The NHL’s annual All Star Game provides the opportunity to not only watch the greatest players in the league come together for some friendly competition (and to show off just a bit), but to also entice new fans to start following the team of their favorite All-Star player.
Whether you’re new to the Dallas Stars or new to hockey in general, we’ve got you covered with this handy primer on all things Victory Green!
Let’s start with the basics.
While John Klingberg and Tyler Seguin rocked the impressively bright black and orange Central Division jersey at the All-Star Game this weekend, their usual garb is the current Victory Green jersey from Adidas. The most iconic jersey in Stars history, though, had a large green and gold star that took up most of the space on the jersey.
(We’ll get to that Stanley Cup soon; hang tight.)
The Stars are celebrating twenty-five years of hockey this season in Dallas - not an easy feat considering the decidedly anti-ice climate found in northeast Texas. In 1993, the NHL moved the Minnesota North Stars to the Lone Star State and rebranded them as the Dallas Stars. To this day, games between the Minnesota Wild and the Dallas Stars are a wild affair, fraught with signs of “Come home, Stars!” by North Stars faithful in Minnesota — and more than a few scrums on the ice, too.
The Stanley Cup
Okay, enough about the formation of the Stars, let’s fast forward to the 1998-1999 season. While the Stars first made the playoffs during the shortened 1994-1995 season, it was the playoff run in 1999 that had everyone seeing stars - literally. The Stars faced the Buffalo Sabres in a best of seven series. The Stars led the series 3-2 heading into Game Six and held Buffalo to an even goal line of 1-1, which forced not one, not two, but three overtime periods. Brett Hull scored the winning goal to earn the Dallas Stars their first Stanley Cup. The validity of Hull’s goal is still debated due to the infamous crease rule that was in effect at the time. For a more detailed breakdown of the crease rule and why Hull’s goal is still a controversy, click here.
In addition to the Stanley Cup, the Stars have won the Western Conference twice, the President’s trophy twice, and the Central Division championship eight times. Individual players on the Dallas roster have won the Art Ross (most points in the league in the regular season), Conn Smythe (MVP of the playoffs), and the Frank J. Selke Award (forward with defensive excellence), among others. There have also been six former Stars inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame: Ed Belfour, Brett Hull, Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov, Mike Modano, and Joe Nieuwendyk.
Now that you know enough about the team to win the next hockey-themed pub trivia night, let’s meet the current players.
The Team Roster
We’ll go in order of the most recent winning lineup (6-1 against the Florida Panthers on January 23rd). For the sake of brevity, we’ll be looking at the big players and the notable names to watch. For the current Dallas roster in its entirety, head over to their NHL page.
Jamie Benn: Captain, first line left wing, and incapable of doing a post-game press interview without mumbling (but bless him for trying anyway). He was awarded the Art Ross Trophy in 2015 for a total of 87 points through the regular season. He currently has 47 points in 50 games. Check out the video below for a recent play from Benn that left the Sabres dazzled.
Tyler Seguin: Alternate captain, center for the first line (but maybe sometimes the second line, depending on recent roster success and coaches decisions), and dog lover - seriously, he’s got three labs and they make up most of his Instagram stories these days. Acquired via trade from the Boston Bruins in a July 4th deal that will go down as likely one of the most ridiculous trades in the modern NHL era. A consistent playmaker and goal-scorer, Seguin scored his first shorthanded goal ever of his hockey career earlier this season. He currently leads the team with 23 goals.
Not only did he score his first shorthanded goal this season, he also scored the OT winner against his former team, the Boston Bruins, this season and made the NHL’s weekly highlight reel in the process. Watch carefully to see Seguin leave four Bruins in his dust as he sets up his own goal with lightning precision.
Alexander Radulov: Alternate captain, right wing, and known for his explosively enthusiastic celebrations after he scores a goal. He currently leads the team in shooting percentage at 16.3%. While Klingberg and Seguin were in Tampa for the All-Star Game, Radulov took some time to shoot some hoops with the Harlem Globetrotters, proving that he is fun both off and on the ice.
Antoine Roussel: Left wing, most likely to start a fight on the ice, and owns a cat he named “Minou”, which is “kitty” in French. He leads the team with a whooping 89 penalty minutes. Roussel is not only a fan favorite for his scrappy play and fighting tendencies, but he also has some pretty nifty shots, like the one below.
Radek Faksa: Center, turtle dad, and crafty like a fox in front of the net. His net-front presence has been crucial this season for the Stars, as demonstrated by his plus/minus rating of +19. Faksa’s ability to block shots and place himself in front of the opposing goal has yielded several great goal highlights so far this season.
Jason Spezza: Alternate captain, center, but doesn’t boast an affinity for pizza, despite his surname being pronounced with the same “‘za” at the end. Spezza is one of the top winners in the face-off circle this year, winning 54.53% of his battles there. There’s nothing to sniff at when it comes to his power play goals, as seen below.
John Klingberg: Alternate captain, defenseman, and most likely to get a sunburn according to the Stars social media. Klingberg is on a hot streak through the first half of the season and leads the team (and the league’s defensemen) with 42 assists. His ability to be an offensive-minded defenseman has helped all areas of the Stars’ play this season, as evidenced below.
Ben Bishop: Starting goaltender, tallest guy in the locker room at 6’7”, and maker of crazy saves. He is currently second in the league with four shutouts. His giant stature in the crease has saved the Stars time and again this season, as seen below.
No Dallas Stars 101 would be complete without mentioning Ken Hitchcock, the current head coach. The 2017-2018 season has been a homecoming for Hitchcock in more ways than one. Not only were the Stars Hitchcock’s first stint as a head coach in the NHL in 1996, but he was also their coach when they won their first Stanley Cup in 1999. He is ranked third all-time for most wins by any NHL coach, second only to Scotty Bowman and Joel Quenneville. Despite the accolades, Hitchcock isn’t afraid to mix it up with the reports in post-game scrums, as seen below, especially after a hard loss.
"I don't get it right now. I don't know what we're doing."— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 19, 2018
In short, Hitch did not agree with Dallas' goal being overturned. pic.twitter.com/OV3YSKK3Nu
When they’re not scoring goals on the ice, the Stars work hard to lift spirits, deliver acts of kindness to the community, and support the work of multiple charities. In addition to supporting work in the greater community of Dallas, several past and present Stars players have charities they’ve created. For more information on all of these charities and how to get involved, go here. For a heart-warming video of the Stars’ most recent visit to Children’s Health, check out the video below.
And that concludes our primer on all things Dallas! Got all of that? If you still have questions, don’t worry! Comment below or tweet us your questions. Dallas, and the broader hockey world, are always happy to have more fans, so don’t be shy.
If you want to learn more about the rules of hockey, go here, and the wiki for the NHL’s rules is a great crash course as well. For the full schedule of the Stars, visit their NHL site. Would you like a little more Stars content on your Twitter feed? Follow the Stars and Defending Big D! And, of course, check back here for all your breaking news, team updates, and game previews and recaps.