The NHL this week unveiled its “reverse retro” jerseys for each team. Not quite an all-new third jersey, not quite a throwback, but just as about selling merch as either, it’s a mixed bag. Some are great (Sharks), some are weird (Stars), some are boring (Oilers), some have zero reason to exist (Islanders), and some should be fired directly into the heart of the sun (Blues). Then there’s the Wild’s, which can be totally explained as “fine.”
Oh, it’ll sell, even though it’s basically just a color swap. It’s the Wild’s busy, divisive logo, but in the green and gold of the Minnesota North Stars.
(As an aside, paying tribute to a departed local franchise is infinitely more preferable than raiding the aesthetics of a team you moved from another city and another fanbase. I’m looking at you, Carolina and Colorado.)
Anyway, it’ll look good on the ice, and that’s the most important part. But the Wild aren’t done selling you things. They’d really like you to buy the accompanying hat. Now, you might be saying, $28 plus tax and shipping feels steep for a hat that’s just the reverse retro logo on a black cap. But what would you say if the Wild told you that hat was designed by Zach Parise?
Now you might be saying something like, so Zach Parise “designed” a hat by putting the logo on a black cap. In fact, lots of people are saying this, or things like this, in the Wild’s mentions, to the point where the Wild felt obligated to explain Parise’s creative process, sort of.
This doesn’t actually clear anything up. Are they saying Parise actually designed the Wild’s entire reverse retro logo, a fact that was somehow not mentioned in the weeks-long rollout of the new jerseys? That seems implausible. It is more likely they are saying someone went to Parise last season, showed him the green-and-gold logo, asked him to make a hat with it, and he responded by telling them to put it on a black cap, and that the Wild believe this series of events can be fairly and accurately described as Parise designing a hat. I would buy that, because if you asked Zach Parise to design a signature cocktail, he’d come back with a styrofoam cup of room-temperature tap water.
Ryan Suter is still working diligently on his design and has been for months, but a source inside the workshop says it’ll be a logo on a slightly different shade of black.