which is fitting for a team that is still searching for its own.

Although there are still some issues with the newest Minnesota Wild jersey, presenting a good-looking team road is not one of them.

Let's get it out of the way - there is no jersey metric. Everything written is purely subjective and explains my tastes. If you disagree, that's fine. This is the internet.

What isn't subjective is that the 90s NHL jerseys are officially dead and chilling up in hockey heaven with both the glow puck and Hartford Whalers.

Minnesota has traded in a brighter 90s jersey with a "wild" number font for something a bit more reasonable. Outside of the square shoulders, which is a mixed bag, the new white jersey is less of a throwback than it is a compliment to the forest green alternates. Both sweaters share the same piping and green shoulders. If the Wild took away the high school/collegiate "Minnesota" wordmark on the alternate jersey and replaced it with the Wild head logo, it would be an inverse match.

However, this isn't a case of the AHL Iowa Wild where the team essentially took the green third jersey and slapped on the circle logo of Minnesota's home red sweater before calling it a day. The NHL team made sure that the new white sweater would be able to stand on its own. Besides keeping the Wild head over the circle and Minnesota wordmark (a must-have according to Wild manager of web and creative services Matt Minnichsoffe) to ensure that all three jerseys had a different logo, the white jersey has red numbers mixed with a green name plate.

Honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of the red numbers. I don't like the red and green color combination. Even with that being case, this isn't abysmal. It does work better than the "Christmas colors" that adorn the red home jersey, however, as in the case of the white jersey the red "pops" rather than overwhelm.

That's especially true with the collar. The old white jersey had a lot more red (and up until 2009 a cool racing stripe on the breezers - that still hasn't been brought back). The new one makes the color count by using it at a minimum.

It is a wise choice not only aesthetically but with identity. At the end of the day, the logo and uniform of an NHL team says a lot about its brand and about the team. In Minnesota's case, the new white jersey is thankfully not trying to kick off a new era. Having three different eras from a period of 15 years was redundant.

Instead, the new white jersey is fitting in with a franchise that has begun to make its own history. It is closer to the green alternate than the red home, but not so much where the red jersey has slipped into the position of the original white sweater as an outlier. The circle logo finds its way onto the shoulder patches and both showcase the team's main colors of Iron Range Red and Forest Green.

Would I love to see the Wild try something new and trend-set again? Would putting a State of Hockey (Minnesota outline) patch on the shoulders be cooler than the circle logo? It might be better, but having a cream color road jersey wouldn't fit in the same way that the newly unveiled Wild jersey does.

All three Wild jerseys now have laces. Two of the three have a bottom stripe while two of the three (red and green) have cream numbers. The two primary jerseys do a great job complementing each other while the third is slightly different. On that end, I think that the new Minnesota Wild uniform is a success. Even with a few tweaks, it looks great.

A lot can be said about what is in an identity. For Minnesota, it's that they are unique when it comes to hockey.

Photo Credit: Minnesota Wild
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Follow First Round Bust on Twitter @FRBHockey. You can follow Nate @gopherstate where he swears he'll write about something that isn't jersey-related. This is it.

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