When the puck dropped on the first ever Dallas Stars alumni game, Joe Nieuwendyk beat Mike Modano on the dot and team black raced up the ice. The Stars General Manager came down the right side and leaned into a wrister that reminded all the old timers in the house of the way things used to be, and made me think specifically of a goal against the Blues in the Cup run (that you can see at the 20 second mark of this video here).
It was that kind of a night. Modano centered Brett Hull and Jere Lehtinen. Eddie Belfour, though he played defense (loosely), did things that some might call "crazy", and Guy Carbonneau won some faceoffs, all with Craig Ludwig and Richard Matvichuk roving the blue lines. It was pure nostalgia.
Ralph and Razor roamed the benches ("coached" by Andrew Raycroft and Kari Lehtonen) interviewing players and interjecting commentary over the PA whenever they deemed appropriate. The evening was light-hearted and full of laughs. And goals. Lots of goals.
In a game of shinny with no physicality or even slap shots to speak of, it wouldn't take you many guesses to figure out who would dominate: Mike Ribeiro. He had three goals and probably a whole host of assists as his budding partnership with Michael Ryder extended to even this game. In an 11-9 game everyone had a hand in goal scoring. Other current Stars goals that I remember included Vincour, Wandell, Dowell and Grossman.
Krys Barch actually scored a beauty at the end of the shootout competition and had a couple more. Jere Lehtinen scored one, Pat Verbeek scored two. Mike Modano added a crowd pleasing empty netter to seal the deal for team white, who trailed most of the way.
It was just a whole lot of frivolous fun.
In the only serious note of the night: Brenden Morrow played, and though this was a low pace, contact-less scrimamge, he did not look any worse for wear and should be ready on Friday night. Adam Burish and Jamie Benn watched the game together, presumably taking it easy on their minor groin issues.
(Shoddy) Video of a short tribute to the alumni the Stars did after the jump, and I'll have video of the shootout competition as well soon so check back with us...
There's a very brief Karlis Skrastins moment in here that caught me off-guard while watching it live. You have been warned.