Billy Smith (ice hockey)
William John Smith, better known as Billy Smith, is a retired professional ice hockey goaltender and is best known for winning four Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders and being the first goalie to be credited with a goal. In 2017 Smith was named one of the'100 Greatest NHL Players' in history. Smith was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 5th round of the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft from the Cornwall Royals of the QMJHL, he played two seasons with the Kings' minor league affiliate, the American Hockey League's Springfield Kings, spent a brief stint with the big-league Kings after winning a Calder Cup for Springfield in 1971. He made his NHL debut with the Los Angeles Kings on February 1972, at the Montreal Forum. L. A. lost the game 6-5. Smith faced 48 shots that afternoon, yielding the winning goal to Guy Lafleur with 22 seconds remaining in the game, he was drafted in the 1972 NHL Expansion Draft by the New York Islanders. After sharing goaltending duties with Gerry Desjardins for two years, he got the starting job all to himself in 1974–75 when Desjardins bolted to the World Hockey Association.
That season, he led the Islanders to their first playoff appearance. Smith played in the 1978 All-Star Game, where he was named MVP. For the rest of the decade, he shared time in the Islanders net with Glenn Resch, where they combined to form the top goaltending duo in the NHL at the time; this changed in the 1980 playoffs, when the Isles rode Smith's goaltending to their first of four consecutive Stanley Cups establishing Smith as the team's starting goaltender. Resch was dealt to the Colorado Rockies the following season. Smith went on to become a First Team All-Star and Vezina Trophy winner in 1982. In 1983, he won the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed, he was chosen to play for Canada in the 1981 Canada Cup, but was unable to play due to an injury sustained in a pre-tournament game. Smith's regular season success, was surpassed by his performances in the playoffs, as he helped the Islanders win four straight Stanley Cups, reach the finals five straight times, win a record 19 consecutive playoff series from 1980–84.
Smith was the first goalie to win the Stanley Cup wearing the helmet-and-cage combination mask, rather than the fiberglass mask, the standard from 1959, when it was introduced by Jacques Plante, until the early 1980s. Smith wore a fiberglass mask early in his career, but switched to the helmet-and-cage in 1978, his single most famous game may be his 2–0 victory in the first game of the 1983 Stanley Cup finals against the Edmonton Oilers, shutting out the likes of Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey. The Islanders went on to sweep the Oilers in 4 games, with Smith allowing the Oilers only 6 goals and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as Most Valuable Player in the Playoffs. A year Smith broke the record for the most Playoff victories: he led all goaltenders in playoff victories in total and in every individual year between 1980 and 1984. In 1985, Smith led the Islanders to win 3 straight games after being down 0–2 to the Washington Capitals, the first time such a comeback occurred in the NHL. Smith's playoff success feeds into his reputation as the supreme "money" goalie of his era, the person you would want in net with the season on the line.
Teammates and observers have said that Smith seemed able to sense when he needed to be perfect to win and when he could give up five goals and still come away with the victory. Smith was the first NHL goaltender to be credited with scoring a goal. On November 28, 1979, in a game between the Islanders and the Colorado Rockies, the Rockies' goaltender left the ice for an extra attacker after a delayed penalty call was called on the Islanders; the puck deflected off the chest protector of the Islanders' Smith into the corner. Colorado rookie Rob Ramage picked up the puck and accidentally made a blind pass from the corner boards in the opposing zone to the blue line. Nobody was there to receive the pass, so the puck sailed all the way down the length of the ice and into the Colorado net. Smith had been the last Islander to touch the puck, was credited with a goal. Smith retired in 1989. After four years as the Islanders' goaltending coach, he followed longtime Islander general manager Bill Torrey to the expansion Florida Panthers in the same role, serving there until his retirement in 2000.
