Reviewing The Arizona Coyotes New “Desert Night” Alternate Jersey

Arizona Coyotes. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Coyotes. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Guess what guys, we’ve got another new hockey jersey out. It’s always fun to take a look at and review the newest in the NHL’s sweater collection. Some jerseys are worth buying more than others.

This new jersey is courtesy of the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes are planning to debut their new “desert nights” third jersey this weekend against the Vegas Golden Knights.

The jerseys are designed by Rhuigi Villaseñor who is a streetwear designer hired by the Coyotes in a fashion-based capacity in October. The Coyotes follow the Toronto Maple Leafs, who teamed up with Justin Bieber’s fashion brand, Drew House, last year for a reversible jersey.

Immediately, the desert nights jersey reminds me of the old Coyotes jersey they wore from 2003-2018 when they moved away from the Kachina-style design. Gone is the generic “Wile E. Coyote” cartoon head (thankfully), but the return of a maroon color palate.

The color is not an exact match, however. This jersey uses a burgundy instead of a reddish maroon.

Make fun of the Coyotes, but their jersey game has always been “fire”.

Where we would normally see stripes on the arms and lower part of the torso we now see what the ESPN article describes as “Kachina-style etching”. The gecko logo, seen on a previous version of the Coyotes jersey, is found in the color.

That’s almost certain not to be visible to fans in the stands.

The wordmark is different than any Coyotes jersey of the past. “Arizona” is written across the chest, with a shooting star dotting the “I”. The “C’ for the captain will be a half moon, while the “A’ for the assistant captains is made up of two cacti.

The Calgary Flames also use a different typeface for their alternate captains’ “A”, using the old “A” from when they were the Atlanta Flames.

Before I read the explanation of how it was two cactuses, I thought it was supposed to be an “A’ made from cowboy lasso rope. Even if it was, the look just looks right for a southwest desert-inspired jersey.

This jersey looks like a mix of the old with the burgundy color scheme and the new with Kachina bordering. Surprisingly, there isn’t a Coyote anywhere to be found.

That makes this the first jersey since the franchise moved from Winnipeg without any coyote, or any mention of the word “coyote” in general. As clean as this jersey looks, I feel like at least one coyote, maybe even as a shoulder patch, was necessary.

If you showed me this jersey and asked me to guess what team it was I’d probably guess Arizona State University since the word “Arizona” is featured without a team name. That’s really my only criticism.

I’m personally not a fan of wearing different sports jerseys to different sports (for example, wearing a football jersey to a  hockey game), but this jersey looks like it would fit right in the crowd at any Phoenix or Arizona area sporting event.

On the micro level that’s a start. Maybe you wear it to a Phoenix Suns game and someone compliments the jersey. “Where did you get that?” they ask before you answer “it’s actually from the hockey team, the Coyotes!”

Then, they decide to buy one, start watching a game, and become a Coyotes fan in the process. More people seen around Arizona wearing one makes NHL hockey in the valley even more of a product worth investing in.

For all the problems the Coyotes have been through in their relatively short history, the new thing they’ve always gotten credit for was how nice their kachina jerseys looked and how they embraced the desert community. Even without the “peyote coyote”, this jersey follows suit.

It’s a little more subtle in its kachina touches too. That original kachina style jersey was a very “loud 1990’s” design.

The “hockey jerseys are fashion streetwear” is very interesting, but it might not be an idea for all NHL markets just yet. Every market is different.

With the way the NHL has aggressively promoted their two sets of “reverse retros” the past few seasons, doing this as a league-wide initiative might be too much too soon.

For a team that wants to build its own identity and is leaning heavily on its desert home state, it works perfectly for the Coyotes.

Let’s go back to talk about the jersey’s creator. Villasenor is a streetwear designer and wanted to design a jersey that could be worn as a streetwear look.

Sports symbols become fashion symbols all the time. Anyone who lives in New York or Los Angeles can tell you how many times they’ve seen the New York Yankees “NY” logo or Los Angeles Dodgers “LA” logo on different clothing brands.

Joke all you want that hockey jerseys aren’t fashion, but more people wearing them as such help grow the game in their own unique way.

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The Coyotes are still building their own culture, and this was a unique and marketable step in the right direction.