How a Dallas Stars Fan and His Cowboy Hat Went Viral Thanks to Tyler Seguin, a Linesman and a Promise

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Conrad Shindler's cowboy hat worked its way through the hockey media Thursday night after linesman Derek Amell got caught trying it on. Here's the rest of the story.

Conrad Shindler didn't head to Thursday's game with the intention to throw away his $100 cowboy hat. After all, the fact that he was wearing it to the American Airlines Center to begin with was due to the fact that it had become sort of a lucky charm for the Dallas Stars.

"I recently just started bringing the hat this year, but every time I kept wearing it, they kept winning." Shindler said in an e-mail after the game. "I didn't see why I would want to change the karma so I just kept wearing it."

But Tyler Seguin and a promise to a friend and an online acquaintance changed all that. After Seguin snuck the puck inside the near side post in the third period to register his third hat trick of the season, Shindler, who said he has attended about 16 Stars games this year, walked down the aisle behind the players benches and tossed the hat into the center ice faceoff circle.

And, well, y'all know what happened next.

If you need that in GIF form, we've got that too.

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via i.imgur.com

That's Derek Amell, by the way, a highly respected veteran linesman who has worked the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, the 2009 and 2012 Stanley Cup Finals and the 2014 Winter Olympics.

If you think you recognize Shindler's name, you just might be an Aggie (or at least an NCAA golf fan). Shindler was a member of the 2009 Texas A&M men's golf team that won the NCAA Championship, and he currently plays professionally on the OneAsia Tour.

His hat ended up on the ice thanks to a promise he made to both his friend and a big name in the hockey media.

"After Seguin had scored his second, (friend Campbell Stetter) made me promise that if he scored his third goal, I would have to throw it, so I agreed to it," Shindler said.

"As far as (John) Buccigross and Twitter go, he and I have been exchanging tweets for a couple years with a common interest in golf and hockey... I thought he would find humor in the situation and then when it happened, the whole thing went viral!"

Here's what Shindler sent Buccigross' way early in the game.

And it did go viral, as did this follow-up Tweet with proof that the hat had indeed made its way onto the ice.

As to how you get a cowboy hat all the way to a point a linesman might notice it, well, it appears the technique is all in the wrist flick. The nice wide brim of the hat certainly makes it cut through the air well.

As of late last night, the clip of Amell trying on Shindler's hat had been featured on the NHL's official video feed, Puck Daddy, The Score and even ESPN's SportsCenter, where it got some love from Buccigross and Barry Melrose in the late-night/morning rerun edition.

Even the hat met a happy ending. As a professional golfer in Asia, Shindler could be needing some extra shade on the course this summer, and a $100 hat is a tough sacrifice even for a great cause. So when when Shindler saw his opportunity to connect with one of the off-ice officials, he grabbed it.

"The penalty box official came out of the box after the game and I literally ran down to the glass across the ice and yelled and somehow got his attention and he brought it back to me!" Shindler said. "It's nice to have it back."

As with everything else about this story, there is visual proof.

In all, the evening worked out well for everyone (well, everyone who came in supporting the Stars at least). And the Stars might have a new, unofficial cowboy hat good-luck charm to go along with their player of the game award.

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