Before the season opener game on Thursday, the Wild hosted a “Green Carpet” event where fans could watch the players enter the arena and walk the carpet. It was a great opportunity for the players to strut their stuff and serve some looks. My brother and I arrived super early because I insisted we get a front-row spot to scout the stylish skaters. While no one was quite sure what it was going to be like, the State of Hockey showed up and showed out. The entire length of the carpet was three to four rows deep. Reminder, it was 4 p.m. on a random Thursday.
NHL players aren’t exactly known as fashion icons. Most of them manage to look okay, and sometimes even good. But relatively few of them take big fashion risks. For all I knew, we showed up to watch the roster strut by in plain black suits. Instead, the crowd was treated to some flashy styles.
Some quick notes before we continue: Jared Spurgeon did not walk (disappointing), and Connor Dewar arrived at 3:30 for a 4 p.m. event, walked the carpet while awkwardly waving a few times, and made eye contact with no one (which seems on brand for him). Unfortunately, I have no picture of him because no one knew what was going on or what we were supposed to do. He only got a spattering of applause because no one announced him. Dewar, if you read this, I hope you know that we support you! Everyone was just taken off-guard.
Okay, Nordy doesn’t play for the Wild, but he’s an integral part of the team. With a custom green suit, green top hat, and Wild-themed sneakers, he looked good. 9/10. Would’ve been 10, but I can’t get behind a suit and sneakers, even if they are really cool sneakers.
The first-time NHL goal-scorer took a risk with a tan suit, but it paid off. Paired with light brown shoes, grayish blue shirt and coordinating tie, and the glasses he wore in the Gus Bus commercial, Faber was one of the best dressed. Some might not agree with me, but unlike many players, he took a risk. 10/10, especially because he hugged his mom and grandma from the carpet.
Rossi played it safe with a dark gray suit, white shirt, and black shoes. It was a little boring, but he had a fresh haircut, which helped elevate the look. Either way, he was probably more focused on the game than the green carpet. 6/10.
Middleton had a blue suit with a sort of light checkered pattern on it. He paired it with a blue paisley tie, which I liked. Pattern mixing upped the score for this suit. While I assume he was wearing his teeth, I did not confirm that. 7/10.
Another play-it-safe sort of plain suit, but at least it was striped to lift the style a little. A pair of brown, oxford-style shoes was an unexpected addition. He was scruffy, but it looked like fresh scruff. He was also the only player that I spotted wearing a tie clip. I loved the addition of an accessory that might be deemed “old-fashioned.” 8/10.
Joel Eriksson Ek
The Swedish best friends Jonas Brodin and Joel Eriksson Ek showed up together, like always. In the beginning, they did not seem excited about the green carpet. So while I waited to try and get a picture with Ek, I sort of missed his outfit. But from what I saw, he did a mix-and-match of black pants with a light gray jacket. It was a nice subtle fashion tweak from a player who doesn’t seem to care about fashion. 7/10.
Would’ve been 8/10, but I’m still a little peeved that he walked speedily by me but then halfway down the carpet seemed to realize that he was supposed to be interacting with fans. Next time, I guess!
Brodin wore a plain black suit with black shoes, but somehow it did not look plain on him. I attribute it to the fabulous Swedishness vibe that surrounds him. It felt like a very deliberate outfit, and he paired it with a very expensive pair of Louis Vuitton shoes. 8/10.
After signing a big contract last year, Boldy must’ve spent some of that new money on suits. He chose a very handsome green suit, which was a fun and unexpected color. It was a dark emerald color that looked good with his light brown hair. Boldy also chose a pair of leather boots instead of plain dress shoes, which added another fun detail. 9/10.
Out of every player, my brother and I guessed that Maroon would wear a hat, and we were 100% correct. The new transplant from Florida was sporting a Panama hat along with tan pants and a blue jacket. He pulled it off, and not many guys could’ve. 9/10. I added one point for risking the hat.
Merill showed up in a suit that a regular dad would wear once a week to church. To be honest, that’s exactly what I expected him to wear. He’s a normal guy who probably went to a department store for his suit. He also brushed his hair, which was nice. 6/10.
The most important thing you need to know is that when Kevin Gorg announced Duhaime, he said that during game days, he stands close enough to hear Duhaime “shrieking from the bench.” Anyways, Duhaime wore a blue suit with a matching tie and a pair of brown shoes. The highlight was probably the blue polka-dot socks that I spotted, especially because they coordinated with his polka-dot tie. 7/10.
On a normal Wild game night, Zuccarello shows up looking like he’s ready to play the bass drum in a middle school band concert. He took things up a notch for the event but clung to the “wearing sneakers with a suit” bit that he loves. Zuccarello’s suit was a dark forest green with a tie that was a slightly lighter shade of green. And his sneakers were the whitest I’ve ever seen. 7/10. He lost a point for the sneakers, even if they were squeaky clean.
If there was one surprise of the night, it was how absolutely dapper Goligoski looked. A blue suit and a nice pair of loafers? They went a long way for him. Simple but elegant. 7/10.
A plain blue suit for Johansson, along with brown shoes. It looked nice but pretty plain. 7/10.
Foligno seemed to be one of the players most at ease with all of the attention. He was very friendly and tried to sign every single item shoved his way. His dark blue suit was paired with a light blue suit, which was a little nicer than a white shirt. 8/10.
I wouldn’t have guessed that Addison could look like a fashion plate, but he did. He paired a white shirt and tight black pants with a tan jacket. Maybe it’s the addition of the curly mohawk hairstyle, but he looked good. 8/10.
The Russian superstar showed up in a checked gray suit. It had a tiny ribbon of blue running through the pattern that matched the shirt he wore underneath. He also had a gray tie. The only bummer was that he wore a pair of sneakers. 9/10. Would’ve been 10/10 with different shoes.
If this was a ranked list, I would’ve ranked Gaudreau No. 1. He wore a dark green suit with a large checkered pattern. He also had a fresh haircut. He’s sporting almost the same hairstyle as Addison, except he hasn’t shaved it quite as close on the sides. And in case it feels important to anyone else, Gaudreau is starting his journey as a silver fox. 10/10.
Gustavsson’s style was similar to Merrill’s in that he looked like a regular guy who cleared up to attend a wedding. His style is a step above Merrill’s. He paired a light bluish-gray suit with a sort of geometric/floral tie. My favorite thing was just how happy Gustavsson was. And it’s always funny to think that such a normal-looking guy is turning into one of the best goalies in the NHL. 8/10.
Fleury likes to look his best, and he definitely found a suit to make an impact on the green carpet. Clad in a dark green velvet suit, he slowly walked the carpet, stopping for anyone who asked him to. He was the last player to arrive, and the event basically shut down once he passed by the crowd. 10/10.
(I was tempted to take away a point because my brother and I both tried to take a selfie with him at the same time, and he looked at my brother’s camera instead of mine. However, I understand that in the future, we should decide on one camera and go with it.)
But Wait, There’s More
I was going to end the article here, but then the Iowa Wild posted pictures of player arrivals for their opening night, and they gave the Minnesota Wild a run for their money.
Adam Beckman added a vest to his suit. Daemon Hunt covered his outfit with a stylish coat. Nick Swaney went extra bold with a floral shirt underneath. David Spacek sported an amazing brown striped suit with a coordinating tie with circles. Carson Lambos and his vintage 70’s vibe completed his look with a blue windowpane suit.
If we have any takeaways from this it should be this: The veterans better step up their fashion sense because the rookies are going to show them up when they get to Minnesota.
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