Without seeing any playoff hockey for four seasons straight, being a Stars fan has been tough of late. The fact that I live just under 5,000 miles away from Dallas makes it that much harder!
Despite living so far away, the Stars hold a special place in my heart. I started supporting them when I was seven-years-old and did so because of one man, Mike Modano! This guy was everything a professional athlete should be; passionate, loyal and a true team player. He didn’t just get me into Stars hockey, he got me into hockey full force.
A standard 7:30 p.m. central time face off is a 1:30 a.m. start time for me in the UK, and I finally get to bed at around 4 a.m. When the Stars travel the West coast, games start at 3:30 a.m. For these games I will have a pre-game nap before watching, and won’t go back to bed until the sun has risen!
Finding Stars merchandise over here is a tough task, but I have two jerseys, one for Modano and the other for Jamie Benn. Thanks to a good friend from Texas, I have managed to get quite a lot of signed photos, which mean a lot to me!
Hockey is currently a small sport in the UK, but it is certainly a growing one. Our national team made it to the final stages of qualification for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, but missed out. In a few days time they head to Hungary to take part in the World Championships.
We have two main hockey leagues, the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) and the EPL (English Premier League). The EIHL is a professional league and attracted NHLers Drew Miller, Matt Beleskey and Anthony Stewart during the recent lockout.
As far as NHL coverage goes, we don’t get a lot over here. We have one television channel that shows around fives games a week. These games are totally random, so we get to see a wide variety of teams.
Luckily I am a subscriber to NHL Game Center live, so I can watch every Stars game with the awesome broadcasting team of Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh!
The NHL is definitely becoming more popular in the UK. With the NFL now hosting two games every season in London, we are very keen on bringing some NHL action over as well!
So, the next time you are annoyed after a Stars loss, at least it isn’t 4 a.m. in Texas hey?!