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Grizz get face lift with updated logo

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If change is good, the Utah Grizzlies are great.

Hockey fans will be watching mostly new players sporting a new look this winter as the team unveils a new logo Thursday afternoon.

As the Grizz head into their fifth year in Utah, status quo is certainly not a problem. A month ago they announced a new affiliation with the NHL's Dallas Stars. Tuesday they announced an affiliation with the WCHL's Idaho Steelheads.

They're still looking for a new assistant coach, and they only have four players under contract from last year. All this change, however, is just coincidental to the new logo and the slightly new colors that the team and its merchandise will wear in the 2000-01 season.

"We felt we wanted a fresh look this season," said team president Tim Mouser. For about a year, team officials have been discussing and designing a new look for Utah's IHL hockey team. "We said, 'Let's look at changing the look of the bear . . . get more aggressive.' "

That they did, with a bear who now faces front and is breaking the hockey stick instead of just carrying it. There are mountains in the background of the new logo, similar to the Jazz logo change a few years ago.

"We wanted to create a mark that could stand alone, without the Grizzlies name," Mouser said. "The other bear doesn't exist without the name."

The colors will also be a little different, with a deeper green that Mouser said is easier to find.

"The old color wasn't a standard green," he said. "It wasn't the same green on paper as it was on cloth or thread . . . the original color we kind of dreamed up."

This green will be more consistent, he said, as they order merchandise from manufacturers.

"We also wanted to incorporate the look of the Stars," he said. The colors and new uniform design of the Grizzlies mirrors that of it's new NHL partner. "It's a green that gives us options."

The Grizzlies jerseys will still have a bear claw on the shoulder, but it's tearing at the fabric, rather than just a bear paw.

The change to the bear on the logo doesn't mean that team mascot Grizzbee is undergoing any kind of face lift, however.

"He'll be the same fun loving bear we've all come to know and love," Mouser said. "He'll just have a new jersey."

While team officials were hoping for a more independent and fierce logo, they wanted to create an image that wouldn't need to be changed again in a few years.

"We wanted something that'll last," he said.

Along with new jerseys, modeled by several Grizz players, the team will show off new merchandise, like T-shirts, that fans can wear adorned with the new logo at its press conference at the E Center on Thursday.

And not to worry, Mouser said, if fans are attached to the old stuff.

"It'll make the other (merchandise) collectors items."

E-MAIL: adonaldson@desnews.com