In celebration of a quarter-century of hockey in the desert, the Arizona (née Phoenix) Coyotes will be going with a much more retro theme when they take the ice for the 2020-21 season.
Yes, it’s been 25 years since the original NHL Jets took off from Winnipeg with sights set firmly on landing in
Minnesota Phoenix. That inaugural 1996-97 season saw the freshly-coined Coyotes wear the then-loathed “Kachina” uniforms, named for the team’s original primary logo which was inspired by Kachina dolls. Kachina is “a spirit being in the religious beliefs of the Pueblo peoples”, who are located in what is now known as the southwestern United States.
As time progresses, of course, tastes do as well, and what was once mercilessly ridiculed is now beloved by all. Today the team announced that the black Kachina Coyotes uniform will back again next season, but this time as their de facto home jersey. It’s currently scheduled to be worn for 25 of the club’s 41 home dates, for any math-challenged readers out there, that would be more than 50%.
Arizona will also play on its original centre ice design, a giant purple and beige crescent moon. Yes, this design was also panned at the time. Yes, folks love it now.
Why? Because it’s weird.
Finally, two sets of 25th season logos were unveiled by the team today, one featuring the club’s current logo in use since 2003 and the other with the Kachina look. Each of those patch designs will be worn on the front of their respective matching jerseys in the traditional anniversary patch location, the upper right corner.
The focus now turns to the team’s plans for the future, is Kachina the club’s new primary logo? Well, as far as we can tell… no, not yet. Keep in mind the team is still wearing their howling coyote logo for their entire road slate as well as just under half of their home games. It certainly feels as if a permanent change to the Kachina will happen soon (maybe in 2022?), but fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, and Buffalo Sabres might want to offer a few words of warning about getting their hopes up anytime soon… each of those clubs appeared to be changing back “any day now” but all ended up taking over a decade to finally make their switch.