NHL Patches and Minnesota North Stars

From time to time I look in on the goings on over at Uni Watch.  I am by no means a connoisseur of “athletic aesthetics,” but I do appreciate a well designed jersey.  (My favorite NHL jerseys are the Canadiens darks and the Bruins darks.  If I had been a fan of hockey when they still existed, I would have been a Whalers fan just because of their jerseys.  I don’t understand why everyone loves the Blackhawk jerseys so much.  I think those jerseys are flat out ugly, not to mention a little racist around the edges.)

To put my level of interest in athletic aesthetics in perspective, I’ll admit that I’ve never been terribly horrified by the slug.  Sure, it’s goofy and not even remotely dignified, but whatever, at least it’s not the goathead.  The goathead was terrible in every way.  Every. Way.  When I hear people bitching about the slug, especially if they are over a certain age, I always think, “You survived the switch from the original jerseys to the goat head. How could the slug POSSIBLY be causing you this much pain?”

But I digress.

I encourage you to hop over to Uni Watch to spend a few minutes looking at NHL jersey patches.  The Uni Watch guy has pulled many interesting patches off a website called…wait for it….NHL Patches.   I found navigation of the original site to be a little cumbersome, so just start with Uni Watch.

I’ve never given jersey patches much thought, except to notice how they frequently mussy up an otherwise nice uniform, but it was fun to click through these bad boys.

I also learned something interesting which is that the Minnesota North Star apparently adopted the current Dallas Stars logo while still in Minnesota.  I didn’t know that.  The North Stars have become increasingly interesting to me lately.   Many times I’ve tried to adopt the Minnesota Wild as my secondary team (maybe it will get easier now that Lemaire is gone), but it’s never really stuck. I think one of the reasons I don’t connect to them is because they didn’t exist when I was a child.  The Wild simply were not a part of my childhood consciousness….but the North Stars were.

I didn’t grow up watching hockey, but as I’ve learned more and more about the league before my time I’ve experienced a interesting bout of retroactive love for the North Stars.  I did grow up as a fan of the Twins and the Vikings, so I am familiar with the seemingly genetic attraction one feels to a team you grew up watching.  Hockey is starting to feel more ingrained in me and although I don’t recall ever having watched a single North Stars game, some dormant Minnesotan in me has gotten more attached to them as my “childhood team”.  Had I been a hockey fan growing up, I would have been a North Stars fan (and Gophers, of course).  Today, for the first time ever, while looking at that North Stars 25th Anniversary patch, I felt a small pang of resentment very similar to what I feel when I look at pictures of “No Goal”.  It’s a difficult feeling to describe.  It’s not exactly a pain I can claim as my own, it’s just a part of my inherited pride.

It’s interesting that I have two inherited resentments towards the Dallas Stars for incidents that occured with two separate teams long before I even became a fan of the sport.  I wasn’t even aware of it for the first 30+ years of my life, but the Dallas Stars and I have been locked in an extremely slow moving epic battle for decades.

Current score:  Stars 2, Katebits 0.

6 Responses to “NHL Patches and Minnesota North Stars”

  1. 1 Erin July 20, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Wonderful post! Really captures that feeling of pride and history that is inherited when you start to love a sport/team.

    I grew up in southern California so I have repeatedly tried to adopt the Kings as my secondary love, but I find it hard because there is so little reported about them.

    And you are 100% correct abou the jerseys (sweaters) the Canadiens dark = hockey. Blackhawks, although I’m partial to the black and white stripes…sorry…racist.

  2. 2 Katebits July 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks, Erin!

    The Kings seem like maybe they would be an interesting team to adopt. Extremely mediocre bordering on bad, plus ugly uniforms. Do you read The Battle of California? Their Kings writer is fabulous. That might help.

  3. 3 CrotchetyOriginalSam July 20, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    The North Stars switch to the Stars logo was the last signal owner Norm Green sent to Minnesota that the team was gone. He denied the removal of the N for North meant anything at the time, of course, but that was mere months before the move to Dallas was made official.

    Everyone around here still likes to state unequivocally that Minny-to-Dallas was the most indefensible franchise move the NHL ever allowed. I don’t know about that: you could make a strong argument that Dallas has been one of the very, very few Southern success stories for the league, and I doubt it would have happened had Gary Bettman just installed a crappy expansion team there. That the Stars came to Dallas only two seasons removed from the Cup Finals and with Mike Modano in a starring role probably established hockey in Dallas as a legit sport.

    Also, as much as I love Minnesota and my Wild, Kate will probably second my disgust for the crazy stubborn attitude people here take when faced with any suggestion that we could stand to upgrade something that’s fallen into disrepair. It’s as if Minnesotans believe it’s a personal assault for anyone to suggest that some tiny corner of our state is not already perfect in every way. The reality is that the Met Center was a horrendous arena and needed to be replaced. Minnesota balked, Dallas built an arena. And, as always, always, always happens in Minnesota in the end, we eventually built one, too, eight years late and at five times the cost. (This is how we build our transit system, too.)

    Sorry for the longest comment ever. Just wanted to get that off my chest. Rant concludes.

  4. 4 Katebits July 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Oooh, thanks for the comment Sam. Until today I had pretty much taken a, “Oh well, it all worked out in the end” approach to the Dallas Stars, and I never really knew the whole story. It was jarring seeing the Dallas Stars logo with the words “Minnesota North Stars”. I didn’t like that one bit, but I think you’re right that overall it’s probably good for the league that the Stars have done well in Dallas.

    I looked up the North Stars on Wikipedia, just to read a bit about them, and I stumbled upon this funny line:

    “The Sports Illustrated article included a quote from North Stars booster club president Julie Hammond: “When [Norm Green] came here, he said, ‘Only an idiot could lose money on hockey in Minnesota.’ Well, I guess he proved that point.”


  5. 5 Amy July 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Looking at the Sabres patch archive, I had no idea that Miller and Roy were Young All-Stars. 2003 and 2004 seem so long ago.

  6. 6 Chris July 22, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Our old buddy Biron signed a 1 yr deal with the Islandorks.

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