Special feature by AJ Lee, Pro Stock Hockey
At the moment, the Dallas Stars are one of the sharpest-dressed teams in the NHL.
OK, so maybe the striping pattern on their nifty, green home jerseys borrows a bit too obviously from the Chicago Blackhawks’ classic look, but if you’re going to steal, at least the Stars are stealing from the best. Besides, it has been a long climb back to respectability for Dallas, whose franchise forebears had one of the best looks in hockey until shortly before they were moved out of Minnesota.
Arrow Pointing Up
The Minnesota North Stars came into the NHL in 1967 with a simple and smart logo. Basically, a block “N” with a bit of an italic lean, the gold-trimmed letter (white on the green home jersey, green on the white roadies) morphed into an upward-pointing arrow in its right-hand vertical side. A gold star rested atop the arrow.
The jerseys would vary slightly over the Stars’ Minnesota existence, most notably with a greater emphasis on gold starting in 1978. That’s when the North Stars merged with the Cleveland Barons, who had been the California Golden Seals — who had used the green, white and gold color palette of the Oakland A’s (whose owner, Charlie Finley, also owned the hockey team).
That complicated lineage was a mere precursor to what would follow shortly after Minnesota dropped its logo. In 1991, after 23 seasons featuring the crest, the “N” was replaced by a green star, trimmed in gold, the top point of which represented the “A” in “STARS,” spelled along the logo’s top horizontal line.
Behind the scenes, the North Stars’ owners had already actively pursued moving, and removing the geographical reference in the jerseys may have been made to ease any impending transition. After a deal to become the Los Angeles Stars fell through — Disney and its Anaheim Ducks proposal gained the league’s favor — Dallas stepped in as the Stars’ landing spot.
Debuting in Dallas
When the North Stars were no more, officially becoming the Dallas Stars for the 1993-94 season, the team wore the exact duds they did in their final season in Minnesota with two exceptions — a state of Texas shoulder patch and the word “Dallas” sewn vertically between two stripes on the outer seam of their pants.
Truthfully, especially with the cuff-to-cuff, shoulder-yoke black stripe on the white home jerseys, it was a pretty good look. Some of the changes to follow couldn’t say the same.
Here are the Stars’ major design moves over their Texas tenure:
- 1995: The green trim goes several shades darker. “Dallas,” in green, tops the gold “Stars” above the logo, and some striping tweaks are made.
- 1997: A third jersey, with white and gold stripes outlining a star between fields of green (chest, shoulders and back) and black (arms, sides and waist), arrives. A rare success among non-traditional striping patterns, and the club’s ’99 Stanley Cup championship togs, so this one is much beloved.
- 1999: The alternate becomes the road jersey, and a white-and-green take on the design becomes the home jersey.
- 2003: Fear the Mooterus. An alternate, featuring a crest allegedly representing the constellation Taurus but reminding many of a uterus, debuts to howls. It lasts three seasons.
- 2007: New jersey supplier Reebok had to do away with the star striping. A black home jersey, with “DALLAS” curving over small numbers on the chest, suggests a college or high school jersey — and not in a good way. The road white jersey retains the logo that debuted in ’95.
- 2008: A white version of the black home jersey debuts as an alternate and eventually replaces the logoed road jersey.
- 2013: A complete, and completely wonderful, redesign gives the Stars a new logo — a white and silver “D” on a black-trimmed star. The home jersey is back to the lighter shade of green, trimmed with simple black and white stripes at the collar, elbows and waist. The road jersey does the Blackhawks one better by adding a green shoulder yoke to an otherwise white jersey trimmed at the collar, elbows and waist in black and green.
Author bio: AJ Lee is Marketing Coordinator for Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. He was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, and has been a huge Blackhawks fan his entire life. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3, and hasn’t put it down yet.
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