Archive for the ‘Retired Players’ Category

Even though he only played in Dallas a few seasons, hell always be a Star to me.

Even though he only played in Dallas a few seasons, he'll always be a Star to me.

TSN is reporting that Phillipe Boucher has announced his retirement today. Although Boo was only with the Stars for a few short seasons, I really enjoyed watching him the years he was in Dallas.

I saw two very memorable Boucher moments in person, and one of them was great while the other was actually pretty terrifying.

I saw him score his only career hat trick (I think this was his only one, but let me know if I’m wrong!) against the L.A. Kings on one of my family’s “day after Thanksgiving” hockey holidays. This was in the 2006-07 season where Boucher set a personal career record in goals and a Dallas Stars team record in goals. He was also on the starting lineup for the 2007 All-Star game that was played in Dallas. He did this all while he had to deal with tremendous personal problems off the ice.

In the 2003-04 season, we also saw Boucher take a slapshot to the eye in a game against New Jersey. Ironically, this was also on the day after Thanksgiving. Boo certainly was the man of the hour for most of those games. Seeing a player get seriously injured on the ice is something that never leaves your mind, even though no one ever wants to experience it. Luckily, Boo was able to recover from that and came back wearing a visor full-time (his wife made him).

Boo had a wicked slapshot from the point and a huge heart that showed in every shift he was on the ice. His problem was that he often had trouble staying healthy, and as a result, he lost several seasons due to long-term injuries that kept him out of the regular season and the playoffs.

Boucher retires as a Stanley Cup Champion, and I am happy for him (even if it was with the Pens). He definitely gets a Two Sign Girl Salute! Hopefully he will retire back to Dallas, and maybe we will see him around the Stars someday.



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This just in! Joe Nieuwendyk has been named General Manager of the Dallas Stars! Hull has been reassigned as Executive Vice President and Jackson has been reassigned to his previous post as the Director of Scouting and Player Development. Here is the article from the Stars’ site:

Dallas Stars Owner Thomas O. Hicks announced today that he has restructured the NHL club’s hockey management staff, naming Joe Nieuwendyk as the team’s new General Manager. As part of the reorganization, Co-General Managers Brett Hull and Les Jackson have been reassigned within the organization into positions that focus on their respective strengths. Hull will serve as Executive Vice President and Alternate Governor while Les Jackson will return to his long-time role as Director of Scouting and Player Development.

“We are very excited to secure Joe Nieuwendyk as the General Manager,” said Hicks. “These moves are all about helping this club take the proverbial ‘next step.’ Joe is a leader and has been a winner in everything he has done. He is ready for this opportunity and has a bright future as an NHL General Manager. We want that future to be with the Dallas Stars.

“Brett and Les have done a great job as Co-General Managers, but after analyzing the situation, it is in the team’s best interest to return them to roles that fit their respective strengths. Brett will assist the club in several business areas and serve as an advisor to me and Jeff Cogen, while Les will go back to what he does best – overseeing our scouting department.”

The Stars are going back to a single-leader mentality at the top of their hockey staff. Much like when Bob Gainey was the General Manager, Nieuwendyk brings years of playing experience, a winning pedigree, intelligence (he went to Cornell for three years), respect for the game, and leadership. Basically, he is the total package.

Nieuwendyk, 42, is considered by many to be one of the top up-and-coming hockey executives in the league today. The former Stars player returns to Dallas from the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he served as Special Assistant to the General Manager this past season. Prior to joining the Leafs and after his 2006 retirement, Nieuwendyk worked as a Special Consultant to the General Manager with the Florida Panthers. As Assistant General Manager, he also helped lead Team Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Hockey Championship when the team won a silver medal.

“I am very excited about returning to the Dallas Stars as General Manager,” said Nieuwendyk. “I am ready for this opportunity. The Dallas Stars have built a winning tradition over the years and I want to help continue that legacy. My family is very excited about returning to Dallas. I have great memories from my playing days with the Stars and look forward to helping this team win as General Manager.”

A veteran of 20 seasons as a player in the National Hockey League, Nieuwendyk played seven with the Dallas Stars (1995-2002). He won the Stanley Cup for three different teams, in three different decades (Calgary in 1989, Dallas in 1999, New Jersey in 2003). Nieuwendyk was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs most valuable player in 1999 when he led Dallas in post-season scoring on their way to winning the Stanley Cup. The Whitby, Ontario, native played in 1,257 NHL games, scoring 564 goals and 562 assists for 1,126 points. He also appeared in 158 career playoff games, recording 116 points on 66 goals and 50 assists. Nieuwendyk played in 442 games for Dallas, scoring 178 goals and 162 assists for 340 points.

Hull and Jackson were named as the Stars’ Interim Co-General Managers on Nov. 13, 2007. The interim tag was removed last May. The Stars amassed a record of 74-58-15 regular season record under Hull and Jackson, with a trip to the 2008 Western Conference Finals.

