Hello again my lovely readers! I know that it has been two whole weeks without a post, and that you have all gone into withdrawal. You see, my blog is laced with cocaine, and now you are addicted! I am like the original Coca Cola of sports blogging and you are all addicted to me.
The real reason behind my two-week hiatus is pretty simple. The reason behind the first week I missed is that my newly fianced fiancée came into town and I was busy enjoying her company. Then, by the time she had left I didn’t have enough energy to write a good post for you. The reason behind me missing the second week, however, is that I had finals and school comes before all of my extra curricular activities. Remember, kids: don’t be a fool, stay in school!
This week we are covering the Dallas Stars. This year, they lost their star goalie only to have him become the backup for Chicago. They were one win away from getting into the playoffs, and were beaten by the Minnesota Wild, allowing the Blackhawks to advance to the playoffs. Then, to add insult to injury, Minnesota actually put by the way, you’re welcome Chicago on their website as the caption for the highlights. This season, the Stars have been through ups and downs, but honestly, who cares about this season? This is a history blog…oh wait, this season is over for them, so it counts as history.
Ironically, this story starts in Minnesota. On March 11, 1965, the NHL decided to expand from six teams, to twelve. They realized that watching six teams play each other over and over was really boring. It was even more boring because the Montreal Canadiens kept winning the Stanley Cup. I mean, it got to the point where you could walk into a casino in Vegas, put a bet down for the Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup, and walk out with the exact same amount you walked in with because the line was so low. Anyway, the league decided it would be a good idea to expand, so they put teams in California (Oakland), Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and St. Louis.
When Minnesota was awarded a team, the first thing they did was have a public “Name the Team” contest. That was the big thing to do at the time, because then the fans felt involved, even though it just meant that management was really lazy and didn’t feel like brainstorming names. Anyway, the name North Stars was chosen and announced on May 25, 1966. The name comes from the state’s motto, “L’Étoile du Norde,” which is French for “The Star of the North.”
Now obviously you all knew that that was French, you are all smart folks, but I felt that it was only proper add that little tidbit in there. So anyway, from “the Star of the North” came the North Stars, and so Minnesota had a team. They weren’t a particularly good team, but they were a team.
In the twenty-five seasons that the team was in Minnesota, they made it to the playoffs 15 times. That is a respectable number, but they only made it past the first round 8 times, winning their division and their conference twice. They never won a Stanley Cup and only made the finals twice as well. Eventually, as the years went on, the team fell into financial difficulties. In 1993, then Owner Norman Green relocated the team. Some of the most cited reasons for the move were poor attendance, lack of stadium deals, and a sexual harassment lawsuit against Green that resulted in his wife threatening to leave him unless he moved the team. She was the smart one, since she realized that Minnesota is really cold and no one likes living there.
So the team moved to Dallas.
With the move, Norm made a huge realization: Texas is SOUTH! He decided that having a team named the NORTH Stars was kind of silly. Green dropped the North and called the team the Dallas Stars. However, being the crafty old devil that he was, he told the press that it was a tribute to the “Lone Star State.” The question then becomes, why didn’t he just call the team the Dallas Lone Stars?
Honestly, I am pretty sure that he just was lazy and didn’t have that much creativity of his own…
The Stars were instantly more successful than their North Stars. It turns out that by dropping the North, they were able to shed some extra weight and skate faster. Between 1993 and 1999, they only missed the playoffs once (1996) and they ended up winning the Stanley Cup two years later. In the next ten seasons, they only missed the playoffs twice, and one time it wasn’t their fault. The whole league was in the middle of the lockout, and the season was cancelled all together. In 2008, the Stars made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals, where they lost to the Red Wings. The Wings would go on to win the Stanley Cup, so I guess you really can’t be too mad about that.
Most recently, the Stars had some trouble entering the playoffs. As we stated earlier, this past season was miserable. Even worse, a Playoff berth was within their reach, and they let it slip away. Who knows what next year will have in store for the stars, but with the young talent they have, mixed with quality veterans, the Stars have a lot to bring to the ice in a couple of months.