Minnesota sweaters, Toronto rumors help wrap up 2015

I've been taking a short break from the blog over the past month. There hasn't been a whole lot to report since the 2016 JerseyWatch debut around Thanksgiving. But I did want take time to touch on a number of noteworthy topics and rumors before the end of the year.

Minnesota's NHL alumni resurrect North Stars jersey

On Dec. 21, the Minnesota Wild unveiled the jersey that will be worn in the alumni game that precedes their Stadium Series game in February. And it's what Minnesota hockey fans have been wanting for more than two decades — a jersey from another franchise.

In all fairness, the game is as much about Minnesota's hockey history as the other Stadium Series game is about Colorado's. Try not to think so literally when it comes to these things. The fact is there are any number of North Stars greats who have never skated in Texas. The franchise stats and records may belong to Dallas, but this sweater never will.

For more photos, visit the Wild's website.

By the way, seeing how old Neal Broten looks really makes me feel old. And I really only knew him as a New Jersey Devil in the mid-1990s. Guess we're all headed that way.

Speaking of the North Stars, shortly before that announcement, Paul Lukas of UniWatch uncovered a 1989 photo that shows unique jerseys we never saw on the ice.

So that's interesting.

Maple Leafs centennial rumors abound

On Thanksgiving weekend, Icethetics' JerseyWatch reported the Toronto Maple Leafs will have new sweaters in 2016-17. About couple weeks later, Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.net said the team will have "an entirely new logo" as well.

Right now the only hint we have of what the new logo will look like isn’t too much of a surprise at all — “a combination of all past team eras plus a nod to the future.” This is basically the same mould used by all past logo changes implemented by the club. So, just another step in the evolution? Makes sense. 

Funny enough, most of the Leafs' logo revisions have come on or around a "7" year. The franchise was of course founded in 1917. They became the Maple Leafs in 1927. First logo change was 1937 (or 1938, maybe). The crest was simplified for their 50th anniversary in 1967 and the design we know today came about in 1970 (doesn't end in 7 — but it has a 7).

Then of course in 2007 they absolutely ruined their jerseys with the help of the Reebok Edge introduction. Finally in 2016-17 it's time for another update. Sounds about right.

If you're wondering what a "new" Leafs logo could possibly look like, our friend Ross Taylor tweeted this a couple weeks ago.

Elsewhere, Howard Berger is reporting a source tells him the 2017 NHL Winter Classic will be played at BMO Field in Toronto. He says a likely opponent for the Maple Leafs would be the New York Rangers. (If you like the sound of that, check back for Saturday's concept post!)

It also seems like the team's interest in hosting the All-Star Game has waned. An outdoor game is a better draw anyway for the home crowd in a big centennial season like this. Plus, why open yourself up to the comparisons to Montreal in 2009?

That's all I've got for now. Enjoy 2016. Happy new year!