Hull, 44, played 19 years in the NHL and is a two-time winner of the Stanley Cup (Dallas in 1999, Detroit in 2002). He joined the Stars’ front office in 2005 as a Special Assistant upon his retirement as a player.

Jackson, 55, has worked in the Stars organization for 22 years, dating back to the team’s days in Minnesota, spending much of it managing and overseeing scouting and monitoring the development of all amateur and professional prospects.

Nieuwendyk will be formally introduced to the Dallas media at a press conference on Monday.

Welcome back to Dallas, Joey. We’ve missed you!



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Today marks the one year anniversary of the firing of Doug(ass) Armstrong.

I won’t lie – I was ecstatic on November 13, 2007 when I came into my room after class to see that Tom Hicks had fired Armstrong. I called EVERYONE I knew who had the smallest bit of knowledge about the Stars to rave about how happy I was that this idiot finally got kicked out of his position as GM. I was excited by the newness of the Hulljack tandem. After a year, I can’t say I’m happy with Hulljack either. But in my mind, having one of the NESN announcers as GM would be better than Armstrong.

I guess Armstrong was never going to get my love since the only other GM I knew for the Stars was Bob Gainey… and that’s a hard act to follow – it doesn’t matter who you are. Armstrong struck out permanently with my family when he traded Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner his first week in office. Langenbrunner I didn’t care too much about – I never saw what the big deal was about him. He always seemed to be just a step away from being great, but he could never get there.

The Devils didn’t even WANT Nieuwendyk. The purpose of the trade was Arnott for Langenbrunner because they really wanted Jamie. Doug(ass) threw Nieuwy in to sweeten the deal. I still remember where I was when I heard about the trade. It was spring break, and I was trying to take a nap in my room when I heard my mom cry out that the Stars had gotten rid of Nieuwy, her favorite player at the time. Needless to say, that nap didn’t end up taking place.

Then there was the Darryl Sydor debacle. Armstrong didn’t just let go of him once – he did it twice and even refused to tell Syd whether or not the Stars were interested in signing him again. You DON’T do that to a guy like Sydor, and you knew how he thought about it when he said he was disappointed in the organization. Me too, Syd.

This is what Armstrong was so willing to give up – a man who cared so much for the team that he CRAWLED to the front of the net with a broken ankle because he couldn’t get off the ice.

Perhaps even worse than that was when Armstrong was ready and willing to let Mike Modano go to Chicago. Luckily Tom Hicks stepped in, and I like to imagine he said something along the lines of, “Hey stupid, this is our franchise player. Don’t be dumb enough to just let him leave. Ok? Thanks.”

Big moves aside, Armstrong was famous for trading first round draft picks for old and washed-up players who wouldn’t stay with the team for long. Norstrom’s play in the 2008 postseason was enough to almost completely make up for the previous year of over-paid, almost worthlessness.. but I would have liked the first round pick.

I will give Armstrong a little credit – he did manage to steal Ribeiro from Montreal and gave Brenden a huge contract extension.

But I’m not sure Hulljack have done a better job as GM.

The Stars seem to have a protocol for new GMs – be sure to trade my mom’s favorite hockey player as soon as possible. Hulljack’s first move was to send Jeffy, Smitty, and Jokinen to Tampa for Brad Richards. Now, I don’t think Richards is as much of an idiot as I did when we got him (“I only want to play for winning teams” = I don’t want to help work to make a team better), but I still think we gave up way too much in the trade. This would have been Smitty’s last season on his contract, and I think they should have let the 2 goalies split time this season, and then pick a starter at the end of the season. Then work on sending the other guy to a team he wouldn’t be totally against going to.

I’m not saying Smitty would have gotten the job with us. It just would have been nice to actually let them play it out instead of deciding without giving Smitty a chance. Then the Stars would know for sure that they picked the right goalie for the long-term – something I don’t think they can say today.

And just throwing this out there – it’d be really nice to have a good checking line center who can take faceoffs and absorb almost all the short-handed time. We lost that by getting rid of Jeffy and with Stu’s retirement. Basically, we went from 2 great checking-line centers to zero. And Mike Modano is NOT a checking line center. I don’t care if he’s “old” or “not the face of the team anymore”. He could still score a hell of a lot more goals if they would give him the opportunity to.

Then there was my favorite (heh) decision to tell Hagman that the Stars were “going in a different direction” and weren’t interested in signing him. I guess a mid-twenties, 27-goal scorer didn’t fit into their plans. Instead, we needed to sign Sean Avery. I’m still waiting for someone to explain that one to me.

