The Minnesota North Stars traveled south to Dallas, Texas, a quarter-century ago and became the Dallas Stars. Since then, they’ve won a Stanley Cup and recognized the best American player to ever play the game. Despite their past success, however, the Stars’ best year is about to start.
Hockey season is rounding the corner in the very near future and the Dallas Stars are already taking steps to highlight the 25 years spent in the Lone Star State. That dedication to excellence is why the Stars are on the cusp of their best season to date.
Highlighting past successes
Twenty-five years is a long time to be in one place and the Stars have endured a lot while in Texas. They’ve had their ups and downs, but have remained one of the greatest hockey teams in the South regardless.
This season, they’ll be paying tribute to the greatness of the past. Everything from Mike Modano‘s incredible talents to Brenden Morrow‘s 2008 playoff triumphs and Marty Turco‘s unbelievable saves. That coupled with Joe Nieuwendyk‘s 1999 Stanley Cup performance, which won him the Conn Smyth Trophy no less, will be tough to beat.
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Some of the best nights in Dallas have been because of the Stars, so it makes sense that the team reminding the city of that would make for quite the occasion.
Celebrating current possibilities
And that’s just the distant past. More recently, Dallas has drafted and contributed to the growth of one of the best forwards and leaders in the NHL in Jamie Benn. They’ve traded for the highly skilled Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and most-recently Ben Bishop.
Dallas’ commitment to being all in is something a lot of teams lack the courage to do. They’re not messing around and are coming back this season with a vengeance. Last season sucked, for lack of a better term, and the Stars are well-aware.
This season will not because the taste of bitter losses and disappointment is fresh in the player’s minds. A repeat is not an option and that is something to celebrate, especially with the 25th anniversary.
Retiring Jere Lehtinen’s No. 26
Last, but certainly not least, the Stars will pay tribute to Jere Lehtinen this season. On top of recognizing Dallas’ rich history and promising future, the team will highlight one of its best when they send Lehtinen’s No. 26 to the rafters.
Long-time Stars fans know that although Lehtinen wasn’t a flashy player on the ice, he gave his all night in and night out. There was no quit in him and his leadership was admirable to say the least.
To finally be able to acknowledge his dedication to the team and the city of Dallas is certainly going to be a special night. And it’s only going to make the case for 2017-18 to be the best year in Dallas Stars history.