Eleven years ago, on a day that Sabres fans will forever remember in infamy, Brett Hull, with his skate in the crease, shot the puck past a sprawled Dominik Hasek, winning the Stars' first Stanley Cup.
It's easily the most significant moment in Dallas Stars history, and it is also apparently the most significant moment in Sabres history, because just as we haven't stopped celebrating our win, Sabres fans haven't stopped complaining about their loss. From their point of view, Buffalo was for sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, guaranteed to win that series, and Brett Hull and the NHL officials conspired together to cheat them of their rightful destiny.
For years and years, we've heard Buffalo fans complain about how they were robbed, and how Dallas stole the Cup.
All right, fine. Let's have a rematch.
Imagine with me that in this next offseason, Modano and Lehtinen retire, thus ensuring that no more of the famous '99 team still plays in the NHL.
After a long, difficult season, where the Stars met yet another disappointment (either a defeat in the playoffs, or another miss, your choice), Nieuwendyk and the recently arrived new ownership decide the time has come to do something really new and original, and have a Reunion game of the most famous Stars team.
(Let's also imagine that all the medical ailments that render this improbable, like Nieuwendyk's bad back, Hatcher's knees, etc. are magically rendered irrelevant.)
The Stars management decides that the most exciting event would be to re-enact the last moments of the '99 Cup Finals, as though Brett Hull's 3OT goal hadn't happened. They'll get the same players, referees, and officials, from both teams, to pick up right where they left off over 11 years ago. Let's imagine that, somehow, the Stars upper management is able to convince both the Sabres management and all of these people to do this.
The reunited Stars and Sabres will first play a game at the HSBC Arena, starting exactly when Hull's goal was scored, deep in triple-overtime. If the Stars win, they win now and forever; if the Sabres manage to score a goal, then the Stars and the Sabres will fly back to Dallas and play Game 7 at the American Airlines Center (since the Reunion is no more).
If the Stars win, this will forever cement their claim to being the best team that year, and crush the hopes of thousands of Sabres fans who believe that their team really did deserve to win it.
If the Sabres win, it doesn't really count because all of our players are so much older than theirs are. ;-)
Which team do you think would prevail in this hypothetical, epic encounter?
Vote and comment below.