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Counting the Stars - Numbers 77, 72 & 65

Every day leading up to training camp Defending Big D will count down the greatest players in franchise history (both Dallas and Minnesota), based on the sweater number they wore. Starting with the highest numbers, where most were only worn by one player, we'll finish up with what should be some great debates. Is Marty Turco the greatest Star at #35? Or is it maybe Andy Moog or even Gary Anderson? Sure Jamie Langenbrunner seems like a lock at #15, that is until you remember Dave Gagner wore that number as a North Star. Keep coming back every day for a look at who's the best in Stars history.

Today we come across the first number that was worn by more than one player in Stars history but unfortunately it's not much of a contest.

#77 - Pierre Turgeon

We at Defending Big D love us some Matt Barnaby. He was a very good player, an entertaining agitator and maybe the only ESPN personality we can stomach to watch on a regular basis. But for as much as we like the guy, 39 games with the Stars in his last NHL season can't vault him into top spot for his sweater number. That honor goes to Pierre Turgeon.

Pierre was already a 17 year NHL veteran when he signed with the Stars in the summer of 2001, but after coming off a 30 goal, 82 point season with the St. Louis Blues it was felt Turgeon could be exactly what the Stars needed to kick start their offense that just saw the departure of Brett Hull to Detroit.

Turgeon though started showing his age almost instantly and struggled through a meager 15 goal season. His line mate in St. Louis, Scott Young, was even brought in the year after in hopes that it would improve his numbers, but they got even worse!

Turgeon wore #77 for all but two seasons of his NHL career. After the lockout he signed with the Colorado Avalanche and wore #87 (the year he was drafted into the NHL, not because of Sidney Crosby) since his old #77 had been retired for Ray Bourque.

(After the jump, check out two players who got to walk away with top honors without a contest at all...)

#72 - Shayne Corson

In the early 2000's it was getting to be a running joke that old NHL players didn't die, they just went to Dallas to play their final NHL season. Shayne Corson added to that trend in 2004.

Corson had actually retired from hockey and the Toronto Maple Leafs right in the middle of the 2003 playoffs, later revealing that he was suffering severe panic attacks during that time. The Stars lured him out of retirement in February of '04 to help give the team a veteran boost of leadership for the stretch and playoff run.

Corson was best known for wearing the #27 with Montreal and Toronto, but when he got to Dallas defenseman Teppo Numminen had already been wearing that number, so Shayne simply flipped his 27 to get 72 and a spot on this list.

#65 - Chris Conner

If the only number he had ever wore as a Dallas Star was #25, then there would be no chance on earth Conner would make this list. But during his first two seasons with the Stars, he - as most "tweener" type players that float back and forth between NHL and AHL clubs do - wore #65 thus he qualifies to be on this list.

Conner each season showed very strong potential and Stars fans had hoped that each call-up that brought him to the NHL Stars would be the one where he'd put his speed and ability together and become an NHL regular. His inconsistency though was usually his undoing and even time spent on a line with Mike Modano couldn't spark his potential to be an NHL sniper.

He signed this summer with the Pittsburgh Penguins where he will fight for a spot with that club just like he did with the Dallas Stars. If he gets on that team, we doubt Maxime Talbot will give up his #25 for Chris and he may not even get #65 as that is taken by Penguins defensive prospect Ben Lovejoy!