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Archive for the ‘Brett Hull’ Category

The Dallas Stars obviously want to break up with me, but I just can’t let that happen.

• They fired Doug Armstrong and hired nutty Brett Hull.
• They traded Jeff Halpern and Mike Smith.
• They let Nik Hagman just walk.
• They signed Sean Avery (admittedly, they almost got rid of me with that one).
• They traded my beloved Philippe Boucher for a bag of pucks Darryl Sydor.
• Instead of just firing Hull and letting Les Jackson take over, they demoted Jackson, too.
• They hired my original favorite player, Joe Nieuwendyk, to take over, which cannot end well favorite-player-wise.
• They fired my beloved coach, Dave Tippett.
• And if that weren’t bad enough, they hired Marc Crawford to replace him.

They’re obviously trying to get rid of me.

Well, it won’t work!

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I pick on Brett Hull a lot, I admit it, but he has done a ton for the Dallas Stars organization and don’t think I don’t appreciate it.

The Stars had a tribute ceremony before the game against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night.

I wasn’t able to see the Blues game in person, since I was traveling, and I couldn’t see it on TV because of stupid Versus, but the ceremony is up on the Dallas Stars site. It made me a little teary, I’m not gonna lie.

When the Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999, I was a hockey fan rookie. I enjoyed it and I thought it was exciting, but I had no idea what an accomplishment it was. I know that when it happens again (fingers crossed!) I’ll have a completely different viewpoint. I hope I get a chance to prove that soon.

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I was watching World Cup Hockey from 1996 on the great NHL Network, and it was pretty eye-opening.

The NHL Network was very nice to show an American triumph plus lots of American stats on the crawl at the bottom of the screen all day on the 4th of July. I think they also had a special about the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame right after Game 3.

Now, 1996 is way before my time, but not so far back that I didn’t know anybody. Modano, Hull, Guerin, Hatcher, Weight, Tkachuk were there, and more that I had heard of but forgotten about. The Canadian side seemed to have more players that I know less. Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman were about the only ones I have gotten to know. They had Gretzky and Fleury and Lindros and Odelein…guys like that.

Weight was being his old self, punching a guy in the head after the whistle (for a guy everybody says is “not that kind of player,” he sure acts like it a lot). Keith Tkachuk almost got his head whacked off when Lindros two-handed him over the back of the head with his stick. Then Tkachuk himself was kicked out of the game for whacking somebody else. Gretzky didn’t seem to be much of a factor.

I just have a couple of observations about that series and about what hockey must have been like in 1996 in general.

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Nice hair.

Congratulations go out to our very own Brett Hull for being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Hull had three seasons of 70 or more goals. In the 1990-91 season, he scored 86. As a post-wild-puck-era fan, I find 86 goals in one season completely incomprehensible. By the end of his career, he had scored 741 goals, to come in third all-time, behind Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe.

“It’s a great honor, it’s really unfathomable,” Hull said. “I mean, when you’re a kid, you dream about someday playing in the NHL or someday winning the Stanley Cup, but you just don’t think about this, so it’s hard to prepare yourself.”

Congratulations to the other inductees, Steve Yzerman, Luc Robitaille, Brian Leetch and Lou Lamoriello, too.

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Nieuwy_withcup_parade

Y’all. Joe Nieuwendyk is our new GM! As Katebits would say, that is bizonkers!

The ridiculousness of it is just now starting to hit me. It’s not that I don’t think he’s qualified, I just can’t believe it.

When I started watching hockey, Nieuwy was the first “missing piece” that was added to the roster on the Stars’ road to the Stanley Cup. Brett Hull was the last missing piece that pushed them right over the top.

I started watching the Stars in the ’97-’98 season after a couple of false starts. I wasn’t obsessed yet, but I had given in to the urge to at least check the score of every game, while I only watched the ones I happened to catch. By the end of that first season, I was able to tell the players apart and was deciding which ones I liked and why.

In the playoffs, when Marchment took out Nieuwy’s knees, I was only vaguely aware of the impact of it. When the Stars got knocked out, I probably just wandered back to my regular life and didn’t think much of it. I hardly remember those playoffs.

But during the next season, and especially in the playoff run, I really fell for hockey and for Nieuwendyk. (more…)

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I think it’s a good idea. It’s not the only good idea, but it’s one of them.

As you have probably heard, the Dallas Stars are bringing Joe Nieuwendyk back to town to be the General Manager. He was one of the biggest keys to the Stars’ Stanley Cup win in 1999 and he helped take the team back to the Finals the next year.

Then Doug Armstrong decided to put his stamp on the team and traded Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner to the New Jersey Devils. (This whole “putting your stamp on the team the minute you take over” thing hasn’t worked out that well. See: Brett Hull.) I was crushed that day, let me tell you. I was only three years into my hockey obsession and I figured that was the end of it. I had decided halfway through the Cup run that Nieuwy was my favorite player, and Jamie was a close second. How was I going to be a Stars fan if both of them were gone?

NHL Center Ice saved me, but that’s another story.

So, I’m all for Joe Nieuwendyk coming back to town. (more…)

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Joe Nieuwendyk has been named GM of the Dallas Stars!

Sure, I’m no investigative journalist or anything, but that came out of nowhere! I saw it on Twitter and just skipped right by it, then froze in mid-step and backed up. Just like in cartoons.

I am not sure what to say about it. I don’t think Brett Hull was really working out, but I don’t really know anything about Nieuwy’s personnel tendencies, so I will have to think about it before I decide if I like it. If he’s like Hull and wants to hire players that are just like him, it’s much better when Nieuwy’s doing it than when Hull is doing it. But that’s really all I can come up with.

Don’t do anything crazy, Nieuwy. That’s my advice.

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