Every day leading up to training camp Defending Big D will count down the greatest players in franchise history (both Dallas and Minnesota), based on the sweater number they wore. Starting with the highest numbers, where most were only worn by one player, we'll finish up with what should be some great debates. Keep coming back every day for a look at who's the best in Stars history.
So I know most if not all of you would like to just devote one day to all the high numbers the Stars have had and get to the really good players with lower numbers and honestly in some ways I'd like to do that as well, but if I do that then we miss out on some very interesting stories and some interesting players in Stars history...
.. Well except for the first guy we cover today. He really didn't matter much for the Stars, but he played a handful of games for the Stars with a jersey number no one else used, so he gets on the list:
#53 - Vojtech Polak
He played all of 5 games with the Dallas Stars in his two seasons with the club from 2005 to 2007 and managed to be a -2... he also picked up 5 shots on goal. That's about as noteworthy as his NHL career got. To say he was a huge second round bust is an understatement. Three picks before they took Vojtech, the Stars took Loui Eriksson... Just goes to show you how much of a crap shoot the draft can be folks.
Polak's time in North America wasn't totally a waste though as he was a key player for the Iowa Stars in that same time picking up 35 goals, 95 points in 162 games with the AHL club.
Halfway through the 07-08 season Polak asked the Stars to loan him to Karlovy Vary HC in the Czech Republic so he could play closer to home and hope that a change of scenery would help his game. The Stars granted it, and while Polak is still a part of the Stars prospect system, the chances you'll ever see in in a Stars uniform - be it Texas or Dallas - seem quite unlikely now.
(After the jump we look at two more players.. One a current Star that has a different number and one who was part of a short-lived but fan favored forward line)
#51 - John MacLean
Mention John MacLean to any New Jersey fan and they will smile and possibly the first thing they say is: "one of the greatest New Jersey Devils ever!"
Mention John MacLean to any Dallas Stars fan and they too will smile and probably the first thing they say is "the grumpy old men line!"
Along with Kirk Muller and Mike Keane, MacLean made life miserable for opponents in his short stay with the Stars in 2001 and that line was key for the Stars in getting past the pesky Edmonton Oilers in the 2001 playoffs. John's greatest moment as a Star in fact came in game 5 of the series as he tied the game 3-3 with a little over four minutes left in regulation, then half way into overtime set up Kirk Muller for the game winning goal and gave the Stars a 3-2 lead in that series.
He contemplated retirement after that 2000-01 season and didn't play to start the season, but Stars GM Doug Armstrong half way into the season convinced him to join the Stars for the stretch run in 2002 - which he did, but at that point his best days were behind him and he was largely ineffective on a non-playoff team.
MacLean's Stars number came from his days in New Jersey where he wore #15... When he joined the Stars, Jamie Langenbrunner already had that number, so John simply flipped them.
#50 - Krys Barch
Lets face it, he won't make it in at number 13, so lets give Krys his due here as the greatest Dallas Star ever to wear the number 50!
Ok so his only competition for the number was Ryan Christie... It's not much of a fight. Speaking of fight, we know exactly what Barch's specialty is and no it's not taking sticks to the face. So instead of trying to muster up why we love Barchy so much, lets let the video evidence of one of my favorite fights of his from this past season (complete with his future coach doing the color commentary) do the talking...