Tag Archive for jerseys

Wearing and Retiring Number 25

by Matt Day
Matt Day in #25

My cousin and I began discussing ramping up our attendance at Stars games. More games meant the need to expand my Stars wardrobe. I only had a blank white home jersey and was looking at buying a road black. The black jerseys did not look as good blank, as the white so the question came up of who would I get put on mine. I had already seen a few friends of mine get burned by trades just after having purchased that players jersey. I decided to have my name put on it. After all the Stars couldn’t trade me. I picked the number 25 because it was my favorite number that wasn’t taken. I ordered it by mail through a holiday promotion the Stars were having. It was due to arrive in the middle of December.

December 15, 1995 a package was dropped off at my neighbor’s house. I raced over and verified it was indeed my new game day sweater. I was so excited and could not wait to wear it to Reunion Arena. December 19, 1995 the Stars acquired Joe Nieuwendyk from the Calgary Flames. My cousin Bryan was the first to call me and give me the news. I said, “Don’t tell me.”, He said, “Yep.”  My cousin and I have that ability to have full conversations in a handful of words. In that one word I knew Joe had taken my number. I laughed, moved on, and thought that the story would end there.

The next season was our first as season ticket holders and we decided to try going to a few of the events they held during the season. The first was Skate with the Stars, which was a chance to meet the players and get a few autographs. As we approached Nieuwendyk’s table he noticed my jersey and asked, “You know that’s my number, right?” I was a shy guy and normally would have just jokingly apologized and moved on. For some reason this time I did not back down. I looked Joe in the eye and replied, “It’s my number, I had it first. I’ll give it to you they day you win the Cup with the Stars. Then I will retire this jersey and never wear it again.”

June 19-20, 1999 Joe Nieuwendyk and the Stars live up their end of the bargain by defeating the Buffalo Sabres in the third overtime of game six of the Stanley Cup Finals. Adding an exclamation point to our deal, Joe Nieuwendyk took the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs most valuable player. After celebrating the Cup victory I honored my end and removed my jersey for the last time. It has since been framed and hung on my wall.

Excitement Boiling Over? Not Yet, But It Is Time to Get Your Hope Up!

by Kevin Lindstrom

The fan-base of Our Dallas Stars has taken its share of kicks to the shin over the past few years. For good reason, a lot of The Faithful have put away their signs, their uniforms, the hair-color and face-paint. But in November of 2011, a new owner was approved for the team, and there was reason for at least the potential of optimism.

But he took his time, letting the current organization run its course, watching to see where changes needed to be made – frankly, proper due-diligence. Somewhat surprisingly, though, it wasn’t after the 2011-2012 season that changes were made.But at the end of the 2012-2013 season, it was time. Our new owner decided his evaluation period was over and it was time to start making the organization in his image.

Oh my goodness, has he!

New GM – fantastic choice. New coach – probably a good move, time will tell. LOTS of new players, big moves – a lot looks good on the front end, but as with all player moves, time will tell. New jerseys – some like more than others.

But the bottom line is you clearly have a totally engaged owner who has gone all-in to make this his team. As we have seen, this cuts both ways (*cough*Tom Hicks with the Rangers*cough*, *cough*Jerry Jones*cough*, *cough*early Mark Cuban*cough*), but at the start the fans have to appreciate the change from what we had post-Ken Hitchcock until now – no more lack of investment in players, no more “we will do the best we can with what we have.”

And as we work our way through those decisions, I gain more and more confidence that this organization is in fact going in the right direction.

The fun part is Thursday night, we get to start seeing how it all plays out on the ice, start getting data and real information – then we can see how leadership reacts to it!

That is a lot of changes to review, and some of it is not as time-sensitive as Thursday night, so I am going to be more cursory on some of it, saving bandwidth for the changes we are going to see the most on opening day.

But the overall view from the cheap seats? Get excited as the beginnings of something wonderful are in the works, and if nothing else, we have a straw stirring the drink with the sole goal of winning and championships for YOUR DALLAS STARS!

So now is the time – get out your face-paint, your favorite sweater, your cough-drops; start making those signs for the new players and dust off the old ones for the retuning players and the team as a whole; get ready because Thursday night is a mere hours away!

Ownership
R. Thomas Gaglardi is in some ways perfect. A Canadian with a Canadian’s love of the sport, but who has local ties.  No one doubted that he would come in and make changes. The question was the quality of the changes, and to the extent possible, whether he was being over-involved.

The GM move was – in this writer’s estimation – brilliant. You simply could not have made a better choice than Jim Nill, and it reflects very well on Gaglardi that he was able to close a deal with Nill as he had turned down numerous opportunities elsewhere to come to a franchise that wasn’t one of the Original Six, no matter the power of the sports market or the fact that you had clear data points of how that market would react to a champion.

This writer, on the other hand, is not a jersey-buff. Unless a jersey change is Atlanta Thrashers-ugly, I will probably be okay with it. I came to love the Stars during the early years, so I will always have fond memories of those early sweaters, but I wasn’t turned-off by the black-themed stuff, nor am I put off by the new green sweater or the new logo. I do note that many thing that it is a more traditional hockey look, and I am okay with that. If I had an opinion, I think a stronger – deeper, darker – green would be a better choice, but I’m not sure I even care that much.