He had spent 30 years at ice level in the NHL, the last 27 of them alongside Torrey with the Islanders and the Panthers. The Islanders retired his #31 on February 20, 1993; that year, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, the only goalie inducted in the Hall in the 1990s. In 1998, he was ranked number 80 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, he was nicknamed "Battlin' Billy" or "Hatchet Man" for his fiery temper and unabashed use of the stick or blocker on players crowding his crease. Smith was noted for his displays of feigned injuries that would lead to penalties against opponents, for whom he carried an undisguised enmity. For instance, in Game Four of the 1983 Stanley Cup Finals, Smith's dive resulted in referee Andy Van Hellemond handing a five-minute penalty to Glenn Anderson of the Edmonton Oilers. Van Hellemond said that this was "making a bit of a fool of me", when he officiated Game One of the 1984 Finals, a rematch of the Islanders and Oilers, he called no penalty when Smith and Anderson collided.
Smith refused to participate in the traditional handshakes between teams at the end of a playoff series
Winnipeg Jets (1972–96)
The Winnipeg Jets were a professional ice hockey team based in Winnipeg, Canada. They began play in the World Hockey Association in 1972; the club joined the National Hockey League in 1979 after the NHL merged with the WHA. Due to mounting financial troubles, in 1996 the franchise moved to Phoenix and became the Phoenix Coyotes. In 2011 the Atlanta Thrashers franchise relocated to Winnipeg and restored the Jets name, although the prior Jets club history is retained by the Arizona club; the NHL had expanded to 16 teams, adding franchises in many hockey-hungry cities, but in Atlanta and Los Angeles. The WHA brought major professional hockey to Ottawa, Quebec City, Winnipeg and Calgary. On December 27, 1971, Winnipeg was granted one of the founding franchises in the WHA, to Ben Hatskin, a local figure who made his wealth in cardboard shipping containers; the team took their name from the Winnipeg Jets of the Western Canada Hockey League. The Jets' first signing was Norm Beaudin and the first major signing was Bobby Hull.
Hull's acquisition financed by the rest of the WHA's teams, gave the league instant credibility and paved the way for other NHL stars to bolt to the upstart league. The Jets were further noteworthy in hockey history for being the first North American club to explore Europe as a source of hockey talent. Winnipeg's fortunes were bolstered by acquisitions such as Swedish forwards Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson, who starred with Hull on the WHA's most famous and successful forward line, defenceman Lars-Erik Sjoberg, who would serve as the team's captain and win accolades as the WHA's best defenceman. Behind these players and other European stars such as Willy Lindstrom, Kent Nilsson, Veli-Pekka Ketola, leavened by players such as Peter Sullivan, Norm Beaudin and goaltender Joe Daley, the Jets were the most successful team in the short-lived WHA; the team won the Avco World Trophy three times, including in the league's final season against Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers. The Jets made the finals five of the WHA's seven seasons.
Another notable accomplishment was the Jets' 5–3 victory over the Soviet National team on January 5, 1978. In the WHA's last season, Kent Nilsson had 107 points, while Morris Lukowich had 65 goals, Peter Sullivan had 46 goals and 86 points; the Jets made it to the Avco Cup and Gary Smith gave up the last goal in WHA history to Dave Semenko in a 7–3 Jets win. Games: Bobby Hull, 411 Goals: Bobby Hull, 303 Assists: Ulf Nilsson, 344 Points: Bobby Hull, 638 Penalty Minutes: Kim Clackson, 413 Goaltending Wins: Joe Daley, 167 Shutouts: Joe Daley, 12The 1976, 1978 and 1979 Avco Cup winning Winnipeg Jets were inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in the team category. By 1979, the vast majority of the WHA's teams had folded. After the season, the Jets were absorbed into the NHL along with the Nordiques and Hartford Whalers. While the results of pre-merger inter-league exhibitions had established the 1978-79 WHA Jets as being at least the competitive equal of all except the best NHL teams such as the three-time defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens and the rising New York Islanders, the Jets had to pay a high price for a berth in the more established league.
