A fairly quiet day in Dallas Stars world, absent the injury news that we brought you earlier today, gives me the opportunity to bring you one of the more quizzical stories from Friday afternoon. The Minnesota Wild announced they would be hosting a Minnesota North Stars reunion night on March 29th. And while I am all for a franchise embracing its history, the North Stars aren't a part of Minnesota Wild history except in the very tangential "they left which opened up the opportunity for the expansion team" sort of way.
But whatever. They want to hold a reunion of all the players from the three decades the team played in Minneapolis before the fan base abandoned them, more power to them. There is one detail of the event, however, that quite irked me.
The team also unveiled a limited edition North Stars "Back on Home Ice" t-shirt that will be available for purchase beginning March 29 exclusively at The Hockey Lodge stores located at Xcel Energy Center, Burnsville Center and Maplewood Mall.
You see, Minnesota Wild, the North Stars are not returning to their home ice. Their home ice is now in Dallas at the American Airlines Center, where the team they actually played for now resides. Trying to pretend the North Stars are somehow tied to the current Wild franchise in any meaningful way ignores a ton of history involving Norm Green, the Met Center issues and the fans abandoning the team in droves over the final few seasons. The North Stars are a part of Stars history, not Wild history. The numbers of Bill Masteron, Bill Goldsworthy and Neal Broten hang at the American Airlines Center, not the Xcel Energy Center. That was not their home ice, and it never will be.
And that is my rant. Celebrate the history of professional hockey in Minnesota all you want, hold all the reunions you want. but the Wild need to knock it off with this attempt to co-opt a franchise history that is not theirs. Stop pretending the lean early 1990s and subsequent relocation never happened. There's living proof of that due south on I-35.
After the jump, looking against to tonight's game against the Anaheim Ducks, the Stars run is starting to attract some national attention and it's Dallas Stars column day in the local newspapers.
- Tomas Vincour is the timely topic of this paywalled feature from Mike Heika. [DallasNews.com]
- Brenden Morrow officially came off injured reserve Friday afternoon and skated at an optional practice Friday, but he's still a wait-and-see decision for today's game. [ESPN Dallas]
- In this paywalled column for the DMN, Rick Gosselin opines that the Stars staying off of the penalty kill has been the biggest key for this recent run. I might argue that the lack of penalties is a league-wide thing rather than a Stars adjustment, but whatever the reason, he's right that being on the PK less is inherently a good thing. [DallasNews.com]
- What's this, a print column (as opposed to blog) from Mac Engel about the Stars? He's still not entirely convinced they're as good as they've played in recent weeks, and I'm not sure why he needs to bring the NFL into the discussion when all four major leagues have histories of low seeds making runs, but hey, it's coverage. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- Heck, it must just be "write a column about the Dallas Stars" day as there's a second, still paywalled, column from the DMN. This one is from Barry Horn, who draws parallels between this year's group and the 1991 North Stars squad that made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. [DallasNews.com]
- Scott Burnside and Pierre Lebrun talk about the Pacific Division in general and the Stars-Sharks game in specific in this daily debate column. The little attendance dig from Lebrun made me roll my eyes, but I'm probably over-sensitive to that at this point. [ESPN]
- Not one person that I saw last night, Stars or Sharks fans alike, gave a second thought to Mark Fistric's shoulder-to-shoulder check on Tommy Wingels. Heck, Wingels didn't give a second thought to the hit, and I'm sure Fistric didn't either. But this writer obviously didn't like it. [CSN Bay Area]
- A good chunk of this notebook from Craig Custance is paywalled, but the top, which you can see for free, gives a very nice mention to the Stars and brings up Glen Gulutzan as a name to be considered for the Jack Adams. [ESPN Insider]
- Speaking of hits that got people upset, Mike Green rightly landed in the Brendan Shanahan doghouse after doling out an illegal check to the head to Brent Connolly. He was suspended three games for the hit. [NHL.com]
- And while the NHL has paid good lip-service to the idea of getting head hits out of the game and has, followed through with supplementary discipline in some cases, they are still promoting concussion-causing hits as some of the best things in the game. While I firmly believe you cannot legislate concussions out of hockey, you can also not glorify the head-hunting-but-legal hits if you really want them to go away, and the NHL hasn't been able to find that balance yet. [Puck Daddy]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: Our friends at Anaheim Calling still want to believe the Ducks can pull off a miracle run, but they also put together a list of things Ducks fans need to vent about as the team falls further and further out of contention. [Anaheim Calling]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: One name you might not know from the Ducks roster is that of teenage winger Devante Smith-Pelly, who has been working his way into the lineup as the rare third-line teenager. [Fox Sports West]
- Around the Pacific Division: The good news from Friday night was that the Los Angeles Kings couldn't steal a point from the Detroit Red Wings in a 4-3 regulation loss, which puts them five points back of the Stars with the same number of games played. [Detroit Free Press]
- Other scoreboard watching: The bad news came from the other games. The Calgary Flames picked up a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets and are also five back of Dallas with the same number of games played. And the Chicago Blackhawks moved two points ahead of the Stars with one more game played after beating the New York Rangers 4-3. [CBC.ca/Chicago Sun-Times]
- Instead of funny or heartwarming in this space, today I'm going to bring you exteremly thought-provoking. Kent Wilson, who has written for Hockey Prospectus among other things, is now writing for Puck Daddy, and he wrote a very nice column on the search for individual "winners and losers" in what is inherently a team sport. [Puck Daddy]
- It was an optional practice out in Frisco on Friday, but it looks like they put Morrow through his paces to see if he's ready to return to the lineup tonight.