NHL - CENTRAL
Arena: United Center
Coach: American Airlines Center
2021-2022 TEAM LEADERS
The Dallas Stars are an NHL team playing in the Central Division based in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Stars joined the league originally as the Minnesota North Stars in 1967 as part of the NHL’s first-ever expansion period, playing in Minnesota through the 1992-1993 season. Team owner Norm Green moved the franchise to Dallas the following year, bringing the team their first (and only) Cup win six years later.
Mike Modano is one of the greatest American-born hockey players in the history of the NHL and played for the franchise from 1989 through 2010. Modano set most franchise records for the club and served as captain during their 1999 cup win.
The Stars are back in the fold after a rocky start this season, thanks to the resurgence of Joe Pavelski and a strong sophomore season from Jason Robertson.
The Stars first joined the league in 1967 along with the St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Oakland Seals. Like most of the expansion teams, the franchise struggled early on against the significantly better and more developed Original Six teams- the North Stars went 18-43-15 and 19-35-22 in their second and third seasons.
The North Stars fluctuated between contender and bottom feeder throughout their stay from 1967-1993, appearing in two Stanley Cups in 1981 and 1991; however, many teams made the playoffs during this period despite their less-than-stellar regular seasons. For example, despite making the cup in 1991, the team was still 27-39-14 during the regular season.
The Stars would be relocated to Dallas during the 1993-1994 season due to a combination of financial issues and personal issues faced by owner Norm Green. The Stars’ reception in Dallas was a warm one, quickly becoming an iconic part of the city with their star-shaped jerseys and led by captain Mike Modano. The team would have a solid 42-29-13 season their first year in Texas but would struggle for the next few years, particularly with their 26-42-14 record in 1996.
The franchise turned it around quickly after 1996, making the postseason for five straight seasons and appearing in the cup finals for two consecutive years in 1999 and 2000. Though they lost the 2000 finals to the Devils, the Stars won their first championship in franchise history against the Buffalo Sabres in 1999.
Dallas has been fairly competitive since the 2000s, with the longest playoff drought being from 2008 to 2013. Besides that, the Stars haven’t gone more than a year or two without seeing the postseason, including a run to the Stanley Cup again in 2020.
2022 Key Stats
The Stars were off to a rocky start to the 2021-2022 season, but have since found their fitting in the Central Division once again. Currently, the Stars sit at 5th place in the Central Division; though this stat makes it sound like the Stars are having a rough season, they actually have a record of 22-17-2- still plenty of time to make the playoffs.
Despite being 37 years old, Joe Pavelski is playing some of the best hockey of his career. The forward has scored 19 goals and 29 assists in 41 games this year, currently on pace for close to 40 goals and well over a point per game by the end of the season. Jason Robertson is another big name in Dallas this year, following up a phenomenal rookie season with a record of 16 goals and 23 assists in 39 games played.
Tyler Seguin is having a bit of a down year so far, with only 19 points in 41 games- luckily, the top line seems to be making up for the forward’s drop-off in offensive production.
Things have also been interesting defensively- Miro Heiskanen hasn’t been as strong on the blueline as he has in previous years but is still producing a modest 25 points in 40 games. John Klingberg has stated that he will likely be testing the free agency market at the end of his contract this offseason- definitely keep an eye on a big shake-up in the Dallas top four by the trade deadline.
Dallas’ tandem of Brayden Holtby and Jake Oettinger has been solid so far, though Oettinger has had the better year overall. The young goaltender is currently sitting on a record of 10-4-0 with a SV% of .910; meanwhile, Holtby is teetering at .500 with a record of 9-9-1 and a SV of .913.
Championships Won by the Team
The Stars have only won the Stanley Cup once in franchise history in 1999 over the Buffalo Sabres. Led by captain Derian Hatcher, the Stars dominated the regular season with a 51-19-12 record, winning both the division and the Presidents’ Trophy with the most points in the entire league. While some people may believe in the “Presidents’ Trophy Curse,” the 1999 Dallas Stars didn’t seem to care as they cruised through the playoffs with a record of 16-7.
Dallas would make the finals again in 2000, winning the Western Conference but ultimately falling short to the Devils in a 4-2 series.
The Stars most recent finals appearance was in 2020, during the shortened season in quarantine during the Covid-19 epidemic. The team went on an unlikely run after defeating the Calgary Flames and upsetting both the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights to earn their spot in the championships- unfortunately, the Stars ran into a Tampa Bay Lightning squad looking to bounce back from their humiliating playoff sweep the year prior, losing the series 4-2.
Important Team Events
During the 2020 playoffs, the third seed Dallas Stars took on the second seed Colorado Avalanche. The Avs were favorites to win the cup thanks to an explosive forward core led by Nathan MacKinnon. While Dallas was by no means a bad team, they didn’t have the same top-heavy style of play, instead relying on a well-rounded top-nine forward group and strong defense and goaltending. The series was very chippy, with Dallas blowing a 3-1 series lead and bringing the contest to a decisive game seven.
The game proved to be too much for three periods, going into overtime after Dallas tied the game just 10 seconds after the Avs took the lead with three and a half minutes to go. The Stars would come out on top thanks to the Finnish forward Joel Kiviranta, who scored his third goal of the game to eliminate Colorado and send the Stars into the Conference Finals. The best part? Kiviranta was put in for game seven due to an injury to Stars forward Andrew Cogliano!
Without a doubt, the top player in the history of the Dallas Stars franchise is Mike Modano. Modano played with the franchise from being drafted by the Minnesota North Stars in 1989 through 2010, setting nearly every franchise record he could in the process. Modano currently holds the record for games played at 1459, goals at 557, assists at 802, and points at 1359. Modano currently sits at 25th in all-time NHL scoring.
Marty Turco is another big name when it comes to the Dallas Stars, playing with the franchise from 2000 to 2010. Though he didn’t win a cup with the team during his stay, he did set the franchise records for goaltending with 509 games played, 262 wins, and 40 shutouts.
The Stars have had nine coaches since being relocated to Dallas, currently led by Rick Bowness. Bowness has coached the team since 2019, leading from behind the bench during the 2020 run to the Stanley Cup finals and currently sitting with a record of 20-13-5.
The most prominent coach the Stars have ever had is definitely Ken Hitchcock, who was with the team from 1996 to 2002. In his 503 games with Dallas, Hitchcock would bring two Presidents’ Trophy wins, two conference titles, a Stanley Cup, and two Clarence S. Campbell Awards in 1999 and 2000. Hitchcock would even pop in as the coach again for a brief stint in the 2017-2018 season, though the team would fail to make the playoffs. He left Dallas with an overall record of 277-154-72 in the regular season and a .588 win percentage in the postseason.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dallas joined the league in 1993 after the Minnesota North Stars relocated to Texas.
Mike Modano is one of the most prolific players in the history of the NHL, holding all scoring records for Dallas.
Dallas has referred to the distinct shade of green as “Victory Green.”
Dallas has won one championship in 1999, appearing in two other finals in 2000 and 2020.
Dallas has fairly strong rivalries with most of the teams in the Central Division, sharing a long history of playoff animosity with the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues, while also sharing some bad blood with the Minnesota Wild due to the nature of the departure of the Northstars.