They had to give up three of their top six scorers – the core of the last WHA champion – in a reclamation draft. They were forced to draft 18th out of 21 teams. In the draft, they opted to protect defenceman Scott Campbell, who had shown a good deal of promise in the last WHA season. However, Campbell suffered from chronic asthma, only exacerbated by Winnipeg's frigid weather; the asthma drove him out of the league by 1982. Upon entering the NHL, the Jets were based in the Smythe Division of the Campbell Conference. However, with a decimated roster, the Jets finished dead last in the league for their first two seasons in the NHL, including a horrendous nine-win season in 1980–81 that still ranks as the worst in Jets/Coyotes history; this stands in marked contrast to the other 1979 Avco Cup finalist, the Oilers, who became one of the most successful teams during the 1980s. The Jets' first two wretched NHL seasons did net them high draft picks; the team developed a solid core of players by the mid-1980s, with Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen, Paul MacLean, Randy Carlyle, Laurie Boschman, Doug Smail, David Ellett providing a strong nucleus.
In 1981, a league-wide realignment placed the Jets with the league's other Central Time Zone teams in the Norris Division, which over the course of the decade would become the weakest division in the league. Led by Hawerchuk, Steen and Carlyle, the Jets returned to respectability quickly, made the playoffs 11 times in the next 15 years. However, regular-season success did not transfer over into the playoffs; this was because after just one season in the Norris, the relocation of the Colorado Rockies to New Jersey compelled Winnipeg to re-align to the far more competitive Smythe Division along with the Oilers and Calgary Flames – by some accounts, the two best teams in the league during the second half of the 1980s. Due to the way the playoffs were structured at the time, whenever the Jets made the playoffs, they faced the near-certainty of having to beat either the Oilers or the Flames to get to the Campbell Conference Finals. At the time, the top four teams in each division made the playoffs, with the regular-season divisi
The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the Avalanche are the only team in their division not based in the Central Time Zone. Their home arena is Pepsi Center, their general manager is Joe Sakic. The Avalanche were founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques and were one of the charter franchises of the World Hockey Association; the franchise joined the NHL in 1979 as a result of the NHL–WHA merger. Following the 1994–95 season, they were sold to the COMSAT Entertainment Group and relocated to Denver. In the club's first season in Denver, the Avalanche won the Pacific Division and went on to sweep the Florida Panthers in the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals, becoming the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup in the season following a relocation. Among teams in the major North American professional sports leagues, only the National Football League's Washington Redskins have accomplished the feat.
This was the first major professional sports championship a Denver-based team would bring to the city. In the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, the Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils 4–3 to win their second and most recent championship; as a result, they are the only active NHL team that has won all of its Stanley Cup Final appearances. The Avalanche have won nine division titles and qualified for the playoffs in each of their first ten seasons in Denver; the Quebec Nordiques were one of the World Hockey Association's original teams when the league began play in 1972. Though first awarded to a group in San Francisco, the team moved to Quebec City when the California deal soured because of financial and arena problems. During their seven WHA seasons, the Nordiques won the Avco World Trophy once, in 1977 and lost the finals once, in 1975. In 1979, the franchise entered the NHL, along with the WHA's Edmonton Oilers, Hartford Whalers and Winnipeg Jets. After making the postseason for seven consecutive years, from 1981 to 1987, the Nordiques started to decine.
From 1987–88 to 1991–92, the team finished last in their division every season, three of those times they finished last in the league. This included a dreadful 12-win season in 1989–90, still the worst in franchise history; as a result, the team earned three consecutive first overall draft picks, used to select Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Eric Lindros. Lindros made it clear he did not wish to play for the Nordiques, to the extent he did not wear the team's jersey for the press photographs, only holding it when it was presented to him. On advice from his mother, he refused to sign a contract and began a holdout that lasted over a year. On June 30, 1992, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for five players, the rights to Swedish prospect Peter Forsberg, two first-round draft picks and US$15 million; the Eric Lindros trade turned the moribund Nordiques into a Stanley Cup contender overnight, in hindsight is seen as one of the most one-sided deals in sports history. In the first season after the trade, 1992–93, the Nordiques reached the playoffs for the first time in six years.
