Counting the Stars - #28 Steve Christoff

You thought we had forgot about this series?  Guess again! After a bit of a break we're ready to resume our countdown of the greatest Stars by numbers (you can see the recap of the list by clicking here) and we start today with 28 and in the days leading up to the first exhibition games expect a wave of player recaps!

#28 - Steve Christoff

Perhaps best known more for being a member of the 1980 Miracle On Ice USA team than a solid professional player, Christoff joined the Minnesota North Stars after the Olympics and stayed with the team over the next three seasons from 1980 to 1982.

The Springfield, Illinos native played his collegate hockey and won an NCAA National title with the Minnesota State Golden Gophers and was already a very familiar name with Minnesota hockey fans by the time he was drafted by the Stars in the second round of the 1978 draft.  By the time he joined the Stars in 1980 his name was well known to all American hockey fans as he was a full-time member and key part of the gold medal winning 1980 US team and he didn't disappoint when he made the jump to the pros as he scored eight goals and seven assists in the final 20 games of the North Stars regular season.  He also added another eight goals in the Stars 1980 playoff effort which at that time was a team record for playoff goals scored by a rookie.

The 80-81 season was even better for him as he became well beloved by the fans.  In 56 games playing behind fellow centers Bobby Smith and Tim Young and suffering through a collarbon injury mid-season , he still managed to rack up 26 goals and 13 assists (39 total points) placing him 8th in team scoring.  He also was part of the North Stars run to the Stanley Cup final in 1981 scoring eight goals and eight assists in the 18 games he played that playoff run.

He had yet another solid year with the North Stars in the 81/82 season and posted a career high points total with 55 (26 goals, 29 assists) but the North Stars were very deep at center with Smith and rookie standout Neal Broten and there was just no room for him to improve with the club.  So, despite his popularity with the Stars fans, he was traded to Calgary in June of 1982.  He played two more lackluster seasons with the Flames and then Los Angeles Kings before retiring after the 83/84 season.

His final numbers as a Minnesota North Star?  In 145 regular season games played he had picked up 60 goals and 75 assists (210 points) while adding 16 goals (seven of those were while on the power play), 12 assists (28 points) in 34 playoff games.

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