Chuck Chin

Spruce Kings alternates: the Panthers-Wild imitation

 

(This article was originally published on Aug. 19, 2020.)

When you visit the Prince George Spruce Kings website, you see a slogan above the main page. “True Blue since ’72” is the slogan. Oddly enough, for a team that lives by that slogan, the Spruce Kings don’t have blue alternate jerseys. In fact, the last alternate jersey I’ll explore in this series has more in common with jerseys worn by the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild.

In 2013, Vincent Viola took over ownership of the Panthers. Before 2016, the team debuted new jerseys designs that are very similar to this Spruce Kings alternate.

When Adidas took over the NHL jersey contract from Reebok, Minnesota redesigned its jersey. The Wild’s home jersey is also similar to this Spruce Kings alternate.

It’s a red jersey with a large white band across the middle. The crown logo replaces the jersey number in the centre, and the Spruce Kings wordmark circles the crown while a separate wordmark appears on the shoulders. The only use of blue at all is in the shoulder wordmark and the crown logo.

This alternate and the Florida Panthers red jersey introduced from 2016 are remarkably similar. Likewise, the Minnesota Wild green jersey from 2017 is similar as well. It’s the same basic design minus the circular wordmark and some other differences.

Both the Panthers and Wild jerseys are massive improvements over their previous jerseys. Likewise, this Spruce Kings alternate is the best jersey they have ever worn. I’ve talked about my favourite Spruce Kings alternates in past articles but honestly, they don’t compare to this alternate.

It’s simple, aesthetically pleasing to look at, and creates a unique look. It’s a look that is present in several NHL team jerseys.

A Wild Panther approaches

Image Credit: SportsLogos.Net

It’s a red jersey with a white band across the middle and the numbers are on the shoulders instead of the arms. The arms contain a new secondary logo with a panther prowling above the Florida state flag with a Florida wordmark above it. The white band is bordered by two flat gold stripes.

Image Credit: SportsLogos.Net

It’s a forest green jersey with a Minnesota wheat coloured band across the middle. The shoulders contain a stylized M logo. The Minnesota wheat armbands have a single iron range red stripe through them. There is no wordmark present in this jersey at all.

Florida’s red jersey is the closest in colours to this Prince George alternate, and Minnesota’s green jersey is the closest in design. Both are the best jerseys those teams have ever worn. I was never a fan of the leaping panther, and I didn’t like Minnesota’s previous red jersey.

With the Spruce Kings alternate, I’m glad they finally used the crown logo in the centre of the jersey. While I didn’t mind the wordmark around the jersey number on the versions I previously wrote about, it didn’t feel entirely right. It felt more like a football or baseball uniform instead of a hockey jersey.

Likewise, I wasn’t a fan of the experimental striping. On some teams, it works, but on the Spruce Kings, it doesn’t.

Also, if the team is going to release alternate jerseys, I would prefer they stick with red. If they have to use another colour, don’t use grey. It’s not fun to look at.

Thank you for reading my articles on the Prince George Spruce Kings alternate jerseys, I had fun writing them. If you want to read more about alternate BCHL jerseys, check out Erick Clarke’s article on the Chilliwack Chiefs alternate jerseys.