Outdoor games are old hat for the Chicago Blackhawks, but the Wild threw out all the bells and whistles Tuesday when it unveiled its uniform for the Stadium Series game against Chicago on Feb. 21 at TCF Bank Stadium.
On the ice at Xcel Energy Center, team captains Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter modeled the Forest Green sweaters with Iron Range Red and Minnesota Wheat accents. The Blackhawks unveiled a similar design in white.
"Really cool," Parise said of the Wild's uniform. "In a good way, they're plain. I think they're sharp. They have a really good look to it. I really like it."
On the left shoulder is the State of Hockey logo, the first time that has appeared on a Wild sweater. The new ligature "M" logo is on the left side of the pant. There are 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," Koivu said.
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."
A full line of Stadium Series apparel will be available for purchase Wednesday. The Stadium Series Feb. 20 Alumni Game uniform will be unveiled at a later date.
The Wild swapped fourth-line wingers Tuesday, reassigning Brett Bulmer to AHL Iowa and recalling Kurtis Gabriel to play his second NHL game Wednesday against the Canucks.
Gabriel, the closest thing the Wild has to an enforcer, was recalled in part because the Canucks are tied for third in the NHL with 10 fighting majors.
"They've got a physical team," coach Mike Yeo said. "Based on our opponent or based on what we think we need for a certain night, we'll make those switches."
Gabriel logged 2 minutes, 41 seconds, in his NHL debut Nov. 10 against Winnipeg and fought Chris Thorburn.
•The Wild is 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.
•Defenseman Marco Scandella (lower body) will miss his third consecutive game Wednesday and is likely out for weekend games against Winnipeg and Dallas, Yeo said.