While I’m on this topic, can someone explain to me why we need 4 players who serve the exact same purpose at different levels of effectiveness? Otter, Barch, Avery, and Crombeen are all the same type of player. We don’t need 4 of them – one, or maybe two, would suffice. Ott is best at the job, so keep him.

They have done good things. Getting the long extension for Ribeiro was good, and picking up Brunnstrom has the potential to be great. Sadly they promised him all NHL time when he could really benefit more from playing a lot of minutes in the AHL.

In my mind, Hulljack have built a team with way too many players serving the same purpose (and not that goal-scoring, game-winning purpose) and put all their faith in a goalie who may not have been the best decision for the job.

If I knew last year at this time that Jeffy, Haggy, Smitty, Mittens, and Jussi would be gone and replaced with Brad Richards and Sean Avery… well I probably wouldn’t have been so excited on the phone with everyone.


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It’s hockey time again tonight!

The Stars are coming off a great victory last night, but you know they’re going to have to be pretty tired after flying into St. Louis after their 6-4 victory over Nashville yesterday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marty get the start tonight since he didn’t play so well last night and back-to-back games are usually the best time to let the backup see some ice time.

St. Louis has started the season significantly better than last year. Their power play is right at 50%, so hopefully the Stars won’t take a lot of penalties. I think the Stars penalty kill is going to take some time to gel with the absences of Stu and Jeffy playing center on the PK and Hagman with all of his shorties last year. Hopefully the goon of the night yesterday (Brenden) can keep himself out of the box.

For all you Otter loving fans, as of this morning, his start is still questionable. Apparently he did make the trip to St. Louis though, so that ups his chances of playing tonight. I don’t know who they will take out if Ott does play tonight though. Brunnstrom certainly won’t be the healthy scratch. I can hope that it’ll be Avery, but it’s probably more likely to be Barch.

My pick to score last night didn’t work out, but tonight I’m trying again and going with Mike Ribeiro. He hasn’t looked so great this season, and I think a goal tonight would really help him out.

And I don’t think Brunnstrom will be getting another hat trick tonight. I just hope he consistently gets points for us. As long as he’s a consistent producer, he’ll live up to his hype for me 🙂


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I Miss Stu(uuuu)

I’m pretty sad about Stu retiring. He became one of my favorite players as soon as he came over from Buffalo. I can’t remember how many times we traded for a player who did really well AGAINST us and then failed miserably for us (Turgeon, Young, etc). Stu was definitely not one of those players. He more than made up for scoring the tying goal in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals that forced the Stars to win it in 4 overtimes.

Last season, I said several times that Stu looked slow and he needed to call it quits after the season. Then he managed to find another gear in the playoffs. I wonder how we would have done if he hadn’t gotten the concussion. After his performance in the playoffs, I wished that he would sign for another season. I didn’t get to see him in a playoff game this year and I really hoped that the game I saw in March wouldn’t be the last time I’d see him.

Stu was one of the guys who came out at all 3 practices that I’ve been to. He was nice and ALWAYS smiled for the camera.

This is the first time Sarah and I met Stu (in 2003). His black eye is still the coolest one I’ve ever seen!

Stu Christmas Break 2006

March 2008, after the last game we got to see Stu play in.

I am so glad he’ll be staying with the Stars. I’m just going to miss seeing him out on the ice.


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Hockey season is finally getting closer, so we’re starting to get some interesting hockey news (not those ridiculous “summer” updates no one cares to read).

First and foremost, Stu Barnes announced his retirement today. I’m sad that Stu won’t be on the ice for us this year, but I am glad he decided to stay with the team. He has a had a great career and the Stars site put together a really nice video of his career. Because of him, I was able to have one of my greatest Stars fan moments ever. I was in Buffalo for a Sabres/Flyers game a couple days after Stu was traded to the Stars. I walked in one of their fan stores, walked directly up to the lady behind the counter, and asked her if the Stu Barnes jerseys were on sale. Now Buffalo being Buffalo, she didn’t even respond… but I know I got my message across!

Stu was always great with us too. He even waved at us during development camp when we put our Stu sign up 🙂

The Stars IceBreaker is on September 13th this year. I haven’t been able to attend one of these before, but they look like a ton of fun.

Brenden Morrow is still amazing. I watched the shortened version of Game 6 against San Jose last night, and Brenden never fails to amaze me.


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Mattias Norstrom told a Swedish newspaper today that he will be retiring.

“Dallas wanted to keep me, but it is over now,” the 36-year old Swede was quoted as saying on the newspaper’s Web site. “I promised myself 10 years ago that I would quit while I still had a strong position in the team. And now it is over.”

I ragged on Matty a lot during the regular season, but he really came through in the playoffs. I don’t think the Stars really had room for him in the defense corps, but it still would have been nice to see him play a little more (as long as he brought his playoff game).

Best of luck with your family in Sweden, Matty. We’ll miss you here in Dallas.



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