Wild show off new ‘old school’ jerseys for outdoor game
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- It's a simple sweater -- three colors, big letters, clean lines, nothing fancy. That's how Ryan Suter likes it."It's kind of old-school," the Wild defenseman said of new jerseys the team will don for its outdoor game against th...
ST. PAUL, Minn. - It’s a simple sweater - three colors, big letters, clean lines, nothing fancy. That’s how Ryan Suter likes it.
“It’s kind of old-school,” the Wild defenseman said of new jerseys the team will don for its outdoor game against the Chicago Blackhawks in February. “Not a lot to it, not flashy. I think it suits what we’re trying to build here.”
The new duds made their debut Tuesday, with captain Mikko Koivu and alternates Suter and Zach Parise modeling them on the Xcel Energy Center ice.
A crowd of media and guests, including St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, turned out for the unveiling.
The game is Feb. 21. It’ll be at TCF Bank Stadium, part of the NHL’s 3-year-old Stadium Series. Chicago has been host to two outdoor games, at Wrigley Field and last season at Soldier Field. This will be the Wild’s first foray into the elements.
The oversized numbers on the arms of the jerseys are meant to make it easier for fans in the stadium - which seats more than 50,000 to the X’s 19,000 - to identify the players.
“We can’t use that as an excuse anymore,” quipped Koivu.
There’s plenty of hockey to go before the stadium game: 39 games. Suter said it will be exciting to play outside, but added: “It’s something you really don’t think about right now. We’re just trying to get through the season, the grind.”
That doesn’t take the shine off unboxing a new jersey.
“I remember my son just brought home his jersey for his team now, and he’s pumped about it, just like we are,” Suter said.
The Blackhawks jerseys, also revealed Tuesday, are predominantly white with black shoulders and a few stripes. They, too, have a simple, classic look.
Suter, a fan of Original Six jerseys, said he likes that aesthetic. So does Parise, who called the Wild’s look plain “in a good way.”
And yes, the new jerseys are for sale in the Wild’s Hockey Lodge starting Wednesday.
Neither Parise, who is recovering from a knee sprain, nor Marco Scandella, who has a lower body injury, practiced Tuesday, and neither is expected to play during this week’s homestand.
But Ryan Carter was back in action a day after an errant puck during practice sent him off for four-plus hours of unplanned dental work. He sported a bloody and stitched lower lip - and a few less real teeth - but said he was otherwise none the worse for wear.
“There’s nothing on my upper lip,” said Carter, who is sporting a healthy bit of facial hair in that region, “so the power of the mustache must have blocked it.”
He said he doesn’t think he’ll have to wear any extra protective gear.
When someone suggested he won’t be able to fight for a while, he replied: “You can’t always control that, either.”
Carter, who said he doesn’t remember the first time he lost a tooth in the service of hockey, described it as routine: “Some stitches, some teeth.”
At this point, he’s not even sure if his wife notices anymore.
“It’s just kind of like, ‘Oh, you OK?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘All right. Well, the girls are hungry,’” he said.