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The ‘Storytelling’ Behind the Golden Knights’ Leaked Winter Classic Jersey

By now you’ve probably heard that the Winter Classic jerseys for the Kraken and Golden Knights have both leaked via unconventional means over the past few days. The Kraken’s jersey is obviously a visual shout-out to the old Seattle Metropolitans, but the design inspiration for the Vegas design has been unclear — until now.

A source has provided me with the “storytelling” breakdown for the Vegas jersey, direct from the team’s front office. It reads as follows:

  • Designed to look like what a team in Vegas would have looked like in the early 1910s. Pulling heavily from wild West/cowboy design elements.
  • Colors of the jersey reflect that era. A deeper/richer gold, no metallic fleck. Beige base of the jersey. Felt fabric in the logo.
  • The piping in the logo and numbers is inspired by old West Point uniforms [presumably like this — PL].
  • The curves in the top of the “V” (and the curves in in the numers/letters) pull the curves from the filigree in our current brand.
  • There are seven stars inside of the collar to represent our seventh season.
  • Pioneer Saloon [in Las Vegas] opened in 1913, so it was a great tie-in with the timeline the jersey is inspired by.
  • Establishing the cowboy/wild West look with Darren, Daren, Shane, Katie Marie, and Zach dressed in cowboys hats, boots, etc., in and around the Saloon. Playing poker, bartending, interacting with horses. Tying in hockey/VGK elements such as an old Sherwood stick, skate laces on the saddle, VGK playing cards, Goodnights Whiskey.

So the official launch, whenever that happens, will apparently be accompanied by a bunch of rootin’-tootin’ cosplay photos, plus they’re working the G.I. Joe angle. Wild West Point, or something like that. Yippe-ki-yay!

The Winter Classic will be played on New Year’s Day.


Comments (18)

    To be fair, 2 of those were League wide programs. Got worn for maybe 3 games each.And while this jersey is ugly, special jerseys for the winter classic is part of the tradition of the game. They will get worn for maybe two other games post classic.
    The other three are the Home, Road, and Alt. Most teams in every sport have an alternate. (Tbh kinda like how the nhl really sticks to only one or two per team. Allows for a team to take risks, but avoids diluting the brand).Did they need to make a gold alt after a few year. Naw, the grey jersey was a good jersey. But they are the GOLDEN Knights. And in person they do have a nice shine to them. Kinda wish that they would have used them as the road jersey instead, but alas.

    Obviously having a huge “V” on the front is going to be reminiscent, to those who are aware of early pre-NHL hockey history, of the Victoria Cougars. But Vegas has done a nice job of creating a 1910 era look especially without having any of their own ancient history to draw on. But as with nearly every retro style jersey that draws on influences from before 1950, haters are going to hate it because they have no understanding or appreciation for what styles were like back then or even how accurate they are to the original (read Montreal Canadiens barberpole jerseys). So, nothing wrong with the Golden Knights sweaters at first glance and even better now that I understand what they were trying to convey. And it’s just for one game. Looking forward to seeing what the numbers look like and if they use names too.

    Still gonna hold off commenting till I see these in Mariners Park on NYD, but if this is the storytelling, I am now inclined to like it less.


    What would a team have looked like in Vegas in the early 1910s? The Census records that Las Vegas had 800 residents in 1910, and 2,300 in 1920. Also, the frontier was officially closed in 1890, and the “wild west” was over even before that. The whole “wild west” thing has no connection with Las Vegas’s civic history, and if Vegas could even have fielded a team to play any sport circa 1910, it wouldn’t have looked anything like this. We know what a few actual frontier-era Nevada sports teams looked like, and none of them adopted this sort of 1950s Hollywood wanted poster aesthetic. The civic and cultural roots of Las Vegas didn’t sprout from the parched dust of the wild frontier, they rose from the wet cement of the interwar years and the postwar boom of the mid-twentieth-century.

    I think the jersey itself is terrific, and an elegant and smart addition to the team’s locker. If I were a Knights fan, I’d want one. Hopefully the team or the league has time to scrap the most insulting of the nonsense pablum in the talking points for something like, “We know Golden Knights fans will love these sick new uniforms, which are available to purchase for a limited time at [url].” Such a statement has the virtues of being true and respectful of fans’ intelligence, and it’s really all any team needs to say when releasing retail merchandise like this.

    As the comedian Alan King once said at a Vegas show, “Remember how our pioneer forefathers came here… from Chicago, in Cadillacs, with machine guns.”

    I realize this says a lot more about me than I would care to acknowledge, but with the flourishes on the top of the “V”I see two upright arms flippin’ a couple of birds. Double bullets, if you will.

    It’s boring, the worst sin of unis. The V is fine, but rest of the jersey is begging for something, anything else. Storytell all you want, if it’s boring, it’s bad.

    I’m quite sick of the “storytelling” craze in uniform design. It never so much tells a story as provides deflection for criticism. “You think this looks ugly? But what if I told you this part that looks ugly vaguely represents some feature of a beloved local institution! Where’s your civic pride, you hater?”

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