Induction week for the Hockey Hall of Fame is usually a momentary pause from the hustle and bustle of the young National Hockey League season, allowing fans a chance to look back and acknowledge some recently retired greats and celebrate the heritage of the sport as the action on the ice is just starting to heat up. During another lock-out season, it becomes just about the only feel-good headline a hockey fan can dig up.
For Dallas Stars fans, this is the era of inductions that have meaning to the fan base. These players had their prime years in the 1990's and 2000's, meaning us Texans were witness to the heroics that resulted in their induction. This Hall of Fame class is no exception.
Adam Oates is probably best known as Brett Hull's set-up man in the early 1990's, putting both of their names on the NHL map. After lengthy stints in Boston and Washington, and cups of coffee with the Mighty Ducks and Flyers, his 1,079 career assists speak for themselves.
Mats Sundin's decade as captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs made him the longest serving European captain in NHL history. Though his career's path never really entered the Dallas Stars story line, he was a fixture on the World All-Star team year after year, while playing a game much too smooth for a man of his stature, racking up 1,349 points with the Maple Leafs, Nordiques, and Canucks.
Pavel Bure was one of the NHL's elite snipers when Stars fans in Texas were getting their first taste of NHL action. I don't think we'll ever fully forgive him for that elbow on Shane Churla in 1994 (or his brother Valeri's forgettable stint with the Stars in 2004), but there is no denying his talents. Easily one of the top 5 most exciting players I've ever had the privileged of watching.
Joe Sakic is easily the most recognizable name on the list for Dallas Stars fans. He was Colorado's Mike Modano in those epic Western Conference Final battles at the turn of the century. Quietly one of the most spectacular centers the game has ever seen, a Hall of Fame ring fits in nicely on a resume that already includes gold medals, Stanley Cups, retired numbers, and everything else you'd expect of a legitimate face of a franchise, as he was with the Avalanche.
Also on tap for links today, Ralph and Razor add a little hardware, the Texas Stars play goalie carousel, and we get some very timely profiling of both Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr.
- Our own Daryl Reaugh has a dream, and that dream involves combining Texans' fiery obsession with collegiate athletics and the cold ice of The Frozen Four. [ScoreBoard Daily]
- Speaking of Razor, he and Ralph Strangis just won their fourth Lone Star Emmy as the best broadcast duo in the state. The real question here is who won it all the other years? I demand a retroactive recount. [Dallas Morning News]
- Our friends at Hundred Degree Hockey discuss the recent call-up of Josh Robinson from the Idaho Steelheads to the Texas Stars. Something must be up with either Jack Campbell or Cristopher Nihlstorp, because as Razor always says, hockey practice only has two nets. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
- Ken Campbell profiles Donald Fehr, painting him as a cross between a mad scientist and junkyard dog that refuses to lose. Nothing we didn't already know about him, but still a great read. [The Hockey News]
- On the other side of the coin, Mark Spector gives us a glimpse into the mind of Gary Bettman during the second hockey apocalypse. "Bettman wants half the pie for his owners, but also wants to tell the players what kind of ice cream to put on their half." I love it. [SportsNet]
- If you ever wondered how Jaromir Jagr could possibly sustain his dominance into his 40's, this video should help explain. It's not in English, but it's still worth a watch. This is reason #1 that the lockout needs to end now. Get this man around our kids NOW, and let him show them how you train like a legend.
Jaromír Jágr - Můj trénink (1) (via yaqwer74)