There was a time not too long ago when I considered the Minnesota Wild to be the pinnacle of NHL uniform and logo design. Among the very best the league had to offer.
But I'm quickly losing confidence in that.
As indicated by EA Sports' NHL 11, it seems the Wild do, in fact, have a new shoulder patch on their white road sweaters for the 2010-11 season. I've thrown together a quick side-by-side comparison in the photos to the right. Additional photos on the Wild's website.
It's rather disappointing considering what they had been wearing. The old logo was relevant to the name and had a distinct and recognizable style — despite the idea that it perhaps didn't fit with the faux retro style the team exudes.
The new patch is still a wordmark, but it's been watered down into oblivion. For a better look at the logo itself, SportsLogos.net is always happy to help.
By the way, if that nonsense wasn't bad enough, check out the pants. Where'd the stripes go, guys? Minnesota, I'm disappointed. That is all.
Bill posed a good question in the comments today:
Could the stripe-less pants be nothing more than a "pre-season" quirk...sorta like the Red Wings Arch-less names, or the steelers front numeral free helmets?
Here's why I think that's not the case. For the Red Wings, it's almost certainly a cost-/time-saving measure. I wrote about this subject exactly a year ago yesterday. In a nutshell, the Red Wings' arched nameplates require every letter to be specially cut so it fits perfectly within the player's name. That's a lot of work with so many players. It gets easier when the roster is cut down.
But back to the Wild, it could be a preseason thing, but it actually started last year when the team wore stripe-less pants with their third jersey. Clearly, we'll have to wait until the season starts to be sure, but I think we'll find both of the aforementioned changes to be permanent.