There are many faces that have made an impact on the Dallas Stars as a franchise. Over the course of 25 plus years in Dallas, nobody has even come close to the following players and personnel. Whether it was helping the Stars after the franchise moved from Minnesota, or on the way to the club’s only Stanley Cup ring, the Stars Mt. Rushmore consists of the following names:
G – Ed Belfour
Ed Belfour was an absolute brick wall for the Dallas Stars. In his first season, Belfour gave the city of Dallas a glimpse of what they were in for as he posted a 37-12-10 record just in the regular season. With that record came a 1.88 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. Belfour’s second year with the club saw him lead the Stars all the way to a Stanley Cup championship. He had 35 wins to his name that year, and a sub-2 goals-against average. He is a four-time Jennings Trophy Winner and a 2x Vezina Trophy winner. Throughout his time with the Stars, he only had one season with less than 30 wins. The Stars have seen Andy Moog and Roman Turek also suit up, but Belfour was the goalie with the biggest impact.
Second on the Dallas Stars Mt. Rushmore is:
C – Mike Modano
If you’re a hockey fan, Mike Modano is synonymous with American Hockey. More than that, Modano is a legend. To say that he belongs on the Dallas Stars Mt. Rushmore is a tremendous understatement. For the younger generations of Stars fans – the ones that grew up AFTER the Stars moved from Minnesota, Modano is the reason they watched hockey. He had 561 career goals and 813 assists. A grand total of 1,374 career points. Modano was a big part of expanding hockey in Texas, he also came to play when it counted. Modano was a one-time All-Star, a Stanley Cup champion, and made everyone better. Especially during the 1999 Stanley Cup run.
Up next on the Dallas Stars Mt. Rushmore:
D – Sergei Zubov
Once again, you cannot mention the 1999 Stanley Cup without Sergei Zubov. Zubov was a defender that could close up the defensive zone with the best of them. And, no matter who he was put in a defensive pair with, he maintained the same effort. Not only that, but Zubov also made his defensive partner better. During the 1999 Stars season, he was an assist MACHINE. During that season alone, Zubov had 41 Assists. When the team was on the power play in his time, the Stars knew they could count on him. The same can be said for the playoffs. Without Zubov, the Stars would not have been as good defensively. Zubov was a two-time Stanley Cup winner, one-time All-Star and a Hall of Fame member like Modano. He is a legend and forever a Dallas Star.
The final spot on the Dallas Stars Mt. Rushmore is a bit tough to figure out. There are so many players and personnel that can fit here. Players like Brenden Morrow, Joe Nieuwendyk, Jere Lehtinen, even Derian Hatcher could easily go in the final spot. All were instrumental in etching their names and the Dallas Stars into hockey history.
General Manager – Bob Gainey
He made a triumphant return to North America and was appointed general manager of the Minnesota North Stars in January 1992. In his first year behind the bench, he guided the team to the second Stanley Cup finals appearance in franchise history and he remained with the organization when it relocated to Dallas in 1993. In Texas, Gainey helped build the team into a league powerhouse. Unfortunately, this period in his life was marred by the tragic passing of his wife, Cathy, after a battle with cancer.
Gainey stepped down as coach in 1995 to focus solely on the duties of general manager. He masterminded the acquisition of key performers such as Joe Nieuwendyk, Pat Verbeek, Brett Hull, and Ed Belfour, who groomed homegrown U.S. talents like Derian Hatcher and Jamie Langenbrunner. The Stars won the Presidents’ Trophy for having the most points in the NHL in 1998 and 1999. In the second of these seasons, Dallas won the first Stanley Cup in the history of the franchise. A year and a half after stepping down as club GM to became a consultant to the organization, Gainey was named GM of the Montreal Canadiens in May of 2003. An unqualified success since entering the NHL, Gainey was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. And the Dallas Stars would not be the same without these people.
It’s safe to say Bob Gainey, Sergei Zubov, Mike Modano, and Ed Belfour belong in the Dallas Stars Mt. Rushmore because of their stellar contributions during their time in the league.
What do you think the Stars Mt. Rushmore? Leave a comment below.
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