Friday, July 24, 2009
July by the Numbers heads down to the Lone Star State for stop #24 today.
The Houston Aeros of the old World Hockey Association began play in 1972 and would go on to win four regular season titles, four Division championships and a pair of Avco World Trophies as champions of the WHA behind the Howe family, legendary Gordie and sons Mark and Marty. The Aeros final season would be 1977-78.
Fast-forward to 1994 when the International Hockey League would expand and the new Houston franchise would adopt the Aeros name in honor of the original WHA club, the second such team named after a WHA team, following the Phoenix Roadrunners.
The Aeros would play seven seasons in the IHL, winning the championship and the Turner Cup in 1999. When the IHL folded in 2001 the Aeros were one of six teams to join the American Hockey League, where they would win an AHL championship, claiming the Calder Cup in 2003, joining the Chicago Wolves as the only two teams to win both the Turner Cup and the Calder Cup.
Today's featured jersey is a 2001-02 Houston Aeros alternate Stephane Veilleux jersey. This jerseys primary logo is the "A" taken from the Aeros wordmark. The team's primary logo, it's ever-popular bomber logo, is used as the secondary logo on the shoulders in this case.
This style jersey was worn for only one season, as the Aeros would traditionally introduce a new alternate each season. The back numbers are the first example of kiss-cut lettering I became aware of. Instead of smaller white numbers being sewn on top of a larger blue layer to create two color numbers, a narrow blue outline layer (which is open in the center to allow the base color to show through) is sewn on top of a full size white layer to create the two color number effect.
My jersey also features the custom made "Whataburger" sponsorship patch created with my transfer process to give it an extra look of authenticity.
Veilleux played four seasons for the Aeros, including leading the team in playoff scoring during their 2003 Calder Cup championship run, and parts of six seasons for the Minnesota Wild, with a high of 18 points in both of the previous two seasons. He recently signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, ending his time in Minnesota. He once totaled 115 points in a season for the Val-d'Or Foreurs of the QMJHL.