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Grizzlies hoping fans embrace new uniforms

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Grizzlies' super fan Matthew Kristensen has just one dilemma now that the team has unveiled its new logo and colors.

"I don't know how I'm going to make my hair turn that green," he said after modeling one of the team's new T-shirts in Forrest Green. "I'll have to put a lot more dye in it."

The 13-year-old, known by fans and team officials for his green hair, flag and unwavering support of the Grizzlies, was part of a three-man fashion show Thursday afternoon. Defenseman Pat Neaton and forward Brad Lauer modeled the team's new jerseys.

"I know some people don't like change," Lauer said. "But I think the fans will get hold of this and support it."

The team went with a darker green and added a copper color that one official dubbed, "Zion Red."

"It's our tip of the hat to Southern Utah," said Director of Community Relations Phil Mickey, who spearheaded the effort to revamp the Grizzlies' look. "It gives it a nice earthy, natural feel."

The Grizzlies added mountains to the logo, which features a more fierce, forward-facing bear breaking a hockey stick.

The colors and jersey design are similar to that of the NHL's Dallas Stars, which Utah affiliated with a month ago.

The team will have the affiliation for the next two seasons.

"I don't think you can have a Utah logo without the Utah mountains in it in some way, shape or form," Mickey said, noting the design process took about 20 months to complete.

Grizz media relations director Ian Furness said the new logo "really means Utah. It reflects the look of the Wasatch Front."

"It's a good thing you can save things on a computer and go back to them later," said team president Tim Mouser. "We ended up with a lot of ideas in the garbage."

But officials knew they wanted a change, and they agreed on what that should be.

"We wanted an active logo," Mouser said. "We wanted a bit more of an aggressive bear. We hope our fans are happy with it . . . And (coach) Bob (Bourne) assures me that we are undefeated in this new jersey."

E-MAIL: adonaldson@desnews.com