Next summer marks the 20-year anniversary of the Dallas Stars arriving in North Texas, when this incredible sport was inexplicably embraced by a town and region traditionally devoted to football and baseball. Leading up to this season we'll be counting down the top players who have had the honor of wearing the green, black and gold as well as a look at the best games and moments we've been privileged to have been a part of as fans.
As we've spent the past few months combing through 20 years worth of games and moments it's become clear just how much things have changed despite the feeling that not much time has passed at all. It's amazing to think that two decades have passed since I first stood in the concourses of Reunion Arena and watch players like Shane Churla, Neal Broten, Russ Courtnall and Darcy Wakaluk walk past on their way to taking the ice.
The Dallas Stars were never supposed to work in this area and through an incredible amount of hard work and marketing, along with the brilliant plan of how to build a model NHL team, this franchise proved that hockey is a viable sport. For 15 years the Dallas Stars were one of the model franchises in the NHL, one of the most successful teams in the league over the time, before proving that even the most stout organizations can fall victim to financial issues and ownership problems.
It's been 20 years of ups and downs with the Stars but we've been lucky to have plenty of good times to try and choose from. The Stars have been involved in several of the most memorable NHL games of the past two decades and while those moments have been relatively sparse lately, this has always been a team that has a flash for the dramatic.
Here is our ongoing countdown of the top players, moments and games in 20 years of Dallas Stars hockey.