In honor of SBNation’s week dedicated to the NHL sweater, we at the Hockey Wilderness Selection Committee bring back another round of Minnesota Wild Madness! This time, we’re looking at the eight main jersey designs that the team has worn throughout it’s history, and pitting them against one another to see which threads come out on top.
As we have with all of the Minnesota Wild Madness brackets so far (and if you missed them, see our Greatest Goal and Fan Favorite Player results), follow us on Twitter at @hockeywildernes to vote for your favorites each day.
Without further ado, here are your first round matchups:
(1) 2009-17 Green Alternate vs. (8) 2007-17 Red Home
By and large, the third jersey the Wild released in 2009 was aesthetically one of the finest jerseys to ever be worn by the Wild. Some fans may have poo-pooed the fact that the bear-head logo is not displayed anywhere on the sweater, nor is red used in any prominent way, but in terms of color, wordmark and overall design, this jersey is absolutely stellar.
The Red home sweater from 2007, that’s another story. Dubbed the “Christmas Jersey” for it’s dominant use of red with green accents, HW named the home red the worst jersey in team history. Why the Wild brass decided to drop the green stripe along the bottom when making their first alternate jersey their primary home threads, we’ll never know, but in doing so, they created a jersey that some fans really love, but most fans (and other NHL team fans) find absolutely dreadful.
(2) 2017-current Green Home vs. (7) 2003-17 Red Alternate
Even though we at HW believe the green third easily gets the top spot, the Wild designers did listen to fans when they redesigned their home threads for Adidas and returned the bear-head logo to a place of prominence, giving the Wild a forest green primary jersey for the first time in ten years. And while it introduced some new features that took some getting used to, like the horizontal wheat stripe through the middle, the jersey has more than come into its own in the two seasons since.
The only thing that redeems the original red alternate over its later home cousin is the green stripe at the bottom that helps, slightly, to balance the massive amount of red. Yes, it’s still Christmas-y, but it’s slightly more pleasing to the eye, and did come out with a large amount of fanfare due to it’s retro-without-being-actually-retro style, and the fact that it was an alternate that would be worn sparingly, not every single game.
(3) 2016 Stadium Series vs. (6) 2000-07 Green Home
Simple, understated, designed to be seen from the distant sightlines of a game held in a football stadium, yet classic in terms of NHL aesthetics, the Stadium Series jersey not only was one that is much appreciated by fans, but was also worn in one of the most memorable drubbings of the Chicago Blackhawks in team history — a 6-1 throttling that Wild fans generally aren’t used to seeing. Until we see what the Wild Winter Classic jersey looks like, this sweater will remain in the minds of fans as a memory of a great day and a great game.
The original home green sweater, on the other hand, was the first one dropped by the team in favor of the Christmas red. That has to say something. This jersey was a product of the late 90s/early 00s, with its jagged, gold numbers tinged in red hitting you over the head to say “THIS TEAM IS WILD!!!1” That being said, it was the first sweater fans saw at the brand new Xcel Energy Center, so it definitely earns some nostalgia points.
(4) 2013-current White Away vs. (5) 2000-13 White Away
In 2013, the Wild released a redesign of their home whites, keeping the traditional logo while adding horizontal sleeve stripes and doing away, once and for all, with the jagged numbers of the early 2000s. What they came up with was a solid jersey that bridged the gap between the wildly (no pun intended) different styles of the sweaters that came before them. And an away jersey finally got the cool (but ultimately useless) tie strings near the neckline.
The new away sweater will face off against the one it replaced. Like it’s green partner, it was a fine sweater, but a product of its time, and was long overdue for a change in 2013. This sweater, however, was the one on the players backs when they came back from 3-1 deficits to defeat the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks in their 2003 playoff run, so it’s got that going for it.
So now it’s up to you, Wild fans! Which jersey will sit atop the pile? And which jerseys will be thrown in the scrap heap? Vote on Twitter, and come back to Hockey Wilderness each day for the results!