Though the rivalry never quite came to fruition like it did with playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks or San Jose Sharks or the evolution of the diving-captains-who-shall-not-be-named on the Los Angeles Kings, the Stars and Coyotes were involved in plenty of memorable moments from the time Dallas joined the division in the late 1990s. Quite a few of them involved someone leaving, or someone who should have been leaving at least, on a stretcher.
As part of our ongoing Peace Out, Pacific series, our friends over at Five for Howling got together to come up with their thoughts on the Stars as they prepare to leave the division. While it might not be as lovingly scathing a commentary as the one from the fine folks at Battle of California, there are plenty of fun moments to remember and barbs to be traded.
If the Pacific Division was a house, the Dallas Stars would be the one roommate who stays in his room playing World of Warcraft all day. You don’t really notice they are there half the time, except when they come out to complain about how they want to move out. Occasionally you steal something cool from them like a Dave Tippett, but then they go and take your Ray Whitney from you. – Carl Pavlock
Yes, the Stars and Coyotes have had a kind of incestuous relationship over the years. Tippett immediately picked up where he'd left off in Dallas, squeezing every bit of defensive talent from often under-talented teams. And that's not even mentioning the player acquisition hotline they seem to have to each other.
Notable players who played for both franchises include Greg Adams, Chris Conner, Gerald Diduck, Todd Fedoruk, Vernon Fiddler, Steve Gainey, Benoit Hogue, Niko Kapanen, Claude Lemieux, Jyrki Lumme, Dave Manson, Ladislav Nagy, Teppo Numminen, Lyle Odelein, David Oliver, Scott Pellerin, Mike Smith, Garrett Stafford, Mathias Tjarnqvist, Darcy Wakaluk and the aforementioned Whitney. Mike RIbeiro will soon join that group.
Heck, even Brett Hull made a (very brief) stop in the desert after his career in Dallas was finished. That's at least 23 players, which might not seem a lot in a very interconnected league but is a little remarkable to me.
They're even stealing Texas kids now, as top prospect Chris Brown is a Flower Mound native. And that's just not nice.
Ahh, the good old days, when vengeance game with a very literal pound of flesh.
Hatcher got a pretty viscous suspension for this, not that he didn't deserve it. Seven games included five playoff contests, which included the entire first-round sweep of the Edmonton Oilers.
The funny thing is, simmering hatred of the time aside, the Stars always rather respected Roenick for putting his money where his mouth was. I'm not sure any one player harassed Mike Modano more during his prime than Roenick, which is why he ended up with a jaw in several pieces. As a Stars fan, I definitely considered him an edgy and sometimes dirty player, but I respected him a lot more than, say, Keith Tkachuk of that era Yotes teams.
And speaking of pretty nasty hits...
We would like Jamie Benn to apologize to Sh ane Doan’s elbow; his head could have caused serious damage! – Jaime Eisner
On a slightly more serious note, it is nice to see the Coyotes staying in Arizona for the next several years. As Stars fans, we totally understand the way even a regular bankruptcy can demoralize an organization and fanbase, and we were also exposed to the Coyotes market at the height of its powers, when Tkachuk, Roenick and Dallas Drake were yapping their way regularly into the playoffs.
So goodbye as division rivals, Coyotes. I won't feel so conflicted when washed up Stars prospects end up out in Arizona from now on, and I can go back to admiring Dave Tippett rather than being bitter about how he always seems to have the Stars number. For a while there after his move, it was almost like he had inside information on the ways to beat his old team.
Oh, and just for the record, being out of the division does nothing to dim my hatred of that stupid, stupid howl.