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  • Wild officially unveil 2022-23 Reverse Retro 2.0 jersey


    After months of rumors, weeks of leaks, and a thoroughly underwhelming day of teasers, the Minnesota Wild unveiled their Reverse Retro 2.0 jerseys today alongside the league’s other 31 teams.

    In a follow-up to the original Reverse Retro program introduced in the 2020-21 season, each club has once again dug through the archives to come up with a remixed alternate uniform that blends elements from different eras throughout team history. The original program was a major success, with many of the mashup uniforms being lauded as some of the Adidas era’s best — including Minnesota’s white, green and gold set. 

    It was a layup. Simply paint the gorgeous Wild bear-head logo in the iconic green and gold of Minnesota’s original NHL franchise. The classic early 80’s striping and simple tri-color palette made the Wild’s offering an instant classic, in the upper echelon of RR 1.0 alongside Arizona, Colorado and Calgary.

    For the second edition of the Reverse Retro program, many teams have opted to head in a completely different direction than in 2020 一 the Oilers, Islanders and Canucks fall into this first camp. Other teams, including the Wild as well as the Coyotes and Rangers, have opted to dance with the one that brought them, offering a palette swap of their RR 1.0 uniforms. If you hit a home run on the first pitch, why change your approach the next time up?

    The uniform that the Wild based their 2020 Reverse Retro on was only worn for one season: 1978-79, the season that the North Stars overhauled their jerseys to more heavily incorporate the gold color. The striping pattern was exactly the same as the 78-79 set, right down to the missing gold stripe below the shoulder yoke that was included on the green road uniform and added to the matching white home jersey the year after. It wasn’t a perfect replica - the Reverse Retro featured gold numbers, never before seen in the history of the North Stars franchise, a unique touch to add a bit more “reverse” to a beautiful retro uniform.

    The result was a smash hit, and they are still some of the most sought-after jerseys from the first Reverse Retro set.

    Minnesota’s Reverse Retro 2.0 offering is based off of the road jerseys worn from 1978 until 1988. Their white home uniforms changed several times throughout the 1980s, adding different stripes and outlines and even introducing black into the North Stars’ color palette, but the green road set remained unchanged throughout almost the entirety of the 1980s. This is, unquestionably, the definitive North Stars aesthetic. It’s the jersey they wore throughout much of their iconic 1981 Stanley Cup run. They haven’t retained the yellow numbers that made their debut on the 2020 rendition 一 this is a straight throwback, save for the logo. 

    While there are a few changes made between the 2020 and 2022 Reverse Retro jerseys (save for the obvious change in base color), this uniform is largely a dark counterpart to 2020’s light set, and clearly intended to serve as such. The Wild did not look to the original ‘67 jerseys for inspiration, nor the 1998-1991 uniforms which finally brought the black color to the green road jerseys long after it was introduced on the white aways. The North Stars left a rich uniform history for a franchise that lasted just over 20 years, leaving lots of room to play within the Reverse Retro concept 一 and let’s not forget the several decommissioned Wild uniforms from years past that could stand to be resurrected in some form or another. This doesn’t really do anything new or exciting that the 2020 jerseys didn’t do. I’m sure some people (myself included) would have liked to see the return of the red base color, or a North Stars throwback that incorporated a touch of black from their later years. On the other hand, maybe they didn’t need to reinvent the wheel.

    Aesthetically, I think the Wild made the right choice - there’s something about the combination of kelly green, white and gold that makes for an absolutely perfect sports uniform. The pre-1978 jerseys did not have nearly enough gold, and the later stages of the North Stars’ uniform history featured an excess of black in an effort to look modern, or perhaps in anticipation of their eventual relocation. The Wild hit the sweet spot in 2020 by singling out the impeccable 1978-79 set, and I don’t blame them one bit for going back to the well. 

    Once again, the Minnesota Wild have produced one of the league’s best Reverse Retro uniforms. Some of the teams that offered bangers in 2020 have fallen off in 2022, but the Wild have simply stuck to what worked for them the last time, and offered a dark-color counterpart to what was unequivocally one of the best jerseys to grace NHL ice in 2021. Sure, they could have been a bit more creative within the RR concept’s space and incorporated a few touches from elsewhere in the uniform histories of Minnesota’s two NHL franchises, but I’m happy to let them save those elements for another uniform somewhere down the line. Sometimes you just look at a jersey and know you have to own it. Put me down for one. Boldy, No. 12.





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