Two years they won the Northeast Division and had the second best regular-season record during the lockout-shortened season. While the team experienced on-ice success, it spent most of its first 23 years struggling financially. Quebec City was by far the smallest market in the NHL, the second-smallest to host a team in the four major sports; the changing financial environment in the NHL made things more difficult. In 1995, team owner Marcel Aubut asked for a bailout from Quebec's provincial government as well as a new publicly funded arena; the bailout fell through, Aubut subsequently began talks with COMSAT Entertainment Group in Denver, which owned the National Basketball Association's Denver Nuggets. In May 1995, COMSAT announced an agreement in principle to purchase the team; the deal became official on July 1, 1995, 12,000 season tickets were sold in the 37 days after the announcement of the move to Denver. Though the team was losing money, it was sold so that outgoing owner Marcel Aubut could make a profit off the franchise.
COMSAT considered several names for the team, including Extreme and Black Bears. It debated whether to brand the team as a Denver team or as a regional franchise representing either Colorado or the entire Rocky Mountain region. COMSAT filed copyright protection for "Black Bears", but decided to name the team Rocky Mountain Extreme. However, when The Denver Post leaked the new name, fan reaction was so negative that COMSAT reversed course and decided to name the team the "Colorado Avalanche." The new name was revealed on August 10, 1995. With the move, the newly relocated team transferred to the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. After buying the team, COMSAT organized its Denver sports franchises under a separate subsidiary, Ascent Entertainment Group Inc. which went public in 1995, with 80% of its stock bought by COMSAT and the other 20% available on NASDAQ. The Avalanche played their first game in the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver on October 6, 1995, winning 3–2 against the Detroit Red Wings.
It marked a return of the NHL to Denver after an absence of 13 years, when the Colorado Rockies moved to New Jersey to become the New Jersey Devils. Valeri Kamensky scored the first goal as the Avalanche. Led by captain Joe Sakic, forward Peter Forsberg and defenseman Adam Foote on t
Red Tilson Trophy
The Red Tilson Trophy is awarded annually by the Ontario Hockey League to the most outstanding player as voted by OHL writers and broadcasters. It was donated by The Globe and Mail, first awarded in the 1944–45 OHA season by the Ontario Hockey Association. Winners of the Red Tilson Trophy are nominated for the CHL Player of the Year award; the trophy is named for Albert "Red" Tilson, a former Oshawa Generals player killed in service in World War II. Tilson was born in Saskatchewan to William and Mary Tilson, he was nicknamed "red" for his hair colour. He played two seasons for the Generals beginning with the 1941–42 OHA season, won the J. Ross Robertson Cup both seasons. Tilson won the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy in the 1942–43 OHA season as the top scorer in the league with 19 goals, 38 assists. Tilson enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces on May 27, 1943 at Ontario. Tilson was a lance corporal in The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada R. C. I. C. Tilson was killed in action in the Netherlands, on October 27, 1944.
Tilson is interred near Maldegem, Belgium. The Generals retired his uniform #9 on November 12, 2006; the Red Tilson trophy resides in the Tribute Communities Centre. List of winners of the Red Tilson Trophy. Blue background denotes named CHL Player of the Year. Michel Brière Memorial Trophy - Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Player of the Year Four Broncos Memorial Trophy - Western Hockey League Player of the Year List of Canadian Hockey League awards Ontario Hockey League Elite Prospects - Award - OHL Most Outstanding Player
The Vancouver Canucks are a professional ice hockey team based in Vancouver, British Columbia. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the Canucks play their home games at Rogers Arena known as General Motors Place, which has an official capacity of 18,910. Travis Green is the head coach and Jim Benning is the general manager; the Canucks joined the league in 1970 as an expansion team along with the Buffalo Sabres. In its NHL history, the team has advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals three times, losing to the New York Islanders in 1982, the New York Rangers in 1994 and the Boston Bruins in 2011, they have won the Presidents' Trophy in back-to-back seasons as the team with the league's best regular season record in the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons. They won three division titles as a member of the Smythe Division from 1974 to 1993, seven titles as a member of the Northwest Division from 1998 to 2013; the Canucks have retired four players' jerseys in their history—Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, Markus Naslund and Pavel Bure.