General Manager
As mentioned above, getting Nill was a brilliant move on paper – the brightest mind from one of the most storied, and most successful of NHL organizations. But as we evaluate him in what he has done, we have to look past the initial impression, to the actual choices.

A major trade was made with the recent Stanley Cup runner-up, leading to the acquisition of some major talent. The biggest piece is Tyler Seguin, a phenomenal talent that had struggled to find a comfortable role for the Bruins. Now he gets a chance to be the young talent that is the beginning of the second Golden Era of the Dallas Stars. Question is, will he?

Another major acquisition was Sergei Gonchar. Is this is the blue-liner that had been missing from the Stars for many years? On paper, absolutely.

Other player moves were also made, but at the end of the day, those were the biggies, along with naming Jamie Benn the Captain.

This brings us to the other big move by Nill – the coaching staff. Jim didn’t get his top choice, but he did get Lindy Ruff, a well-respected coach who, ironically, lost in his only Stanley Cup appearance to our very own Dallas Stars. The big question here is will Ruff be able to mold the roster that Nill has put together and turn them into a playoff team? Again, on paper, his history with Buffalo looks like the answer is yes.

In this writer’s opinion, I do not see the Ruff hiring in the same light as Nill’s. In some ways it is very simple – he wasn’t the best option available. On the other hand, does he have to be? Do we really think that the current coach needs to be the guy we think will lead this team back to getting the names of the Dallas Stars back on the Stanley Cup? Or is this the guy to mold this current crop – this new foundation, a mix of old and new – into something that Nill can then add to over the course of a set of seasons to building from bottom third to middle third, setting the table for another seismic shift getting into that top third and eventually a Cup contender? The Buck Showalter to Ron Washington maneuver, if you will.

In that light, I think that we are looking at a “good enough” move, with the potential to be more. Who knows – maybe Ruff can be the guy to shepherd this franchise back to the Land of Lord Stanley? But even if not, he can at least help get things going in the right direction – because there are very few Jimmy Johnsons.

No more “On-Paper”
So this is why Thursday night is so exciting – the potential energy of all those moves finally gets to apply pressure on the kinetic energy of reality, and we get to find out how players perform together and for their coaches. It is here that we can start to really judge them and the coaches – the action-reaction of live play.

So like I said, break out the sweater, the goalie mask, the signs and yes, your hope. It IS time to get your hopes up. True, they may be dashed again, but that is the nature of being a fanatic. But I have faith that this owner, this general manager and this coach are worth of the faith that they will be good stewards of your hope, and let hockey happen!

The New Stars Jersey. Or, We All Love the D

by andyheflin

I was going to write about our new jerseys last night but I figured that it would be a good idea to sleep on it – plus my finger hurts from repeatedly hitting the refresh button on twitter. I think we just witnessed an end and a beginning all in one evening.

First. The end of the Tom Hicks Stars. With the release of our new jerseys it officially ends the roller coaster ride of being a team owned by Hicks. Personally, I am happy to see it end. He brought us embarrassment for the way he ran the team we love into the ground. It took a court to pry this team away from him. He donned them in the jersey that must not be named. But he also gave us the brightest moment in our history: The Cup. He decided to bring in the final pieces to get us the only black banner in the AAC. He also gave us one of, if not the, greatest jerseys in our history (and the only other green one).

Second. The link to the North Stars. Many people only know the North Stars for their N logo. But a before they made the trek southward they changed their logo to the logo the Stars have been using sans the DALLAS. We have never really had our own logo, Heck I don’t think that was ever a true logo. Our new one is for Dallas. The announcement of the retiring of Modano’s iconic #9 will also sever the final tie to the State Of Hockey. He was the last player here to have played for the North Stars. Maybe the folks up north can finally move on and forgive us for “stealing” their team.Yeah, I doubt it too.

Third. The team that was here when Tom Gaglardi bought the team. We are no longer the team that fought the Sharks for hours to win at 1:30 in the morning. We aren’t even the same team that missed the playoff for the last few years. Gone, is our captain since 2006, a fan favorite agitator, a leading scorer and several other familiar faces. In their place is a group of fresh faced “kids”. Players who have fought their way up here from Austin. The final piece to this transition is going to be the naming of our new captain. Like most people I think it is going to be Benn even though I think he isn’t quite ready for it.

Finally, the jersey itself. It is a basic sleek design; I like it. Like a lot of people it has grown on me since first seeing it. I like the fact that they kept the Texas outline, even though I would have liked to see it as a shoulder patch and not just a pant logo. The green is nice; it is close to the old Hartford Whalers colors or even a North Dakota jersey. The stripes on the bottom remind me a lot of the jerseys they wore at Reunion Arena. The lose of the gold doesn’t really bother me; it worked on the old one but I think it wouldn’t work on the new ones.  The logo is ok; not great but not painfully hideous. I think we will come to love it in time like we will love our new players. The laces I think have been a little over used in the NHL over the past few years. I like them on retro jerseys but not a big fan of them of newer ones. They tried an over stimulating jersey with the one that must not be named. They tried a very basic jersey in the black ones. I think they have found a great middle ground in these. I look forward to getting them both.

Dallas Till I Die

Warden Andy

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