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Western wear, Texas vibe drive home special feeling of Winter Classic

From belt buckles to bolo ties, the Stars embrace classic Lone Star State style at outdoor game

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

DALLAS -- Part of the fun of having the Winter Classic in Texas is the fact there is a real aesthetic that can come out to center stage.

The NHL embraced it with its branding and logos, choosing fonts that reflected the Wild West.

The musical choices fell right in line, with music by Dan & Shay and Midland, and plenty of piped in choices that reflected both Country and Western.

 

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And the Stars players took things one notch higher when they decked themselves out in clothing by Lucchese and hats by Travis Austin Customs.

Players each were allowed to assemble their own look, and each one chose a different path. While bolo ties were prevalent and most wore belt buckles that bore the logo of the 2020 Winter Classic, some went full cowboy, others were gentlemanly gambler, and still others were downright outlaw.

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"We just thought it would be a great idea for the team to look the cowboy role being here in Texas," said captain Jamie Benn, who hatched the idea with goalie Ben Bishop. "Benji kind of brought it up and we figured it was a good idea to get some boots and hats and the whole get-up. Lucchese helped us out, and we had a great day there at their store."

Mattias Janmark went with a smooth look that included all black. The native of Danderyd, Sweden said he needed a lot of help in making his choices.

"It's not very Swedish, so I had to get inspiration from teammates," Janmark said. "You talk to guys and see what they're going to wear. I tried to keep it pretty simple with a suit. I think you'll see crazier guys out there."

Tweet from @jeffodom: Hard to pick who wore Texas better: Blake Comeau or Roman Polak.#WinterClassic | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/x8HglKexLJ

Roman Polak went full "bad guy" with an ominous black outfit compete with a robber-style bandana. John Klingberg said he wanted to keep a European edge to his style, and added that he was impressed with the choices of all of his teammates.

Denis Gurianov and Anton Khudobin were more farmhand style, while Jamie Oleksiak, Roope Hintz and Miro Heiskanen leaned toward a gentleman look.

 

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"I thought everyone looked real good," Klingberg said. "It was a lot of fun seeing guys actually really trying to look cool. Everyone was on board."

Andrew Cogliano said he loved the process.

"I looked really good," Cogliano said with a laugh. "No honestly, this is probably the first time I'm excited to get my clothes on after the game."

It all tied into the feeling of celebration that was involved. Cogliano is from Toronto and played much of his career in California. But on Wednesday, he truly felt like a Texan.

"It was fun," he said. "You can't really beat this event. It's up there, and winning how we did, it's special."

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Bishop greeted media at the press conference with a hearty "Howdy," and said the event and all of the accoutrement were simply fantastic.

"Having it on home soil, the fans came out in great numbers and it was a lot of fun for us. So to get the win, it's just that cherry on top," Bishop said. "To do it in front of our home fans, in Dallas, which is what this whole event is all about, just made it that much better."

And finishing the night decked out in Western wear while celebrating with family, well, what could be more perfect.

"It's not just one thing," Janmark said. "It's going back to yesterday with the family skate and coming here for the first time, and then going to breakfast with your whole family with the whole team and now we're going to head back and enjoy time with our family and friends who are here.

"There's not one thing, it's everything about it."

Don't miss your chance to see the Stars take on the Detroit Red Wings at American Airlines Center on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets now!

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika, and listen to his podcast.

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