Smyl has the distinction of being the only Canuck to have his jersey number retired at their former arena, the Pacific Coliseum, as well as the only Canuck to play his entire career with the team upon retiring it. The first professional ice hockey team based in Vancouver were the Vancouver Millionaires, formed by Frank and Lester Patrick. Established in 1911, the Millionaires were one of three teams in the new Pacific Coast Hockey Association. To accommodate the Millionaires, the Patrick brothers directed the building of the Denman Arena, known at the time as the world's largest artificial ice rink; the arena was destroyed in a fire in 1936. The Millionaires played for the Stanley Cup five times, winning over the Ottawa Senators in 1915 on home ice, it marked the first time. Absorbed by the Western Canada Hockey League in 1924, the team continued operations until folding at the end of the 1925–26 WHL season. From 1926 to 1970, Vancouver was home to only minor league teams. Most notably the present-day Canucks' minor league predecessor played from 1945 to 1970 in the Pacific Coast Hockey League and the Western Hockey League.
With the intention of attracting an NHL franchise, Vancouver began the construction of a new modern arena, the Pacific Coliseum, in 1966. The WHL's Canucks were playing in a small arena at the time, the Vancouver Forum, situated on the same Pacific National Exhibition grounds as the Coliseum. Meanwhile, a Vancouver group led by WHL Canucks owner and former Vancouver mayor Fred Hume made a bid to be one of the six teams due to join the league in 1967, but the NHL rejected their application. Bid leader Cyrus McLean called the denial a "cooked-up deal", referring to several biases that factored against them. Speculation long abounded afterwards that the bid was hindered by Toronto Maple Leafs president Stafford Smythe. Additionally, along with the Montreal Canadiens, Smythe purportedly did not wish to split Canadian Broadcasting Corporation hockey revenues three ways rather than two. There were reports at the time, that the group had made a weak proposal in expectation that Vancouver was a lock for one of the new franchises.
Less than a year the Oakland Seals were in financial difficulty and having trouble drawing fans. An apparent deal was in place to move the team to Vancouver, but the NHL did not want to see one of their franchises from the expansion of 1967 move so and vetoed the deal. In exchange for avoiding a lawsuit, the NHL promised Vancouver would get a team in the next expansion round. Another group, headed by Minnesota entrepreneur Tom Scallen, made a new presentation and was awarded an expansion franchise for the price of $6 million; the new ownership group purchased the WHL Canucks, brought the team into the league with the Buffalo Sabres as expansion teams for the 1970–71 season. In preparation for joining the NHL, the WHL Canucks had brought in players with prior NHL experience. Six of these players would remain with the club for its inaugural NHL season; the rest of the roster was built through an expansion draft. To fill the Canucks' roster for their inaugural season, the league held an Expansion Draft in the preceding summer.
A draft lottery was held on June 9, 1970, determining who between the Canucks and Sabres would get the first selection in the Expansion Draft, as well as the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft. With his first selection in the Expansion Draft, Canucks General Manager Bud Poile chose defenceman Gary Doak. Among the other players chosen by Vancouver were centre Orland Kurtenbach, named the Canucks' first captain, as well as defenceman Pat Quinn, who became the team's general manager and coach in the 1990s. Two days on June 11, 1970, the Canucks made defenceman Dale Tallon their first-ever Amateur Draft selection. Tallon played three seasons with the club before being traded away to the Chicago Black Hawks. By comparison, the Sabres chose centre Gilbert Perreault with the first overall selection they won from the lottery. With the Canucks' roster set, the team played its inaugural game against the Los Angeles Kings on October 9, 1970, they lost the contest 3–1.
