The Winnipeg Jets will draw on their beginnings in a rival league as they get set to host the 2016 NHL Heritage Classic outdoor game.
The Jets, who will meet the Edmonton Oilers at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg on Oct. 23, will wear jerseys that pay tribute to their seven years in the World Hockey Association (1972-79). The white sweater features a vintage logo from their Avco Cup-winning season of 1976-77, along with a crossover V-neck color and vintage-inspired mesh striping. The player's name and number will be era-accurate as well. It's a look that hasn't aged particularly well, but it's a better option than the overly busy logo they sported for their first two seasons. And it should be a big hit with local fans who hoped the team would reprise the design upon returning to the city in 2011.
The Oilers took the easy way out, settling on their current orange alternate jersey, which was inspired by their 1972-73 inaugural season uniform in the WHA. It seems like a missed opportunity for an organization that could have sold a lot of Connor McDavid specials if they'd made any kind of effort.
Both teams also revealed a number of players who have committed to skate in the outdoor alumni game that takes place on Oct. 22. Winnipeg's roster will include Teemu Selanne, Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen, Kris King and Dave Babych. A nice group, but one that likely will get pounded by an Oilers team that features Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri and Grant Fuhr, among others.
• GALLERY: The NHL Outdoors
The Jets will be making their first appearance in an outdoor game, becoming the 22nd NHL team to do so. For Edmonton, this will be their first time braving the elements since hosting the first-ever NHL regular-season game played outdoors at Commonwealth Stadium in 2003.
Ticket details and other announcements are expected shortly.