Outdoor games are old hat for the Chicago Blackhawks, but the Wild threw out all the bells and whistles earlier today when the organization unveiled its uniform for the Stadium Series game Feb. 21 at TCF Bank Stadium.
On the ice in front of a large throng of media and team employees, captain Mikko Koivu and alternate captains Zach Parise and Ryan Suter modeled them in front of the penalty boxes.
“Really cool,” Parise said of his impressions. “In a good way, they’re plain. I think they’re sharp. They have a really good look to it. I really like it.”
I’m no fashion guru, but in my best attempt to describe them with help from the press release, the jersey’s crest features the Wild logo and the colors are primarily Forest Green with Iron Range Red and Minnesota Wheat accents.
On the shoulder is the State of Hockey logo, the first time that has ever appeared on a Wild sweater. The new ligature “M” logo is on the left side of the pant. There are also enlarged numbers on the sleeves and back that are scaled for greater visibility in the stadium setting.
“I really like the jersey's classic look, the addition of the State of Hockey Logo and the ‘M’ mark to our uniform,” said Koivu. “It'’s an exciting step towards our first outdoor game, which is going to be a great celebration for our fans and the entire State of Hockey.”
Added Suter, “I think it’s cool. Like Mikko said, it’s traditional, big numbers. It’s just something different and I think it’ll look nice on the ice. … My son just brought home his jersey for his team now, and he’s pumped about it just like we are.”
The Blackhawks have played in three outdoor games, including two Winter Classics. Wild players are starting to get excited even though the game is three months away.
“It’ll be fun,” Suter said. “[The Blackhawks] have done it before. We haven’t. It’s all new to us. It’ll be different with the weather, the ice, the sun, who knows, but it’ll be a great experience. Everyone in the locker room is looking forward to it.
“Hopefully it’s not too cold.”
Added Parise, “I guess I don’t really know what to expect, and [Ryan Carter, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville who have played in them before] all have said how the buildup is a lot of fun. But as far as the game, it’ll be a little weird with the dynamic of the football field and the different sounds, but I think it’ll be an exciting time playing in front of 50,000.”
Per the release, the jersey along with a full line of apparel and novelty items will be available for purchase at all Hockey Lodge locations starting on Wednesday. Fans can also purchase the jerseys at shop.NHL.com, the official online store of the NHL®.
The overarching design direction for this year's Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ jerseys focused on boldness, uniqueness and simplicity to create recognizable visuals at a greater distance. Designers focused on details that were unique to each participating team's identity and fan base to create iconic designs. The Wild's NHL Stadium Series™ jersey was designed by Reebok in partnership with the Wild and the NHL. The 2016 NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game uniform will be unveiled at a later date.
A limited number of ticket packages to the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game and the NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game at TCF Bank Stadium are on sale now at www.Ticketmaster.com/NHL and www.Ticketmaster.ca/NHL, the official ticket marketplace of the NHL®. The ticket package consists of one ticket to the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game on Sunday, Feb. 21 and one ticket to the 2016 NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game on Saturday, Feb. 20 - both to be held at TCF Bank Stadium.
Here is the Chicago sweaters
In Wild practice news,
Marco Scandella (lower body) didn’t practice and is likely unavailable to play the next three games, coach Mike Yeo said.
Ryan Carter practiced and will play Wednesday against Vancouver after spending five hours in Dr. Edlund’s dentist chair. He had a root canal, lost one tooth and will need another pulled. He had several stitches in his lower lip but none in the upper because of “the power of the mustache. Must have blocked it.”
I did a big feature on him tomorrow.
The Wild also recalled Kurtis Gabriel and reassigned Brett Bulmer. The Canucks have gotten into 10 fights, tied for third in the NHL, so Yeo alluded to that being the reason.
"They've got a physical team," Yeo said. "Based on our opponent or based on what we think we need for a certain night, we'll make those switches."
Yeo felt Bulmer played well, saying he's looking faster and he's getting used to the pace in the NHL.
Also Tuesday, the Wild was the 17th-most valuable NHL franchise at $380 million in Forbes’ annual list of annual valuations of NHL teams. The New York Rangers are the most valuable NHL franchise at $1.2 billion, taking the top spot on the Forbes list for the first time since 2004. Montreal is second at $1.18 million followed by Toronto at $1.15 million. The least valuable is the Florida Panthers at $190 million.
Reminder, 3 p.m. Wednesday at Tom Reid's, Jim Souhan and I will be taping our next podcast. Come on by.