CHL Defenceman of the Year
The CHL Defenceman of the Year Award is given out annually to the top defenceman in the Canadian Hockey League. It is chosen from the winners of the league trophies, the Max Kaminsky Trophy of the Ontario Hockey League, the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy of the Western Hockey League, the Emile Bouchard Trophy of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. List of winners of the CHL Defenceman of the Year Award. List of Canadian Hockey League awards CHL Awards – CHL
The Dallas Stars are a professional ice hockey team based in Dallas. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the team was founded during the 1967 NHL expansion as the Minnesota North Stars, based in Bloomington, Minnesota. Before the beginning of the 1978–79 NHL season, the team merged with the Cleveland Barons after the league granted them permission due to each team's respective financial struggles; the franchise relocated to Dallas for the 1993–94 NHL season. The Stars played out of Reunion Arena from their relocation until 2001, when the team moved less than 1.5 miles into the American Airlines Center. The Stars have won eight division titles in Dallas, two Presidents' Trophies as the top regular season team in the league, the Western Conference championship twice, in 1998–99, the Stanley Cup. Joe Nieuwendyk won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs that year. In 2000, Neal Broten was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
In 2009, Brett Hull became the first Dallas Stars player inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, followed by Ed Belfour and Joe Nieuwendyk in 2011 and Mike Modano in 2014. In 2010, brothers Derian and Kevin Hatcher were inducted to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame; the Minnesota North Stars began play in 1967 as part of the league's six-team expansion. Home games were played at the newly constructed Metropolitan Sports Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. Successful both on the ice and at the gate, the North Stars fell victim to financial problems after several poor seasons in the mid-1970s. In 1978, the North Stars were purchased by the owners of the Cleveland Barons, the Gund brothers, George III and Gordon. With both teams on the verge of folding, the league permitted the two failing franchises to merge; the merged team continued as the Minnesota North Stars, but assumed the Barons' place in the Adams Division in order to balance out the divisions, while the Seals/Barons franchise records were retired.
The merger brought with it a number of talented players, the North Stars were revived—they reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1981, where they lost in five games to the New York Islanders. However, by the early 1990s, declining attendance and the inability to secure a new downtown revenue-generating arena led ownership to request permission to move the team to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1990; the league rejected the request and instead agreed to award an expansion franchise, the San Jose Sharks, to the Gund brothers. The North Stars were sold to a group of investors that were looking to place a team in San Jose, although one of the group's members, Norman Green, would gain control of the team. In the following season, the Minnesota North Stars made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins. After the 1991 season, the North Stars suffered through poor profitability; the team's fortunes were further impeded by the terms of the settlement with the Gund brothers, in which they were permitted to take a number of North Stars players to San Jose.
New owner Norman Green explored the possibility of moving the team to Anaheim, however the league decided instead to place the expansion Mighty Ducks there in 1992. In their final two seasons in Minnesota, the team adopted a new logo which omitted the "North" from "North Stars", leading many fans to anticipate the team heading south. In 1993, amid further attendance woes and bitter personal controversy, Green obtained permission from the league to move the team to Dallas, for the 1993–94 season, with the decision announced on March 10, 1993. Green was convinced by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach that Dallas would be a suitable market for an NHL team; the league, to quell the controversy, promised the fans of Minnesota a return in the future with a new franchise. The Stars would move into Reunion Arena, built in 1980, the downtown arena occupied by the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks. With the league changing the names of the conferences and divisions, the newly relocated Stars were placed in the Central Division of the Western Conference, played their first game in Dallas on October 5, 1993, a 6–4 win against the Detroit Red Wings.
In that game, Neal Broten scored the first Stars goal in Dallas. Dallas was an experiment for the league. At that time, the Stars would be one of the three southern-most teams in the league, along with the newly-created Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, as the leagues's first real ventures into southern non-traditional hockey markets. Though the Stars were still unknown in the area, word of the team spread and the immediate success of the team on the ice, as well as Mike Modano's career best season helped spur the team's popularity in Dallas; the Stars set franchise bests in wins and points in their first season in Texas, qualifying for the 1994 playoffs. The Stars further shocked the hockey world by sweeping the St. Louis Blues in the first round, but lost to the eventual Western Conference Champion Vancouver Canucks in the second round; the Stars' success in their first season, along with American superstar Mike Modano's spectacular on ice performances would be an integral part of the Stars' eventual franchise success in the immediate years to come.
The immediate success of the Stars was helped by a long history of second-tier hockey in the area. The minor league Central Hockey League had two teams in the area, the Fort Worth Texans and the Dallas Blackhawks for 40 years before the Stars arrival; these two t