Last week I wrote about an eBay listing that appeared to show the yet-to-be-unveiled jersey the Minnesota Wild will wear for their 2016 NHL Stadium Series game. An Icethetics reader purchased the item and wanted to share some photos with us.
The photos were not taken in ideal lighting conditions so the colors are not true. But we do get to see some details not as clearly evident in the eBay images. The buyer was also able to take a photo of the jersey in question alongside a known and real Wild third jersey — in the same shade of green. (Again, however, the lighting conditions are not ideal.)
In combing through the comments of last week's post, a number of readers questioned the veracity of this jersey. I thought it might be useful to discuss some of them here.
I should begin by saying I feel no need to defend the jersey — just the facts. Though my own experience tells me this is accurate. It has all the hallmarks of an official Reebok Edge Premier replica jersey you might find in any licensed retail store.
Having said that, on Monday evening, Star Tribune beat writer Michael Russo commented on the report via Twitter. He's not quite buying it.
When asked by a reader about the legitimacy of the jersey, he replied simply "close but not exact."
He didn't elaborate, but one might assume it's not exact because it lacks the Stadium Series patch on the right shoulder. It's not clear what, if any, other details might be missing or inaccurate.
Now let's address some of the comments. Most of the skeptics pointed to the crest.
Jake Tokarewich · I'm not convinced that this is the jersey the Minnesota Wild will be wearing, if only for the crest. This crest appears to be outline in white, while all other Minnesota Wild crests have been outline with one of their three most notable colors: Minnesota Wheat.
Daniel Estabrooks · If you look at the red "sky" part that goes into the nose of the bear, the shape of it is a little different than it should be. I'm not sure how to describe it, but if you look up their correct primary logo and then compare it to what's on this jersey, you should see what I'm talking about.
The buyer did just that. The photo above demonstrates a side-by-side comparison of the crests on the jersey in question (bottom) and the known entity of the Reebok Edge Premier road jersey (top). The embroidery is identical. Counterfeiters can't achieve that.
If we accept that this is a genuine item manufactured by Reebok, we might ask whether it's simply a prototype. We've seen prototypes turn up on eBay before but they seem to always include a tag noting it as a prototype. There's no such tag on this jersey.
Furthermore those prototypes are always Authentic jerseys — the version that players wear on the ice. The jersey in question is a Premier, or replica. You can tell by the type of material used as well as the labels inside the collar and on the bottom corner of the jersey.
Reebok wouldn't produce Premier versions of prototype jerseys, right? The Premier replicas are only mass-produced after the official Authentic design is in place. Otherwise they'd be wasting a lot of time, materials and money. So in my mind there's no way this Premier jersey gets made if it's not the real Authentic design.
Starblade125 · It looks very hard to judge since there is a shoulder patch we have never seen before.
While it's true the "State of Hockey" logo has never been used on a jersey before, it's been used by the Wild for a long time on all sorts of official team merchandise.
In fact, this enormous flag is often passed around Xcel Energy Center before games. This image is a desktop wallpaper you can download from the team's website.
The skepticism around this jersey is warranted but so far all signs point to it being genuine. Do you still have doubts? Am I missing anything?