It has been almost two full years since the Dallas Stars revealed their new logo and jerseys. Fans have completely fallen in love with the designs and colors. I’ll admit, I wasn’t too sure about them when they were first released. The more I saw them on the ice, the more I liked them. The “Victory Green” color is a completely different color in the NHL today and really helps the Stars stand out from the rest of the league. It is now incredibly difficult to imagine them wearing the black jersey with the word “Dallas” across the chest. It just doesn’t seem right. So far, the re-brand has been a huge success. Attendance continues to rise as fans clad in Victory Green are filling the American Airlines Center once again. The Stars have an incredibly bright future ahead of them and the re-brand played a part in it. Let’s take a look back at the top-10 moments of the Victory Green era so far.
#10 – Victor E. Green Emerges
How can you not include one of the more lovable mascots in the league? At a listed height of 84 pucks, Victor E. Green’s main goal is to have fun. He helps escort away fans to worse seats, he tosses t-shirts to the most deserving of fans and he provides entertainment for the entire arena. His best highlight so far may just be the one below. Enjoy.
#9 – Val Nichushkin Drafted
Valeri Nichushkin was the first draft pick of the Victory Green era. He was picked up at tenth overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Some called it a steal, some called it a big risk. Russian players have a complicated history with the NHL with varying attitudes across the board. Nichushkin appears to be quite fond of Dallas and Dallas is certainly fond of him. Although his sophomore season was cut very short due to injury, he has a bright future ahead of him. He put up an impressive 34 points in his rookie campaign and his size really sets him apart from other players his age. Jaromir Jagr said “Maybe it was his best 3 games I watched, but I said, ‘This guy is going to be the best in the world one day'”. High praise from a future hall-of-famer. Fans in Dallas are excited to see a healthy season from Nichushkin, especially as he has had more time to adjust to North American life.
#8 – The Reveal
Fans were anxiously awaiting the change that was coming. There were rumors that the Stars would follow the rest of the Dallas area teams and go with a blue concept. There were rumors they would go back towards their original green and gold. Ultimately they came up with their own brand of green called Victory Green. The jerseys and logo look modern but have vintage elements in them as well. So far they have been incredibly popular and many fans believe the Stars have one of the best jerseys in the league.
#7 – The Jason Spezza Trade
Jim Nill has done some incredible things as the general manager of the Victory Green era. Landing Jason Spezza has probably been his second most successful trade (you will probably see another one further down this list). Spezza is a proven leader and a proven scorer and this season, he made tremendous strides to improve the defensive area of his game. He is now signed on for four more seasons in Victory Green, solidifying the center position for Dallas.
#6 – The Privilege of Hearing Ralph Strangis
Earlier this offseason, Ralph Strangis decided it was time for a change and stepped down as the voice of the Dallas Stars. He has been the voice of the Stars for their entire time in the state of Texas. He is Stars hockey. He had some incredible calls over the years. Benn clinching the Art Ross was incredibly memorable, especially if you listened to Ralph call it as it was happening. He called games with such child-like excitement for both teams on the ice, rarely showing any shred of bias towards the Stars. It will be very strange to watch the first game without Ralph next season.
#5 – The Trade That Changed the Dallas Stars
It was July 4th, 2013. Most places around the United States saw fireworks that night. People in Texas got them much earlier in the day. Jim Nill would make his first big move as General Manager of the Stars. He brought in Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley and there may not be a trade more important in the history of the team. In his two seasons in Dallas, Tyler Seguin has finished 4th and 7th in the NHL points race. He may have finished with the Art Ross this season had he not been injured, but we’ll talk more about the Art Ross later. After two enormously big seasons, fans have to remember that Seguin is still just 23 years of age. He has a lot of great hockey left to be played in Dallas.
#4 – Retiring Mike Modano’s #9
Mike Modano is the Stars franchise leader in goals, assists and points and nobody is more recognized in Dallas Stars history. The Stars decided to award his commitment to the team by retiring his number nine jersey and hanging it in the rafters at the American Airlines Center. The entire event was spectacular. There were many former Stars in attendance and the current Stars put on a show in the game against the Wild following the ceremony. Mike Modano may go down as the best American-born player of all time and nobody was more deserving of this ceremony.
#3 – The Dallas Stars Clinch the Playoffs
It was a long wait for many fans in Dallas, but the first year of the Victory Green era brought back the playoffs. In dominating fashion, the Stars showcased their speed and skill in a victory over the St. Louis Blues and clinched the playoffs for the first time in six years.
#2 – Jamie Benn’s Theatrical Art Ross Victory
What can you really say about this? Jamie Benn needed two points in the final period of the season to beat John Tavares for the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer. He decided to take a more dramatic route, waiting until the final two minutes to strike. It gave Benn and the Stars a much-needed victory after a disappointing season.
#1 – First Playoff Game in Victory Green
I had the privilege of attending this game and I don’t think the American Airlines Center has been as loud since. For the first time in six seasons, the Stanley Cup Playoffs returned to Dallas and the fans let the Stars know how much they missed it. There is nothing like the playoffs and the Stars hope they will be back in this spot next year.
The first two years of the Victory Green era has been filled with excitement and memorable moments. A new Star has certainly risen in Dallas.