Tuesday, 4 June 2013

That's A Big D

I had held out hope that the Dallas Stars would break out their former star-based uniforms that they won Stanley Cups in. I hoped that the collegiate-style uniforms they were currently using would be mothballed in a hurry. With there being little chance of the Mooterus suddenly finding life - despite the April Fool's Day prank pulled by the Stars - there was a good chance that the Stars would climb the ladder of respectability again with their unveiling of their 2013-14 uniforms today.

Here are your 2013-14 Dallas Stars!
Um... did someone let the University of North Dakota know that the Dallas Stars were borrowing their uniforms this season? Ok, so they're not exactly the same, but the striping is pretty darn close to being identical!

As per the Dallas Stars website, "The Stars looked at more than 230 variations of the uniform, including several different color schemes, striping combinations, and logos. And there were plenty of opinions. It all started in May 2012 with [Tom] Gaglardi, [Jim] Lites, [Jason] Walsh, members of the executive staff, Stars broadcasters Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh and others sitting down to map out a plan."

The best part? After submitting an exhaustingly-detailed 36-page report to be handed over to Reebok, "Reebok responded with four designs, which the Stars didn't like. But they liked elements from one of them." How honest is that?

As for the logo above, Tom Gaglardi stated,
"If I look at the 30 logos from around the league, there are some elite logos there. Some of them are the Original 6 ones and then you have a bunch of other really great logos. I would hope that our logo would belong in that group. I think it met the test. We wanted something timeless and simple and maybe you can argue that the Original 6 logos and the old vintage logos didn't have the shadowing and the beveling. I agree with that. It's something we worked hard on, but ultimately we realized that the logo looked so much better with what we were attempting to do... which was to have the D and the Star working together, we really needed the shadow and the bevel to make it really work."
I like the green. Make that LOVE the green. If there is one color that is severely underutilized in hockey, it's green. Dallas earns points for bringing back the green at home. If there was one color I would have liked to seen added, it would have been yellow. Not gold, but actual yellow. Accenting a number of things on this jersey in yellow would have been excellent.

Jason Walsh, Stars Vice-President of Production and Entertainment, addressed the removal of the gold color in the Stars' color scheme by saying,
"We've never been able to have a gold that looks the same across the board, whether that's on merchandise, our own jersey itself. Gold, when it is put on different materials, sometimes it is more yellow, sometimes it is more metallic. We could never get to a happy medium. Plus, with the shade of green we went with, the gold just didn't look right. It was just the odd-man out. It was a tough decision because part of our heritage has been gold, but when you’ve got a chance to do this and you want to do it right, we had to make the hard decision to go silver. It just made more sense with the logo itself and the ability to keep continuity across all the different platforms on which our logo is going to appear."
So why not go yellow? This was the opportunity to harken back to the days of the North Stars by bringing in yellow to replace the gold. I feel the Stars missed out on a major opportunity here to not only bring back some of the franchise's history, but also in stepping forward with a bold look.

The logo itself, in my view, is appropriate as Dallas is affectionately called "Big D", and the Stars play in Dallas. Nothing stated there should shock anyone, so this logo feels more elementary in its design than anything else. They simply took a big "D" and superimposed it over a heavily-beveled star. Gone is the previous logo that had been used since the franchise's days in Minnesota. Personally, I'm certainly not as enthused about it as Mr. Gaglardi is, but maybe it'll grow on me in the coming weeks.

"I'm excited. My hope is the logo is one that they'll love,” Gaglardi said, referring to Dallas Stars fans. "It's one that is void of any word mark, but I think any fan will look at it and see a D and a Star. There's only one Big D, so I feel the logo will be pretty easily recognizable. I love its simplicity."

If you had seen the leaks of the jerseys originally, this unveiling felt like old news as Dallas unveiled exactly what had been leaked. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but I was kind of hoping for more. Dallas had a great uniform at one time, and I was hopeful that they would return to something along those lines.

While there is nothing wrong with this new uniform aside from the gratuitous use of the lace-up collars - does any team actually opt for a V-neck anymore? - the Stars are now in the middle of the pack when it comes to their uniforms. They obviously couldn't go backwards when looking at their previous iteration as they were routinely named as one of the worst uniforms in all of sports, so any change would be a welcomed improvement.

I like what Dallas has done here today in terms of their redesign and rebranding. It should work much better than what they had over last few seasons, and that's a positive no matter how you view these new uniforms. Will they match the popularity of the star-based jersey? That's to be determined, but this new design may leave the opportunity for a wacky alternate to be produced one day.

Just as a secondary note, there was another major announcement tonight at the Stars' unveiling as Mike Modano's jersey will be retired next season on March 8, 2014 when the Minnesota Wild visit the Dallas Stars. Modano, the long-time star of the Stars, will be the fourth player in franchise history to have his uniform hoisted to the rafters, joining Neal Broten (#7), Bill Goldsworthy (#8), and Bill Masterton (#19). Big congratulations on that honour goes out to Mike Modano, one of hockey's classiest individuals!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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